The time to register for the 2023 Lancaster Archery Classic is now!
Registration is open for the East Coast’s largest indoor archery tournament, scheduled for Jan. 26-29, 2023, at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Manheim, Pa.
The Classic came back strong this year after a one-year hiatus, and the 2023 tournament is expected to draw more than 2,000 archers from all over the world.
This number includes the more than 500 young archers expected to compete in the Youth & Collegiate Trophy Tournament - register here for that - which will be held Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 28-29. The Trophy event is a separate tournament within the Classic that allows younger archers to get the full Classic experience for a fraction of the cost and time commitment.
Here’s what archers can expect at the 19th version of the Lancaster Archery Classic.
For starters, archers will compete for over $300,000 in cash and prizes, including over $175,000 in cash payouts, contingencies and over $20,000 in door prizes. The top prize will be a $20,000 payout to the Open Pro division champion.
Competition will be at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex, which features more than 17 acres under roof, with divisions available for archers shooting barebow recurve, Olympic recurve, open compound and compound bowhunter equipment. Qualification lines will be offered at noon and 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, and 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27.
Unchanged is the Classic’s unique format, which allows for the improbable to always be possible. Every archer will shoot a qualifying, 60-arrow round, where a perfect score is 660, since the X-ring counts as 11 points at the Classic.
(Only three perfect 660 rounds have ever been shot at the Classic. All were shot in the Men's Open Pro division. The first was shot by Reo Wilde in 2009; the second by Braden Gellenthien at the 2019 Classic; and the third was shot last year by Bodie Turner, who was 14 at the time.)
Following qualifications, archers are ranked within their respective 17 divisions, so that the top 64, 32 or 16 archers - depending on the division - can advance to head-to-head elimination matches. From those matches, the top eight or four archers from each division will advance to the finals shoot-up rounds.
The shoot-ups are held in a separate area, with spectator seating surrounding two spotlit stages, from which the archers compete. Every finals match will be broadcast live on the Lancaster Archery Supply YouTube channel. Here’s a playlist from the 2022 tournament.
The finals matches start with the lowest ranked archer competing against the next lowest ranked archer. The winner advances to shoot against the archer ranked just above them until someone competes against the top-ranked archer for the top prize.
Back again for the finals after a successful debut at the 2022 Classic will be the 12 ring. Reserved exclusively for the finals head-to-head matches, a 12 ring will be available on the finals targets for archers to shoot at once per end during every match. Before shooting at the 12-ring, an archer must call for it to be in play by stepping on a red button at the front of the shooting stage, which illuminates a red light to alert the audience.
The 12 ring is the smallest scoring ring on the target, measuring just 1.5 cm across. It will be positioned below the center of the target, on the line separating the 7- and 8-point rings. So a miss will likely result in a score of either 7 or 8 points. But going for the 12 at least gives an archer a chance to make up lost ground or to try to seal a victory, adding a strategic element to the always-exciting Classic finals.
The Youth & Collegiate Trophy Tournament is a special tournament-within-the-tournament, so to speak, for youth archers. It’s a one-day competition for kids under 21 that affords the opportunity to experience a world-class tournament, but for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time commitment.
The Youth and Collegiate Trophy Tournament will feature the following divisions: Bowman, for ages 12 and under; Cub, for ages 13 and 14; Cadet, for ages 15-17; Junior, for ages 18-20; and Collegiate, for college students with the proper eligibility. Each age class will feature separate competition divisions for Open, Recurve and Barebow archers in both male and female classes. A Bowhunter division will be offered for Collegiate archers as well.
Competition will consist of a 60-arrow round shot from the standard 18 meters at 40cm target faces. There will be no elimination rounds, with trophies going to each division’s first-place finisher, and medals being awarded to the top three archers in each division.
Competition rounds can be shot at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, or at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29. Archers who compete in the youth tournament can also shoot in the Classic, if they want.
As always, archers can count on the usual, world-renowned, top-shelf Classic experience at the 2023 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.
There will be a vendor area for our sponsoring equipment manufacturers with over 40 booths set up displaying the latest and greatest target archery gear. Food is available for purchase on site from Spooky Nook providers.
We’ve got an on-site practice facility, which will be available for an additional fee of $15, if purchased before the event, or $20 on site. (There is free practice on Saturday for archers competing in the Youth & Collegiate Trophy Tournament.) Or, you can practice for free at the LAS Pro Shop, which is 15 minutes away from Spooky Nook.
When you’re shooting your qualification round, you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with the best archers in the world. Sign up now. We hope to see you at Spooky Nook in January!