Authors: Emily and Chris Bee
From the outside looking in, do you know what goes on at The Vegas Shoot? Out of all the tournaments that are held around the world, the quality and prestige is unmatched. We wanted to pick apart what exactly makes The Vegas Shoot so unique and a twist for this year, NFAA celebrates their 50th year hosting The Vegas Shoot.
This past summer we both sat in a classroom at the NFAA headquarters listening intently as George Ryals IV gave a seminar. He began describing Vegas: the crazy carpet, the huge arena, the casino setting, and all the vendors you could possibly imagine… before you knew it, our hearts were racing and our palms were sweaty. The hype for the tournament had begun.
This year NFAA launched a social media campaign using #Countdown2Vegas, highlighting Pro Archers and anyone who started their countdown for the shoot. Everyday, we were reminded of the countdown to Vegas, and no time could be wasted at the range. For the both of us, anxiety grew as the numbers drew towards zero.
On the Road
The Vegas shoot is a World Tournament which allows any archer to compete. Because of that, planes, trains and long car rides are on the agenda to attend the shoot. For the two of us, Detroit to Las Vegas is close to a four-hour flight. Packing archery gear into a bow case and shipping it across the country can be a scary thing to do!
The Vegas Shoot (practice, elevators, vendors, friends, casino)
The shoot is hosted at South Point Casino and Hotel, located only a few miles from the strip. Once you check in you are quickly engulfed in the archery atmosphere. It is not every day you see a guy walking with a bow case right next to a black jack table. The locals and tourists are always curious and typically ask questions like, “Have you seen the latest Hunger Games?”
After a long day of practice, we stuck around and participated in “Practice with the Pros.” It was a great feeling to give back because we were once in their shoes dreaming to become a Professional Archer. We were excited to encourage these young archers to follow their dreams; they are the future of archery.
Tips and Tricks
- Do not go cheap on a bow case when dealing with air lines. Spending the extra money and finding a reliable and durable case will increase the odds of your bow showing up in one piece.
- Elevator lines are long! Make sure to give yourself some time when you head down to shoot.
- Practice on the bail you compete at.
- Talk with the vendors, make connections! It’s who you know, not what you know.
- Make sure you have a shake from Steak N Shake…. Or two.
- Don’t miss the 900 Shoot Off! Supporting the sport is what will make it grow.
- Talk to your heroes! DON’T BE AFRAID. They are just like you.
- Have FUN. Cause in the end, that’s all that matters.
After all the arrows have been shot, and the dust settles, the main event begins. Each year competition rises and the stands overflow with new faces. This year, being the 50th anniversary, the shoot off stage was extra spectacular. NFAA does an exceptional job with presentation, not only do they highlight the Pros, but they include the Junior Championship division in the excitement. The both of us were able to join them in the arena capturing faces filled with enthusiasm and anticipation.
With the added excitement of the 50th anniversary nerves showed greatly in the scores of the pros. Five shooters were able to clean the perfect 900, and the Lucky Dog was able to squeeze into the shoot off. With there being so few competitors the shoot off was short and sweet, but unexpected. After one end the Lucky Dog, Sergio Pagni, won the Vegas Shoot. In the excitement he disappeared while we watched everyone continue to shoot. At the end there was a special celebration, out came Sergio behind a white horse into the spotlight. Fireworks and confetti filled the arena as we celebrated The Vegas Shoot’s winner, the Lucky Dog, and the 50th anniversary.
Now, the countdown begins. #VegasShoot2017 #Countdown2Vegas
Meet the Authors
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