Archery is awesome because it can be enjoyed solo and in a group. Joining an archery organization is one of the best ways to make friends and improve your skills. If you’re interested in competing, organizations provide an avenue into competition.
There are three types of archery organizations: international, national and state. International organizations work on a global scale to host international competitions and set competition standards. National organizations host national tournaments and implement a set of standard rules for state organizations to use in individual chapters. State organizations promote archery at a local level and offer camaraderie, nearby tournaments and educational opportunities.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest archery organizations and the membership benefits:
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World Archery is the international federation for the Olympic and Paralympic sport of archery. Founded in 1931, the organization regulates and promotes archery across the globe. World Archery has five continental member associations and more than 160 national member organizations.
In addition to its role in the Olympics, World Archery organizes international events that include world championships across various disciplines. Events include the World Archery Championships and Indoor World Series. It also runs education and development programs that can be implemented by national chapters.
International Field Archery Association
The International Field Archery Association represents over 50,000 archers across 45 member countries. IFAA hosts field archery events, in which archers shoot at 3D or paper targets from either marked or unknown distances. Member countries host the World Field Archery Championships and World Bowhunter Championships. These exciting outdoor events take place in picturesque places around the world.
USA Archery provides the resources to encourage athlete participation, competition and training. The organization sanctions more than 200 events annually. These include indoor, outdoor and collegiate national championships, as well as the U.S. Archery Team Qualifier Series. It also provides youth and adult programs and clubs. USA Archery is responsible for providing curriculum and training to certify archery instructors, coaches and judges.
USA Archery membership is open to people interested in all disciplines of archery including 3D, field and target. There are several types of memberships, which come with different benefits, but most include member discounts, event participation eligibility, insurance eligibility, national ranking, club participation and more.
National Field Archery Association
The National Field Archery Association is the largest field archery organization in the world with 49 chartered state associations and nearly 1,000 affiliated clubs. It promotes many styles of shooting and hosts several popular events. The NFAA sanctions more than 100 state championship level tournaments and thousands of club shoots. The most well-known event, according to the NFAA, is the 3 Star Tour which includes The Vegas Shoot, NFAA Indoor Nationals and First Dakota Classic.
NFAA membership includes benefits like a subscription to “Archery” magazine, access to insurance, tournament access, certified instructor programs and more.
Archery Shooters Association
The Archery Shooters Association has chapters in 42 states and the Bahamas. The association is best known for its national McKenzie ASA Pro/Am Tour, which is a national series of six tournaments and a championship. According to the ASA, local clubs offer archers the chance to meet new friends, learn about the latest equipment and improve archery skills.
National Archery in the Schools Program
The National Archery in the Schools Program is aimed at young archers. The school-based program is for students in grades 4 through 12. Since 2002, more than 19 million kids have gone through the program, according to NASP President Tommy Floyd.
USA Archery’s Collegiate Archery Association
USA Archery’s Collegiate Archery Association is a special program for students enrolled in a college or university. Members can work to develop fundamental skills or compete for individual and national team championships. They can also earn academic and all-American awards. USA Archery hosts several college tournaments every year.
Local Clubs and Organizations
Hundreds of state organizations offer a variety of opportunities for amateur and professional archers. There are many benefits to joining one of these organizations, including:
- Event Participation. Competition can sound intimidating, especially for amateur archers, but there are many benefits to participating in a tournament. It’s one of the best ways to sharpen your skills. Plus, these events are fun. Joining a local club is the best way to learn about events in your area. And while membership isn’t always required for participation, there is usually a discount for members.
- Range Access. Many local organizations have ranges. Membership gives you access to these facilities.
- Improving Knowledge. Archery organizations are a wealth of knowledge because of the many members. Not only will the organization have information about tournament rules, but members will also be able to help with shooting and equipment. Whether you need advice on equipment or help with form, members are always willing to help.
- Making Friends. Members are the best part of every archery organization. These groups are full of like-minded individuals who are there to participate in the sport they love.
With all the benefits and the variety of archery organizations, there’s definitely one for everyone.