I’m not going to lie, I knew the Aurora bow case I fly with was on its last leg, so a big reason why I signed up for this tournament was for the chance to win the free bow case. During the time the Midwest Open was the Presley’s Midwest Open, the male and female pro winners were awarded an Aurora case inscribed with Championship Male/Female winner on it. I knew the numbers were traditionally pretty low for the women’s division, so my odds of winning were pretty good. What I didn’t know was now that this tournament had lost Presleys as a sponsor and was now just the Midwest Open, there would be no bow case given to the winners.
I also learned, after registering, that this tournament is not supported by sponsors, meaning there was no contingency being paid. That’s how most of the pros make their money, so I was a little disappointed to find this out. Luckily, this WAS an NFAA tournament, so there was a guaranteed pay out for the top 3 women.
Day one was the 5 spot, which I hadn’t shot (prior to practice day) since NFAA indoor nationals last year (march). I don’t know why this target gives so many of us fits, but unfortunately it does. I dropped 2 points in 60 arrows, which was equal to what I dropped in 90 arrows in Vegas last year! I didn’t feel like I was shooting great, so in all honesty I was happy I had only dropped 2 points. This was my first “real” tournament with my 27s, so I was happy to see they were shooting at least as good as I was.
Day 2 was back to the 3 spot, which I shoot all the time. Also, unlike FITA where we only score the little 10 for compound, or Vegas where it’s only the big 10, in this tournament the little 10 ring is 11 points, the big 10= 10 and the rest of the yellow is a 9. This type of scoring definitely separates the field, so I was excited since I had 2 points to catch up (Sarah had shot clean the day before to lead the women’s pro class).
I started really well, and was on pace for a FITA score that I would be happy with. In fact, I had worked my way into the lead. Then around the 7th end, I had an arrow called by a judge that I completely an utterly disagree with. NFAA rules state that a judge is only called if there is a tie on the bail (meaning 2 people think an arrow is in and 2 think it is out), however, in this case we had a majority 3-1 calling it in. This means the judge should have never been called over. This is another lesson for all of you out there on why knowing the rules is so important (not just YOU knowing the rules, but the others you are shooting with). Because once the judge makes an arrow call, there is nothing you can do. There is 0 doubt in my mind that that arrow was in, and unfortunately, I got so upset about this, that I let it affect the rest of my shooting that day.
I fell off a cliff afterwards, all bc I was angry about something I couldn’t change. I knew I had to let it go, it was in the past, and I couldn’t change it, but that is easier said then done. In the end, I lost by 4 points total (2 points each day) and took 2nd place. I was not upset with 2nd, but I was upset with myself. I had let circumstances control me and my shooting instead of just shooting my game. Unfortunately, this has happened to me in the past (though not directly related to me, but with another archer who had an “unfair” thing happen to them). I’ve always been someone who believes in the rules and that they need to be followed across the board for everyone. I have to say this is one of my biggest complaints about the sport of archery. I’ve seen so many “exceptions” to the rules or judges not knowing the correct rules, that sometimes I wonder why there even is a rule book if it’s not going to be followed. In the future, I need to learn to get upset about these things off the field, but while I am shooting to just let them go. Nothing good comes from getting upset about this during a competition.
So as you can see, I continue to learn valuable lessons every tournament. Overall, I am happy with my weekend, as I proved I can shoot the 27s in competition, my shots felt great on day 2, and I finished in 2nd.