Due to the many Covid 19 related issues affecting schools across our nation, the National Archery in the Schools Program made the difficult decision to replace its popular in-person NASP Western and Eastern National Tournaments in 2021 with a combined virtual competition for all NASP archers.
NASP believed that the virtual competition would allow archers who had long been sidelined with the chance to safely compete in their home location at a time when so many of their previous events were cancelled or negatively impacted due to the effects of the pandemic.
As the competition window came to a close, a record 15,683 archers from 1,053 schools in 42 states competed in the virtual bullseye competition. The newest addition to the NASP competitions; the NASP IBO 3D challenge also experienced great participation with 4,015 archers from 326 schools in 33 states competed in the virtual 3D competition.
Both the bullseye and the 3D competition were open to student competitors to shoot and upload their scores from April 18th through May 8th. Coaches provided neutral scorers at their local shooting location and the results were submitted electronically using the NASP® tournament platform nasptournaments.org.
In a new twist, NASP also announced that all archers competing in the virtual national event were eligible to be randomly chosen for one of (100) $500 college scholarships. Now that the window of competition is closed, NASP is in the process of notifying coaches of the scholarship winners now!
NASP President Tommy Floyd said, “In spite of the many negative impacts that students across the country have faced with the pandemic, we are thrilled that so many coaches took the opportunity to compete in a NASP national event. We are so glad that so many students could once again, join together on behalf of their school and do what they love to do best….shoot their bow! It is our hope that all that we learn in this initial attempt at a huge virtual offering will become a tradition with NASP. Even though the pandemic has dealt us many setbacks, we know that through our history, we have met challenges like this one and have emerged stronger for it. I would anticipate many more virtual opportunities for NASP schools to enjoy in the future. Congratulations to all NASP archers, coaches and parents as well as a big congratulations to all of our 2021 scholarship winners!”
NASP board member Ken Watkins said, “Looking toward the future, and in response to the global pandemic, NASP has been looking for ways to engage students, wherever they may be. The virtual tournament structure has been long discussed, and we believe that now is the perfect time for implementation. This first foray to test our virtual waters, is merely a prelude to the exciting things to come.”
NASP is planning an in-person Open Championship to be held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and Sports Complex on June 10-12, 2021.