The big news among our students has to be the revised adult achievement score table published by our governing body, USA Archery. The major change that anyone might notice is in the adult achievement score progression for outdoor pins. Previously you had to shoot 3 pins at 30 meters on a 80cm target, then 2 pins at 50meters on an 80cm target, and then finally 3 pins at 70 meters on a 122cm target.
The scores setup for 50 meters on an 80cm target were difficult to achieve for our students. While many would have eventually gotten there, it would have resulted in a great deal of drop off as people became frustrated. I myself have been working on my form for over a year and still cannot decisively qualify on an 80cm target face at 50m. The end result is that there was a big stall as students like myself completed their 30 meter pins and stalled out waiting to refine their archery form well enough to achieve their 50 meter pins.
The big enhancement that USA Archery did with this latest update is to allow coaches to choose to allow adult students to achieve their pins with either 80cm or 122cm targets, albeit with slightly higher scores required for the larger target.
At Golden Gate JOAD, we’re treating these as two entirely separate paths. In order to encourage continuity with our students, we’ll probably only start incorporating the 122cm target at 50m. We’ll let them finish all their pins (if they can) with that size target and then encourage them to go back and do the 50 meter pins again with the smaller target. While it hasn’t come up yet, we’ll probably come up with some special way to designate people who shoot the harder target with a special designation on their lanyard.
Overall, this is a good move by USA Archery. The effectiveness of the achievement pins at retaining casual archers was being undermined by too quick a jump in achievement scores. If they hadn’t given us this option, we would have started losing students as they became frustrated at the 50m plateau.