World Archery made the difficult but necessary decision to move the 2021 Indoor Archery World Series online in response to the ongoing pandemic. The competition had many different components, giving archers plenty of options to record their scores. Registration numbers remained high despite the change. Nearly 3,000 archers registered for the first stage of the series; 5,000 for the second stage; another 5,000 for the third stage; and over 3,500 for the fourth stage. Archers were able to compete safely from their backyard or home range.
How It Worked
Archers had the choice of recording their scores at home, at their preferred archery range, at an official tournament, or at one of World Archery’s five in-person events. Archers choosing to compete at unregistered venues were required to submit pictures of their scorecard, signed by two witnesses, and pictures of the target faces. Targets had to be clean before shooting the round. Each target had to be World Archery-licensed, with a 40-centimeter face and a 2-centimeter-diameter 10-ring for compounds or a 4-centimeter-diameter 10-ring for recurves and barebows. Archers could choose from a single spot, vertical triple spot or triangular triple spot target face. Each archer also had to follow World Archery’s equipment rules, such as a maximum shaft diameter of 9.3 millimeters and a 60-pound draw weight limit for compound bows.
Archers submitted their scores and required photos through the Scorekeeper mobile app during the designated submission window on the following schedule:
– Stage one: Nov. 21-22, 2020
– Stage two: Dec. 18-20, 2020
– Stage three: Jan. 15-17, 2021
– Stage four: Feb. 12-14, 2021
– Finals (teams only): Feb. 27-28, 2021
Participants could also choose to compete at any of the official live events, listed below. Scores recorded at the live events counted toward the Indoor World Series rankings for whatever stage was open at the time of the event.
– Wohlen Invitational: Nov. 22, 2020, Wohlen, Switzerland
– Lausanne Invitational: Dec. 19-20, Lausanne, Switzerland
– Papendal Invitational: Jan. 16, 2021, Papendal, Netherlands
– Nimes Tournament: Jan. 29-31, 2021, Nimes, France
– Rushmore Rumble: Feb. 12-14, 2021, Yankton, South Dakota
Four Team USA archers found themselves on the virtual podium during stage two. Brady Ellison won gold in the men’s recurve division. Dave Cousins and Kyle Douglas claimed gold and silver, respectively, in the men’s compound division. Grayson Partlowe took silver in the men’s barebow division.
Ellison also secured a stage-three victory in the men’s recurve division with the impressive score of 598 out of a possible 600, which is one point away from the world record. He posted a video to Facebook recounting the experience and praising World Archery for organizing the indoor series this way. “We have 1,400 people in our division — it’s crazy,” Ellison said in the video. “I think it’s way harder, and the level of shooting is way higher than anything we’ve shot before.”
As Ellison indicated in the video, the competition was fierce. The top six archers in the men’s recurve division included four Olympic medalists and the 2019 Indoor World Series finals gold medalist. The Olympic medal count of those top six includes two gold, two silver and a bronze, and that’s not including Ellison’s collection of Olympic hardware.
Partlowe competed in the much smaller men’s barebow division and admitted he’s looking forward to competing against a larger field again soon, saying he misses the banter with his fellow archers. “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in person again,” he said.
The USA’s Casey Kaufhold secured a win in the women’s recurve division in stage four with a score of 592, which put her three points above the two women that tied for second place, Gabriela Schloesser of the Netherlands and Valentina Vazquez Cadena of Mexico. The USA’s Paige Pearce took silver in the women’s compound division.
Jang Yoojung of the Korean team also had an incredible series. She shot a 597 to win the women’s recurve division in stage three, which would have been a world record if she had shot it at a registered competition. “I’m proud of my score because I worked hard for it. I’m very happy because it’s a personal record,” Jang said in an interview with World Archery. “This was my second remote competition, and it felt more comfortable than the first one. I was fascinated by the fact I could compete with archers around the world in their own ranges at the same time.”
Erik Jonsson of Sweden closed out the 2021 Indoor Archery World Series with his unbeaten record intact. Jonsson was behind the pace to beat Ferrucio Berti of Italy after 30 arrows, but he rallied in the final 30 to finish out the fourth stage with a score of 581, which would have surpassed the current men’s barebow indoor world record by 15 points.
During the Rushmore Rumble, the last in-person event of the series, there was a three-way tie for gold in the men’s compound division among Christopher Perkins of Canada and Americans Jacob Pettit and Bodie Turner. Four other archers scored just one point lower than the three in first place, creating a four-way tie for fourth place. The Rushmore Rumble was the first major indoor tournament in the U.S. in about a year, so it seems fitting that the weekend would have an exciting conclusion.
Full results are available here.
Individual archers had the choice of competing at home or at their preferred range, but teams were required to compete at an official World Archery tournament or live event to be eligible to compete in the team division. World Archery encouraged archery federations and clubs to organize official tournaments to give archers the opportunity to compete. A team’s rank going into the finals was determined by calculating the best combined ranking round score.
The rules for the team finals will be a little bit different. While each team will be competing from different locations around the world, archers must be able to compete with the other two members of their team in one location to be eligible. The team finals will be broadcast remotely on the World Archery YouTube channel, so be sure to tune in to check out the action.
The Indoor Archery World Series team finals will take place Feb. 27-28, 2021.
Watch the Recordings
Although the 2021 Indoor Archery World Series had to move online, there is still plenty of exciting content to watch. The World Archery YouTube channel has highlight videos and full recordings from each live event. Check out the coverage to see some incredible archery and get a preview of what’s to come at Tokyo 2020.
Check World Archery’s website for more news and updated information.