By Roy Grimes
Madison, WI -(Ammoland.com)- The last arrow of the 2014 NASP World tournament in Madison, Wisconsin struck its target at 1:45PM, July 13.
Based upon the quality of the world contestants that arrow was probably dead center in the gold! Thus signaled the end to the 2014 NASP tournament season. Nearly 2,400 archers, families, and volunteers began the trek home with pledges to meet again in 2015.
Staying behind were 16 archers each from the United States, Canada, and South Africa. These all-star teams from their respective countries and had one more contest to settle. The 2014 NASP All-Star World Championship began on Tuesday July 15th at the University of Wisconsin’s, Neilson Tennis Center. Before jumping immediately into competition the archers, coaches, and families took a day off to enjoy Mt. Olympus Water Park at nearby and famous Wisconsin Dells. This was an opportunity to relax for a day and for the international archers to make friends with one another before the all-star head to head showdown.
The NASP All-Star Championship is a celebration of competition between students that represent their countries as the best of the best NASP archers. They represented more than 2.15 million students who participated in NASP during the 2013-2014 school year. Each had advanced through regional, state, or provincial tournaments and their own national tournaments.
USA’s Dustin Johnson agreed, “It was an honor competing with some of the best NASP archers in the world!” Team manager Rob Jellison offered, “Being involved as the NASP USA Team Manager has been a true joy. Watching the level of these archers is unreal. The pressure these kids have in this event is unmatched in other NASP competitions because they know they are going to be shooting against an archer who can post a 295/300 any day of the week!” US All-Star, Michael Killian responded to the pressure well saying, “The tournament provided a boost to my self-confidence and helped me become a better archer.”
Most of the contestants stayed at the University of Wisconsin’s DeJope Hall dormitory. This room and board arrangement was economical, convenient, and most importantly provided opportunity for enlightening cultural exchange among the student archers.
As 2-time U.S. All-Star Clay Stevens reported, “It is great to get to meet archers from all over the World. We follow each other throughout the year and meet at the different local, state and National tournaments.”
On Tuesday morning the teams were introduced, country anthems played, and at 9:00am the competition between the teams began. Opening round was the “ranking” flight. This and all subsequent matches were a standard NASP 30 arrow event with archers shooting a practice end and three 5 arrow ends from 10 and 15 meters, for a total of 30 scored arrows. The scores of the top 12 archers from each country were calculated to determine match points. The first place country from the ranking flight was awarded 50 points, second place earned 40, and third place received 30 team points. The ranking flight order of finish was USA 1st, South Africa 2nd, and Canada 3rd.
Individual archer scores from the “ranking” flight were used to determine 4 sub-teams of 4 archers representing each country. Boys and girls were assigned to every sub-team. The top four boys and girls from each country became Team 1 for that country. The next 4 became their country’s team 2nd, 3rd, and 4th teams.
Members of each country’s #1 Team:
- US 1: Evan Smith, Ashley Hinkle, Chris Bee, Conner Patterson
- SA 1: Jeandre Putter, Anje Tait, Dehan Boshoff, Duncan Botha
- CA 1: Tyson Kiemele, Mitchel Smith, Brianna Senetza, Bailey Steciuk
There were a total of 4 sub-teams representing each country for a total of twelve teams. The twelve teams were seeded based upon the sum of their four archers’ ranking flight scores and placed in a double elimination bracket for match play. During match play each country’s teams would go head to head shooting 30 scored arrows at 10 and 15 meters (15 arrows at each distance). The highest possible score for an archer was 300 points and for the team perfection equaled 1,200 points. The team that won the match advanced in the “winners” bracket and earned 10 points for their country. The team that didn’t win the match moved to the “Second Chance” bracket and received 5 points. These points were accumulated over two days of match play to determine overall and runner-up team champions. If/when a team lost two matches they were eliminated from the competition. Often times sub-teams from the same country would compete in a match against each other and knock each other out of the brackets.
During match play USA’s Conner Patterson tied the all-tournament NASP record of 299 out of a possible 300 set by Kentucky’s Ryan Long and Iowa’s Josh Ohlert at the 2013 All-star event in South Africa. Duncan Botha of South Africa Set a record for his country when he shot a 298.
The first teams to exit the competition were those from Canada. This was Canada’s first time participating in the All-Star Championship, but we are sure it will not be their last. All of Canada’s archers represented themselves, their parents, coaches, and country with competence, grace, and terrific sportsmanship!
The final four teams in the competition on the last afternoon were US 1, 2, 3, and SA1. The final round of the All-star Championship is a single elimination round. So regardless of what happened previously in the brackets, the final match winner is the champion sub-team. USA 2 had remained undefeated during match play and had to shoot against their fellow all-stars on USA 1 who had successfully moved through the second chance bracket. Both of these teams had posted 4-person scores throughout match play that could have beaten one another, so this final pairing was very much a rubber match. However, after 45 minutes and 240 scored arrows, US 1 earned top sub-team honors with 1,183 points, just 5 points higher than US 2!
US All-Star Same White said the event was, “Amazing, awesome, challenging, and stressful. Can’t wait to do it next year!!” Sam’s mother Kim echoed that the competition was “incredibly intense!”
Points earned during the ranking flight and match play resulted in USA with 230 points, South Africa with 140 points and Canada with 110 points. To determine over-all champion and runner-up male and female archers the top three scores posted by each archer throughout the championship were summed. USA’s Chris Bee and Conner Patterson tied for Overall Individual Male Archers. Winning overall champion among lady archers was USA’s Shelby Winslow. Runner-up honors went to USA’s Ashley Hinkle.
Morrell Targets and Easton Technical Products, both medal level sponsors of NASP, provided the target faces and arrows. Every archer also used the same bow, the NASP Genesis produced by Mathews Archery. Bow racks used during the competition were the BowTree.
Throughout this All-star Championship parents and archers alike commented on the fun and value of experiences and exposure that had nothing to do with archery.
South Africa’s Charl Rabie offered, “For me as South Africa’s manager, the knowledge that I gained from coaches and former champions will help our country to become stronger in NASP archery. But the highlight was the second place for our small and young NASP® country.”
The students readily related and shared fun and information with their new international friends. Some learned a few words and phrases in other languages. Many exchanged e-mail and text message information so they could remain in contact when they returned to their respective homes.
Canada’s Manager/Coach, Hal Ziprick offered this, “The all-star event allowed archers from other countries to become best friends. It is a good thing FaceBook and e-mail exist or the phone bills these new friends will generate would be huge!”
One of Hal’s archers, Brianna Senetza said, “I never thought, in such a short time, I would make such great friends and memories that will last a lifetime with people who had been strangers only days before. It was sad to say goodbye when the event was over.”
Many families related how their community, companies, and family members chipped in to make this trip financially affordable for them. Some made great sacrifices for this opportunity. NASP’s goal of changing lives one arrow at a time was realized once again as every archer and parent proclaimed the event to be a success.