Dutch Olympic squad all-in on team event for Indoor Archery World Series

Dutch national teams occupy the top two spots in the recurve team ranking after the first stage of the online Indoor Archery World Series.

The first squad features three archers ranked in the top 15 in the world: Steve Wijler, Sjef van den Berg and Gaby Schloesser. Their combined score of 1,767 points over the weekend gives them a 34-point advantage over second place.

Teams in this year’s event are ranked by only the single-best team score over the course of the series, theoretically allowing more people to participate as pandemic-related restrictions are lifted. The top four teams at the end of the circuit will then be invited to compete in the Indoor Archery World Series Finals.

Both Dutch teams still plan to shoot in the three remaining remote stages in December, January and February.

“Why not? There was the option, finally, to have a sort-of international competition. It was kind of a no-brainer,” said Dutch Olympic coach Ron van der Hoff. “Basically every Sunday of the [competition] weekend, we’re going to do the same at Papendal.”

Just as with the individual open ranking, only the 60-arrow, 18-metre round will count toward the team competition. However, they must be shot at a tournament registered in the World Archery calendar for the results to count toward a team.

Registration is done through national archery federations.

“It’s fairly easy to do. I don’t know the restrictions in each country, but why not? It’s not like you have to do a lot, just fill in a form and bring a judge,” said van der Hoff. “With the current regulations, we’re able to do that – and I don’t see things getting any stricter.”

Internal club competitions are permitted in the Netherlands, though events that mix archers from different clubs are not.

“It’s nice to rank first with the team, of course. Especially since I think we can do even better,” said Sjef van den Berg. “I'm happy that we have something to shoot right now, even though it’s not quite as exciting as an actual competition.”

Sjef shot 593 to rank fourth in the recurve men’s event, one spot ahead of teammate Steve on 592. Gaby, who shot at the first live event of this year’s circuit, the Wohlen Invitational, placed fifth in the recurve women’s competition with 582.

(Archers do not have to shoot at the same registered event, but they must shoot from the same place if they make the Indoor Archery World Series Finals.)

Alongside the Netherlands, national teams from Switzerland, Finland and Estonia have registered, as well as several other clubs.

Lisell Jaatma, Meeri-Marita Paas and Robin Jaatma of Estonia, who all appeared at the Wohlen Invitational, lead the compound competition, having been one of only two teams to score a result during stage one.

Ron is encouraging more teams, particularly national squads with archers already participating in the online event, to enter.

“Even if you can’t get three top shooters together, get two and bring in another one. It’s fun even if you do it like this,” he said. “We’re up for it, and we want to have good competition. I hope we get that competition.”

Registration to the team event costs 60 CHF (about 65 USD or 55 EUR at current exchange rates) and is available through the World Archery online shop. There is a guaranteed prize fund of 10,000 CHF. More information about the competition is available in this guide to entering a team.

The 2021 Indoor Archery World Series is a mass-participation circuit of live and online archery tournaments.

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