So for those of you who have been contemplating maybe shooting a tournament, here's the inside skinny on what really goes down. Off to the NYSAA FITA Championships this morning, so thought it would be fun for you to ride along.
Night before: shot league, tanked, figured out why, shot better. Tightened up sight screws, retaped finger guard and grip with my vetwrap.
Arrival: Hugs and kisses for friends that are shooting your line or just coming off of it. Find a spot for your stuff, grab your score card and hit the registration table to get your bale assignment and check in. Hang your target, find pencil and calculator (I hate doing running scoring.)
12:00: Snack, chat and set up equipment, stretch out. Have more cookies. Repeat.
12:25: Line Judge gives rules with A/B lines and warning lights and whistles. This is a double game tournament, so 60 arrows, with 450 as your perfect score. Compounders have to hit the X for a 10, recurves get the middle circle for a 10. It's nice to have an even mix of the two at this shoot for a change. One of the reasons I like this one.
12:30: Whistle blows, A line (top) goes up to the line to do the first set of practice ends, we switch and then go pull. Repeat
12:40: Go time. Take a few breaths to steady the butterflies and shoot. Only three arrows. Mark the holes before you pull (which is important if you forget to pull them and then shoot another three - and no, that wasn't me since I know you are asking) If the lines are long, like Nationals, you have a very large space full of arrows smacking the bales - really loud!
Shoot, score, repeat. There are two people scoring, one person calling the scores and the sheets have to match at the end (hence the running scoring) It's easy to mess it up, not hear the caller right, etc. I usually manage to muck it up somehow. Hopefully you have chill people on your card with you - I usually know at least one person and was lucky to shoot with my friend Inessa on this day.
If it's a really big shoot, they post all the scores out as soon as possible using live scoring or if it's more local-ish, you check back in a week or so to see where you ended up in the pack. Hopefully, you shot your best and didn't run into any equipment failures.
Turn in your cards, pack up. Go home. Enjoy frosty adult beverage. Repeat.