I’ve already entered several NFAS competitions this year with varying results, but so far haven’t completed any EFAA rounds. Given that we’re off to France in June to compete in the European Bow Hunter Championships and the fact that there seems to be some confusion as to whether a classification shoot is required, I decided to do the Artemis Archers field round yesterday.
For those of you that haven’t shot EFAA rounds before, it’s a completely different discipline to NFAS field shooting. An NFAS course would typically consist of 36 or 40 targets, where as an EFAA course consists of 28 targets. Another major difference is that all EFAA courses for a particular round are the same. If you shoot a field round at any EFAA club in England, the round will be made up of exactly the same distance shots and same size target face. This means you can directly compare your scores from course to course.
The other massive difference is the number of arrows you shoot. As the NFAS have almost abandoned all of the official rounds other than Big Game, I usually shoot around 50 arrows on a typical shoot (you shoot each target until you hit it up to a maximum of 3 arrows). When you shoot an EFAA field round, you shoot 4 arrows at every target. This means by the end of the round you’ve shot 112 arrows.
EFAA rounds are great for finding problems with form or distances if you “gap” shoot. For me, yesterday highlighted quite a few problems. The main one being how unused I am to shooting distances over 40 yards. NFAS course setters very rarely put more than 1 or 2 shots out at more than 40 yards. EFAA courses have approximate 60% of the shots at 40 yards or longer.
On the whole I shot pretty poorly yesterday. I know in myself that I am capable of much more than I achieved yesterday. The two positives I took away from yesterday were that my shooting was straight for the most part. My line was almost perfect. The other that is I know for definite that I really need to practice my 40-80 yard shots and get some consistent gaps working before EBHC.
I also missed out on an A classification by 14 points. I’m hoping to get another EFAA classification shoot in prior to the EBHC competition but one thing is for sure, practice needs to move up a gear between now and June.