Your First Competition: Some tips for our newer members

Dear Diary,

Oops! Wrong Document.

Good afternoon readers,

The coaching team has been encouraging our newer members of Archers of Raunds to compete in the AoR open Portsmouth on the 22nd and I am delighted to see that so many have entered.

My intention with this blog post is to try and help you with your first competition and give you some hints and tips on what you can expect.

So lets get started!

Before the competition

  • Check the rules for dress codes and make sure you comply with them. Rule 307 is the one to look at and can be found here:[21393].pdf
  • Check your equipment. Make sure that there is no damage to your arrows for instance and you have any spares you may need. Most importantly make sure everything is together and ready to go. There is nothing worse than getting to the competition to realise something is still at home!
  • Check you have the correct sight settings. This Saturday would be the ideal time to double check them but it will be a shorter session due to the hall being set up for the competition so turn up early to make sure you can get any practice you may need.
  • Set a personal goal. This could be reaching above a certain score or a new PB. By setting yourself a goal you can concentrate on your own shooting and forget about everyone else.
  • Make sure you understand the round you are shooting, how to score it and how many arrows each end. If you are unsure try to find out beforehand or worse case speak to someone from the club on the morning.
  • Prepare plenty of fluids and food. There will be refreshments available on the day but you want to ensure that you eat normally. If you usually have a pizza for breakfast, hot dog lunch and a doner kebab in the evening then a spinach and grape smoothie for breakfast will not do you any favours! Equally Be careful not to eat anything that will be too heavy. We all know what it feels like on Christmas day when the Turkey isn’t the only thing stuffed anymore…     imagine trying to shoot with a similar feeling! Top tips for food choices include slow release foods that will provide energy over a longer period of time including nuts, potatoes, cereals and pasta as examples (Wholemeal options are even better!). Also consider a high energy sports drink to keep you going.
  • Photography (in any way shape or form) – if you intend to take any form of imagery whilst at the event you MUST sign the photography request form prior to the competition. Please see a committee member for further information.

Competition day

  • Sign in – All competitions have a register and you must sign this to confirm you are present. You may also be requested to provide your GNAS card as well so ensure you have this to hand.
  • Set up your equipment with plenty of time to spare and check which boss you will be shooting on and which detail you will be (A and B shoot first, C and D second). If you bump into your fellow shooters then feel free to introduce yourself and make them aware that this is your first competition (if you would like to). Archery is a gentlemen’s sport and they should be happy to help and guide you if you need it.
  • Remember your etiquette – Do not leave the shooting line if someone is at full draw, stay on the line if you are the second to last person and so on. The rules I linked to above contain the etiquette as well if you would like to check it (paragraph 3).
  • Scoring – remember not to touch your arrows! Point at the nock only!
  • Call the highest score through to the lowest.
  • Check EVERYONES scores. If you think someone has called an arrow higher than it is say so. If that person disagrees the judge has the final say and should be called over.
  • What if something goes wrong? An arrow bounces out of the boss? Part of your equipment fails? Take a few steps back from the line when it is safe to do so and raise your bow in the air. This will get the judges attention. The judge will advise what you need to do to rectify the situation

After the competition

  • Check the scoresheet – make sure the maths are correct. Once you sign it you have accepted it! Any amendments required should be highlighted to the judge and they will advise what you need to do to correct it.
  • Once you are happy ensure it is signed by yourself and the target captain (the person that wrote your scores down).
  • If you have enjoyed shooting with your fellow archers let them know. Also thank them for their assistance scoring and pulling. Half the fun of a competition is making new friends… make the most of it! Chances are you may see them at the next competition.

Most importantly enjoy the day. Archery is a fantastic sport full of lovely people. Your aim for the day should be to enjoy yourself and shoot the best you can.

Do you have any tips worth sharing? Have I missed a few? comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Edit: Some Great comments below. Please be sure to read them for some tips i missed!

Please also feel free to share this blog with anyone you may feel will benefit from it.

I look forward to seeing you on the line this Sunday!

p.s. I was offered a bacon roll if I opened this post with “Dear Diary”. I could not refuse such an offer and look forward to collecting my prize from Ruby…

7 thoughts on “Your First Competition: Some tips for our newer members”

  1. Hi Mat (awesome Dear Diary made Ruby laugh) a couple of other pointers to remember your arrows need to be numbered and have your name or initials on the shafts near the fletchings., don’t panic if you haven’t got the stick on name labels use a permanent pen just as good. The judges will pick you up on arrows without name and number. The judges will also be doing an equipment check, That includes Bow, arrows and fingertip. Above all else keep a good sense of humour !! AoR club members are all on hand to help in anyway they can. Good Luck Shoot Strong

  2. You mention dress code. I take it from the rules I can’t wear my Aor shirt that I purchased from the supplier suggested by Aor that has the Aor badge & my name on the chest, as it is short sleeved.
    If this is correct the club needs to tell new members as this is the type Dodson & Horrel are suppling

    1. Hi Terry

      The AoR shirt from dodson and horrell is perfect. Its the same as the one i coach in?

      I will be wearing mine on sunday and do for all other competitions.

      The limitation regarding logos does not apply to archery organisations which the AoR logo falls under.

      Equally there is no requirement to have long sleeves. Most competitors wear the short sleeved polo.

      Hope that helps

      1. Hi Terry

        Back on my laptop so can clarify further.

        The rule I assume you refer to is 7) i) which reads” Tops or shirts must cover the front and back of the body[…] and for gentlemen, must include sleeves”.

        This rule excludes vests but short sleeve polos do have sleeves and therefore are fine.

        I will admit the rules are not that clear in their wording.

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