Qualification explained: Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

Like the Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games is a closed, invitation-only tournament for which nations have to win spaces at qualification events.

The first qualification tournament for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games takes place during the 2017 World Archery Youth Championships in Rosario, Argentina – about four hours drive from Buenos Aires – exactly one year before the Games begin. 

Who can compete

At the Youth Olympics 64 archers compete in total, split 32:32 between girls and boys. (At the Olympics it’s 128, 64 men and 64 women.) Athletes must have been born between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2003 to be eligible to compete.

All archers have to attain a minimum level ahead of the Games, with boys needing to score 610 points and girls 600 points on a 72-arrow 60-metre ranking round.

Nations can only send one athlete in each category: a maximum of two, one boy and one girl.

Place allocation

Most of the quota places are won at qualification tournaments, with some issued directly to nations. The breakdown of the 32 places in each division is as follows.

  • 3 places – European qualification tournament
  • 3 places – Asian qualification tournament
  • 2 places – Americas qualification tournament
  • 2 places – African qualification tournament
  • 1 place – Oceanian qualification tournament
  • 1 place –  host nation (Argentina)
  • 4 places – tripartite invitation*

The calendar of the continental qualification tournaments has not yet been announced.

*Tripartite invitations are issued to eligible nations, usually in small or developing countries, that have applied to the International Olympic Committee.

Main qualification tournament

The main qualification tournament for Buenos Aires 2018 takes place during the 2017 World Archery Youth Championships on Friday 6 October, which is exactly one year to go until the Games begin.
Eligible athletes are reseeded using their results from the championship ranking round and take part in a head-to-head eliminations bracket until only 16 athletes remain. 

All nations with athletes present at this stage of the competition are awarded a place.
If necessary and with those nations already qualified removed, certain athletes are reseeded for a secondary eliminations bracket to contest any remaining places. (These places are created when a nation has more than one athlete in the last 16, since each nation can only send one archer to the Games.)
This procedure is followed until all 16 places are allocated.

Who competes in 2018

Athletes win a place for their nation and not for themselves. It is up to the National Olympic Committee of that country how it is decided which athlete takes up the place at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Archery in Buenos Aires

The archery competition at the Youth Olympic Games is similar to at the Olympic Games. Recurve cadet athletes shoot a 72-arrow 60-metre ranking round and then Olympic-style head-to-head matches, which take place in a full arena.

What’s different about the Youth Olympic Games is the mixed nation mixed team event.

The top seed in the boys’ event is paired with the bottom in the girls’ after the ranking round to form mixed teams of athletes representing differing nations for another Olympic-style head-to-head match event. This pairs competition at the Youth Olympics was key to getting the mixed team added to the Olympic programme for Tokyo 2020.

There is no team competition at the Youth Olympic Games.

The 2017 World Archery Youth Championships run 2 to 10 October in Rosario, Argentina.