Archery Australia is excited to announce the National Competition calendar for 2022.
After 2 years of tournaments being disrupted due to COVID-19 restrictions, we can’t wait to see our community in action again on a large scale.
In 2022, we are making several changes to our National Tournaments based on an in-depth review.
Please note that 2022 is a trial year and after this time competitions may be further altered to ensure maximum enjoyment for the archers, high participation, and feasibility for the clubs etc.
The Review Process
Archery Australia understands that its National Events are an incredibly important part of the archery community. As such, great care has been taken to ensure that the review process has been thorough and as consistent as possible.
The review process began with a lengthy report covering key areas of these events, with the aim to give an accurate portrayal and clear understanding of our current events. Areas of the report covered attendance, finances, officiating, age groups, bow divisions, competition viability for clubs and feedback from event attendees.
Following this report, the AA board approved the creation of a National Archery Calendar Event Review (NACER) working group. It was created to consider the report information and formulate possible solutions to the National tournament structure. These solutions/options would look to improve the national event system and attempt to make events more appealing to a wider audience.
Individuals from across our archery community were selected to the working group from all sectors of the sport (age divisions, bow types, recreational, high performance, judges, and officials). Multiple sessions were held across a series of weeks where the working group reviewed the data gathered, shared their thoughts, and discussed the national events in detail. They provided key insights from their experience in archery and at the national events.
As a final phase of this review process, NACER proposals were then sent to all our Regional Governing Bodies for their feedback on changing the structure of National competitions. Whilst some RGB’s requested feedback from their club membership, others discussed it within their committees.
Changes To the Competition Structure
National Target Championships
After the in-depth review of our National Championships, Archery Australia has decided to make some changes.
To ease the burden of traveling to multiple competitions, the Australian Open has been combined with the National Championships. Together they will be known as the National Target Championships.
In doing so, the tournament will now consist of:
- WA900 (Canberra round)
- WA1440 (As appropriate for age divisions)
- WA720 (Open followed by elimination individual and teams/mixed teams matchplay)
This format looks to have our more traditional WA1440 Round, the accessible and popular WA900 Round, with the contemporary competition of the WA720 Round with Matchplay.
Due to the difficulty in finding facilities (along with other factors), that can manage Clout and Field archery at the National Championships. These events have been removed from the National Target Championships.
In doing so, this opens the pool for more clubs to host the National Target Championships (as very few clubs in Australia have access to a target range, field course and a clout range for a large group of archers).
It has been highlighted by many, that part of the enjoyment of the National Championships was travelling to different regions of Australia, reduced attendance was reflected when venues were revisited multiple times.
Under the new structure, age groups from Cadets and up, will also be added to the tournament. This has been done to provide greater competition experience for our youth archers, as well as expose them to the lifelong athlete/enjoyment pathway that Archery has to offer. It should be also noted that these age groups shoot similar distances to Open and Master’s age archers.
Talented Intermediates and Cubs may be eligible to compete at the National Target Championships, but a qualifying score will be set in this circumstance.
The National Target Championships will allow those attending to select what rounds they wish to compete in. Archers will not be required to shoot every event.
AA are currently reviewing how best to include the State Teams event at the National Target Championships.
National Para and VI Championships
With the aim of continuing to grow Para Archery across Australia, this event will remain the same as previous years.
It is aimed at providing Para classification opportunities, national ranking, potential team trials and match play experience for our para-archers in a competitive yet friendly environment.
Australian Field Open/National Field Championships
To grow the exciting and enjoyable game of Field archery, the National Field Championships and Australian Field Open will be standalone National events (separate to other national events).
Australian Field Open
The Australian Field Open will comprise both unmarked and marked field events, with elimination finals to decide the podium places.
This event will be run every 2 years and may look to be part of the selection criteria to represent Australia at the World Archery Field Championships. The aim is to better connect the event to World Archery Field Championship standards.
National Field Championships
On alternate year the National Field Championships will be held, which will allow for Cadet age divisions and up and all bow types – this will be marked field rounds only.
National Indoor Championships
As the most attended archery event in Australia, the National Indoor Championships won’t be changing.
As in previous years, each Regional Governing Body (RGB) will host the event/s in their state/territory. From there, all the scores shot at the competition will be compared in order to award places on a national level.
National Youth Competition (postal)
After the success of our Back2Archery event for our youth archers in 2020 and our online National Youth Tournament in 2021, Archery Australia have decided to add a National Youth postal Competition to our national calendar.
This event will be open to our cub and intermediate archers and will be shot at various locations within each RGB, enabling youth archers from across the country to participate in a National event. It will be a two-day target event with medals awarded on an Regional and National basis, medals and wards will be confirmed after discussions with the RGBs.
The event is open to all our cubs and intermediates including those who are skilled enough to shoot at the National Target Championships in the higher Cadet division.
This decision was taken to engage with more of our young archers who will not need to travel significant distances to attend and where the event will be completed in two days.
Under the new structure, no Clout Archery will be held at National Events in 2022.
Its removal has occurred due to the difficulty in finding fields capable of holding the event and a decline in attendance.
Clout will remain at State and Club level and its removal from National level events will be reconsidered at the end of the 2022 trial.
Continual Review Process
Archery Australia understands that National events are an important aspect to many of our members’ shooting calendar. To ensure that this remains the case we have committed to the continued review of these National events in 2022 and beyond.
