News from the World Archery Congress

27 September, 2013

The World Archery Congress is in session in Belek just before the World Championships starts. I’ve watched it, so you don’t have to. There’s quite a lot to talk about, but I’m going to summarise the news I’ve gathered so far:

The FITA round is now called the 1440 round. 

Recurve archers will now shoot a 70m round for qualification in international competition. One distance. Same for para-archery. This, I’m guessing, will mean a decline in the full-FI… sorry, the 1440 round as the international standard in archery, which seems a shame for sentimental reasons if nothing else. I mean, I hate moving targets as well, but… 

The acronym FITA is vanishing across the board, as FITA is now called the World Archery Federation. (Somehow ‘WAF’ rounds don’t have the same impact. It’s a clumsy and ugly acronym to say.)

Para-archery categories are now Open Recurve, Open Compound and Open W1 for men and women. “After a consultation with all parties it seems that there is a consensus that the merge of standing and W2 will give a more competitive and universal competition at Paralympics and major events. Also the creation of an open W1 event will 
permit the more severe disabled to have a good and appropriate competition.”

Compound archers will shoot cumulative score in indoor matches to differentiate from recurve matches.

Half-FITA has been removed as a valid round in international competition. (BIG deal, this one. )

‘Field Archery Committee’ will now be called ‘Field and 3D Committee.’

Procedure for determining ties in Field Archery will now favour most 6s before most 5s.

There was a vote for whether the Falkland Islands should be admitted as a member organisation (amongst others). If you aren’t aware, there is, and has long been a sovereignty issue between the UK and Argentina over the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory in the South Atlantic since 1833, which culminated in the Falklands War in 1982, with the loss of almost a thousand British and Argentine soldiers. Recently, the election of the nationalist-leaning Kirchner dynasty in Argentina has revived the issue of the ‘Malvinas’, as they are referred to there.

The Argentinian delegate piped up and read from the ‘Malvinas’ script, claiming that they were a province of Argentina, and recommending the IOC get involved. Dave Sherratt from Team GB weighed in in response. The vote in favour was carried by a massive majority – I think only the Argentinian voted against it by what I could see. Tom Dielen, the head of WA, clearly stated that the political issues had no place in the sport.

Whatever you think about the sovereignty issue (and I personally don’t take an strongly British-nationalist view of it) this tiny hoohah was basically a clunking, ugly, pointless bit of political point scoring in the wrong arena for the wrong reasons.

You can watch it here: from about 24 minutes

Other news:

Mixed team events are being pushed hard by WA for their ‘universality’; they were trying to get them in for the Olympics in Rio 2016 but it’s not happening, but may well happen in Tokyo 2020.

Archery GB membership up 27% (42k from 33k) since 2008. Similar growth in France & Spain. France are trying to get to 100,000 members by next year.

ATA in America says there are 18.9 million archers in the US of which 10m are target archers and 38% are women. 

World Archery does forex transactions back and forth between Swiss francs to maintain their finances. Crikey.

National championships will eventually have to include men & women. Not sure if this is an issue anywhere… Saudi?

Archery TV is the second most popular YouTube channel among international sport federations. Go Archery TV!

WA are planning a World Archery Center in Lausanne for 2015. Easton are putting up some of the money.

The archery NGBs of India and Ecuador are having problems with their respective ministries of sport, who want to impose their own presidents and / or rules. WA is supporting full independence for member organisations.

More news as I get it!

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