Editorial Articles (all) 2002/2003

WSG in Korea 07/Sep/03

Review to go here.

BUSA Outdoor Review 24/Jun/03

BUSA Outdoor 2003 was held again in the wonderful setting of Lilleshall NSC near Telford and was hosted by Edinburgh Uni. 148 archers from 23 institutions were there as conditions were good, with a warm day and only a light breeze ever ruffling the trees. The field responded magnificently with a host of records tumbling and indeed a few new ones being created.

Edinburgh won the team prize with a score of 3512, beating their own 2yo record from Imperial (missing Tim Bond) second with 3334 and York third with 3201 a repeat of the indoors top three. Cambridge, who started strongly fell back to finish fourth, 50 points ahead of Oxford who struggled a little without Ben Huckvale. London narrowly finished short of 3000, 100 points ahead of Surrey, themselves 100 points ahead of Bradford. Loughborough were ninth and Exeter, the leading SWWU university on the day, narrowly kept Brunel and Bath out of the top 10.

The gents recurve was a closely fought contest all afternoon. Andrew Callaway (Bournemouth), Matt Nowicki (Edinburgh), Jonathan Paradi (Brunel) and Tim Mundon (Edinburgh) exchanged places swapping some very high scores, but eventually it was compound specialist Mundon who drew away at the death to secure the title with a new BUSA record of 918. Paradi was second on 908 Callaway third on 906, Nowicki fourth on 882. Dominic Rebello (ULU) held on to fifth from Callum MacMillan (Manchester) 874 to 872. David Wilson (Imperial) beat Stuart Dunlop (Napier) 61 golds to 59, the pair having finished on 850. The top 10 was completed by the York pair of Andrew Ash and Tom Duncan. Martin Russell (Edinburgh) was 11th at only his second BUSA competition picking up a team medal and holding off Dave Herbert (Liverpool) by 1 gold.

Without Naomi Folkard and Alison Williamson, the ladies section looked like being a two way fight between Marietta Scott (Manchester) and Lorna Provan (Heriot-Watt). Provan eventually had the edge 914 to Scott's 910. Although these two took the top two slots the gap so evident at the indoors (577 for 4th, 554 for 5th ladies recurve) was much reduced as Karen Atkins (Bath), Claire Brockett (Bradford) and Claudine Jennings (Edinburgh) kept the leaderboard dancing, Jennings taking third right at the end on 884 to Brockett's 882. Atkins faded a little 20 points back but remained well ahead of Antje Frotscher (Oxford) in sixth, Frotscher herself hotly pursued by Laura Borrer Closs (Imperial). Leo Lang (Imperial), Veronica Bray (ULU) and Diana Wood (Cambridge) were eighth, ninth and tenth, separated by only two points.

Shooting compound last year, Tim Mundon shot 104 golds out of 108, a record which looked pretty much impregnable. That is until Alistair Whittingham (Edinburgh) went one gold better with 105, giving 966 points out of 972, dropping one red in each dozen at 80 yards - a BUSA and All Unis record. As the competition developed [corr.], gents compound became a race for second place, "won" by Tim Keppie (Edinburgh) with 954. Matt Price (Nottingham Trent) and Rich Wilkins (Loughborough), both going to Korea in August for the World Student Games could only manage third and fourth respectively. Ladies Compound was won comfortably by Claire Davy (Bath) and despite missing, Hazel Weston (Surrey) held off Sara Pelham (Edinburgh) for second by a single point.

Amongst the novices too, scoring was impressive. Barry Cottrell (Surrey), 15th gent overall, easily won the gents section with 806, David Leong (Nottingham) in second on 721, 40 points clear of third placed Rui Soeiro (Imperial). John Bengtsson (Edinburgh) was fourth. The novice ladies was very close with Becky Gridley (Edinburgh) and Eloise Fowler (Imperial) trading blow for blow. In the end Emma Downie (Edinburgh) stole past them both to take first place (13th overall) with 767, Fowler on 766 and Gridley on 762. Edinburgh won noivce team with a a new BUSA and All Unis record of 2179, Nottingham trailed second on 1843, Loughborough third. Sadly for imperial, they only had a team of two when a third score of only 400 would have given them second novice team. Novice Compounds gents record fell by a mile to Chris Millar (Edinburgh) with 898 and a ladies record was created by Kirsty Sutton (Bradford) with 339 - a remarkable performance in light of injuries which threatened to rule her out of archery for good.

As for other categories, Alistair Wilson (Bangor) maintined his iron grip on the barebow record increasing it to 624. Nick Soucek (Exeter) also smashed the novice record with 385. Kelly Burns created senior and novice ladies barebow record with 336. A special mention also to Matthew Hollister (York) who created longbow record for gents (experienced and novice) with 45. In the Home Nations Scottish Unis narrowly failed to follow up on the EuroNations win as English Unis won 3606-3598. Welsh Unis were third on 2137.

The completed results were out within 25 minutes or the final whistle courtesy of the ACME team now decked out in shades who Made this Archery Competition seem Easy. Also thanks to Lilleshall staff for laying out the field and all the competitors and chief organiser Driver, sorry, Andrew Phillips and those Edinburgh club members who travelled all that distance to help out. The proposed "sore heads to sore heads" mini-tournament on Sunday had to be abandoned because it was far too hot.

