WA CONGRESS MEETS, ERDENER RE-ELECTED
The 54th World Archery Congress met in Yankton, South Dakota, US, on 16-18 September 2021, ahead of the senior World Archery Championships.
Congress is the governing body of the international federation, at which the sport’s rules are set or changed and officers are elected. For the first time, weighted votes were used, rather than each national federation receiving a single vote. The weighting is assessed on each country’s level of international archery activity.
Under a logo nodding to that of the Studio 54 nightclub in New York in the 1970s and ’80s, the current president Dr Ugur Erdener was unanimously re-elected as president of World Archery for a fifth and final term, up to the next Olympic Games in Paris in 2025. “Thank you for your great support and trust in me, once again, and our executive board and our great team,” said Erdener to delegates.
He has served in the role since 2005, as well as being an IOC member and the president of the Turkish Olympic Committee. “Of course, I have a mission, it’s important for me to look towards our bright future. We will continue to discuss new ideas at our congresses and progress, together,” he added.
Delegates voted on a number of changes to the rules during the first day of congress. The meeting was notable for the defeat of several motions proposing change.
The motion to add barebow to the target archery world championships did not pass, receiving only 82 of 191 available votes, a long way short of the two-thirds majority required. The worldwide barebow community reacted angrily to the news on social media.
The proposal for 11-ring scoring for compound archers outdoors also failed to pass.
The related motions of reducing WA qualifying rounds to 60 arrows rather than the current 72, and shrinking the 70m target face from 122cm to 100cm, also didn’t get through; the first received 97 votes, the second was withdrawn at the request of the proposing committee.
One motion that was successful was a proposal to change the official naming of age groups – from cadet, junior and masters to under-18, under-21 and 50-plus – as well as a motion to replace the ‘instinctive’ discipline with a new ‘traditional’ bowstyle. Bow will bring more details of this change in due course.
Another was the removal of para archery’s team event and its replacement with a doubles competition, which will use the same rules as the mixed team but with a pair of athletes of the same gender.
Archers will now also be permitted to shoot indoor rounds outdoors, a change that was proposed after last year’s virtual indoor Archery World Series, which saw athletes compete from home or other safe locations during the worldwide pandemic.
Support was given to a non-binding vote to reduce shooting time during qualifying to 30 seconds per arrow rather than the current 40; this may be introduced at a later date.
Five smaller archery nations were recognised for progress towards gender equality: Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Cote d’ivoire, Namibia and Bolivia. Bahrain, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Yemen were accepted as full members of World Archery, while Suriname was expelled.
Finally, the USA won an award for best results across all categories at all stages of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in the 2021 season.