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NFAA Easton Yankton
Archery Complex

800 Archery Lane
Yankton, SD 57078
605-260-9282
info@neyac.org

Hours

Weekdays: 9am - 9pm
Saturday: 10am - 7pm
Sunday: 12pm - 7pm

World's Top Archers Set to Compete

Loet Smit is a newcomer to the Yankton archery scene, but the native South African has seen plenty of other such facilities around the world.

So when he piles on the compliments for the Easton Yankton Archery Complex during his second-ever visit to the United States, the International Field Archery Association (IFAA) president speaks with some authority.

“The complex here is fantastic; one of the best you'll find,” Smit, of Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, said this week, between preparations for the IFAA World Indoor Archery Championship this weekend in Yankton. The first round begins Friday morning at 10 a.m.

“I've never seen one like this where you can shoot this far inside.”

In all, the tournament will feature between 150-200 archers from nearly 10 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.

It also marks the second consecutive weekend that Yankton hosts a prestigious event - the complex hosted two last weekend.

“This tournament is not a huge numbers one, but I'd rather have three smaller tournaments than one large one with 500 people,” said Bruce Cull, the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) president.

The 3-day tournament will feature two lines each day, in which archers shoot 60 arrows per day. A perfect round would be 300 and a perfect weekend would be 900 - not exactly a rare feat, Smit said.

Yankton, which previously hosted the World Bowhunter Championships in 2009, was given the site of this year's tournament as the North American representative.

A new bylaw prevents the World Indoor Championships from being held jointly with the NFAA Nationals, like it was last year in Las Vegas, Cull said. Now, the World Indoors rotates by continent.

“This is better in the long run,” Cull said. “It doesn't put emphasis on one over the other.”

The differences in tournaments between the World Indoors and anything else can also mean a “unique” group, he added.

“The people here are really the best,” Cull said. “These are the archers with deep roots in the sport. They don't fight for big money.”

True to form, there is no big trophy lurking around the complex or giant checks to hand out at an awards ceremony.

Instead, champions will receive a patch that says “World Family of Archers.”

With no prerequisite or necessary score to enter, the World Indoors is truly a come-one-come-all format, Smit said.

“Unlike the Olympics or any of the other national shoots, this is open to anyone,” he said. “There is no pre-qualifying; it's absolutely an open event.”

The United States will boast the highest number of archers, but South Africa will rank a close second with between 25-30 competitors, Smit estimated.

With travel costs ranging as high as $2,500, yes, the action can be competitive.

“They come here to win, not to play around,” Smit said.

With the tournament being held in the United States, those archers from other countries who wouldn't normally see each other relish the chance to interact, he said.

“When we have indoor championships in Europe, you see more countries because they're closer together and the travel isn't a problem,” Smit said. “They all know each other. Here, it's a whole new crowd.”