Largsing it at the EuroNations 04/Jun/03

The teams (3 gents/3 ladies for recurve 2/2 for compound, naming a max of 4 in any category) for University Home Nations match held under the EuroNations have been confirmed. English Unis line up as follows: David Wilson (Imperial), Jon Paradi (Brunel), Andrew Ash (York), Callum McMillan (Manchester), Mati Lang (London), Marietta Scott (Manchester) and Claire Brockett (Bradford). Scottish Unis line up as follows: Matt Nowicki (captain, Edinburgh), Stuart Dunlop (Napier), Tim Mundon, Martin Russell, Claudine Jennings (all Edinburgh), Lorna Provan (Heriot-Watt), Rebecca Gridley and Emma Downie (both Edinburgh). Scottish Unis have also entered a compound team: Tim Keppie, Alistair Whittingham, Philippa Ascough and Sara Pelham (all Edinburgh).

The shoot is being managed by ACME with Ian McGibbon in overall charge, who will also help run BUSA Outdoors the following weekend. This new mini-event under the EuroNations umbrella injects new life into a loss-making competition and Ian has worked tirelessly to try to make it financially viable. The venue, Largs, in Ayrshire, was pre-ordained and creates its own problems - an international event ought to be held in a major city. Nevertheless this is a excellent opportunity for student archery to impress on a wider stage, both logistically, but more importantly with quality shooting. Although Alison Williamson and Naomi Folkard are both absent, six of the student archers, four at Edinburgh, two at Manchester, (MacMillan, Jennings, Whittingham, Keppie, Ascough for Scotland, Scott for England) are also representing their full national sides.

Oxford's Challenge 20/May/03

Oxford are the BUTTS Champions for 2002/03 and deservedly so. In probably the most competitive regional league they dipped below second only once and recorded four leg victories, one of the most impressive a 99-point win in the Outdoor Portsmouth leg at Cambridge with 2180. Fourth place at BUSA Indoor this year with individual silver from Ben Huckvale was a good performance and as the BUTTS campaign has gone on it has become increasingly clear that the dark blues are one of the country's form sides. Despite losing out to Warwick in the BUTTS novice table, the development of novices, particularly Jakob Heidbrink (almost ever present in the senior side) and Oliver Brown (who broke the All Uni Comps record for Gent Novice Recurve) mean Oxford are more likely to get better next season than be a flash in the pan.

Oxford will have been bitterly disappointed not to have taken the opportunity to end a run of six consecutive defeats in the Varsity Match. It must now serve as a wake up call, just in time for BUSA. Edinburgh and York wrapped up clean sweeps in SUSF and NEUAL with relatively easy victories in their Outdoor Champs at the weekend and with Imperial not in university competition until the big day, this year represents a good time for Oxford to make a mark. It will not be easy, but Oxford are fully capable of stealing some medals away from the three heavyweights.

Blinking into the light 09/May/03

The next two weeks see the three largest regional leagues all in action outside. The final BUTTS round takes place in Cambridge on the 10th, but it is an Outdoor Portsmouth so will give only an approximate idea of the form sides - the Varsity match will examine Oxford's potential for BUSA more carefully. Oxford appear strong favourites to win both the leg and the senior BUTTS League. Warwick have an outside chance of winning but are virtually assured of second place. The novice table is a neck-and-neck three way fight between Oxford, Warwick and Birmingham. Nottingham could still win but require an unlikely series of results.

A week later the SUSF and NEUAL Outdoor Championships will take place at Heriot-Watt and York respectively. Both Edinburgh and York completed a clean sweep of indoor titles this season and Edinburgh especially look likely to win back a title they lost to their city rivals Heriot-Watt last year. York came within 50 points of Edinburgh at BUSA Outdoor in 2002, the narrowest winning margin since the Albion/Windsor format was introduced in 1996. The real battle on this weekend will between these two and will be closely watched by Imperial. The NEUAL champs will also play host to archers from some of the universities that may join the league fully next season including Lancaster.

BUTTS - the closing stages 07/Apr/03

Oxford's comfortable victory in their home BUTTS leg puts them in a commanding position in the BUTTS league table, 4 points clear of Warwick. The lowest league point match is removed, and the score from that match removed from the total. Where a team has two or more joint lowest league point hauls then the match with the lowest actual score is removed. So how does this affect the table. Well, of course we don't yet know which score each uni will have to discard, however Oxford are currently on 26 points and must (so far) discard a 4th, whilst second placed Warwick are on 22, but have a 6th (last) place to discard. Loughborough 3rd on 19 are too far behind. Oxford are effectively on 23 points to Warwick's 21, so to win Warwick must finish either three places above Oxford, or two places above and beat them by at least 124 points. To hold on, conversely Oxford must avoid these fates and look favourites to clinch the BUTTS title at the home of their greatest rivals in May.

The novice table is very close indeed Oxford (23 after 5) are top on aggregate from Warwick (23 after 5) with Birmingham (21 after 5). Even Nottingham (18 after 5) have a mathematical chance of winning. Removing the lowest points total from each uni leaves Oxford on 19, Warwick on 20, Birmingham on 19 and Nottingham on 16. Warwick have a slender advantage, but there are too many permutations to go into at even this late stage.

