500 Student Archers Compete in State Tourney

Nearly 500 students from 23 schools competed at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) 2012 State Tournament held by the Pennsylvania Game Commission at the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility in University Park, Centre County on March 9.

The top schools in each of the three divisions – elementary, middle school and high school – automatically qualified for the upcoming national championships in Louisville, Kentucky, from May 11-12. In addition, those teams that meet minimum qualifying scores also are eligible.

The first place team in the elementary school division (grades fourth through sixth) was New Castle Christian Academy. The middle school division champions (grades seventh through eighth) were the archers from Montrose Middle School. For the second year in a row, Williams Valley High School won the high school division (grades ninth through twelfth).

Also, 50 individuals who placed first through fifth in the male and female category for each grade level of the elementary division (fourth through sixth) and in the middle and high school divisions also qualified for the national competition.

For a complete list of team and individual results, go to www.nasptournaments.org, scroll down and click on “2012 Pennsylvania NASP State Tournament.”

In mid-2010, the Game Commission began coordinating Pennsylvania’s NASP, which helps school districts in Pennsylvania meet physical education curriculum requirements of the state Department of Education, while at the same time introducing them to the world of competitive archery. Last year, about 350 students from nearly a dozen school districts participated in the state competition, which was volunteer-run at the time.

Studies conducted by the national NASP organization demonstrate that NASP is a great introduction to the sport of archery, and that many students choose to pursue the sport outside of school.

“NASP fosters an interest in archery for these students, and we hope that this expo feature will introduce students to different opportunities to expand their archery experience,” Pedder said. “We want to encourage them to keep shooting and to consider taking the next steps toward 3-D archery tournaments and, eventually, bowhunting, which are natural avenues for archers to hone and maintain their skills.”

Started in Kentucky, in 2002, NASP has spread throughout the United States, and now is reaching around the world. By the end of the 2011-12 school year, nine million students will have gone through NASP lessons in 9,000 schools throughout 47 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Tournaments are held at the state, national and international levels.

To qualify for the National NASP Tournament, which will be held May 11-12, in Louisville, Kentucky, teams must meet the following requirements:

• Teams must be first place in the state tournaments in their division; elementary (fourth through sixth grades), middle (seventh through eighth grades), and high school (ninth through twelfth grades); and

• Teams must have 12 or more archers who participated in the state tournament and meet qualifying scores (qualifying score = sum top 12 archers with at least 4 of the opposite gender) as follows:

o Elementary School qualifying score is 2,800 points;

o Middle School qualifying score is 2,900 points;

o High School qualifying score is 3,000 points;

o The first placing team in each division from every state is qualified regardless of their team score;

o Male and female individuals placing 1st-5th in elementary division or in the middle and high school divisions.

NASP is a joint venture that partners with state education and wildlife management agencies and archery equipment manufacturers and organizations to promote student education, physical education and participation in the lifelong sport of archery. The program’s focus is to provide international-style archery training in physical education classes in grades four through 12.