Ten Things (Plus One) that Make the Lancaster Archery Classic Unique
The annual Lancaster Archery Classic is the largest indoor archery tournament on the East Coast, and one of the most anticipated events of the year for professional and amateur archers alike.That’s not by accident. A lot of thought and preparation goes into the event each year. Heck, the planning for the 2018 tournament, scheduled for Jan. 26-28 at Spooky Nook Sports, 75 Champ Blvd., Manheim, PA, started two days after the 2017 competition ended.The Classic is different from other indoor archery tournaments. That’s what makes it so special.And here are 11 things that make the Classic unique.
Competition format – This is the calling card of the Classic. It’s not about perfection. It’s about survival. One bad arrow – maybe even two or three – does not kill your weekend. All you have to do is make the cut in your division, and you have a chance to win it all. Every archer shoots a 60-arrow qualification round. Depending on your division, the top 8, 16, 32 or 64 qualifiers advance to elimination matches, where shooting is head to head. Win your 12-arrow match(es) and you move on, regardless of rank. From there, a final flight of four or eight archers – again depending on the division – advance to the Shoot-Up Finals Stage, where archers shoot head to head from the bottom up. For example, the first match pits the No. 8 archer against the No. 7 archer. The winner advances to compete against the No. 6 archer and so on until someone shoots against the No. 1 archer for the division title.
Finals Stage – The Classic Finals Stage is legendary. Perform well here, and you know your mental game is strong. On the Finals Stage, two archers shoot on elevated platforms in a stadium-like atmosphere, with bright spotlights illuminating an otherwise darkened arena. Spectators pack seating flanking the archers on three sides. Archers alternate shooting arrows in three-arrow ends, for 12-arrow matches. Each shot is scrutinized by the crowd and by commentators who are part of a live broadcast of each match. The drama is real and the pressure is intense.
Live Coverage – Every single minute of the Lancaster Archery Classic is broadcast live, and then it lives on in perpetuity on YouTube. Last year’s Classic videos alone drew over 750,000 views, and there have been millions of views of Classic videos from previous years. This year, Lancaster Archery Supply will broadcast the entire event on our YouTube channel and our Facebook page, and World Archery will carry the coverage on its ArcheryTV channel. Live scoring also will be uploaded to Rcherz.com, so you can follow the competition scores, even if you can’t watch the event.
The Venue – The $65-million, Spooky Nook Sports Complex is the largest indoor sports complex in North America, with more than 700,000 square feet – about 17 acres – under roof. It’s the official training grounds of the U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team, and includes a 130-room attached hotel and 260-seat restaurant.
Over $40,000 in Door Prizes – So extensive are the giveaways during the Classic, that one LAS employee is assigned to do nothing else during qualifications, which run from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Prizes – releases, arrows, sights, shooting gear, gift cards, 10 compound bows, etc. – are given away after every end of all three qualification rounds. There are 20 ends per round, so that’s 60 giveaways. And most ends, multiple names are picked as winners. Every registered archer is eligible to win a prize, and only those archers shooting at a given time are entered to win the prizes given away during that round.
Flip Scoring – For the 2018 Classic, we’ve added flip scoring for every target. Sichtkraft 3D scoreboards will be on every target during both qualifications and eliminations. Archers can post their scores at their targets so they’re visible to fans.
Shooter Bags – One facet of the incredible hospitality offered to archers competing in the Classic is the shooter bag. Every archer who registers is provided a shooter bag that’s stuffed with information and goodies. Among the items in this year’s bag are the LAS Archer’s Wishbook, LAS calendar, a bracelet, LAS decal sheet, pens, lip balm and more.
Victory Youth Trophy Tournament – For archers interested in competing, there is no substitute for experience. The 2018 LAS Classic features a tournament within the tournament that’s open to young archers under 21. Several hundred youth archers will shoot a 60-arrow round on a professional tournament range for one day, at a fraction of the cost of the full Classic. Medals and trophies will be awarded in 12 divisions separated by age, gender and equipment.
Photo Booth – We’ve added a Photo Booth for the 2018 Classic that will be free for archers to use in a special, photo area, complete with lighting, props and an LAS Classic backdrop. You can shoot photos for fun, or generate a social media profile that lets the world know you’re proud to be an archer.
The Staff – The Classic is unique in that it is staffed entirely by employees of the hosting company. So every person wearing a “STAFF” shirt has a vested interest in the event. You will see LAS workers all over Spooky Nook, doing everything they can to make the Classic a success. And aside from their various jobs that pertain to running the Classic, all are tasked with making sure that they assist the competing archers and the spectators in fulfilling their needs.
Meet the Pros – A central tenet of the Classic always has been to allow amateurs and pros to mingle freely. A first-time, amateur competitor could shoot on the practice range between Reo Wilde and Jesse Broadwater – two of the most accomplished indoor archers ever. The 2018 Classic features a Meet the Pros event – Jan. 27, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. - that will allow archery fans to meet dozens of their favorite professional archers, and get autographs and photos.
If you’ve never attended the Classic, put it on your bucket list. Whether it’s competing or just visiting to watch, this is an event than every archer and archery fan needs to experience at least once. And we’re pretty confident that if you come to one Classic, it won’t be your last.