by Gary Yamaguchi
The tournament was hosted by the combined efforts of USA Archery and Butler County. Butler County did a great job of setting up a nice field and welcoming the archers. Banners from the local roadway luminaire poles saying “Welcome Archers” greeted everyone driving past Joyce Park. No lunches were available on site but these could be ordered a day in advance. The local Cincinnati JOAD Olympians club sponsored a concession booth where drinks and snacks could be purchased. Double gold Olympic medalist and archery great Darrell Pace provided much additional support, including supplying water to all of the archers. CJO coach Jim Coombe brought out his metal detector and worked almost full time, finding many, many arrows.
Late signups necessitated the switching of compound and recurve target assignments -- leaving many parents who had come early to snag first-row tent locations stranded in the wrong viewing locations. As the tents were already pitched three deep at the time of the target reassignments, there wasn’t much that could be done. Cooperation among our local Ohio hosts (the McLaughlin family) and the Desert Sky Archers Scott Waldrop enabled a simple tent switch to be done that accommodated most of the Arizona parents, but other groups weren’t so lucky.
A new USA Archery policy requiring each coach to purchase a Coaching Pass for $20 was instituted the week prior to the tournament. Archers had to designate their coaches prior to a coach being allowed to obtain credentials. Most coaches were bona-fide archery coaches or instructors, but many parents without coaching knowledge or certification were allowed to buy their way into the archer/coach areas.
FITA RANKING ROUND:
JOADs shot four 36-arrow rounds at a single distance; Seniors and Masters shot a four-distance FITA for the Target National Championship title. Notable were Spencer Yee’s and Brian Bullis’ continuation of their year’s dominant performances, Danielle Reynolds’ massive improvement from the prior year, and Karissa Yamaguchi’s blazing first day results where she led the 47 person Cadet women’s field by 8 points. The male Cadet Recurve field was 77 archers, making Andrew Mateo’s finish exceptional. Seth Waldrop did as well as possible following bow structural issues discovered the week of Nationals, and Adam Stringham did well in his last national tournament before entering Brigham Young University. Nathan Yamaguchi finished well shooting reduced poundage following his fall 2010 shoulder surgery, and Gary Yamaguchi improved greatly upon his last place finish last year, shooting his first 1200+ FITA and finishing just behind 1984 Olympian Glenn Myers in the 50+ Masters National Target Championships.
OPEN TEAM AND JOAD TEAM ROUNDS:
Adam Stringham and Danielle Reynolds (3rd, Open Women’s Compound), with Allie Blazek of Colorado
Nathan Yamaguchi (3rd, Open Men’s Recurve), with Daniel and Sean McLaughlin of Ohio
The mandatory JOAD Team Round was called off after the 3rd end of 4, due to an extreme heat index. This upset some parents and competitors, but turned out to have been a wise decision. About an hour later, a sudden freak thunderstorm generating winds of 80 mph struck the field without warning, blowing over all the target stands, demolishing the tents and shade structures, knocking down outhouses, and even knocking the scoring trailer off its foundation. If the team rounds had continued even one more round, the field would have been populated at the time of the thunderstorm. Thanks to Teresa Iaconi’s urgent plea for help posted on Facebook, approximately 70 volunteers showed up within an hour to help reconstruct the field. Butler County’s field crew was extremely well organized and immediately set to work putting the main tents back up, clearing demolished and broken tents and target stands, and organizing the volunteer labor force. By dark, the entire field was set back up and ready to go. The only detrimental effect on the archers was the loss of many of the practice targets.
JOAD OR / GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPION:
Danielle Reynolds narrowly missed out on winning her Final OR match with Hunter Jackson, shooting her final shoot-off arrow about 1/16” further out from the center. Still, her 2nd place in the FITA gave her the JOAD Grand National Championship title!!! Nathan Yamaguchi gets kudos for his sportsmanship and integrity for returning a 2nd place Grand National Championship plaque, and asking that the placements be recomputed. They were, putting Nathan in 4th place instead of 2nd.
FITA scores are reported first, followed by placements for the FITA, the Elimination round, and the combined Grand National Championship (FITA placement + ER placement + 1 team round participation point) below. JOADs shot a single distance FITA, whereas the adults and masters shot a 4-distance FITA.
Spencer Yee (1389, 2nd and 3rd, 3rd in GNC, Bowman Male Compound)
Brian Bullis (1348, 1st and 4th, 2nd in GNC, Bowman Male Recurve)
Danielle Reynolds (1331, 2nd and 2nd, 1st in GNC, Cadet Female Compound)
Karissa Yamaguchi (1222, 5th and 7th, 5th in GNC, Cadet Female Recurve)
Andrew Mateo (1243, 6th and 4th, 5th in GNC, Cadet Male Recurve)
Seth Waldrop (1255, 24th and 17th, 23rd in GNC, Cadet Male Compound)
Adam Stringham (1313, 9th and 9th, 10th in GNC, Junior Male Compound)
Nathan Yamaguchi (1229, 5th and 2nd, 4th in GNC, Junior Male Recurve)
Gary Yamaguchi (1233, 2nd and 9th, Masters Male 50+ Recurve)
All in all, this tournament was another successful event. Valuable tournament experience was gained by all who participated, and the small group of Arizona archers represented our state and its archery programs well.
The USAA Annual meeting was held on June 28 at the host hotel. The main discussion revolved about two currently proposed options to change Cadet (15 to 17 year old) and Junior (18 to 20 year old) USAT ranking procedures from the current way of ranking. A paraphrased version is given here -- Interested and affected readers are directed to the USAA web pages for the actual text.
Option A: This proposed option separates Juniors from the Senior (over 20 years old) field. Cadets and Juniors will have a limited number of ranking tournaments to be chosen from available events. Juniors will not be allowed to compete with the Seniors during elimination rounds, unless they sign up as a Senior archer, in which case they are not eligible for Junior qualification at that tournament. Qualifying tournaments include: Indoor Nationals plus two additional finishes. The reduced number of qualifying Cadet and Junior USAT tournaments reduces the total number of tournaments that many archers will travel to and may reduce costs. However, it also requires all archers to attend these few tournaments irrespective of school schedules, geography, and other mitigating factors. No discussion was held regarding the criteria for choosing which tournaments would be designated as the qualifying tournaments.
Option B: This proposal combines Junior and Senior categories into an Open category. Cadets would presumably remain unchanged. Approximately the same number of events will be held as are currently offered. How the Junior USAT rankings and Senior USAT rankings will be determined is still unclear. The status quo would be to allow each Junior archer to declare themselves as either a Senior or a Junior USAT member if qualified for both. Another proposal ranks the top 8 as Senior USAT, with the next 5 Juniors as Junior USAT. Proponents of Option B believe this will create better opportunities for top Junior archers to develop into top international competitors. On the other hand, entering the Senior ranks at the outset may be intimidating to less proficient JOAD archers.
The alternative to Options A and B, of course, is to maintain the status quo. This year, there were five regional ranking tournaments for JOADs plus Indoor Nationals. Jake Kaminski suggested adding USAA National Field as a qualifying ranking event.
Discussion was also held regarding holding JOAD Nationals together with Target Nationals. One of the subjects brought up was the subject of having non-US citizens entered in the elimination rounds of a US Cadet and Junior ranking tournament. (Taiwanese and Canadian archers typically attend the Target Nationals and shoot in a "guest category", but they typically do not attend JOAD Nationals when it is held as a separate event.)