2022 will be a trial year for the above format and various methods will be employed to understand the quality and effectiveness of the events (Surveys, reports, results and more will all be used).
Similarly, a consultation process will again be followed, with multiple layers of the sport, to ensure that our members are heard in this process.
Frequently Asked Questions
To better understand the processes and reasoning behind some of the new changes, the below FAQ has been developed for our members:
Why is there a need for change in AA’s National events?
The five-year review of Archery Australis’s National events gave clear information on the current state of its events.
A serious and concerning decline in attendance, host Club/RGBs revenue, difficulty in finding hosts and officials has been occurring over that period.
The issues connected with growth concerns in the sport (membership, clubs, etc) and the wish for a new longer term strategic plan for the sport, have made this process an essential one for good governance. This is to ensure that we can all continue to enjoy the sport for many years to come.
As part of strategic direction and review, there will be regular reviews of the National Event Calendar moving forward to ensure both the pathways and performance side of the sport do not become stagnant.
Why are AA looking to combine the Nationals and Australian Open?
The National event calendar sees a wide array of events throughout the calendar year. As noted above, the decline in attendance and difficulty in finding hosts and officials has led to the new proposal. The focus is to reduce the number of National events per year and focus on the quality of those that do exist, to give the best experience to those who attend.
Why is there a separate Youth Nationals for Cub and Intermediates being run in a postal fashion?
This has been considered for multiple reasons:
- To reduce the number of arrows a younger archer may shoot in a National event.
- Promote more State/Territory-based competition in youth categories (Archery lacks youth involvement across AUS) and yet allow more capable or willing youth to also “shoot up” into an older division at the Nationals if they wish.
This also aligns with Archery Australia’s strategic directions to encourage youth participants in development phases of the sport within clubs and RGBs.
Why have the rounds for the target event been selected?
The 900, 1440 and 720 have all been selected due to historical, competitive and community engagement purposes. The 900 round is an excellent round for a wide cross section of AA members. The 1440 has a great history in Archery Australia Nationals and the 720 is the current round shot at World level events.
Why has clout been removed?
At every stage of engagement for this review process the overwhelming consensus has been that Clout has been difficult to host at a National event. Limited clubs across Australia have the access to appropriate fields that can safely and easily hold the event. The number of archers shooting the event is low and along with variable international rules (AA uses its own rules) has led to this decision, of course. Clout will still be able to be held at RGB and club level in Australia.
Will RGB teams and overall champions remain?
Yes, all team and overall champion systems will remain. The format for these is being reviewed with the RGB’s. The State Team’s event is currently under review. It may be an event that only includes the National Target Championship, or it could include field and Teams Matchplay. The format will be decided in consultation with the RGB’s
National Field Championships and Australian Field Open: why this format and why separate it from Nationals?
National Field Championships and Australian Field Open events have been traditionally hard to manage at National level. Very few Clubs and RGBs have easy and regular access to high quality field courses capable of running National level events.
The Biannual nature of the Open Field Tournament (unmarked and marked) has been considered to align with World Archery Field Championships. The Field Nationals on the alternate year will be marked field only and will allow for participation of all bow types and divisions.
The Australian Field Open has an unmarked component and a marked component. The unmarked component is shot first, as this component must be shot on a previously un-shot course, because it will require more work to set it up and more work is required by volunteers, it will therefore be only held biannually.
Why was there not a National tournaments review survey provided to all Archery Australia Members?
The focus of this review has been to not only gain insight from our members, but also from hosts of events (our Clubs/RGB’s), tournament officials and more. As such several methods were used to gain a clear insight as possible into the current state of Archery Australia events.
Online surveys of Archers who attended events, standardized Interviews of key individuals, Archer’s diary and Sports TG data, reports from Archery Australia committees, working groups with multiple sessions have all played a part in this process.
Archery Australia also plans to continue this process in the trial year and heavily engage with those who attend as well as manage the events. The aim is to ensure that we continue to develop these crucial events over time.
Why is the National Matchplay Series not included?
The National Matchplay Series was covered in the National report and in the NACER working Group. Due to various factors, it will not play a part in the 2022 calendar, so we can focus on the new National Calendar.
The plan is to work on the NMS structure/format in 2022 and look to roll out the NMS in 2023.
Did Archery Australia listen to any youth archers in the review?
Yes, multiple youth/younger archers played a part in this review process.
Has Archery Australia considered that the decline in competition attendance is related to the decline in Members, rather than the unlikeable competition format?
Archery Australia have investigated as many areas as possible in this review. It is clear from this review process that there is a wide range of reasons we see attendance has decline at our national events, including geographical location, time of year, event format, cost, quality of event, and more all play a part in this process.
We are committed to understanding and improving all areas of our organization’s business to grow the sport across the country (not just its events). This can be seen in the new strategic planning process, work on participation and club management programs as well as Pathways and HP programs.
Is this enough tournament experience for archers interested in competing overseas?
Yes, it is believed that these events along with Archery Australia’s Pathways and High-Performance programs are a great way to give our aspiring elite archers more experience.
Archery Australia Regional Development Program (AARDP), P24 and National Squad structures along with State and Territory Institute programs are all considered as vital parts of an athletes development towards international success.