New formats for TV? What about field?
Field archery, with its extra strategic elements, multiple angles, and target variety, could make for interesting TV viewing for the casual armchair sports fan. The finals of the World Field Championships in Cortina, with the dramatic final shot right up the Olympic ski slope, was likely the most interesting broadcast of the sport yet made. Getting usable TV footage of field archery’s usual home – deep inside hilly woodland – is much more difficult, and the handful of televised 3D tournaments have ended up looking a little murky and flat when watched on the box – so far, anyway.
A hybrid of field archery and golf, shot on golf courses, might be a way forward for the sport. ‘Archery golf’ has been around for a while; but follows the latter sport more closely. Essentially, it would involve shooting from mark to mark, a sport that was widely practised in mediaeval England, and requires all-round skill with a bow. Indeed, ‘roving marks’ archery has often been cited as a direct antecedent of golf. If the safety concerns could be allayed and the TV coverage was as spectacular as the Masters at Augusta - would you watch it?