By Jeremy Oster
July 11-15, student archers from the USA, Canada and Africa competed in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) World Tournament in Madison, Wis. To earn an invite to the World Tournament, teams must first compete locally, regionally and nationally.
South Africa almost missed the tournament because of a new U.S. law requiring either both parents to accompany a traveling foreign student or both parents’ names to be on the student’s birth certificate.
Students from The United Kingdom and Mongolia were unable to get visas in time.
The Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana teams all qualified to compete in the tourney, but couldn’t afford the flight.
In total, 30 elementary schools, 52 middle schools and 44 high schools were on the shooting line competing for trophies, new Genesis bows and bragging rights. Kentucky still dominates the archery range, with 42 of the 126 teams in attendance.
Sunday at the awards ceremony, Halee Lanigan of Pulaski County High in Kentucky was announced the best overall female archer out of 1,135 girls. Clay Stevens of Trigg County Schools in Kentucky was the best overall male archer out of 1,290 boys.
For the school teams, Benton Elementary School in Louisiana, Caudill Middle School in Kentucky and Madison Central High in Kentucky all took first place in their respective classes.
Monday and Tuesday, competition resumed with the 2014 All-Star games. The top 16 archers from each country’s team competed against each other. The USA took first place, Africa came in second and Canada took third.
Illinois had five teams qualify for the tournament this year. The only NASP-style program currently in Winnebago County is Rockton Hononegah Archery. For more about NASP-style archery, go to http://naspschools.org/, or look for NASP and Hononegah Archery on Facebook.
The decision to create a school archery program came from the combined passions of wildlife enthusiasts wishing to bring students back to nature and educators searching for creative ways to keep students interested and involved in school.
March 3, 2002, 21 Kentucky middle schools began to teach their students the lifelong skill of archery during school hours. The Kentucky Archery in the Schools Program was co-designed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the Department of Education and Mathews Archery.
After just one year, the program spread across state borders and changed its name to the National Archery in the Schools Program. Today, NASP encompasses more than 2 million students at more than 12,000 schools across 47 states in the USA and even beyond to other countries.
A NASP team consists of 12 to 24 students with at least four members of the opposite gender. Students start competing at the fourth-grade level up to high school. Before a team is allowed to form, the school must offer the program to all students equally during the school day.
Posted July 18, 2014