File names to change 19/Mar/03

As the UKSAA site has been going for a little over two years, inevitably a lot of stuff has built up. Previously I have pretty much kept everything in the top level directory or in the resources subfolder. This is becoming more and more impractical as my filenames become longer in order to be different and informative. I was inspired to action when it was pointed out that some documents could no longer be downloaded to due a naming error, so many new subfolders are being created and filled with content. Any URL's from within the site you have saved in your "Favourites" (perhaps I flatter myself) are vulnerable, but the main address http://uk.geocities.com/studentarchery (/index.html) remains unchanged.

The disruption should be minimal (maybe a few test pages appearing and disappearing) and the site should look very similar at the end of this mini-project - although I may take the opportunity to make a few changes. I would like to ask all of you to be extra vigilant for broken/faulty links at this time and to email in any suggestions you may have, to the usual address.

Uni Success at British 17/Mar/03

University archers distinguished themselves at the British Championships over the weekend. In the compounds, Tim Keppie (Edinburgh) finished 4th gent after qualifying in 6th, eventuallt beaten in SF by runner-up Neil Wakelin. Other qualifiers for the last 32 knockout included, Tim Mundon (Edinburgh) who was knocked out in the 2nd round by eventual winner Simon Tarplee, Richard Wilkins (Loughborough, shooting for Deben) a first round casualty and Alistair Whittingham (Edinburgh) who accounted for 3rd placed qualifier Neil Smith, before losing his QF by a point to clubmate Keppie. Both Claire Davy (Bath) and Sara Pelham (Edinburgh) qualified for the knock-out last 16 in the ladies, but fell in this round to high-ranked opponents. Edinburgh's team of four (Keppie, Mundon, Whittingham, Pelham) won first compound team by nearly 40 points.

As for the recurves, Naomi Folkard (Birmingham, shooting for Dunlop AC) qualified 1st, Lorna Provan (Heriot-Watt) qualified 6th, Marietta Scott (Manchester, shooting for North Cheshire Bowmen) 7th, Laura Borrer-Closs (Imperial), 32nd. Folkard surprisingly fell in round 2, Provan in round 1, Borrer-Closs also round 1, but to Helen Palmer who finished runner-up. Scott also fell to Palmer in the SFs. Gent qualifiers were Matt Nowicki (Edinburgh) 19th, Andrew Callaway (Bournemouth, shooting for Bournemouth AC) 24th, Tim Mundon (Edinburgh) 25th, Jonathan Paradi (Brunel, shooting for Bowmen of Harrow) 27th. Only Mundon got through to round 2, where he too was knocked out, although he did make the last 16 of both recurve and compound.

Whilst not all of the top university archers are actually affiliated to their universities (in some cases due to lack of club) this competition demonstrates the quality of student archery, more so when you consider Naomi Folkard qualified 20th at the World Champs in Nimes. Particular praise must be reserved for Edinburgh's compound team, this year, Tim Keppie, Tim Mundon, Alistair Whittingham and Sara Pelham who successfully defended their team trophy. Full results are available from GNAS site - PDF from Events section.

SUSF Champs Report 11/Mar/03

Edinburgh won SUSF Champs with a massive 2272, second Heriot-Watt second with 2134, third Aberdeen with 2071. Gents recurve was closely contested with Matt Nowicki (Edinburgh) 575 enough to see off clubmate Tim Mundon second with 572. The Edinburgh pair were closely pursued by Vince Tse (Heriot-Watt) 569 in third. Further down the field in fourth, Alistair Whittingham (Edinburgh) scored 560, narrowly holding off Hugh Thompson (Aberdeen) 558 and Stuart Dunlop (Napier) 557. Controversially Simon Laws (Edinburgh) had four arrows scored as misses when a novice made a scoring error and corrected it, without immediately informing a judge. Laws finished on 520/56/22.

Ladies recurve was dominated by Lorna Provan (Heriot-Watt) who shot 577, the same score she finished fourth (yes fourth) at BUSA, to win, breaking Jill Rennie's 4yo SUSF record and trailing the field behind her. Claudine Jennings (Edinburgh) was second on 565, Emma Downie (Edinburgh), a novice, finished third with 531. Gents Compound and Tim Keppie (Edinburgh) shot a magnificent 582, only 1 point short of the SUSF record. David Sewell (Edinburgh) led the distant chasing pack on 555, Ronnie Taylor (RGU) was third on 547. Sara Pelham (Edinburgh) with 553 won Ladies Compound beating Hannah Walton (Edinburgh) who created the SUSF (and All Uni) Novice Ladies Compound record with 495. Amongst the novices there were excellent performances from Jiri Najman (Strathclyde) 9th gent overall and Emma Downie (Edinburgh), 3rd lady overall who both scored 531. Edinburgh won the novice team with 1497, Dundee second with 1253.

How is your team doing? 06/Mar/03

Having extended their lead at the top of BUTTS and with their home leg next, Oxford look favourites to take their first BUTTS title. BUTTS rules mean that the lowest league point score is discarded, which leaves Warwick in with a good chance as they have a last place (1 pt) to discard as against Oxford's worst finish of fourth (3 pts). The SUSF League is only about half-way through, although Edinburgh are in a strong position. Dundee are currently second although the last match Dundee v Aberdeen (no league matches shot yet and no entry at BUSA, but BUTC quarter finalists) v Heriot-Watt is shaping up to be a straight fight for SUSF league places two to four.

