Registration is now open for the 2018 Lancaster Archery Classic, scheduled for Jan. 26-28 at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Manheim, Pa.And while it might not seem possible for the East Coast’s largest indoor archery tournament to get even bigger, the 2018 event promises just that. The 2017 Classic was the first at the massive Spooky Nook complex, which features 17 acres under roof, and it drew a record 1,100 archers from 13 countries. But there’s plenty of room for many more archers.
The 1,500-plus archers expected to enter the 2018 Classic will compete in 15 divisions for over $300,000 in prize and contingency money, including the top payout of $15,000 for the Men’s Open Pro champion. Payouts have doubled or drastically increased over previous levels in three recurve divisions, which is sure to attract more archers.And there’s a brand new competition within the Classic aimed at young archers. The Youth Trophy Tournament offers the chance for archers under 21 to experience the Classic for a fraction of the normal cost and time commitment. Learn more about this new event here
The LAS Classic continues to grow at a steady pace. Not just in competing archers, but in the number of people who watch from home. We started live streaming basic video of competition back in 2011. After the tournament, the competition recording was split up into multiple videos, which all were uploaded to the LAS YouTube channel. That process held through the 2015 Classic.In 2016, we improved the live broadcast of qualification and elimination rounds, and launched a professional-grade production of the finals shoot-ups, to include live commentary and multiple camera angles. The world at large has responded positively to the increased quality of our broadcast production. From 2011 through 2016, YouTube views of all Classic videos totaled about 750,000 combined. The 2017 Classic videos alone drew more than 540,000 views.
And while all of the 2017 videos have been viewed heavily, there was a clear favorite among the viewing public. It might not be the video you’d think. The Men’s Open Pro finals results in the largest payout of the tournament, with $15,000 going to the winner. And that division, plus Women’s Open Pro, feature the biggest names in professional archery. Reo Wilde, Jesse Broadwater, Braden Gellenthien, Mike Schloesser, Erika Jones, Sarah Lance and Sarah Sönnichsen are just a few of the famous pros who are regulars in our finals shoot ups.But if you combine the total 2017 Classic YouTube views of both of the finals videos from those divisions – 129,663 – that number falls short of the single-most watched video posted from the tournament. The Barebow Recurve Finals video
has drawn 129,999 views since it was posted, and that number keeps climbing every week. The viewing public loves Barebow above all other divisions.“Fantastic shooting,” Jake Bullit wrote in the comment section beneath the video. “That’s where the skill is at in archery.”“This is pure archery – love it,” wrote Thomas Jefferson.
For the 2018 Classic, big changes are coming to the Barebow division. Many YouTube commenters expressed displeasure in seeing barebow archers using stabilizers and draw checks, which help archers release arrows from a consistent point in their draw cycle.At the 2018 Classic, the rules for Barebow are changing to match World Archery mandates. Allowed will be recurve or longbows fitted with a rest and plunger. String walking is permitted. No bow mounted clickers or draw checks will be allowed, and no stabilizers will be allowed. Riser mounted weights will be permitted, as long as the bow -with all accessories attached - fits through a 12.2 cm ring.In hopes of drawing more recurve archers to the 2018 Classic, we’re increasing payouts to the winners. In the Men’s Recurve division, LAS plans to pay $5,000 to the winner, $2,000 to the runner up, $1,000 for third place, $500 for fourth place, $300 each to the fifth through eighth place finishers, and $200 for ninth through 16th
place. At the 2017 tournament, those payouts were $2,000 for the winner, $1,050 for second, $750 for third, $400 for fourth, $250 for fifth through eighth and $100 for ninth through 16th
The Women’s Recurve payouts for 2018 will be $2,500 for first place, $1,250 for second, $700 for third, $400 for fourth and $200 for fifth through eighth. Those numbers are up from the 2017 payouts of $1,000 for first, $550 for second, $350 for third and $250 for fourth.In the Barebow division, the 2018 payouts will be $2,000 for the winner, $1,000 for second place, $600 for third, $400 for fourth and $250 for fifth through eighth. In 2017, the payouts were $1,200 for first place, $600 for second, $400 for third, $250 for fourth and $200 for fifth.Aside from these changes, improvements and additions, archers can count on the usual, world-renowned, top-shelf Classic experience at the 2018 event. You’ll be treated like royalty from the moment you walk through the front doors of Spooky Nook. The entire LAS crew on site is there to serve you.We’ve got an on-site practice facility, which will be available for an additional fee of $10. Or, you can practice for free at the LAS Pro Shop, which is 15 minutes away from Spooky Nook. A shuttle will ferry people from Spooky Nook to the Pro Shop regularly during the tournament.When you’re shooting your qualification round, you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with the best archers in the world. Archers and archery fans can meet a selection of the top pros and Olympians for photos and autographs during a “meet and greet” event scheduled for Saturday. Our sponsoring equipment manufacturers will have over 40 booths set up to show you the latest and greatest target archery gear.
And of course, there’s the unique, Classic competition format. Imperfection does not necessarily mean you’re out of the Classic. All you have to do is shoot well enough in the qualifying round to make the cut to advance to eliminations. In that part of the competition, you’ll shoot a 12-arrow, head-to-head matches against another qualifier. Win, and you advance.If you can win enough matches to make it past the finals cut-off for your division, you can shoot your way to victory. Let’s say you finish the qualification round and elimination matches ranked eighth in your division. And let’s say that division takes the top eight archers for the finals shoot ups.As the No. 8 archer, you would start the finals by shooting a head-to-head match against the No. 7 archer. The winner of that match takes on the No. 6 archer. This process continues until someone shoots a match against the No. 1 archer for the division championship title, lots of cash and a well-deserved place in LAS Classic history.
So in a division that advances 64 archers to elimination matches, it is entirely possible for the archer that shot the 64th
best qualification score to win his or her division. As American author H. Jackson Brown Jr. once famously said, “Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor.”Don’t miss the 2018 LAS Classic!