The decision of the World Archery executive board to make some changes to World Cup competition is great news. You can read the full post here, but here’s the juicy bits:
…the winner of each stage of the circuit automatically qualifies for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.
As they note, this wouldn’t have made a lot of difference to the Final line-ups in recent years, but will increase the importance of the gold medal match, especially to broadcasters and highlights packages. It also makes the final stages a little more exciting.
An adjustment to medal match procedures on the circuit sees the higher-seeded athlete choosing to shoot first or second, and the lower-seeded athlete on the left or right target.
This adds just a little bit of strategy to the play. There are always a few athletes who claim – rightly or wrongly – that the wind affects one target more than another. I suspect based on my limited experience that most of the time this simply is not true, but if athletes believe it to be true, then it may as well be. 🙂
Only the top two seeds at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final will be pre-seeded at the top and bottom of the bracket, with the other six competitors drawn out of a hat two days prior to the event.
This mixes things up just a little and may well result in the ‘home’ athletes getting a slightly more favourable draw and more than one match, which is good news for audiences.
Generally speaking, I am in favour of increased strategic elements to matchplay, on the grounds that it will increase the audience for archery and drive TV figures, which I think ultimately will be good for the sport.
I think they could even go a bit further. 🙂 I’m going to share with you an idea I had about shoot-offs, to add a deep strategic element and allow for maximum drama under pressure. See what you think! Leave me a comment here or on Facebook. Suggestions and brickbats equally welcome:
A shoot-off is declared.
The archers choose who goes first by coin toss, or it is decided randomly in the scoring software.
The first archer due to shoot shoots ONE arrow.
He then gets the choice as to whether to shoot a second arrow or let it stand. (YES/NO)
He indicates this choice to the judge.
If NO, he lets the arrow stand as scored and his opponent gets to shoot ONE arrow, and the closest wins as usual (just like a normal shoot-off).
If YES, his first arrow is removed from the target, and he shoots another.
This becomes his scoring shoot-off arrow.
His opponent then gets to shoot TWO arrows. The closest one to the centre counts as his shoot-off arrow.
Whichever archer is closest to the centre wins as usual.
Anyway… looking forward to this outdoor season a little more now. 🙂