In SWWU, only two rounds have been scored (including using BUSA scores) with Bath winning both. Only Southampton have a realistic chance of stopping them. In NEUAL, York are confirmed league champions with Bradford currently second. Durham look likely to take over in second however, needing to score 1927, or simply win their final match.

BUTC Report 02/Mar/03

The first British University Team Championships were in Edinburgh on Saturday 1st March 2003. Twenty-eight sides took part in half-FITA 1 qualification round, before going into a last 32 knock-out round. With 84 individual competitors and a small army of helpers together with most of the usual ACME suspects, there were updates every end as each team shot 9 arrows. In the qualifying as well as the expected performaces Edinburgh (A 1st B 2nd), Imperial (A 3rd, B 4th) and York (A 5th) there were strong performances from Loughborough (A 6th) and Aberdeen (7th) who had been as high as 4th at one point despite not entering a team to BUSA at all. ULU qualified in 8th whilst Cambridge A (9th) finished ahead of Cambridge B (10th). The top 16 was completed by Dundee A, York B, Surrey A, Heriot-Watt A, Dundee B and Durham A.

The knock-out phase of the tournament gave the top four teams byes and saw no real surprises, although in Round 2 it did set up the first of three A v B matches. York A's tactic of 1-3-1-3-1 paid off as they set up an intruiging clash with Imperial B, winners over Surrey. Both Cambridge teams fell in Round 2, A to ULU and B to Aberdeen. Both Edinburgh sides had fairly routine wins over Durham and Dundee B respectively. The quarter final line-up was completed by Loughborough A who beat Dundee A and Imperial A who beat Heriot-Watt A. With three of the eight teams left from the London area, the future for SEAL looks bright.

The quarter finals saw Edinburgh B overcome a spirited Aberdeen side. ULU came close to pulling off an upset against Edinburgh A, but some very fired up shooting saw the hosts narrowly through. Both York and Loughborough fell to Imperial's two teams, particularly fine performances coming from Imperial B's anchorman. In the two semi-finals a growing crowd watched from the balcony as Imperial B matched Edinburgh A after two out of three passes. With all three Edinburgh A archers getting their games together at the crucial moment, however, the Imperial B challenge ended. In the second semi-final Edinburgh B beat Imperial A with really good shooting from the whole team.

The bronze medal match was opened by the Imperial March and very close game, but Imperial B were just unable to hold off their A team by only three points. The final, a local affair, proved to be a round too far and allowed the A team to eke out a steadily increasing lead, until the match was eventually over with an arrow to spare 244-229.

This event had a different look and feel to any other competition at this level and the claim that it was the most exciting event of the year was fully justified - certainly that was the feeling amongst the 70 strong crowd that watched the final matches and given that Ian McGibbon was interviewed briefly on BBC Radio Scotland, this implies that others thought so too. The trophy, medals and even the podium made out of bosses all pointed to the amount of hard work has gone into this project, from Tim Mundon's conception that such a competition could even be viable, through to Andrew Phillips' running of the shoot on the day. Most of the ACME suspects were here too and weere brilliantly supported by a large "field party" whose duties included dismantling the hall as the competition continued. Thanks also to the commentary team Paul Rennie and Dave Spinner and to all the archers who made the journey and those who stayed to ceilidh.

SEAL of approval 26/Feb/03

In one idle moment, very early in 2001, I said that an aim of the UKSAA was to make sure that every (yes, every) university in the UK either competed in, or had the opportunity to compete in a local league. At that stage SUSF and BUTTS meant Scotland and the Midlands were already covered with established competitions. Since then SWWU (2001/02) and NEUAL (2002/03) have covered both the North and South-West of England and although both are undergoing changes in composition this is not unusual in the early life of such competitions.

Now the final piece of the regional jigsaw appears to be falling into place, with Imperial, Brunel, ULU, Surrey and possibly Sussex set to form SEAL (South East Archery League) in 2003/04. Things are still in the developmental stage but the creation of a third regional league in three years would represent remarkable progress and mark the successful completion of one of the UKSAA's biggest aims 1 year ahead of schedule.

BUSA Indoor Review 24/Feb/03

The biggest competition British university archery has ever seen, spread over ten hours, three sessions, three halls and two buildings took place in Birmingham. A total of seven new BUSA scoring records were set (including three All Uni records) - itself probably a record. Edinburgh ran out convincing winners with a combined team score of 2269, missing out on Loughborough's 1998 record by only 1 point, team comprising three of the top four gents Tim Mundon (579), Alistair Whittingham (569), Matt Nowicki (567) and Claudine Jennings (554). Martin Russell, Edinburgh's fifth score missed out on a team place on X's. The winning margin of 85 points is the biggest recorded at BUSA Indoors since 1984. In second place were Imperial with 2184, third were NEUAL champions York with 2155, for whom Andrew Ash set off like a train (236/240, matching Alison Williamson after two dozen) but fell back dramatically.

