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Discussion Starter #1
Here's a post that was started in another forum and I thought it would be a good topic for general discussion.
Joe B.

I'm not sure if this is the best place to post this (Chuck, feel free to move this out of here if you want), but I was just looking at the early results from the NFAA Indoor (thanks to @bowjunky9 for posting scores on Twitter) and a few names from the past jumped out at me. John Vozzy is back and in the shoot-off in MPFS, Kirk Ethridge shot in MPFS, and Randy Ulmer was in the hunt in the SMPFS. Good to see some of these guys coming back out again. What other names from the past would you like to see shooting again? I was happy to see Mike Leiter come back a few years ago. And I think everyone would be happy to see Terry and Michelle shooting again too.
It was great to visit with these guys you mentioned at the Nationals. I also saw Ron Walker who started competing again a few years back. The only trouble with this is that we're becoming a organization of old men. I'd like to see a better NFAA program developed to attract the NASP kids into field archery after their NASP days are over. Right now I see a major effort in this respect being made only by the ASA 3d organization and unless we can match what they're doing for these kids, the future archers will be shooting foam instead of paper.
In my mind, a NASP round could be offered at local clubs simply by using the cub stakes for field round shot with NASP equipment and rules. This would offer the kids a real challenge and introduce them to field archery. From there they could branch out to other styles of equipment as they improve and want to test themselves against archers using more advanced equipment.
Joe B.
 

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A few comments.

Background - I've got some experience in attempting to move a NASP program beyond their NASP roots. In Arizona, I was involved with moving a NASP club from being NASP only to being a NASP and JOAD club. Believe me - it wasn't an easy thing to do. But, now they have the second largest JOAD club in the state of Arizona now, with about 70 kids in it.

With that being said, here's some thoughts.

1) NASP is attempting to move into the post-NASP realm by publishing and selling a DVD called "Beyond NASP". The commercial for it (frankly) sucks. It's really vague and does nothing to help sell the concept. The DVD is 10 dollars.

2) NASP really has no desire nor the need to push other forms of archery to the world or the kids in their program. They rely totally on statistics and sheer volume in a cookie cutter environment to push their agenda.

3) USA Archery has started to make some minor movements toward attracting NASP shooters, but nothing on a national level. In the state and regional level, I know that state based archery associations accept and help convert NASP archers into shooting other types of archery by creating a NASP only division for competitions. Even at the USA Archery Rio Rancho Regional for the 44th Indoor Nationals, there were some NASP shooters there using Genesis bows.

4) NFAA seems to have done something similar by allowing a NASP division in the recent 2013 Indoor Nationals. There was 4 kids listed in a NASP division.

With regards to attracting younger kids, I'll use the Arizona State NFAA Indoor Championships as a prime example of how kids aren't being courted by the NFAA. At the state 5 spot championship, there was ONE youth shooter. Really a 11 year old kid that shot up a category to shoot Youth instead of Cub because he feels shooting 10 yards just is plain stupid. The State JOAD Championships has kids from ages 6 to 18, and has 95 registered/92 that participated.

I also noticed that the 2013 NFAA Indoor attracted far more Cub shooters than Vegas did. Is it because of the 10 yard distance at Louisville, or some other circumstance?

Anyhow, just my .02.
-Steve
 

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Right now I see a major effort in this respect being made only by the ASA 3d organization and unless we can match what they're doing for these kids, the future archers will be shooting foam instead of paper.
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Well, 3D foam is the going thing. Everytime I get wound up to shoot paper I think of our State Championship, two day Indoor or Outdoor or Field event, and that cures my wanting to try paper again. And then seems everyone wants to shoot a 28 field and not 14. Now this on the local level. We took out some that had never shot Field before and they liked it. The only thing is they quit after 14, stating they didn't know it took so long to shoot a Field event. Best thing that took place of recent in our state, One day Championship Outdoor. We had more show and paid the same fee they pay for a 2 day event. Same with the Vegas round. At Vegas it's 30 arrows and done for the day. Out state, 60 arrows all in one session.
Bottom line, have a short event to catch their attention and save the longer events for something else...that I probably won't attend.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Both of the above posts make a lot of sense. It's more than just trying to attract the NASP kids to our sport but what is our sport doing to make itself more user friendly for new archers coming into the sport. Our rounds need to be re-thought and pared down in the number of arrows shot and in how much time it takes to shoot a complete round. The world is so much busier and fast paced than it was when the current field round was structured that I think we need to take a look at the big picture. A full day of doing just one thing, like a day at the range, just doesn't seem to fit into the lives of most families today. If we don't change the way our game is played it will continue to lose the battle for new faces.
Joe B.
 

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Just face it, field is in the dying stages.....sad, but true.

The reality is, the NASP kids are not even feeding into the ASA for that matter.

With thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of kids, coming through the program the last few decades........where are they? I see the same folks at the ASA I have seen for a decade. I see the same names indoors I have seen for a decade.
 

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it's a good question....
Wisconsin's badger state games had a 900 round until the club that sponcered it, gave it up for lack of attendance. now the club I belong to sponcers the 3d tournament that is now the archery [art of the badger state games.
well and good.. that the badger state games still has some archery in it, but, man, I really hate to see that the 900 round is gone and our field range just isn't big enough for a full line at 60 yards.
one of the reasons that got me back into this sport a few months ago was the prospect of shooting that 900 round again. i'll be the first to admit, I never did very good at it, but I just loved shooting it and it was the only opportunity to shoot a field round of any kind anywhere near me.
sadly ironic....., as spots is making a come back of sorts around here, the out door version disappears... having re-joined the club after an absence of 6 years, I noticed that the winter badger state spot round showed a sizeable decrease in attendance, this last competition . I wonder if the attendance would be better with the 900 round counterpart still running in the summer.
 

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I think you are seeing the NASP age gap... There is a magical time when kids disappear. They find girls/boys to chase, they find cars to drive, then they find college, and marriage. It is after all of that, that they start to think about archery again. The trigger is their own children finding the sport and they find their way back home.
 

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Just face it, field is in the dying stages.....sad, but true.

The reality is, the NASP kids are not even feeding into the ASA for that matter.

With thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of kids, coming through the program the last few decades........where are they? I see the same folks at the ASA I have seen for a decade. I see the same names indoors I have seen for a decade.
I'm a bit confused.
NASP started a little over 10 years ago. It has really grown in central VA. in the last 2 years.
I see many new faces in the ASA and at Indoor Nationals.

I started another new indoor league this year at a store with a "new" range and of the 20+ folks participating at least half had never played an archery game.

Archery overall isn't growing particularly fast but the ASA seems to have some growth. The NFAA is a terribly run organization. They have some great volunteers that work hard and do a great job. However, that does not change the fact that it is hugely dysfunctional and terribly structured. Field archery as it existed decades ago isn't dying it is dead. The indoor spot game is all that the NFAA has left........... If the NFAA was a car manufacturer they would have gone the way of the Hudson, Packard and Studebaker.
 

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Just face it, field is in the dying stages.....sad, but true.

The reality is, the NASP kids are not even feeding into the ASA for that matter.

With thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of kids, coming through the program the last few decades........where are they? I see the same folks at the ASA I have seen for a decade. I see the same names indoors I have seen for a decade.
I'm going to take NASP club kids versus the PE component of NASP.

NASP utilizes statistics from both sides of the fence - the club population of NASP along with how many kids get flushed through the PE component of it.

To many - the kids that get put through the PE side of the world don't necessarily continue on with archery - they just do the bare minimum requirement and move on to the next section for their grade.

To the kids that are part of the club/team side of the school - there is a high possibility that the kid will continue on in some way/shape/form of archery.

The problem for years is that NASP has never guided kids to the world beyond NASP. In the group that I worked with (Hearn Archery Club in Phoenix), the students had NO idea on the archery world beyond NASP other than the 10 and 15 yard shoots they were accustomed to shooting. Now, kids that go from NASP migrate to the JOAD and NFAA side of the world and shoot USA Archery and NFAA-type events like Vegas.

In the back end of the politics world (and everything is politics nowadays), NASP promised since it's 2002 inception that DNR's/Game and Fish departments would see an increase in bowhunters for their state. Did that happen? It's a hearty NO.

We've seen NASP evolve over time to take less of the bowhunting politic and more on the target side of the world, only to find out that people used to the attempted one-size-fits-all of NASP has a totally different reality in every other aspect of archery.

For me - I see that there's a huge amount of kids out there that could take advantage of what the NFAA and USA Archery JOAD has to offer. We need more infrastructure of instructors, coaches, equipment, and venues. Until then, we have this untapped resource that can be converted - we just need more of a lot of things to take advantage of it.
 

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How to grow field archery...one way is probably to have clubs in your area have more then one field shoot a year. How many states only have a state shoot for the most part? LOTS...

Heck the NFAA only has ONE field shoot and the F in NFAA stands for field :doh:


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How to grow field archery...one way is probably to have clubs in your area have more then one field shoot a year. How many states only have a state shoot for the most part? LOTS...

