Competition Archery is Back
for 2021 Competition Archery is Back for 2021

For the majority of people across the globe, 2020 was pretty rough. Soon after the start of the year, most of the world screeched to a standstill, and that included major sporting events. The biggest postponement was the Summer Olympics, set for Tokyo, Japan. Athletes trained for years to secure a spot, only to have their dreams pushed back a year. 

There are still plenty of unknowns in 2021. But because of increased testing, vaccination distribution and enhanced safety protocols, tournaments are set to make a comeback. However, many of the formats look different this year. If you missed participating in or watching archery events last year, here are a few to catch. Of course, this is the schedule as of February 2021. Events could be canceled, reworked, postponed or moved, depending on health regulations.  

2020 Summer Olympics

Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa is hoping to qualify for the Tokyo Games. Photo Credit: World Archery

The Summer Olympics were rescheduled for the first time in history because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The opening ceremony will now be held on July 23, 2021, though it’s still unknown what the event will look like. The final archery qualification tournament for the Tokyo Games was initially to be held in Berlin, Germany, in June 2020. But now it’s scheduled for Paris, France, in June 2021. 

While the official roster is still to be determined, there are plenty of archers to watch. Three-time Olympic medalist, double world champion and current No. 1 male recurve archer in the world, Brady Ellison, is setting his sights on winning his first gold as part of Team USA. 

Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa, the senior member of Japan’s recurve archery team, still has to qualify for the games, but he’s a heavy favorite. This would be his fifth straight Olympics and his first competing on his home soil. 

As defending champs, South Korea is the team to beat. At the Rio 2016 Olympics, the country swept all four gold medals. Chang Hye-jin took home the individual gold for female recurve. The current world champ, Kang Chae-young, is also from South Korea. 

Ku Bon-chan took home the individual gold medal for men. But Kim Woo-jin, two-time world champion and current No. 3 male recurve archer in the world, is another competitor to watch from South Korea. As is, Lee Woo-seok, who is currently ranked second in the world. But South Korea’s men might face tough competition from Mauro Nespoli of Italy. He’s currently ranked fourth in the world. 

This will be the first Olympic Games to feature a mixed team event, so a brand-new medal will be up for grabs. 

Hyundai Archery World Cup

You don’t have to wait for the Olympics to watch the best archers compete. The Hyundai Archery World Cup, organized by the World Archery Federation, has archers compete in four stages in four countries. The best eight in each category advance to the Archery World Cup Final. These events are exciting to watch because they pit the world’s best archers against each other in matches held in spectacular locations. 

The circuit was canceled in 2020, but it’s scheduled to return this year. The first three stages will take place in Guatemala City, Guatemala in April; Shanghai, China in May; and Paris, France in June. The location and date of the final have yet to be determined.  

Unlike the Olympics, the Hyundai Archery World Cup tournaments include divisions for compound archery. The USA’s Alexis Ruiz and Paige Pearce are two women competitors to keep an eye on. In the men’s division, Braden GallenthienKris Schaff and James Lutz are all currently ranked among the top five compound archers in the world. 

World Championships

You can catch two world championships this year. The Hyundai World Archery Championships for outdoor target will take place in Yankton, South Dakota on Sept. 19-26, 2021. 

The World Archery Youth Championships will take place in Perth, Australia, on Oct. 4-10, 2021. In 2019, the USA team swept all compound men’s and women’s titles in this competition. The archers won all four men’s and women’s team gold wins, the cadet mixed team silver and three individual fourth-place finishes. 

2021 Indoor Archery World Series

For 2021, the Indoor Archery World Series has combined online and live competitions because of ongoing health concerns and international travel restrictions. But this new format gave more archers the opportunity to compete at an international level. Participants just needed to shoot a 60-arrow, 18-meter ranking round at a participating range. Events were registered through the National Archery Federation and supervised by an accredited judge. Scores were submitted via a scorekeeping app during an event weekend. The four stages ran from November 2020 to February 2021. The finals, which are for teams only, will be held on Feb. 27-28, 2021. 

USA Archery Events

This year, the 52nd USA Archery Indoor Nationals and 2021 USA Archery JOAD Indoor Nationals events are being held alongside state championships to keep archers safe and close to home. When results are tallied from all locations, the USA Archery Indoor National Champions will be determined from final placement in the 52nd USA Archery Indoor Nationals. 

Below is the USA Archery events schedule as of February 2021 — but note that dates and locations may change. 