Gents recurve was dominated by Edinburgh archers with Tim Mundon winning with 579, the same score he finised second with in 1996. Alistair Whittingham finished third, as he did 1993, with 569. Matt Nowicki, shooting in the final session, narrowly missed out on a medal with 567. Benedict Huckvale from Oxford, broke the Edinburgh hegemony finishing second. However the real headlines were made, perhaps inevitably in ladies recurve. Naomi Folkard (hosts, Birmingham) exactly tied the old BUSA record with 583, closely pursued by Lorna Provan (Heriot-Watt) 577. However in the third session, Marietta Scott (Manchester) stole what turned out to be third place with a magnificent 580. Marietta is also set to revive Mancester as a club next year. Treble Olympian and UKSAA Interviewee Alison Williamson (South Bank) cruised past even these scores with a towering 593 - breaking Jo Franks' 14 year old record (the oldest in the book) by 10 points and incidentally equalling Tim Mundon's (then Cardiff) 1998 BUSA Gents Compound record. Just to emphasize the quality of the ladies, in a combined field, first gent recurve would have failed to win a medal of any colour and Lorna Provan's 577 is without doubt the highest score ever to have not won a medal.

Not to be outdone, the novices broke all three of their records. In the ladies Becky Gridley (Edinburgh) notched a tremendous 538, despite a relatively disappointing finsh and in the gents Philip Li (Loughborough) scored 531 [corr.]. Both Imperial and Nottingham exceded 1500, which any other year might have been enough to win. The Edinburgh novices Becky Gridley, Emma Downie second novice lady with 522 and John Bengtsson 504, despite equipment difficulties scored 1564 to beat the record already held by Edinburgh, set two years ago.

The compound field, already reduced by Tim Mundon (now the first person to have held both Compound and Recurve individual BUSA titles) and Alistair Whittingham shooting recurve losta third Edinburgh compound David Sewell. Sewell had repeated equipment problems but a 116 opening dozen put him in a commanding position, before a stretching string forced him to retire. In the event, the leading four gents compound were separated by only two points. Richard Wilkins (Loughborough) struggled with the dark halls - as did all the compounds - to win with 566, Tim Keppie (Edinburgh) was second with 565. Mike Ampstead (Surrey) and Chris Millar (Edinburgh) were tied third on 564. Remarkably, Millar is a novice and smashed the novice compound record by 39 points. Claire Davy (Bath) won Ladies Compound. Both the Gents and Ladies barebow records were broken. Alistair Wilson (Bangor) improved his own record to 536 whilst novice Laura Tandela (Edinburgh) having only very recently taken up barebow, won with 428.

In order to create and maintain such a large scale event as this, there are various people mostly too numerous to go through and thank individually: the small army of judges, the ACME squad led by Ian McGibbon, all the Birmingham archers (and some co-opted Imperial archers too), the Lord Paramount and chief organiser both of BUTTS League and this tournament, Ed Rial. All in all a great event. Those that stayed for the party had a fab and possibly fresh night out too.

Birmingham get third hall 18/Feb/03

Ed Rial has succeeded in getting a third hall for BUSA Indoor Champs, which means that ALL archers on the reserve list will be able to shoot, as well as Warwick whose forms were mislaid by their Athletic Union. With the addition of Warwick, the total of 289 entries will surely nudge almost all the way to 300, which would be a magnificent total - especially when you consider 2 of them will have world rankings. This is a tremendous show of strength from the UK's university archery clubs and the sort of thing I am delighted to be reporting about. I will be attending in some sort of scoring/organisational capacity and I am looking forward to a very busy day indeed.

York win NEU Champs. 11/Feb/03

York were the winners at the very first NEU Indoor Championships took place on 8th Feb at Bradford with 2126. Hosts Bradford were second with 1982, Durham third with 1964. Whilst the field was relatively small (under 50, mainly due to the absence of Leeds and Sheffield) the competition ran very well, particularly given the hall had to be dismantled to accommodate a basketball game over lunch - the effect of the enforced date change. Interestingly, despite having to buy all the trophies and medals new and despite charging a paltry 3 entry fee, the shoot ran at a considerable profit - all credit [sorry] to Claire Brockett (Bradford). Perhaps other oragnisers should take note.

The morning session was dominated by York and Bradford, with only Jared Thornton (Newcastle) the only other competitor. Thornton was edged into second place gents recurve by Andrew Ash (York) who scored 554. James Wickens (York) just edged teammate Michael Ward 531 to 529 for individual bronze. Sally Metcalf (Bradford) narrowly missed her PB to lead the small ladies field in the morning. In the afternoon there were no changes to the gents leaderboard, but Claire Brockett easily topped the ladies leaderboard scoring 27 golds in her 546. Top novices were Michael Lorenz (York) with 483 and Christine Locock (Durham) with 485, York also winning novice team from Northumbria then Bradford. There were only 2 compounds and Michael Ward won the battle of the York double-bowers against Tom "Shirt" Duncan with a respectable 542, although Richard Wilkins (Loughborough) notched 577 in the BUTTS leg catching the eye a fortnight before BUSA. Guests Edinburgh although not fielding a full strength side finished 2nd "open" team, with Tim Mundon (568) 1st and Andrew Phillips (534) 4th open gent recurves.

My personal thanks are due to the organisers Bradford in particular Claire Brockett who was a star and put me up for the weekend, also to Bob Bonwick, Sally Metcalf, Claire's housemate Megan and all the helpers. Results in full are available from the NEUAL page.

