Preview: Last remote stage of the 2021 Indoor Archery World Series

We’re coming to the end of an unusual, uncertain and, at times, frustrating indoor season.

This year’s remote Indoor Archery World Series was run to give people worldwide the opportunity to compete if their local facilities and restrictions allowed it. It hasn't been easy. But it has at least given archers yearning for an opportunity to compete something to aim for over the past four months. 

The fourth and final remote stage runs on 12-14 February. We’ll have coverage from the Rushmore Rumble, which is replacing the delayed Vegas Shoot in its normal spot in the calendar, as the corresponding live event. It’s using a similar (but not the same) format as Vegas. More information can be found below.

Any archer belonging to one of World Archery’s national member associations was allowed to compete remotely in this year’s innovative Indoor Archery World Series.

Associated live events, the invitationals in Wohlen, Lausanne and Papendal, and the Sud de France – Nimes Archery Tournament, have all been held alongside using the same rules: 60 arrows at 18 metres using standard World Archery scoring. This weekend’s live event is a little different.

The Rushmore Rumble is organised by the National Field Archery Association using alternative rules, but the results are being endorsed by USA Archery, the member the States, which means that scores can be automatically counted toward the fourth stage of the remote circuit. However, they will have to be normalised, using only the first 60 (of 90 arrows) and compound archers’ Xs being scored as 10s, since shooters at the event will use the 4-centimetre, rather than the 2-centimetre, 10-ring.

Oh Jin Hyek (1790), Lisa Barbelin (1759), Mike Schloesser (1794), Mina Moradi Vand (1772), Erik Jonsson (1722) and Lina Bjorklund (1629) lead the open rankings ahead of stage four.

Can they defend their spots at the top this weekend and be named the first remote champions of the Indoor Archery World Series?

Online event

We’ll stick to the same three time zones as previous legs: Asia/Oceania (UTC+8), Europe/Africa (UTC+1) and the Americas (UTC-5), each starting at 08h00 on Friday and ending at 20h00 on Sunday. Results will be available to follow live online as they’re submitted. They won’t be official until they’re checked against pictures later in the week.

The best three results over the season count toward the open ranking. Having already had three remote stages, plus the bonus live event at the Sud de France – Nimes Archery Tournament, placemarker scores have been set. But archers who have only recorded two results so far could leap up the rankings and shape up the top spots.

Remember, too, that the top four squads in the team rankings will be invited to compete in this year’s remote Indoor Archery World Series Finals.

Here’s some storylines that we’re watching out for.

1) Unbeatable. Five-time World Archery Field Champion Erik Jonsson not only leads the open ranking, but he has won all three stages of the remote circuit so far. Will he finish with a flourish to remain unbeaten this season? Barebow’s debut on the circuit – albeit a strange one without live events – has been all the more impressive thanks to Erik.

2) Tough at the top. Just five points separate the top four compound women in the open ranking but more interesting are the archers ranked in 100th to 103rd. Ella Gibson, reigning World Archery Champion Natalia Avdeeva, Gizem Elmaagacli and Sanne de Laat have only shot two stages so far – but are all averaging winning scores. One of these four is primed to jump into the lead come the end of the day on Sunday.

3) Team bubble. This year’s prize money is all in the team event – and to qualify for a shot at it, only a team’s top combined result from a single stage counts. Markers have been placed but literally anybody could break into the top four in the team ranking. If they shoot well enough.

If you’re shooting this weekend, share your stories on social media using the hashtags #archery, #IndoorWorldSeries and #BacktoArchery.

Rushmore Rumble

The second weekend of February is normally the weekend that the archery world has its eyes on the Vegas Shoot.

More than 50 years in the making, the tournament awards one of the biggest prizes in archery. Its unique format – 90 arrows at a triangular target face shot over three days,  with only those that shoot perfect making the final shootdown – is incredibly tense. Vegas, reduced in size, is now expected to take place in April, and we’re heading to the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Centre for the Rushmore Rumble in its place.

It’s running to similar rules to Vegas, but the first 60 arrows – which are those that count toward the fourth remote stage of the circuit – are shot together on a five-spot target face and the remaining 30 on a triple spot. (In Vegas, it’s 90 on a triple spot over three days.)

Will that change affect who makes the final championship shootdown?

There are some big names headed to Yankton for the event. World number ones Alexis RuizBraden Gellenthien and Brady Ellison are among them, as are current and former world champions Jimmy LutzChris Perkins, Stephan Hansen, Reo Wilde and Dave Cousins, and past Vegas winners Chance Beaubouef and Jesse Broadwater.

There’ll be delayed coverage of the shootdowns streamed on World Archery’s digital platforms.

What’s next?

That’s it!

The inaugural remote Indoor Archery World Series is drawing to a close. We’ll have a roundup of the individual winners of the fourth stage once results have been checked next week – and then, a little while after, an announcement of the remote circuit champions. (Plus everyone who has competed will receive their certificate online.)

On 27-28 February, the top four teams in each competition (recurve and compound) will compete live, remotely for a 10,000 CHF prize purse in a unique Indoor Archery World Series Finals! Check back soon for more on how that’s going to work.

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