GA AGM (Covid compatible)

It’s been a little bit of an outstanding issue for us recently, wondering how to hold the 2020 AGM. Had indoors been possible (sorry, still no word), we would have had our hands full setting up procedures/buying screens. However, now the due date is fast approaching, priorities have changed and the AGM now more important.

tmnt

fancy dress agm … or going out crimefighting later?

So, details …. The Glasgow Archers Annual General Meeting will take place on Wednesday, the 18th of November at 19:30pm. This will be our first ever attempt at an online AGM so you may need to bear with us** a little as there are bound to be teething issues. Obviously the big selling point of an online agm is you can attend from the comfort of your own desk, couch, recliner chair or while tucked up in bed fortified with your drinkie of choice. Should make for lively debate but expect to be laughed at if you are wearing your teenage mutant ninja turtles onesie and you have a live camera.

Details of exactly how we will do this will follow as soon as we’ve tested our chosen platform out. Probably by a spirited “full and frank exchange of views” committee meeting and shout at the Vice-chair session (He’ll have done something stooopid by then).

Look out for details on how to join our online AGM sometime in the next couple of weeks and hope to see you there.

** please don’t “bare with us” … that’s probably a breach of the Telecommunications Act 2003!

Check that Kit

As archers we obsess about our form and our scores. Every detail is filmed, analysed, picked over, prodded and worried about until our all our deficiencies are displayed under the harshest of spotlights, laid bare and quivering for all to see!
(bare archer references? <shudder>)
Frequently taken for granted is our kit. We may love our bows but how often is simple maintenance forgotten in the rush to get to the field and get those arrows flying?

x7 damageThis article was inspired by our editor spotting a crack in one of his Easton X7 – 2114 spined aluminum arrows (see pic right). The X7 is about as resilient an arrow as you’ll find. Our editor is fanatical about maintaining his kit but this has been sneaking past him for some time. If it got past him, whats getting past more casual archers and is this something for you to be concerned about?
Well yes, yes it should!

Things to check

Most obvious of all is your string. It takes a brutal beating every single shot. It should be regularly waxed to waterproof it and to bind the strands together. If the string is hairy or feels dry, its time to wax. If any of the strands look worn or have actually snapped, its time to replace the string. Wear on the top/bottom loops should be investigated and if the serving is loose/worn/frayed … you need to be looking at a new string. Central serving wear is less of a problem as this can easily be replaced with a serving jig while the string is on your bow. (see Archery Workshop)

broken nockArrows are also in need of checking on a regular basis. Fletches are obvious when they detach but they should be replaced if damaged or becoming elderly (ie warped/deformed). Nocks need to be examined for damage – cracks or damage from impacts. These can spread the nock making dry fires more likely and a dry fire could kill your bow stone dead. Cracks in the shaft, as discovered above, is another major concern. Arrows breaking as they are shot OR losing the point and then being shot again are rare but possible. Neither arrow will be predictable in their flight and rogue arrows are not something we want. Damaged carbon arrows are hazardous to your health due to possible carbon splinters and require to be binned if found to be damaged. So check those arrows.

Finally the bow itself. Unless its a traditional bow, there are going to be a myriad of screws that could come loose. Odd rattles on your bow or sounding “not right” on a release are good indications something is loose. Sights are notorious for things vibrating loose even on well suppressed bows. Check things are tight. DO NOT crank them tight with all the force at your disposal as trying to get them out later might result in you stripping the screw head and then that puppy is NEVER coming out. Instead, they should be finger tight. If something needs to go in and stay in for a long time, then a threadlocking liquid can be used to make sure it doesn’t come loose any time soon.

delamination

Not catastrophic but a de-lamination never the less.

Limbs should be checked for cracks. Longbows/selfbows are extremely susceptible to simply failing (watch the first 10 seconds of this video for 3 spectacular examples) and early signs like cracks needs to be checked for. Modern laminate limbs are very unlikely to let go but it does happen. To my knowledge in the last 12 years only one set of limbs at Glasgow Archers has been sent back to the supplier due to cracks. Yet unpleasantness does happen. At the Scottish Championships a number of years ago, a top limb explosively de-laminated so catastrophically that the field party 100+yards away got a fright from the bang. People on the line were dodging the flying debris! That was on an extremely top end set of limbs so there are no exceptions!

So to sum up … everything related to the act of shooting an arrow is under a lot of stress. Bow, string, arrow and archer. Ideally we don’t want things dropping off, exploding, snapping, breaking, going rogue or losing their temper (well, no more than usual!) so check that kit and do it often.