BUSA stump up the cash. 31/Jan/03

After last year's record breaking year - 231 competitors at BUSA Indoors 2002 in Edinburgh, Birmingham could have been forgiven for having two halls with a maximum capacity of 240. Indeed Ed Rial (whose interview will be published on Mon 03/Feb/03) noted in his email to me he was a little disappointed with the entry of 188 - until he realised that was 188 gents. The total entry of 289 [corr.] would have meant some clubs losing places due to the lack of space, until happily Marie down in London agreed to provide the extra money required for the hiring of a third hall. Let's hope Birmingham can get the hall booked and secure another judge.

Yes that's right, a third hall. It might make the competition a little more stressful to host and stretch Birmingham's organisers to the limit but no archer (hopefully) will be turned away and with a field nearing 300 that will be some achievement. The third hall will use "club" bosses and be mainly for novices, but a such short notice getting the hall at all is good news. Significantly, there are (exactly) 100 novices entered - surely a record and also a Very Good Thing. It implies attendance records at the BUSAs are unlikely to gather dust for long.

Easy for Edinburgh as Watt struggle. 28/Jan/03

With their four opponents so far failing to muster a score of 2000 between them, Edinburgh could be excused for taking things easy. Almost identical scores (2249 and 2250) have yielded big wins and with Heriot-Watt and St Andrews both rebuilding, Edinburgh are massive favourites to regain the three SUSF titles they lost last season. Edinburgh are helped by senior compound archers Tim Mundon and Alistair Whittingham donning recurves and doing well, but have had at least 5 archers over 550 on each occasion. The IUPL for Dec/Jan will reveal to what extent this strength in depth can be matched by other universities. Birmingham, Imperial and Southampton, who have produced the best novices from the English unis of the last few years will note Edinburgh's four novices shot a formidable combined score of precisely 1950 (team of 3 - 1475).

Failing to clear 2000, that most basic hurdle of the competitive university club, will be a big blow to Heriot-Watt and is about their worst single display in the past five years. The SUSF Outdoor Champions have a lot of work to do, despite the excellent SUSF debut of Lorna Provan whose 566 was the second highest score of the day.

Two bows are better than one (Rule 304k). 22/Jan/03

If we had a clean slate (which quite clearly we don't), it seems unlikely those wishing to compete in the various disciplines of this fine sport would be prevented from doing so by its own governing body. The BUSA Champs (and by extension all university competitions) follow as closely as possible to GNAS rules, except for timing and dress regulations. The problem with these exceptions is that they invite other exceptions. How far should the BUSA Champs deviate from GNAS rules - not an easy question. For example, Rob Neal (ULU) [corr.] had an arrow value disallowed indoors in 2002 for taking too long. It was (jokingly) suggested that all archers from a certain university would shoot 2 disciplines, recurve and either compound or longbow. GNAS would not like it - but BUSA Champs are not GNAS shoots and receive no backing from GNAS. Enforcement of such rules at BUSA Champs tends to rely on local organisers and as such is variable.

Of course shooting 2 disciplines is easy in 2 sessions - how about in 1 session? It would be pretty tiring, but if an archer is willing to do so, it is considerably fewer arrows than say an Outdoor FITA. Other difficulites do exist but are numerous but smaller and eminently surmountable. Archers should be allowed to compete in as many disciplines as there is space for and also be allowed to claim any resultant prizes (including hidden score prizes).

Let's go back to the British Champs Recurve Final of 2000, between world top 10 compound Michael Peart and Norwegian (then Edinburgh Uni AC member) Atle Wold. Should we disallow Wold for holding the wrong passport and Peart for holding the wrong bow? Consider the following cases. An archer finishes first in both Recurve and Compound divisions. Should we ask the archer to choose between his titles? Also consider an archer whose recurve score although not good enough for an individual medal takes the university team to victory, but whose compound score wins individual gold. Are we going to ask the archer to choose between team and self? Let's hope not. As long as safety is not compromised let's add 304k to the list of GNAS regulations the BUSA Champs politely decline to enforce.

Ask a SUSF Novice. 07/Jan/03

During the SUSF Novice Championships a short questionnaire was handed out [unfortunately I couldn't attend in person] for any that wanted to complete. I received a total of 10 responses - a sign perhaps that novices would mainly like to shoot arrows. Almost all were generally speaking happy with how they were being coached although satsifaction levels were univeristy-specific. All intended to pursue archery beyond their novice year, although a few did link continuing with good performances.

Clubs were welcomed in the approaches to get novices attending, but reminded that the social side is probably even more important especially in the first few weeks of university life - a chaotic time of life for everyone. Pleasingly, senior archers were perceived as friendly and helpful, both in university and open competitions. A more even spread of competitions was cautiously welcomed too.

There was no consistent viewpoint as to whether archery had an image problem or not. Inevitably Robin Hood, the character and the film has had an influence, but the popularity of archery has undoubtedly been boosted by its appearances in such films as Gladiator ("Unleash hell") and Lord of the Rings and even the Granny in the Sopranos advert ("Unleash your bada-bing"). Similarly, as reported on BBC News, fencing clubs have reported sharp growth following Die Another Day's fencing sequences. All archery clubs must be ready to capitalise on such events.

