ND 4H archery

The Ward County archery team of (from left) Kaden Korgel, Tate Novodvorsky and Ethan Myers competes at the Minot Northwest District match.

Youth interested in archery can start signing up for the 2019 North Dakota 4-H archery competition circuit.

The North Dakota State University Extension Center for 4-H Youth Development’s 4-H shooting sports program started the district circuit in the winter of 2014 after 4-H archers asked to do more than just practice.

The first match of the six-district circuit kicks off in Jan. 12 at the Nishu Bowmen Archery Complex in Bismarck, N.D. Watford City, Minot, Cando, West Fargo and Edgeley host the other North Dakota circuit events.

The archery event consists of three age divisions for youth from 8 to 18 years old. Youth can participate in two bow divisions: freestyle unlimited and bare bow.

Here is a breakdown of what’s required in each division:

• Beginner, junior and senior bare bow — shoot six ends (rounds) of five arrows at an 80-centimeter (cm) target at 15 yards for a maximum score of 300.

• Freestyle beginners and juniors — shoot six ends of five arrows at a 40-cm target for a maximum score of 150.

• Senior freestyle — shoot 12 ends of five arrows at a single bull target at 20 yards for a score of 300.

Youth can participate in just one match or compete in more matches to qualify for the indoor championship in April.

The dates and locations for the other district matches are:

• Jan. 26 — Watford City, Roughrider Events Center.

• Feb. 2 — Minot, North Dakota State Fairgrounds.

• Feb. 23 — Cando, Extension office for Towner County.

• March 9 — West Fargo, Red River Valley Fairgrounds.

• March 30 — Edgeley, National Guard Armory.

The 2019 4-H State Indoor Championship will be on April 13 at the Nishu Bowmen Archery Complex. Archers must participate in two or more matches to score the points needed to compete in the championship.

The cost is $15 per match. Visit the 4-H website (http://www.ndsu.edu/4h/) to register.

“The North Dakota 4-H shooting sports program helps youth gain skills in goal setting and problem solving, as well as safe handling of shooting sports equipment,” says Adrian Biewer, the 4-H youth development specialist in NDSU Extension’s Center for 4-H Youth Development who oversees the shooting sports program. “Youth also gain confidence and new friends through participation.”

The circuit is popular and continues to grow. In 2014, it had 84 participants in the first match.

“We are fast outgrowing some of our match locations,” Biewer says. “Our 2018 state indoor championship attendance was over 200, with many youth competing in both bow divisions.”

He reports that parents like the circuit. One family says a match is a fun weekend activity and uses the trip to a match as a mini-vacation. Another parent likes archery because it isn’t like other sports; youth who attend get to play, rather than sitting on the bench, waiting to see if the coach will let them play.

Scheels is a sponsor of 4-H North Dakota Shooting Sports through the North Dakota 4-H Foundation.

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