Paige Pearce returns to 50-metre game at home World Games

Paige Pearce shoots during practice at the World Games.

Paige Pearce has been a staple on the US team and a constant near the top of the world rankings for the past few seasons.

But in 2022, she stepped back from the international circuit to concentrate on growing the female presence on the professional circuit of 3D tournaments in the States. It’s proved a successful – and lucrative – choice.

This week, Pearce returns to the 50-metre game.

She’s one of three US compound women looking to lift a home trophy at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama.

“Anytime there’s an event on home soil, it makes you want to win it that much more,” says Paige. “This is an event that doesn’t come around all that often. It’s pretty cool that my first one is on home soil.”

“I know we’re all hoping that we have strong performances and hopefully we’ll see the USA on the top of the podium.”

It’s not easy to change back and forth between the disciplines of 3D archery and 50-metre target archery. Each has its own challenges. While 3D perhaps requires more decision-making and fieldcraft, competition over 50 metres introduces time pressure and an increased impact from environmental conditions.

“It’s tough to switch back and forth between the two,” says Paige, not long after completing her session of practice before qualifying tomorrow morning at Avondale Park.

Ever since competition for compound archers at the World Games moved to 50 metres rather than the discipline of field (with the recurve and barebow archers), the event has often been referred to as the Olympics for bowstyle.

But recently, World Archery announced that it had asked for compound to join the Olympics at LA28.

“It’s super exciting,” says Paige. “This is something that has been talked about a lot over the last 10 years but I don’t think the possibility of that had really set in for anybody until now.”

The Olympic proposal is, initially, for indoors rather than outdoors.

But that doesn’t mean that the next two days’ 50-metre event holds any less importance. (The competition is short, with qualifying and eliminations on Friday followed by finals on Saturday.) 

Instead, it’s a chance for Pearce to not only book her first 50-metre podium since finishing runner-up at the worlds in 2019 but to put a US archer on the podium as her sport lays claim to an Olympic spot at a home Games, just six years away.

“Now it’s just waiting to see what happens,” says Paige.

Competition at the World Games starts tomorrow with compound qualifying.