BUTTS the league to watch. 30/Dec/02

At the turn of the year, Edinburgh, Bath and York sit on top of their respective leagues, much to no-one's surprise. Edinburgh top SUSF after only one match has been played. Bath disappointed a little with their opening SWWU win but were well clear of the field. York would hope to be top having played an extra match(es) - they won their last match by a cool 660 points.

The most interesting table by far, however is BUTTS - already sharply divided into two. In the top half, Loughborough, (third [corr.] in ELeague Division 1) have returned to strength and lied third, a point behind the Oxbridge Old Firm. Oxford finished nine points behind bottom of the table Birmingham to come fourth in the second BUTTS leg, and thus lag behind Cambridge on points aggregate by only seven. Cambridge top the table without having recorded a leg victory. In the bottom half, Warwick are fourth ahead of Nottingham and Birmingham who are separated by points aggregate. Birmingham are last despite third place at the second BUTTS leg and their novice team sweeping all aside with two wins from two. No predictions from me yet anyway, but BUTTS 2002/03 is already shaping up to be a classic competition.

Calendar in chaos as BUSA date announced. 05/Dec/02

Congratulations to Birmingham for being selected to host BUSA Indoor Championships 2003. They face a tough task to host the second biggest indoor tournament in the UK, and especially as there are under 80 days to go to the day itself - enough time for Phileas Fogg. Leaving the decision so late means that the date that has been chosen clashes with other events. Namely, the SUSF League Match between Aberdeen Edinburgh and RGU, as well as the Oxford BUTTS Round as well as the NEUAL Indoor Championships. No less than 16 universities were scheduled to be competing that day, and now alternative dates are required be found - unless they can be run concurrently with BUSA.

There is no doubt BUSA Indoor Championship is the premier university competition in the UK and all other competitions that weekend will make way. Therefore if the BUSA dates were known in advance other competitions could have been organised around it and we would not have the congestion we have now. Another loser from the fixture re-arrangement may the BUTC. Already scheduled for the 1st March, universities in the South of England (notably Bath, the Londons, Cambridge) may be constrained by their budgets to only attend one faraway competition in such a short space of time and unfortunately that means BUTC may lose out.

With no hosts yet confirmed for BUSA Outdoor 2003, it is imperative that BUSA act now, by deciding on the hosts for Outdoors 2003 ASAP and bringing forward and publicising the deadlines for applications to host BUSA Indoor and Outdoor 2004 in time for the beginning of the 2003/04 season. Maybe this is a job for the SMG.

Edinburgh's IUPL/SUSF warning to rivals. 25/Nov/02

Edinburgh's first round win (by the enormous margin of 94 points) in the IUPL sends out a chilling warning to their rivals. Neither Heriot-Watt, nor Bath had teams entered and this is still very early in the season, but Imperial, Cambridge, Oxford were all swept aside. Even in an IUPL context, 2272 is a very large score. Whilst Cambridge may be the BUSA Indoor holders, Edinburgh have emerged as early season favourites for a title they have not won since 2000 [corr.].

Edinburgh also cruised to victory in their opening SUSF League match by 280 points over Dundee. St Andrews were third, the Fife team seemingly having collapsed after last season's highs.

Oxford and York enjoy perfect start. 11/Nov/02

The first ever NEUAL match took place at Durham between the hosts, York and Bradford. York emerged victorious in a close match with 1981 over Durham's 1951 and Bradford's 1940. The novice teams finished in the same order. Despite the problems surrounding Newcastle, the first NEUAL match was an important reminder of a much more enjoyable topic of discussion - competitive bows and arrows. Oxford took the opening BUTTS match with 2083, edging out hosts Warwick by 6 points. Cambridge were 3rd, but scored only 2001 - the most sizeable dark blue triumph for some time. Nottingham were 4th, followed by Loughborough then Birmingham. All six BUTTS universities exceded 1900 as indeed did the three NEUAL universities. In Scotland the league match between Strathclyde, St Andrews and Aberdeen was postponed, otherwise no less than 12 univerisities would have competing on Saturday.

York will be pleased to have opened with maximum points despite a below par performance. Oxford will be delighted not only with maximum points, but a big win (82 points) over their bitterest rivals and the good performance of Warwick is also to be noted. Cambridge have held sway in the varisty matches in recent years, but an average team score of almost exactly 500 casts considerable doubt on their ability to retain the BUSA Indoor crown. Indeed of all nine universities, none managed to exceed 2100 all of which makes interesting viewing for Heriot-Watt, Bath and Edinburgh.

WSG Qualifying Scores 06/Nov/02

The qualifying scores have been announced and can be downloaded from the Resources Section of this site. Although the selection process is not yet clear as although archery has yet been confirmed as a sport at these games, to be held in Daegu, South Korea in July 2003, BUSA has not yet decided how much of a team to take. It is to be hoped that this is cleared up as soon as possible. Still, at least the scores are out, 8 months in advance. However, before we fall ourselves with praise, it took BUSA 12 months to appoint team manager as the application dealine was November 2001. If that had been conformed say by March (6 months - hardly unreasonable) then those interested would have had this information in time for the 2001 Outdoor season. Still at least the numbers themselves have met with approval.

This article was substantially re-written 07/Nov/02 due to new information.

