2020 Lancaster Archery Classic Registration is Now Open

The time to register for the 2020 Lancaster Archery Classic is now!

Registration is open for the East Coast’s largest indoor archery tournament, scheduled for Jan. 23-26, 2020, at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Manheim, Pa.

The Classic has been on a steady growth path each year, and this year is no exception. Yes, it promises to be even bigger than last year’s record-setting tournament, which drew over 1,700 archers.

This year’s Classic has a ton of new features, so let’s dive right in and take a look at the enhancements.

For starters, archers will compete for over $300,000 in cash and prizes, including over $160,000 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.

The prize money includes a hefty increase in total payouts for the Recurve divisions. The $51,450 that will be awarded to Recurve archers could be the world’s largest recurve payout for an indoor archery tournament.

The bump in total Recurve payouts is largely due to the creation of the Women’s Barebow Recurve division. Archers have been asking for this division for a couple of years, and now, thanks to overwhelming support from the barebow community, it’s here.

The Women’s Barebow Recurve division will pay $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second, $500 for third and $250 for fourth. Just like in the Men’s Barebow division, the top three finishers in the Women’s Barebow competition also will receive custom Lancaster Archery Classic Barebow trophies – an additional award for the Classic’s most-watched competitors.

The 2019 Lancaster Archery Classic Barebow Finals video on YouTube was viewed over 163,000 times between late January and the end of September. That’s over three times more views than any other division finals.

Winners in the Men’s Recurve and Men’s Barebow divisions will take home $8,000 each, which is up from $6,000 last year. The Women’s Recurve champ will win $4,000 – up from $3,000.

Other increased payouts for 2020 are as follows:

Men’s Recurve and Men’s Barebow: second place – $4,000; third place – $2,000; fourth place – $800; fifth through eighth place – $400; ninth through 16th place – $250.

Women’s Recurve: second place – $2,000; third place – $1,000; fourth place – $500; fifth through eighth place – $250.

All other payouts from the 2019 Classic will remain the same for 2020.

New for the 2020 Classic, there will be “Missed-Cut Payout Flights.” Here’s how those will work. All of these awards will be paid in Lancaster Archery Supply gift cards, and they will be paid based on scores and rankings at the end of the qualification rounds. Archers scoring below the cutoffs for their respective divisions, which would have enabled them to advance to the elimination rounds, will be put into flights for these Missed-Cut awards. The top three archers in each flight will receive gift cards.

The flighted payouts will be as follows:

Open Pro: for places 65-67 – $350.

Women’s Pro and Masters Pro: for places 17-19 – $250.

Men’s Open: for places 65-67 – $150; 96-98 – $100; for places 128-130, 160-162 and 192-194 – $75.

Men’s Barebow: for places 65-67 – $150; for places 96-98 – $100; for places 128-130 and 160-162 – $75.

For Masters Open, Women’s Open, Youth Open, Bowhunter and Men’s Recurve: for places 33-35 – $150; for places 65-67 – $75.

For the six other divisions with cuts to 16th place: places 17-19 – $150.

Speaking of the cuts to 16, the 2020 Classic marks the first time no division will cut to less than 16. While there had been some divisions in the past that only sent eight archers to elimination rounds, for the 2020 tournament, division cuts will be 16, 32 or 64 archers.

The past two Lancaster Archery Classics have included a special tournament-within-the-tournament, so to speak, for youth archers. It was a special, one-day competition for kids under 21. That afforded the opportunity to experience a world-class tournament, but for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time commitment.

For 2020, that competition is being expanded to include collegiate archers. The Easton 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.

The Easton Youth and Collegiate Trophy Tournament 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. Each age class will feature separate competition divisions for Open, Recurve and Barebow archers in both male and female classes.

The tournament will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25. Archers who compete in this competition can also shoot in the Classic, if they want. To accommodate the new Collegiate division, space for the Trophy Tournament has been expanded to allow for 540 competitors.

