2011 NASP® World Championship
October 6-8, 2011
by: Brittany Jones
Beginning with practice rounds on Thursday October 6 , 2011, 1,071 kids from around the world arrived at ESPN's Wide World of Sports® Complex with their teams, teachers, parents and siblings to kick off the 2011 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®) World Tournament.
According to NASP® President Roy Grimes, 'Out of the 1104 students who registered for ‘Worlds', only thirty-three (3%) students were no-shows.' Grimes also states, 'This participation level represents an increase of 19% over the 902 shooters in 2010 and 76% higher than the 609 students at our first world tournament in 2009.' From these statistics, it's obvious there is a growing inte rest for NASP®-style archery not only in the United States, but around the world as students from Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa joined the fun.
In fact, for the first time, a 'Cultural Exchange' session was conducted at the tournament. Teachers asked for this type of activity to increase the educational experience for student archers. On Friday evening, half-way through the tournament, students from Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa positioned themselves in a booth with their country flags to meet students from the states. The session was so popular it will be expanded next year. Students signed flags, shared information, and answered quizzes about foreign locations. It seemed students most enjoyed comparing each others accent! Prizes were donated during the cultural exchange by Field Logic, Easton Technical Products, and Morrell Manufacturing.
Expanding upon archery's every-kid attraction, Robert Jellison, a Michigan NASP Coach says, 'Archery is a sport that anyone can do and anyone can succeed at. There is no doubt in my mind that archery is a challenging sport, both physically and mentally, but you can truly get children of every age size, and athletic ability shooting arrows safely down range. 'Jellison also proclaims how much he loves seeing his, 'star athletes from other sports shooting on the same team with students who have never been on a 'team' until archery.' Evidence of Jellison's diversity assertion was clear as students from all backgrounds, genders, and abilities took center stage during the hour-long awards ceremony on Saturday afternoon.
During the competition every 4th thru 12th grade student archer shot 1 practice end of 5 arrows and 3 scoring ends of 5 arrows at 10 meters. They repeated this shooting format at 15 meters. A total of 30 scoring arrows were shot for a possible score of 300 points and 30 bulls-eyes (300/30). The largest division represented at the tournament with 505 boys and girls was the Elementary Division which includes grades 4th-6th. Winners of their respective grades were as follows:
- 1st Female 4th Grade: Shelby Goodrich (276/14) Woodlawn ES, GA
- 1st Male 4th Grade: Spencer Bartlett (281/15) Henderson Co. S. Middle, KY
- 1st Female 5th Grade: Celsey Wood (278/13) Eagle Mountain Magnet, AR
- 1st Male 5th Grade: Jack Looney (292/22) Eagle Mountain Magnet, AR
- 1st Female 6th Grade: Kenzie Trent (284/19) Anderson Co. Middle, KY
- 1st Male 6th Grade: Clay Stevens (291/21) Trigg Co Intermediate, KY
The Middle School Division competition was joined by 202 male and 136 female student archers. Winners of this Division were:
- 1st Female Middle School: Ashley Padgett (292/22) Meade Co , KY
- 1st Male Middle School: Cody Bush (292/22) Philo Jr. High, OH
A total of 228 students competed in the High School Division. This division also produced the tournaments top Overall and Runner-Up Overall boy and girl champions.
- 1st Female HS & Overall Female Champion: Emily Bee (292/23) Hartland HS, MI
- Runner-Up Female Overall: Lauren Hawker (291/22): Armstrong HS, IL
- 1st Male HS & Overall Male Champion: Ryan Long (296/26) Madison Southern, KY
- Runner-Up Male Overall: Nathan Parcell (295/26) Meade Co. HS, KY
Of course the team competition is what makes NASP® tournaments different from most other archery venues. At this world tournament co-gender teams of 12-24 archers advanced from the NASP® Nationals that were held in Louisville, KY. All the archers on each team compete. When their flight is finished scores for the team's top 12 archers, including at least 4 from both genders, are summed to determine the team's score.
The top ranking school in the Elementary Division went to Eagle Mountain Magnet, Arkansas with a total score of 3291. In the Middle School Division, the top scoring team was fielded by Logan Hocking Middle School, Ohio with a total score of 3319. And finally, the top ranked school in the High School Division was Henderson County High School, Kentucky, with a total score of 3400.
At the conclusion of the awards ceremony Disney's Mickey Mouse congratulated the students and their coaches and was still having his picture made with archers as the ceremonies ended. A big congratulations goes out to not only the top ranked archers at this tournament, but to every kid who had enough determination and self-confidence to participate. (And parents and teachers willing to bring them!). Prizes were presented to winners by Mathews, Morrell, Easton, and Field Logic. The University of the Cumberlands awarded $2,400 college scholarships to each of the top five boys and girls in the High School Division. Bernie Morrell of Morrell Manufacturing provided target butts for the competitive and practice ranges. Easton Technical Products provided NASP® arrows for every archer who didn't bring their own. James McGovern of Rinehart Targets provided 15 dinosaur targets for the kids to enjoy on the 'fun' 3-D range. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission recruited most tournament volunteers and provided additional range building equipment.
Of course this event would be impossible to present without those dedicated and generous volunteers. Nearly 50 people came from Florida, Virginia, Arizona, British Columbia, New Zealand, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin to serve as range officials. The most boring location during the entire tournament was again the 1st Aid Station with zero accidents or injuries to treat!
It was evident in the excited smiles of student archers, proud family members and coaches that NASP® continues to live up to its claim of 'Changing Lives One Arrow at a Time'. Laura Jones, a teacher in Virginia says 'Chickahominy Middle School started out last fall with kids who had never drawn a bow before in their entire lives.' She also says 'It was not only their first school experience where they were treated like adults, but their first experience being on a sports team.' Archery has not been just another sport that kids can join and compete, but it is a one that has made kids with little or no confidence, kids who feel like maybe they weren't good enough, build self-confidence and determination and realize they can do anything they put their minds too. '
Take for example, the Overall Male Champion, Ryan Long. Ryan was an understudy at the Strickland Student Outdoor Adventure filming this summer. 'Ryan advised Roy Grimes in July he intended to win the 2011 NASP® world tournament'. Grimes considered this to be quite an audacious prediction considering Ryan placed fourth at Nationals and those who placed ahead of him would also be at the World event. Ryan validated his prediction!