World Archery: an important Olympic sport

FITA, Istanbul – Dec 19, 2011: Virtually on the eve of the London Games, World Archery is on its way to achieve its main goal: be internationally recognised as an important Olympic Sport. Such is the conclusion of the board meeting that was held in Istanbul on 17-18 December.

The International Archery Federation Council (that will be known officially as the World Archery Executive Board as of 1 April 2012) met in Istanbul to assess the state of the sport globally. And it is looking pretty good!

With the World Archery Plan 2007-2012 coming to an end, the board is confident that it has achieved its vision: to be INTERNATIONALLY recognised as an IMPORTANT Olympic Sport. During 2011, World Archery has continuously pushed forward its unique World Cup concept of great sport in special places, for instance: the beaches of Antalya with the attendance of the IOC President Jacques ROGGE and a strong Olympic delegation, the Pudong Riverside in downtown Shanghai or the Bosphorus shore in Istanbul, where the world meets.

The finals of the World Archery championships also took place in the historic Piazza Castello in Turin. Fittingly, at the ultimate competition of the four-year cycle, the 2012 Olympic Games, archery will take place at one of the birth-place of modern sports and one of the most prestigious arenas in the world: the Lord’s Cricket Ground. Known worldwide as the Home of Cricket, Lord’s will become the Home of Archery.

This would not have been possible without our poise to make our competitions always better (new competition format, ever improved show for sports presentation, etc.) and to promote them in all possible and new ways (Facebook, Youtube, www.liveworldarchery.tv, etc.). World Archery has exciting events both for the fans and the VIPs, strong media coverage and the appraisal of the highest sport authorities.

The preparations of the upcoming events, including the World Archery Indoor Championships in Las Vegas next February, the Olympic Games and the 2012 World Cup Final in Tokyo are all on track.

The location for the 2013 World Cup Final in Paris has been announced: the Trocadero, at the feet of the Eiffel Tower! The candidatures for World Cup stages and several world championships in the coming years will be reviewed at the next Executive Board in London this summer.

Viktoriya KOVAL (UKR), who has been a successful international archer for many years, and who was elected by her peers in the World Archery Athletes Committee, has now been put forward by the Ukrainian Olympic Committee as a candidate for the International Olympic Committee Athlete Commission (if elected by the London Olympians this summer, she would become an IOC Member).

The board also took a look at the World Archery Plan 2013-2016. In order to make our sport even stronger, the focus of the plan will mainly shift to our Member Associations (national federations). The motto will be: let’s make archery nationally recognized as an important Olympic sport worldwide. The goal is that the progress of archery is seen in every country and that we create emulations in the archery community.

A Management Seminar took place in the World Archery Office in Lausanne recently, with the aim that Members Associations shared their best practices and experience.

Another key project coming to term is the complete redesign of the Rule Book. The Constitution and Rule Committee has presented its work and the Executive Board approved the new rule book and in particular many editorial changes to make it a more easy to use tool. This simplified Rule Book will be made easily available on a web platform when it comes into effect on 1 April 2012. The web platform will also assist for the translation of the Rule Book.

Among the accepted by-laws, the board accepted three major changes. The first one is in relation to indoor shooting where a further distinction is made between compound and recurve. Two new seperate target face for compound and recurve were introduced that shows only the specific 10 scoring zone which is 2cm for compound and 4 for cm for recurve.

This will make it easier to follow an indoor competition. The second change is for the 3D and Field Rounds where the instinctive bow has been more distinct from the barebow.

The riser will have to be of a natural material such as wood, horn or bamboo and not from aluminium or carbon. They also can no longer use a stabiliser. The athletes will however no longer be forced to use the traditional Mediterranean grip and be allowed to do face or string walking.

The last one is in relation to the registered testing pool for anti-doping. The new rule allows more flexibility for the inclusion of the athletes, and therefore more targeting for out of competition testing. This will improve even further the quality of the World Archey clean sport program, which at the same time was outsourced to the Sport Accord organisation.

World Archery has also introduced new ways to test the knowledge of judges and to increase their performance.  This will be done by introducing more tests under stress situations. The preparation of judges for major events has also been discussed.

An automatic scoring system project from an engineering team in Hungary has been presented to Council. The project is close to completion and very promising. Another project on the edge of technology is also underway with a Swiss research team: the aim is to measure the heart-rate of the athletes on the shooting line and include it in a TV graphic.

The board has approved the budget for the upcoming year. For other decisions please refer to the Council Meeting minutes that will be published in due course. To conclude the meeting, World Archery President, Prof Dr Ugur ERDENER received the Golden Honorary Award from the Norwegian Archery Federation.

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