OPA Brings Out Archery’s Big Guns

We’re here at the Organization of Professional Archery’s (OPA) inaugural Summit Invitational in western Pennsylvania. Hosts Levi and Samantha Morgan have invited more than 300 of the world’s best archers – both spot archers and 3-D competitors – to shoot in a unique format.

Archers will  be shooting 3-D targets at marked distances out to 80 yards. Each target will have the standard 10-, 8- and 5-point scoring rings, plus specially-colored 12-point and 14-point rings. The 12 and 14 rings will be highly visible, so they certainly will be tempting to archers of this caliber.

But the risks are high in going for those bonus points. Miss the 14 by a hair, and an archer will score either an 8 or a 5. Shoot just outside the 12 ring, and the likely scores are 10 or 8.

Who does this format favor? The spot archers or the 3-D competitors?

What’s the strategy? Do you go for 14s, or do you just try to hit all 10s and hope a couple arrows slide into some 12s?

In talking with the pros, they don’t seem to know the best strategy. Yet.

Hoyt pro David Houser said he believes archers are going to feel out the round as they shoot, and devise plans on the fly.

“I don’t think you can come out here from the start and say, ‘This is what I’m going to do,'” he said. “That might not work.”

The element of unknown is what’s electrifying the air out here and generating a unique level of excitement among the archers.

What we all know is, whoever figures out the right plan is taking home some serious cash – $30,000 to the top Men’s Expert finisher, and $10,000 each for the first place Women’s and Senior archers.

That’s big money in the archery world, probably second only to the Vegas Shoot, which paid the top male pro $50,000 this year.

Each day, we are going to produce a video of the day’s activities and post it to the LAS YouTube page. The next morning, you’ll find it here. So keep checking back for more information!