If you want to jump into the exciting world of competitive archery, you likely have questions about what gear to bring and how to prepare for your first tournament. Archery 360 has you covered. Let’s discuss what you need to make your first competition a bull’s-eye.
When planning for your tournament, find out if it requires advanced registration. Some tournaments also require you to be a member of an association such as USA Archery, the Archery Shooters Association, or the National Field Archery Association. Learn as much about the event as you can well before the tournament by studying its website. Also consider contacting the tournament director or a nearby archery shop with your questions.
What You Need
You don’t need a fancy target bow and high-end arrows to compete in your first tournament. All you need is a bow you’re comfortable shooting and the right number of arrows. You’ll need at least six arrows if you’re shooting targets outdoors, but bring spares in case you lose or damage any arrows during the competition.
Most tournaments don’t provide bow stands, so bring your own. This important accessory holds your bow while you pull and score your arrows. Also bring arrow lube or an arrow puller, which help you remove your arrows from stubborn target bales.
Dress for the weather and to comply with the tournament’s dress code. Outdoor tournaments are held rain or shine, so bring rainwear and be prepared for bad weather. Lightning is the only thing that can delay or shut down an event.
Regarding other clothes, some governing bodies enforce a dress code. Be sure to read the rules carefully and ask a tournament official if you’re uncertain about the dress code. Also consider bringing water, snacks, sunscreen and a lightweight chair to make tournaments more enjoyable.
Besides the inherent tension of competition, tournaments add extra pressure with time constraints. To prepare, use a timer when practicing to get comfortable shooting under the clock. A timer and scoring apps make shot clocks easy.
The biggest difference between practice and competition is that every shot counts. When shots have consequences, archers often tighten up and try too hard. To prepare, dedicate practice days to mock competition where you keep score, take no mulligans, and learn what to work on.
Your first tournament is a learning experience. Don’t put pressure on yourself to win or set records. Just relax, enjoy the event and learn all you can. If you need more help, post a question on the Archery 360 Facebook or visit an archery shop. You can find a nearby store here.