Badge Night … err … Morning

arrow ferret

knows where your arrows are!

Back when Corona was just a beer, wearing a mask in a bank resulted in a call to the police and someone coughing wasn’t reason for buildings to evacuate … once a month during the indoor season, Glasgow Archers had Badge Night.

Badge Night was a semi formal evening where you got your chance to earn a badge at 20 yards indoors. Details of the round and badge here. It was pretty popular but with no indoor sessions, we don’t have them anymore!

Ah, well, that’s not entirely correct. Yes, we are stuck outdoors. Its true we don’t have evening shooting as its too dark. BUT you do still have the chance to earn the “Badge Night” badges. All you have to do is let us know that you want to shoot a Bray 1 for a badge and we will make it so. You just need to do it outside, on a Saturday or Sunday morning, book in advance and we’ll find some faces! We might even know where the badges are … mibi! ;o)

This is in addition to the longer distance 252 Progression Awards which some GA archers are currently chasing. Its all go badge wise on Saturday and Sunday mornings!

Arrow Ferret: title awarded to archers skilled with metal detector, rake and  sharp eyes in the long long grass. Probably needs its own badge! ;o)

Track those Personal Bests

Ever shot a nice Bray 1** for Badge Night to gain your blue badge but when you went to submit your score you had lost the sheet? Wished for somewhere where all your scores could be accessed by the club? Wanted somewhere other than your phone to keep your personal bests given phones get corrupted and lost and occasionally fall into rivers and toilets? (an ex-boss was a master of this) … well, we have a solution.

archery score pad        https://archeryscorepad.com/

Catherine has set up an account with Archery Score Pad for the club. This is a free online archery score-keeping and performance-tracking scoring software. This will allow you to enter information on any one of 200 rounds and store that information safely. Our group within the software is called Glasgow Archers 1948 (there’s an old account called Glasgow Archers in there but its moribund, just ignore it).

So if you’d like somewhere to store your scores and incidentally make our lives a little easier come Badge Night then to sign up is free and easy, here’s how you can join …

… Just go to the above website and register. Once registered, mouse over GROUPS on the toolbar and click on LOCAL GROUP DIRECTORY. Scroll down till you find the UK and in that you’ll find GLASGOW ARCHERS 1948. Select and that will become your group. Hopefully you’ll recognize the names of some of the groups members.

At present Catherine holds all the group records ……. but not to worry. Records are there to be broken. ;o)

** Badge Night Round: The round you shoot on badge night (30 arrows at 20 yards on a 40cm face) is a Bray 1.

Happy New Card Day

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. 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.

IMG_0758Back 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.

agb 1

Not classy like wot wee’z archers are, innit!

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 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.

better agbAfter 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.

agb todayThe 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! 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!

Dressing for Winter!

20131217-Winter_Practice006[1]

Its either this or brave the winter elements!

Indoor shooting access isn’t going to be considered at Craigholme till October with no decision likely till early November. Even then the chances of being allowed inside look down right nebulous … so we may be outdoors all winter. Now shooting al fresco in the winter is something that not many outside the insanely hardy have experienced. Unless you have shot a Frostbite or even an Ironman (see below for details of these macho rounds), the idea of being outside in winter with your bow is probably going to be more alien to you than some of the residents of Area 51. So what do you need if shootie in the freezing cold is the only way you can get your archery fix?

Clothing

Obviously when the temperature drops you are going to need to stay warm but you cannot just bulk up clothing without it getting in the way of your form and the string. That’s frustrating like you won’t believe. So … here are a few things to wear ensuring you stay warm while shooting but won’t add to your archery woes.

winnie-the-poohA Hat: Here you need a beanie or woolly ski hat. This will keep your ears warm and will retain a great deal of your body heat which is lost through the head. The sillier the better as it keeps the other archers spirits up when they get to see you in a winnie the pooh hat.

Upper body: A long sleeved, cold gear, compression T-shirt like the ones made by UnderArmor are fantastic for retaining warmth. In addition they are skin tight meaning they don’t impede shooting at all. In addition add one or two tight, into the body, normal tops. These multiple layers form heat traps that keep you warm and can be fine tuned with the removal or addition of a layer as required.
A cheaper but perfectly viable alternative to UA is Decathlon ski wear tops (WEDZE) whose products are warm, comfortable and not as expensive. These may only be available online at present depending when you read this. Remember to add extra heat trapping, form fitting layers.
More radically, get a top with heating elements embedded. GA has a member with one of these. You can tell who it is as he steams slightly when its cold plus raining/snowing and unusually this isn’t due to frustration with his archery (GA members: no, its not who you think it is). 

