Recurve preview: 2021 Indoor Archery World Series Finals

Read the compound preview.

The 12-ring made its debut during last summer’s Lockdown Knockout remote exhibition tournament. The small white dot, measuring just 15mm in diameter, sits in between the eight and seven rings in the target – and is a high-risk, high-reward opportunity to turn the tide of a match. Steve Wijler shot the first 12 in competition, and he’s back on the line as a member of one of our finalist teams when the 12-ring also makes its return this weekend.

It’s not the only piece of strategy in play for these team-only Indoor Archery World Series Finals.

The squads have had to secretly submit a line-up order in advance, which will determine who shoots against who in the individual matches. If the game is tied after every regulation arrow is shot, the outcome will be decided by a single arrow shot by a single archer; closest-to-the-middle wins. The team captains will choose which member of the team can best handle that pressure.

This weekend’s recurve competition will see four teams representing companies Lancaster Archery Supply and Beiter, the national squad of the Netherlands and a scratch group of French internationals calling themselves The Golden Arrow go head-to-head in the innovative ‘game’ tournament format from four entirely remote locations.

Scroll down for a closer look at the teams we’ll be watching this weekend.

Schedule: Recurve – Sunday 28 February

16h00 CET (07h00 PT/10h00 ET): Semifinals

  • The Golden Arrow (2) v Netherlands (3)
  • Lancaster Archery Supply (1) v Beiter (4)

19h00 CET (10h00 PT/13h00 ET): Final

Lancaster Archery Supply

Reigning World Archery Champion Brady Ellison, world number 11 Jack Williams and 16-year-old Casey Kaufhold are household names. The US team members are the defending recurve team champions on the Indoor Archery World Series. But while last year they were named on ranking, this year they’ve got to fight to retain that crown in this remote event.

Ellison has been great this season, posting a pair of 598s and winning two of the circuit’s remote stages. Kaufhold won the last with a season-best 592. That duo is the same line-up as the mixed team that won the Pan Am Games title at Lima 2019, which is also where Ellison shot his 702-point outdoor world record at 70 metres. Williams is not a weak link. This is a formidable roster.

Lancaster Archery Supply is competing this weekend from the national training centre in Chula Vista and will face Beiter in their semifinal.

The Golden Arrow

This French international squad is led by team captain Thomas Chirault, who finished second in the individual open ranking for the Indoor Archery World Series, having shot rounds of twice 596 and 595 points. Clement Jacquey and Lisa Barbelin, both just a few years younger than Chirault, are making the step up to the senior ranks after being longtime members of France’s under-21 and under-18 squads.

Barbelin has had something of a breakout year, shooting an impressive 591 points during the second remote stage of the circuit and winning the Lausanne Invitational.

The Golden Arrow is competing this weekend from the Olympic preparation centre in Vittel and will face the Netherlands in their semifinal.


We’ve seen a lot of the Dutch team over the course of the indoor season, having visited their training centre for an exhibition in January and both Gaby Schloesser and Steve Wijler competing at small live events abroad. The national squad has been active during all four remote stages and has taken on the challenge of this new remote style of competition head-on.

Wijler and Sjef van den Berg are two members of a men’s team currently ranked sixth in the world. Schloesser qualified the Netherlands’ first women’s Olympic quota place in over two decades for Tokyo 2020.

The Netherlands is competing this weekend from the national training centre in Papendal and will face The Golden Arrow in their semifinal.


Lisa and Florian Unruh, the latter née Kahllund, are longtime members of the German team. Felix Wieser has been there or thereabouts for a while but quietly won his first international caps in 2018 and 2019. During the pandemic hiatus, he made the leap, announcing his arrival as a contender by posting a 598 during the first remote stage of the circuit last November.

The strength of this team is, of course, Unruh… Lisa. The Olympic silver medallist was World Archery Indoor Champion in 2016. Though she’s still recovering from shoulder surgery, she showed no signs of weakness in a come-from-behind victory to take gold over the Netherlands' Schloesser at the Sud de France – Nimes Archery Tournament last month.

Beiter is competing this weekend from a sports centre in Berlin and will face Lancaster Archery Supply in their semifinal.


All four of these teams are stacked.

Awarded on pure score, the defending champions from Lancaster Archery Supply have a clear advantage. But not only does this weekend’s event have the normal variance of matchplay performance – but there’s strategy, too. And a well-thought-out strategy with a well-executed approach will be enough to win this.

The Dutch team, masters of analytics, have got to have an edge. Steve Wijler’s a gambler – but Sjef van den Berg has been named team captain. How much will he and this squad turn up the aggression dial on the 12-ring? In the immortal words of Spinal Tap guitarist Nigel Tufnel, “these go to 11”.

High risk, high reward!

The recurve competition at the 2021 Indoor Archery World Series takes place remotely on Sunday 28 February.