Kentucky Sanctions Archery for High Schools

High-school archers in the bluegrass state hope to soon join teams that compete in events sanctioned by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA).

If you’re like many archery enthusiasts, you may have had a thought that goes something like this: “Man, how cool would it be if archery were like baseball or basketball, readily available and considered a totally legit sport?” If you’re anywhere near this line of thinking, the news out of Kentucky is a big deal. Not just for Kentucky, but for everybody.

“This is a major consideration by Kentucky,” said Jennifer Mazur, the Archery Trade Association’s coordinator of archery and bowhunting programs. “It’s a milestone achievement for the state that’s the birthplace of the National Archery in the Schools Program.”

Earlier this year, the KHSAA also sanctioned bowling and bass fishing as varsity sports for the state’s 220 public high schools, hoping to attract more student athletes into organized sporting activities.

Mazur thinks the decision will help motivate young archers to take up archery earlier and make it a bigger part of their lives.

“Should archery become a high-school sport, it should expand all forms of archery across Kentucky, whether the students are bowhunters, target archers, field archers or JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) competitors,” Mazur said. “We hope this will help pull more kids into leagues, archery clubs and advanced classes.”

Mazur hopes other state high-school athletic associations will follow Kentucky’s lead. “Kentucky is taking archery to another level,” Mazur said. “It’s planting the seed that youngsters can be competitive archers in high school, college and even the Olympics.”