Lined Trousers: Companies like Craghoppers do hiking trousers that are lined so keeping warmth in the lower body. If lined trousers aren’t possible, the alternative is long ski underwear (again see Decathlon’s WEDZE ski kit) and indeed you can have both on for extra warmth. Again its all about layers and heat trapping.

Jacket: You don’t want a thick jacket. This is something else that will get in the way of your form or the string. Think more wind breaker with some water resistance if its snowing or light rain ideally tailored. Soft shell jackets do well here. Alternatively a gillet (a sleeveless jacket resembling a waistcoat) can keep your core warm while allowing free movement of arms and no impediment to the string. See also tubular bandages.
Don’t forget your chest guard will be extremely useful when wearing a jacket and remember to tuck the bow arm side of the collar inside the jacket.

Gloves: A pair of gloves i.e. ski gloves not marigolds, driving or evening wear (although those do come up to the elbow which is useful – see tubular bandage below) are pretty important. If you finish shooting before the last person on the line, get those gloves on before your hands turn into small blocks of ice. Also wear when walking to collect your arrows. Again, Decathlon WEDZE kit is good value.

Socks: You have no idea how much heat can leech through your feet so thick socks are pretty much de rigueur! Along with sturdy footwear obviously.

Accessories

tubular

Totally Tubular Dude!

Tubular Bandage: A great way to gather up any loose clothing ie jacket arms and tuck them out of the way are tubular bandages. They are elasticated tubes so when pulled on over loose clothing, they immediately compress them into a state that they don’t get in the way of the string. One on your bow arm is ideal then your bracer on top. Every archer should have at least one of these cheap but useful items in their kit all the time.

Hand Warmers: These fall into the categories of reusable or chemical. Either do the job. Sticking one in each pocket is a toasty nirvana although just one is fine. Between ends these stop your hands freezing. Believe me shootie is impossible if you can’t feel your string through your tab or in extremes of weather … can’t feel the tab!

A Flask: Ok … its not the flask that’s important, its the Coffee or Tea or Soup or Mulled Wine (remembering drink driving restrictions) in the flask. Honestly, you will look forward to that beverage break every 12 arrows! Just remember toilet facilities are non-existent at present as the pavilion is still off limits.

So there you have it, shooting in the freezing cold is doable. It just takes a little more preparation and a little more resolution on the archers part to get out of that warm bed. Don’t think just because its cold means you have to give up your archery that week. You just prepare a little more thoroughly … and be a little bit mad. ;o)

(note: in winter 2013/14 our editor shot on his own, in sub zero temperatures, snow, freezing rain and howling gale for at least 2 hours every single Sunday he wasn’t competing! Admittedly he’s not right in the head .. but with the right clothing and attitude, archery is possible, even ‘fun’ in those conditions … if you like that sort of thing!)

PS:
Frostbite: 36 arrows at 30m on an 80cm face. Must be SHOT IN THE WINTER!
Ironman: 2 frostbites back to back plus another 12 arrows in between just to make you suffer a bit more! (84 arrows at 30m on an 80cm face)

Nights fair drawing in …

night

Its all fun and games til you miss into thick grass!

As we wave the summer (summer .. hah!) goodbye and move into the autumn, by now we would usually be safe and warm indoors. We’re not even sure that is going to be possible this year but there’s arrows to be shot so outdoors remains our only option. Unfortunately our usual midweek evenings have become too dark for archery so our plan for the winter is as follows …

There will be an outdoor session on the Craigholme playing field Saturdays (9am til noon) and two Sunday sessions outdoors (9am til 11am and 11am til 1pm). As before, if you are a member of Glasgow Archers, an associate member of GA or have already shot a session with us as a guest, you can book your session via glasgow.archers.booking@gmail.com

If you are a member of another club and are interested in coming along and shooting, contact us at the following address for details: glasgow.archers.membership@gmail.com

Please note that all sessions must be pre-booked 2 days in advance for you to be allowed to shoot. This is to allow an audit trail for track and trace. You should also ensure that you have a valid AGB card because as of 30th September, your 2019/20 membership has expired. You will not be allowed to shoot without a valid AGB membership as per Archery GB’s insurance policy.