Five things that changed for the Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2021

Mike Schloesser shoots during the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in 2019.

It feels like a lifetime since we last had an event of the Hyundai Archery World Cup. In truth, it has only been 18 months since the most recent circuit champions were crowned in the Russian capital of Moscow.

Brady Ellison, Kang Chae Young, Mike Schloesser and Sara Lopez will begin their title defences later this month at the first stage of the year in Guatemala City.

There’s one very simple thing that has changed for the international circuit in 2021, at least when compared to 2020: It’s happening! These elite athletes will step onto the competition field for three stages, one each month from April to June, and we will get to see some world-class archery again.

On top of that, the prize money has increased, there’s a route to the final for the Olympic Champions in Tokyo and the event format has been adjusted.

Scroll down for details.

1. Prize money

There has been a 20% increase in prize money across the board for the upcoming season, compared to 2019. The raise was planned before the pandemic and has not been postponed. Prize money on the Hyundai Archery World Cup has been equal for men and women, and for recurve and compound archers, since the circuit was launched in 2006.

The following prize money will be awarded to the top four archers in each stage at each category:

  • First: 3000 CHF
  • Second: 1800 CHF
  • Third: 900 CHF
  • Fourth: 600 CHF

The following prize money will be awarded to the top four archers at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final:

  • First: 24,000 CHF
  • Second: 12,000 CHF
  • Third: 6000 CHF
  • Fourth: 1200 CHF

2. Olympic wild card

Since 2018, the winners of each stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup have automatically qualified for the season-ending final. The remaining spots – there are eight in total – are awarded on the circuit ranking, with one place reserved for the host country of the event.

One more qualification path was due to be added in 2020. It will instead make its debut this season.

The Olympic Champions at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will shoot at this year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Final – and they’re exempt from the two-archer-per-country maximum applied to the other qualifying routes.

3. Final fours

The format of the finals days at stages of the Hyundai Archery World Cup has remained the same for more than eight seasons. It’s changing this year.

Saturday will remain compound finals day, while Sunday will remain reserved for the business end of the recurve competition, too. But instead of having the medal match line-ups decided prior, we’ll enter the weekend at the semifinal phase with a final four of archers in each category.

The afternoon sessions on each day will see those final fours – first women, then men – battle down to a winner.

Making a final four at a stage now also guarantees a prize cheque. While previously only the archers on the podium would receive prize money, the fund now extends to cover all four archers that shoot in the semifinals and medal matches.

4. International blocks

The blocks concept was introduced last year while World Archery was planning for the upcoming few seasons.

The idea is that there’s a designated couple of weeks during each month in which international events, like stages of the Hyundai Archery World Cup, can be organised, and that these blocks are announced a few years in advance, making it easier for everybody to plan.

There are many advantages to this system – but the biggest this year is that there are significant gaps in between tournaments. Given the uncertainty with travel restrictions, this could even prove necessary.

5. Shoot-offs

A couple of years ago, the rules were changed so that if during a tiebreak in an individual match both recurve archers shot a 10, or both compound archers shot an X, there would be a second shoot-off.

This rule was reversed ahead of the upcoming season – and we’ll go back to the original rule.

If an individual match is tied at the end of regulation, which is five sets for recurves and 15 arrows for compounds, each archer will shoot one arrow. The arrow that lands closest to the middle of the target wins the match.

The 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup starts in Guatemala City on 19-25 April.