Getting a warm-up before a tournament is possible most of the time. There are those events where the warm-up might happen an hour or more before actual scoring begins. There are, although rare, competitions where getting properly warmed-up simply does not happen.
At the IBO World Championship there are two qualifying rounds before the final 10 shots taken by the top finishers. At the two IBO World Championships I’ve entered warm-up time was pushed, targets were crowded, and the 3D practice (Defense ranges) ranges were backed up and extremely slow.
This morning I decided to take a 20 target 3D practice round with no warm-up shots. The targets would be approached tournament style – no range finder. What I wanted was to establish a baseline of how I might shoot without a warm-up and at difficult targets.
I tried to make the shots as competitively realistic as I could imagine. One thing I can’t control, the weather, may have been a bit unrealistic for Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, where the IBO contest will be held this year. Here, in New Hope, North Carolina this morning, the temperature was 103°F with the heat index. Hot and humid to say the least.
My score was not great. The maximum I shot in this practice was 47 yards with a range from 20 yards (one shot at a small bobcat) out to 47 yards. The average distance was 35.6 yards with nine shots greater than the average, 37 to 47 yards.
My sad score was 173 or 8.65 points per target. Comparing that score to the field of archers from the 2015 IBO World Championship I would have finished 42nd. The winner in 2015 averaged 10.5 points per target.
When I compared the first 10 shots to the second 10 it seems that a warm-up helps. The first 10 arrows yielded a score of 8 points per target at an average distance of 33.4 yards. The second ten arrows resulted in an average of 9.3 points per target at an average distance of 37.8 yards. Interestingly, the second set of arrows, targets 11 – 20, had a score that would have jumped me from 42nd place in 2015 to 22nd place.
This exercise tells that in my case I shot better after I’d warmed-up a bit. In 3D, it seems to me, there are two warm-up requirements, one for archery form the other for distance judging. In the worst case, a tournament without any chance to warm-up, it’s likely good practice to develop enough skill so that shooting cold can be done well.