BUTC Website Launched 30/Oct/02

BUTC 2003 Website has been launched. It is accessible through the Edinburgh website (although is separate from it), or through the BUTC '03 page on this site, or directly at this URL: http://www.ed.ac.uk/~archery/butc/index.html As they say it's Probably the most exciting archery event of the year. The site looks very professional and has all the info you could possibly need - eventually including downloadable entry forms.

Stirling in, Newcastle out. 24/Oct/02

As Stirling Uni AC prepares to roar back into life, the extinction of Newcastle Uni AC is a sobering wake up call to everyone. Having agreed to take part in the inaugural NE League the disappearance of Newcastle leaves the NEUAL Organiser Michael Ward with a problem he cannot have been expecting. In my interview with Michael, to be pubished on 1st November, he gives some excellent advice on guiding principles for interaction with your Sports Union, seeing both sides of the coin as York AU Treasurer.

Newcastle boast (or should that be boasted) names such as 2000 BUSA Indoor champion, Isla Lillie (by a quirk, also ex-Stirling), as well as Jared Thornton and Matt Nowicki amongst its recent alumni. It is therefore surprising that they should have closed so quickly. Archery clubs, as all small uni sports clubs are subject to high-turnover, variable memberships of course, but closure? I have spoken to a few ex-Newcastle archers and the stories they tell are of deliberate obstruction and a nightmarish attitude from their Athletic Union.

Newcastle bid for BUSA Indoors 2001, but at the last minute, AU support for the bid was withdrawn. The AU claimed that they did not have suitable facilities for all the competitors, despite charging about 300 for use of the hall and the bid comfortably meeting all BUSA's requirements. They also said that if anything went wrong with the tournament, it would reflect poorly on the university - not a very positive attitude. The tournament was subsequently held in neighbouring Northumbria with help from Newcastle's archers. It is common practice that if any club's membership falls below a minimum number, that club will be dissolved. Less common is having an AU official view each practice session and then count the numbes attending that, rather simply counting those who part with their membership money.

As she was an elite athlete, as long as Isla Lillie attended the club, it was nearly impossible to close it down. However, in 2001 when Isla and Matt Nowicki both left and Jared Thornton, deep in post-graduate study, did not have time to run the club, the Sports Union appear to have seized their chance. With an inexperienced committee, the club lasted only 1 year. This attitude appears to have extended toward all smaller sports clubs at Newcastle, as Michael Ward (York) noted in his email to me: "...it's unfortunate, but their [Newcastle Uni's] AU probably decided that giving football some gold plated match balls was more important."

All the equipment will now revert to the ownership of the Sports Union, who, assuming they do not sell it, will store it until someone else wishes to run the gauntlet of restarting Newcastle University Archery Club. Let's hope they do and let's all learn what we can from this.

Knocking Heads Together. 09/Oct/02

The first truly nationwide competition since the BUSA Champs. has now seen the light of day. The new competition is the British University Team Champs. The driving force behind it is Edinburgh captain, double FISU individual silver medallist and past UKSAA interviewee Tim Mundon and is scheduled for Edinbirgh in early March. As yet the details are still to be finalised and input from any source is welcome.

Is this competition a good idea? Haven't we already got enough competitions crowding the calendar, with the advent of SWWU and NEUAL? Is it simply undermining the BUSA Champs? This competition was created by the archers for the love of competing and as such it deserves to succeed and flourish. As for undermining BUSA Champs, the idea of head to head competition is hardly new to archery. The best analogy from another sport is golf. No-one doubts the pedegree of the 4 (stroke-play) majors, but the (match-play) Ryder Cup is a very special event. To suggest that the BUSA Champs. would be downgraded by this tournament is laughable - if anything they would be augmented. Regional league matches already have a hint of a head-to-head about them, just not to this extent. The round for the H2H Uni Team Champs would be a FITA 18 team round. This was the round used in Thailand and is an international standard, which can only be a good thing because another Portsmouth or even FITA 18 would simply be a waste of everyone's time.

The UKSAA will be reporting from every stage of this new competition, from its beginnings now, onto the build-up as well as basic results out the following day and in full soon after. Let's hope this idea is a winner.

The season ahead. 12/Sep/02

2002/03 promises to be a ground breaking season in many respects. The biggest change on a local level last year was the start of the SWWU League, championed by the UKSAA and won by Bath. A new year, a new league in the North of England that includes Bradford, Durham, Leeds, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sheffield and York - results will appear here. Two years ago only SUSF and BUTTS existed. Now, no less than 25 universities will be in regular local competition. That's tremendous progress - remember in early 2001, a stated aim of the UKSAA was to ensure every university with an archery club should compete in (or have the option to compete in) a local league. Only half-way to 2005 and we're most of the way there.

Nationally, the hosts of BUSA Indoors and Outdoors are still unknown (by me anyway) although the Outdoors seems certain to stay in its magnificent adopted home (since 2000), Lilleshall. In fact all BUSA Outdoor records have been broken in those 2 championships. Beyond these shores in July 2003, archery will have made the progression from FISU Champs to fully-fledged World Student Games Sport. Where will archery make such an entrance? In Korea, naturally. The British University Games will be held in Edinburgh in April 2003 and although archery was asked to appear as a guest sport, BUSA lack of a sponsor means archery will no longer be represented here. There seems to be a concensus that we would like to try something new, so watch this space.

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