ASA Report: More Than Just Shooting by Whitetail Journal's Brian Dansby

ASA Report: More Than Just Shooting by Whitetail Journal's Brian Dansby

June 22, 2010 - Joel

Competitive archery differs from many other sports in that
there’s a lot more to a shoot than just the competion.

While watching a sporting event on television recently, I saw an athlete being interviewed by a commentator. The competitor, who had had a victorious day of strong competition, mentioned that he
was glad he had played well and that he had met a lot of good people in the process.

The comment sat in my mind for a while, for two reasons.
First, “I met a lot of good people” is not something you hear
often on interviews. Second, it made me realize that where I
do generally hear this comment is from competitive archers
walking off a course at a McKenzie ASA Pro/Am Tour stop.

The nature of an ASA Pro/Am lends itself to becoming a
social event. On the Pro/Am tour, an archer will shoot two
20-target courses, usually one round on Saturday and one
on Sunday. In most divisions, an archer will be paired with
the same three or four other shooters for all forty targets.

Once you register for a Pro/Am event you are given a
shooters card. That card includes what times you shoot and
which courses you are on. For example, if you are registered
to shoot Hunter and are assigned to Course F Target 6 at 11
a.m. on Saturday, then you will go to that course and that
stake number by 10:45 a.m. and will meet your fellow competitors.
Introductions are made and score cards exchanged
before a range official gives the shotgun start command of
“shoot ’em up.” From there you will spend the next three or
four hours with this same group. On Sunday you will meet
these same guys on the second course you are assigned to
and do it all over again. Some classes, such as the four Pro
divisions, do “peer group” the second day based on first-day
scores, but in most divisions, once the group is set, it
remains that way for the rest of the weekend.

The tournament village is another aspect in which the
ASA Pro/Am format is conducive to meeting new people. The
ASA registration trailer is usually located just off a tent village of
vendors and sponsors. When archers are not on the range, they can
normally be found milling around the village checking out the latest gizmos and gadgets, and talking about the good and bad shots from the round that was just completed.

Some archers have taken the meet-and-greet concept a
little further. Mike Davis of Hopewell, Va., met Susan
Thompson of Douglasville, Ga., through the Pro/Am Tour. The
two were later married at the 2005 Oak Ridge, Tenn., shoot.
“ASA has been such a big part of my life for so many
years, and Mike’s too,” Susan Davis said. “With both of us
being in archery like we were it just seemed more appropriate
to us to have all our friends able to be there.”

Most of the competitive archers that shoot the ASA
Pro/Am Tour have similar interests, and of course archery
and bowhunting are at the top of the list. After shooting and
exchanging stories with the same group of competitors for 6
to 7 hours over a weekend, it is not unusual for phone numbers
and email addresses to be exchanged, and there is
always the “See you next month in…” comment.

“You can call on them any time,” Susan said about the friends she has made since she began shooting competitive archery in 1985. “They don’t mind helping people and doing what they can. Mike goes out of his way helping people. He will take time out of his
shooting to help somebody else out.”

Others are on the way to the same plunge the Davis’ made, including two engaged couples composed of professional archers Levi Morgan and Samantha Kline, as well as JeremyJarrett and Lea Steward. Both couples are to be married later in 2008.

Another couple that met through the ASA was married on March 29, 2008, and honeymooned in Paris. Paris, Texas, that is. Skip Henry of Albany, N.Y., who is the official photographer and computer guru for the ASA, met and proposed to Angie Gaddis of Arkansas. The Henrys wrapped up their honeymoon by meeting
the rest of the ASA gang in Paris, Texas, for the Carbon Express
Southwest Shootout.

The McKenzie ASA Pro/Am Tour is all about serious archery competition, but don’t be surprised if you meet some new friends while you’re out there competing. If you don’t compete as well as you would have liked, you can always borrow one of my favorite
lines: “I didn’t shoot too well, but I met some good people this weekend.”

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