The North Carolina State Indoor Championship (USA Archery) didn’t end up like I’d planned, but it was exciting.
I’ve noticed that at races and shooting tournaments, I’m often listed in an every decreasing category. That is, there are less and less competitors. What I’ve seen is that the folks that are competing in my age group are; well, really fast and really good. However, the group I shot with here in NC was big enough. And in fact it got bigger by one. Apparently one 50 something guy was listed in the 49 and below age group. That is the Senior group. The mistake was corrected. (I’d entered the 60+ class.)
In North Carolina, the winner of the Master’s 50+ Age group had the second highest score of all adult male archers. As a matter of fact, among the men the Masters(those of us 50+ guys) group held 3 of the top four men’s scores. It makes some sense; these guys have been shooting for a while.
In the case of archery versus other sports where I’ve competed for decades I am a newcomer. Frankly, I’m still trying to learn all the rules. Basically, I try to figure out the target and shoot it. One new experience for me in NC was a shoot off.
I’ve never ended up in a dead heat in any sport. In this tournament, I had the exact score, in every consideration as Tim, a guy also shooting in the 50+ Masters. We had the exact same number of 10s and 9s.
The judges, in hurry to get the next group shooting, decided we’d shoot one arrow – winner takes all. They lined us up, side-by-side, instructed us which targets we’d get, and someone yelled – Shoot! We shot. Tim scored a dead center 10; I hit an off center 9. I lost. (The littlest circle, the old X-ring, being the 10)
I wasn’t overawed with my score even though it was decent. I’d shot against guys with a lot more experience and done well even though I ended up one point outside of a podium finish. If there had been a 60+ group, I’d have hit pay dirt -being the only competitor.
Shooting against younger people doesn’t typically doesn’t bother me. In this case, it did because it was a State Championship and they offered my age group at registration. Sadly, no other 60+ guys showed up, so I ended up shooting against the 50+ guys. Still, I ended up in a shoot off for what, at the time we were shooting, we thought was for 2nd or 3rd place. It wasn’t until the results were posted that I discovered there was a Senior archer who had been moved to Masters.
Granted, I shot the best I could on that day. Until the shoot off I was tied for the 3rd highest score of the day. Heck, if I’d not been shooting and scoring each end with Tim I’d have walked away tied for 3rd. C’est la vie.