  • USA Archery Indoor Nationals: Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2021 (various locations)
  • Arizona Cup; 2020 U.S. Paralympic Trials, Archery, stage 1; and 2021 World Archery Championships, U.S. Team Trials, stage 1 (recurve and compound): April 9-11, 2021 (Phoenix, Arizona)
  • 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials, Archery, stage 3: April 13-16, 2021 (Chandler, Arizona)
  • 2021 World Archery Championships, U.S. Team Trials, stage 2 (compound): May 6, 2021 (Newberry, Florida)
  • Gator Cup; 2020 U.S. Paralympic Trials, Archery, stage 2; and 2021 World Archery Championships, U.S. Team Trials, stage 2 (recurve): May 7-9, 2021 (Newberry, Florida)
  • 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials, Archery, stage 4: May 10-11, 2021 (Newberry, Florida)
  • USA Archery Collegiate Target Nationals; World University Games, U.S. Team Trials: May 20-23, 2021 (Richmond, Virginia)
  • 2021 World Archery Championships, U.S. Team Trials, stage 3 (recurve): June 3, 2021 (Chula Vista, California)
  • SoCal Showdown: June 4-6, 2021 (Chula Vista, California)
  • 2020 U.S. Paralympic Trials, Archery, stage 3; Youth Pan American Games, U.S. Team Trials: June 4-7, 2021 (Chula Vista, California)
  • USA Archery JOAD Target Nationals; 2021 World Archery Youth Championships, U.S. Team Trials: July 7-11, 2021 (Decatur, Alabama)
  • Buckeye Classic: July 30-Aug. 1, 2021 (Dublin, Ohio)
  • 137th USA Archery Target Nationals and U.S. Open: Aug. 18-21, 2021 (Richmond, Virginia)
  • USA Archery Field Nationals: Sept. 4-5, 2021 (Darrington, Washington)

USA Archery CEO Rod Menzer is optimistic about the outlook for the organization’s events this year. “After a successful return to safe competition last year, we know we have precautions in place to ensure athletes are protected and can compete on a level playing field,” Menzer said. “We are so excited to see so many return to competition, and we look forward to welcoming our archers to an exciting 2021 event season.”

The Vegas Shoot

The world’s largest indoor archery tournament is traditionally held the second week of February. However, in 2021 The Vegas Shoot is moving to a split format. The amateur flight and junior events will be remote. The professional championship divisions will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, in April 2021. The championship rounds always prove exciting. Last year’s winner, Kyle Douglas, won $54,000 after beating 22 other archers in the final. And Brady Ellison made history in 2020 as the first recurve archer to complete 90 arrows without dropping a point. 

Rushmore Rumble

The Rushmore Rumble, hosted by the National Field Archery Association, takes place Feb. 12-14, 2021, at the Yankton Archery Center in Yankton, South Dakota. This indoor, two-day event is open to all archers. The first day will feature a new 600 Vegas round shot on the 40-centimeter five-spot Vegas-style target. The round will consist of 12 ends of five arrows shot at 20 yards. The second day will have a traditional Vegas 300 round shot on the 40-centimeter three-spot Vegas target. The round will consist of 10 ends of three arrows at 20 yards. 

3D Events

Here’s the Archery Shooters Association lineup of 2021 3D tournaments, which feature unique shooting angles, foam targets and a walk through the woods.

  • Hoyt Pro/Am: Feb. 25-28, 2021 (Foley, Alabama)
  • Easton Southwest Shoot Out: April 22-25, 2021 (Paris, Texas)
  • True Ball/Black Eagle Pro/Am: June 3-6, 2021 (London, Kentucky)
  • Mathews Pro/Am: June 24-27, 2021 (Metropolis, Illinois)
  • Elite Archery Pro/Am: July 29-Aug. 1, 2021 (Cullman, Alabama)
  • McKenzie ASA Classic: Aug. 26-29, 2021 (Russell County, Alabama)

The International Bowhunting Organization also plans to host 3D tournaments this year. 

  • Winter National: March 12-14, 2021 (Mount Airy, North Carolina)
  • Spring National: April 9-11, 2021 (Wilmore, Kentucky)
  • 1st Leg National Championship Triple Crown: May 13-16, 2021 (Pipestem, West Virginia)
  • 2nd Leg National Championship Triple Crown: June 10-13, 2021 (Franklin, Pennsylvania)
  • IBO 2021 Traditional World Championship: July 15-18, 2021 (Chapmansboro, Tennessee)
  • 3rd Leg National Championship Triple Crown: July 8-11, 2021 (Nelsonville, Ohio)
  • IBO 2021 World Championship: Aug. 5-8, 2021 (Seven Springs, Pennsylvania)

Where to Watch

NBC has the broadcast rights to the Olympics. Watch World Archery events, including live and recorded video from the Archery World Cup and the World Archery Championships, on www.archery.tvCompetition Archery Media broadcasts many major archery events. The schedule is available on its website. 

Find a store near you. 

Comment on this Article