Heck the NFAA only has ONE field shoot and the F in NFAA stands for field :doh:


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well, i'll jump in on this part.

last year we had a full schedule of International rounds. attendance was 8 people.......for the season. all fun shoots with relatively casual start times to help bring awareness. yes it was advertised. yes it was promoted as much as possible. yes the club was open and yes the club was ready and stocked. i even tried to drum up interest by offering a $50 gift card to the first one to clean it because of the perceived lack of challenge. we have ten targets on a FLAT course that's in a teardrop pattern. walking is a minimum and you end 15yds from where you started. i really dont know what else i can do to try and bring interest to the format in my area.

the 2 closest field courses are an hour and a half in either direction.

this year, we are only having ONE scheduled event and that one is in august. it's a combination fish fry and field round.

it's tough when ONE person is taking care of the field course, mowing the lanes, pruning the foliage, staking the shooting line, gluing the targets and making sure there are no loose ends because they are the one of the last few that knows how the game is played. i cant be doing the same amount of work this year with my new job. last year, i was on a long vacation so i could put the time in. sure the rest of the usual few workers attend to the common areas during the shooting year but VERY FEW i am aware of help out on the field course.

it's not that shooting an International round takes a long time.....3 and a half hours with a lunch break. that's less time that it takes many to shoot our more labor intensive and physically demanding 3D's. so i dont quite understand the 'takes so long' complaint. when you compare the time per arrow per shooter, it's actually a ton quicker.

maybe it's the structured format that most dislike. around here, everyone is used to the casual start stuff. when you tell them you BEGIN at 9am, they wrinkle their nose at it.


i'm not opposed to throwing in an unscheduled event this year if i get enough interest. i would like about a month's notice to get things put together in time. i may even make it a money shoot but what's the point if no one is willing to attempt?
 

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We have outdoor shoots at my club 7 months out of the year. All but our first shoot in March include our full 28 target field course. We let people start when they want so no structure to it. Attendance is about 5% of what we get for the 3D course. We did see an uptick of shooters last year, but I think that's because our club hosted the State Field shoot. I can think of about 30 guys who decided to shoot a field half after shooting the 3D course. Every one of them loved it. I just cant see them focusing on field archery anytime soon. We do have growing group of 4H kids who shoot field now. I'd say that we have more youth field shooters at the club than adult right now. This is not the norm from what I hear at other clubs. Hopefully it will make a comeback, but I just don't know how that's going to happen. I'll keep doing my part by holding and advertising out field shoots.
 

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Poster and Mitchhunt, I've suggested for quite some time that there are other Field games, one being the Field/3D comb, 7 Field and 7 3D. Still, it's hard to get implemented when the club's base income is through 3D, is for our area. You know, fixed field butts aren't necessary, just bales for the target and then you could run a short Field within any 3D event. And the same for Indoor distance, shoot a real short 20 yard event outdoors - limit line to maybe 6 or 8 shooters and 20 arrows, no target changes except when shot out - Okay, real "run and gun."

Mitch, the IAA has bunkers they have used for indoors. These were donated to the IAA. I wanted to borrow them to put on a "run and gun" outdoor 20 yard event with our club's regular 3D. This put the "Indoor range" right in front of the outdoor 3D shooters. Rationale; 3D shooters; "20 yards, I can do that." The IAA had their idea of renting out or that of. I wasn't doing it for money gain. I wanted to do it benefit the IAA, maybe boost attendance for indoor events.

I've said it many times in different manners, but NASP is not our Future. The time gap between school and graduated NASP kids is not even showing to say it's there and 10 years running.

People forget the after NASP issue, money. Money as in parents setting up the kid in archery. Yep, there are some entry level bows, but on the target side (NASP) a fully equiped target bow can empty one's money account pretty easy. And if more parents have more than one kid? Yeah, just like "take a kid hunting." I don't know too many parents that can afford a $2500 deer hunt and then spend the same for their kid and that's the way it's headed, pay to hunt. The fact is our kids can't hunt like we did when we were kids...for free. Comes the day I have to pay to hunt will be the day I quit hunting.
 

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I think it will grow wait until the new hunger games comes out. my boy likes spot's better than 3d especially marked 3d now that's a fun game there.
 

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I think that walking in the woods with a bow is fun. Whether 3-D or Field targets, live targets... doesn't matter.

My family spent a lot of time outdoors with us kids on weekends and during summers, and it rubbed off. I wonder how many parents of NASP kids make it a point to get them shooting outside on weekends?
 

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(snip) I wonder how many parents of NASP kids make it a point to get them shooting outside on weekends?
The issue is how many NASP parents are aware of archery events that are outside of NASP?

Using the Phoenix (AZ) area as an example - there are a bunch of really nice field courses in both the Ben Avery Shooting Facility along with the Usery Park Archery range facility. Both have very limited turn out because they aren't advertised much.

Putting a tournament organizing hat on - I know that a few NASP schools with clubs have shot events that are outside of NASP. Those that have shot non-NASP events have attempted to bring other schools and clubs into the fold.

The Basic Archery Instructors that are unwilling to explore stuff outside of NASP tend to just shoot NASP and that's it. The adventuresome ones will go past it and urge kids and parents to explore events outside of it.
 