And speaking of tournament expansions, to accommodate the Classic’s growing competition base, a new qualification line is being added for the 2020 event. In addition to the three Friday lines, which begin at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m., archers also can choose to shoot in a 4 p.m. line on Thursday, Jan. 23.

Adding that extra line now allows the Classic to accommodate 1,930 archers in 2020, plus 540 for the Easton Youth and Collegiate Trophy Tournament. With extra archers expected to compete, of course, the practice facility has ben expanded as well. While there were 90 practice lanes available on site this year, there will 136 lanes available in 2020.

Aside from these new features added to the 2020 Classic, archers can still count on one of the best competition formats for indoor archery. This is not a tournament that requires perfection. All you have to do is shoot well enough in the 60-arrow 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 match 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 always, archers can count on the usual, world-renowned, top-shelf Classic experience at the 2020 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 $15, if purchased before the event, or $20 on site. (There is free practice on Saturday for archers competing in the Easton Youth and Collegiate Trophy Tournament.) 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.

Sign up now by clicking here. We hope to see you at Spooky Nook in January!

Flying With Bows – What You Need to Know

So you’re taking your compound bow on an airplane, and you want to know how to pack it, what’s allowed and what to expect at the airport? Here’s what you need to know.

GET A GOOD CASE

Airlines are rough on baggage, and your bow is a precision instrument. You need a good, quality, airline-grade case if you want to take your bow on an airplane, and have it arrive at your destination in good condition.

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If a case is suitable for airline travel, the manufacturer will say so in the description of the product. If they don’t mention airline travel, then that’s not the case you need. The plastic cases that are not rated for airline travel usually are made of a material that’s fine for transporting your bow in your vehicle, but which likely won’t stand up to the distress and wear of airline travel.

There are hard and soft cases suitable for airline travel. Just be aware that if you go for a soft case, it’s a good idea to pack clothing beneath and on top of your bow for added padding protection. It’s not a bad idea to do that in your hard case, too, but it’s most important when using a soft case. Soft cases often have an “airline cover” made for them, which insures your bow case doesn’t accidentally open.

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Airline grade soft case

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Airline cover for soft case

Get a case with locks labeled as “TSA approved.” These are locks which federal Transportation Security Administration officials can open on their own with special keys. If you use combination locks or non-TSA locks, be prepared for TSA officials to call your name over the airport public address system to go open your case when they want to inspect it. And count on them inspecting a bow case.

PROTECT WHAT’S INSIDE

Think about how you’d want to protect what’s inside your bow case if you were to drop it from 5 feet, kick it, pile stuff on top of it, etc. We’re not saying airline baggage handlers will do any of these things to your case, but we’ve retrieved ours at our final destination looking pretty beat up.

Make sure your bow is secured within the case. Look for a case that has tie-downs to hold the bow in place, so it can’t bounce around during travel. Or, pack items around it to hold it secure. Protect your sight. Get a separate case for it, or find a way to secure it inside some clothing or other padding. Some cases have special compartments just for bow sights.

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Pack clothing all around your bow to keep it from bouncing around, and to provide extra padding.

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Add a little padding around your bow sight.

Arrows are pretty sturdy, but if you’re worried about yours getting damaged, you can always use an arrow tube to keep them secure. You might be able to fit this tube inside your bow case, or you might have to put it in another piece of checked baggage. Also, many bow cases have built-in arrow holders.

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If you’re going hunting, be sure to secure your broadheads. Do not put them uncovered in your bow case – and that includes traveling with them attached to your arrows. Secure them in a separate container of some kind so they can’t do any damage.

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Some archers like to travel with gear such as their sight and release in carry-on baggage so they can be sure they’re safe. Keep in mind, though, that hand-held releases can look like weapons. Some brass hinge releases look almost exactly like a set of brass knuckles. It’s OK to carry these things with you, but be prepared to answer questions about them. To avoid any hassles, just stow them in your bow case or other checked baggage.

AT THE AIRPORT

Generally speaking, bows in cases are not considered to be any different than any other piece of checked airline baggage. They generally do not require any special declarations, like firearms do. Bows can only be taken onboard planes as checked baggage – not as carry-on items.

