For some its a financial annoyance because it comes with a cost. For others it used to be a stressful time, till it was delivered there could be no competitions (no card no insurance no shootie). For one member of the committee – the membership secretary – its the busiest time of the year (thanks Catherine) … and for a few obsessive compulsive collector types, its that time of the year they add to their collection.
Nope, its not Bastille Day or Independence Day or even Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you always!) … I am talking about 1st October, the day your Archery GB membership renews and you get a new AGB card.
Back in the day the AGB card wasn’t an AGB card. It was a Grand National Archery Society (GNAS) card that affiliated you to the Federation Internationale de Tir a l’ Arc (FITA) now called World Archery (WA). (Association titles were so much grander and imposing in the past!)
The green art on a white background had gravitas. The logo oozed tradition and lineage. Stickies were stuck on the back of your card (you got one GNAS card – it was a card for life) to show your status and no-one gave them much thought.
Then in 2010 the first AGB card was sent out. To say it was a disappointment would be an understatement. It was a laminated piece of paper, looked pretty cheap and cheesy thus some in the the membership took a major huff. This was probably the biggest bone of contention in archery at this time. Even to the point of taking the edge off the Rule 307 wars.
After listening to the bow armed mob, the 2011 card was much much nicer and significantly more robust. Commemorating the 150th anniversary of GNAS (founded in 1861) this card combined the new AGB logo and the old GNAS one on the front. There were no complaints about this card and everyone went back to bickering about Rule 307. This style continued into 2012, however it was modified in 2013 to pretty much the format/design that we know today.
The only significant change thereafter was the addition of the barcode at bottom front showing the date and your membership number. This was added in 2014. Each card had a different colour patch in the top left under the words Membership Card although for our editors tastes 2013 and 2018 were the same. This annoys him greatly for some reason.
2017/18 saw the introduction of e-cards that could be downloaded to your phone. Now while they are convenient and its a lot harder to forget your phone than it is to forget your AGB card as you rush out to a shoot … they aren’t a physical, tactile thing. Admittedly they did include a pdf of your card in the notification/link to card email. In case, I assume, you have an arts and crafts moment and wanted to make your own card! Personally I hope the e-card never completely replaces that rectangular piece of plasticard … my medal/trophy cabinet needs something to display!
So Happy New Card Day and welcome to another year of archery.
This has probably been more information than you ever wanted to know about the AGB card … but as archers its our duty to keep up our rather nerdy, obsessive compulsiveness about things like AGB cards … nerdy until the zombie apocalypse arrives that is and we get our cool AGB Zombie Hunter cards!