The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

June 19, 2014

IBO shoot headed to area

JOHNSTOWN — The Jenner Community Sportsmen Association has landed one of the area’s biggest 3D archery shoots in the International Bowhunting Organization PA State Championship, which will be held Saturday and Sunday at the club grounds near Jennerstown.

The tournament is a qualifier for the IBO World Championship to be held Aug. 7-10 in Elliotcottville, N.Y. That event previously has been held at Seven Springs, so the IBO is no stranger to Somerset County.

“In the past we’ve had some world qualifiers,” said Tony Tazza, a club member who is coordinating the event. “Since we’ve done such a good job in the past with our qualifiers, we got the state championship. We’ll have it this year and the next.”

Each year, the IBO conducts a series of shoots starting in January and leading up to the world competition. Serious archers who score well can qualify through the tournaments for a shot at the championship.

“It normally brings in 200-300 shooters,” Tazza said. “It’s a 3D tournament, which is shooting at a foam animal at an unknown distance. The archer has to judge the yardage to the target and shoot. Scoring rings are not visible from the distance that you shoot. That’s 3D archery in a nutshell.

“You shoot a course of 30 targets. There are classes for basically every age level and every skill level, every shooting style and gender.”

Distances are not outlandish, but they can be challenging. Fifty yards is the maximum shot, but for some classes the longest shot is 25 yards.

“This is open to anybody,” Tazza said. “You don’t have to be an IBO member to shoot, and you can qualify for the worlds, but you have to be a member to shoot the worlds. We have a fun class that local people can come and shoot in if they aren’t interested in going to New York for worlds.”

Targets are not lined up in a row. They are sprinkled through a wooded setting, and archers move from one shooting station to another. At each, there are six stakes that mark locations where the archer is to stand, depending on the class he is in.

Tazza chose to set the course up with three 10-target loops to give competitors chances to take a break, partly as a concession to recent hot weather. A practice area was designated to allow shooters to sight in before competing, and a parking area had to be established.

It sounds like preparation for such an event would be complicated, but Tazza said it was accomplished in one day.

“We’ve accommodated that kind of numbers before,” he said. “We know how to handle it.

“We make sue the courses are set up extremely safe, and all shots are in a safe direction. We try to minimize the walking, because there are some senior classes. The goal is to just make it as enjoyable as possible and I try to make the course a little more competitive.

“I’ve been in archery a long time, and I know how to set a good, challenging course. I put a lot of thought into every target set.”

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