What’s the most valuable shot you can make in archery?
Well, the perfect spider killer in a head to head shoot-off would be top of the list. Right up there would be the confidence building gold from the first arrow of any round. How about pulling out that unlikely last second high scoring shot that you need to pick up a medal or a badge so giving a warm glow. There’s even the opponent crushing indoor 12 point dot! However all of these and probably all the situations you thought of involve scoring lots of points. I have another suggestion. The humble Line Cutter One.
On the face of it, the line cutter one does not seem like a success. It looks like a total and complete klutz of a shot hanging onto the edge of the face by the grace of a waft from the air conditioning or deflection off airborne pollen. Its damn near a miss and is guaranteed to crush an archers spirit and confidence. But should it?
Lets look at this hypothetical arrow. That ’10 points’ you just lost is in fact only 9. So its not as bad as it looked when it left the bow. Additionally you picked up that point through line cutting making that point even more cherishable – line cutters always feel like a stolen point. It might even have been a gift from a judge and outside of Judge Frank Schallmoser and his boundless sweetie sharing, you know how rare they can be!
These are all valid thoughts but the key here is in the phrase “damn near a miss”. It isn’t a miss, its a scoring arrow. Rule 306(s) Resolution of Ties in the Archery GB Rules of Shooting states that the premiere tiebreaker in an Imperial round is the number of hits. This is a scoring arrow, therefore a hit and is counted as such. You may have just dropped 9 points but there’s no guaranteed loss in a tie breaker situation looming over you. Your opponent might also have a klutz moment but NOT get a scoring arrow! Your line cutter one would give you the advantage in a tie and your hit streak continues. Also take a moment to feel warm and fuzzy that you won’t lose to an arbitrary ruling defined in the Rules of Shooting and thus give no joy or succour to AGB’s evil apostles on earth … aka Judges** who live for these moments!
So cherish that line cutter one … it not as bad as you thought and could have been worse! We could be looking at your arrow in the wood or even in the grass!
Important: During some shoots chocolate is handed out on selected ends for furthest from the gold. Deliberately trade points for chocolate? … unethical, unsportsmanlike but so tempting and yummy!
** It should be noted that there are nice judges in Scottish Archery with a list available from our editor. However as a long time competitive archer, his willingness to bear a grudge and a huge number of line cutters unawarded have combined to make his list shrink to impressively minute dimensions. ;o)