We’re not aware of any airline restrictions regarding archery equipment, but always check with your airline ahead of time to see if they have any special rules you need to know about.

And when you’re at the airport terminal, be prepared for anything. You might be asked what’s in the case. You might be asked to open the case for inspection. Airline employees unfamiliar with archery equipment can sometimes be overly cautious when they encounter it.

For U.S. residents traveling outside the country, it’s a good idea to pre-register your bow(s) with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Take this form – Form 4457 – and your bow(s) to a Customs office before you leave the country, and have an officer stamp your form. That form will be good for as long as you have that bow(s), so you only have to do this registration once. The form certifies that you did not buy the equipment abroad, and so you cannot be charged any duty when you return to the U.S.

What to Expect at your first archery tournament

So you’re heading to your first indoor archery tournament? Maybe you’re feeling a little intimidated. Maybe you’re feeling nervous. Maybe you’re feeling like you’re not ready.

Maybe you’re feeling all of these things and more.

Don’t worry. Everyone is anxious in some way the first time they step to the line alongside dozens of other archers to shoot for an official score.

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But guess what? The archery community is one that welcomes new competitors to the game. It’s likely the people standing on either side of you will offer a tremendous amount of help and support.

But in the interest of helping you be as prepared as possible – both mentally and physically – we asked two experts to share some insights and advice about attending a first archery tournament. Whether you’re a young kid or an adult, take heed to their words.

Our experts are Heather Pfeil, program director and head coach at Lancaster Archery Academy, and Alex Wifler, 2015 Vegas Shoot champion, 2016 LAS Classic Men’s Open Pro champion and member of the USA Archery team.

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Heather Pfeil is Lancaster Archery Academy’s program director.

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Alex Wifler

In a Q & A format, we’re going to switch back and forth between the two.

LAS: What was the first indoor tournament you entered?

AW: My first tournament was The Presley Shoot, which became the Midwest Open in Bloomington Illinois, at the age of 12.

LAS: How did you get up the nerve to enter it?

AW: It was the excitement to enter the tournament and opportunity to see if I could compete in this new sport that I was embracing. I was more focused on having fun than being nervous.  I knew that I was able to shoot and the experience of being there was not about being nervous. I was just going to try this and focus on having the experience.

LAS: Is there anything I can do to minimize anxiety?

HP: Pack your gear the night before, so you can take your time and make sure you have everything you need.

Arrive an hour early. This will leave you plenty of time to find out where you need to go to check in, where to store your bow, where your lane is and where you can practice. If you are rushing around at the last minute trying to figure all this out, your mind won’t be in the right place when it’s time to shoot.

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Arrive early and find your target assignment.

The week before the tournament, practice with uncomfortable music on, and visualize that you are shooting with lots of people around. This will prepare you for being in an unfamiliar environment.

LAS: What, if anything, caught you off guard about that first tournament?

AW: Standing with all of the other archers and meeting the pros.  I was not prepared for the number of people that also loved the sport of archery, and the pros were just normal people that also loved promoting their sport.

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Everyone around you at an archery tournament shares your passion.

LAS: What are some things I need to know about the competition?

HP: Know if they have any special equipment rules, and make sure you’re following them. You are going to have to keep score, so know how they do it. Remember your archery etiquette – when to walk up to and off of the line; what to do with your bow in between ends; when to walk down to pull arrows; all of it. Consciously remind yourself what target you are shooting every time you go to the line, so you don’t shoot the wrong one.

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Be prepared to keep score.

LAS: What should my goal be?

HP: Something achievable, like have fun. Make it your goal to finish the competition, no matter what happens. Make a new friend. Don’t worry about your score or how you place. You want to come out of this tournament feeling good about yourself.

LAS: What advice would you give a new archer for dealing with nerves on the line?

AW: Breathe and focus on shot execution, not the score.  Tell yourself over and over again that this is fun and that this is what you have trained to do.  Enjoy the moment.

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Remember to have fun at your first archery tournament.