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(snip)

People forget the after NASP issue, money. Money as in parents setting up the kid in archery. Yep, there are some entry level bows, but on the target side (NASP) a fully equiped target bow can empty one's money account pretty easy. And if more parents have more than one kid? Yeah, just like "take a kid hunting." I don't know too many parents that can afford a $2500 deer hunt and then spend the same for their kid and that's the way it's headed, pay to hunt. The fact is our kids can't hunt like we did when we were kids...for free. Comes the day I have to pay to hunt will be the day I quit hunting.
Regarding money - archery is one of the lesser expensive sports out there. Using the USA Archery pin system as a guide, one can achieve pretty decent indoor scores using something like a Razor's Edge with low end Victory hunting shafts. Until the kid reaches the Blue pin level (249/300 max), you're able to achieve decent levels with something like a used Razor's Edge.

If one compares costs of a used Razor's Edge ($250), a dozen Victory shafts ($50 a dozen, made up), and a basic release (TruFire Patriot - $25), you're able to have a decent setup for under $350.

The last season my son played baseball, his costs for equipment was $400....when he was at 7 years of age. This was for both his normal equipment, uniforms, and catching gear sized for him at that time.

Now, I realize that my son (now at 11) uses archery equipment that is on the high end. But he used a Diamond Edge and a PSE Chaos (SI cam) to get to his 250/300 scoring mark before my wife and I started to upgrade his gear on the heavy side of the world. His Diamond Edge and PSE Chaos were far less (plus arrows and sights and release) than baseball gear.

Figure Skating? Don't get me started on the costs of that sport. How about Football? I could go on - but archery per capita is far less expensive than many sports out there.
 

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Look at it this way. If you like archery, you will spend the time and money participating - be it paper, fur, or foam. If you don't, you won't. I know people that golf regularly, ride snowmobiles all over creation all winter, hunt every daylight hour in season, play softball all summer (that's the adults and doesn't even include attending their kids' events), travel all over the country to car shows, NASCAR, drag racing, tractor pulls, etc. People do what they like to do, even if they can't really afford it.

So, what is one to do? Simple. Exposure. Take as many shooters to events as you can. You have to get people to experience things. Even if 5% stick with it, there will always be a new generation to fill the shoes of retiring archers.

Now let's get to the heart of the matter. In today's world, who can spend the time that it takes to set up and maintain an outdoor course, especially a complete two unit field course. How about the time to run the shoot - tournament or even casual? I don't have the time. Do you? That is a real problem. No courses to shoot equals no place to shoot or introduce others to the game. And on it goes.
 

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Regarding money - archery is one of the lesser expensive sports out there. Using the USA Archery pin system as a guide, one can achieve pretty decent indoor scores using something like a Razor's Edge with low end Victory hunting shafts. Until the kid reaches the Blue pin level (249/300 max), you're able to achieve decent levels with something like a used Razor's Edge.

If one compares costs of a used Razor's Edge ($250), a dozen Victory shafts ($50 a dozen, made up), and a basic release (TruFire Patriot - $25), you're able to have a decent setup for under $350.

The last season my son played baseball, his costs for equipment was $400....when he was at 7 years of age. This was for both his normal equipment, uniforms, and catching gear sized for him at that time.

Now, I realize that my son (now at 11) uses archery equipment that is on the high end. But he used a Diamond Edge and a PSE Chaos (SI cam) to get to his 250/300 scoring mark before my wife and I started to upgrade his gear on the heavy side of the world. His Diamond Edge and PSE Chaos were far less (plus arrows and sights and release) than baseball gear.

Figure Skating? Don't get me started on the costs of that sport. How about Football? I could go on - but archery per capita is far less expensive than many sports out there.
I was being honest. No problem with giving the other side. We have after school baseball programs. Doesn't cost a dime. Kid just has to show up with a ball glove. Soccer, same thing, kid just has to show up. Not one school that I know of has kids buying their own uniforms or equipment for baseball (their own ball glove - catcher's mitt and first base glove supplied by school), football or basketball.

And then parents are responsible. So having a target range in the backyard isn't allowed in most cities. Granted, one can get away with it until some neighbor complains. So there's the non-shooting parent lugging their kid to some archery range. Beings the subject is Field; 1) Field distances are out to 80 yards and not many parents have a back yard that big. 2) Finding a club with a Field course is another thing. We have one club, 30 miles one way, with a Field range and if 15 people show up it's a miracle and just $10.00 to shoot a full course, 28 lanes. Next nearest Field range is better than 60 miles away.

Our indoor range was open free to any local school archery program and not one school took advantage of it. If I instructed a kid, adjusting whatever, I did it for just the normal practice fee for kids, $5.00. In most cases I didn't charge a dime.

The truth is, there is no simple answer..... The best thing someone can do is help where they can. If any kid is interested, go that extra distance.
 
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