The 2019 Vegas Shoot had the biggest turnout ever, about 3875 participants, and Gilbert Archery archers were there. Coach Danielle shot in the Women’s Championship category, finishing in the top ten, quite a feat since there were over 100 of the top women archers shooting that category. Danielle clinched her spot by shooting a perfect 300 on the last day. Two of the women from the Gilbert Archery Women’s League, Isabel and Michelle, shot in Flights. Each shooting for less than nine months, this was their first competition. Both of them did very well, exceeding their goals set for the tournament.
The Vegas Shoot has always been a fun shoot to attend. It’s currently held at the South Point Hotel Casino, which is known for its’ equestrian events. Archers at the Vegas Shoot use most of the large facility when they take over for this one weekend each February. Conference rooms, not being used to shoot in, hold information sessions or act as practice space. The main arena holds championship shooting, with numerous vendors filling the mezzanine. Two other riding areas are used for pro practice. This year, general practice areas even flowed over to conference rooms in another area of the facility. If the participant numbers keep growing, a bigger place may need to be found.
The large number of archers is part of what makes the event so fun. Everywhere you go there are people walking around with bows or wearing sponsor shirts. Friends, that haven’t seen each other since last year, catch up on what’s been going on. Restaurants in the resort are filled with groups of archers. Younger archers can be found at the arcade and bowling lanes when they aren’t shooting. It’s like a weekend party for thousands of people.
The tournament isn’t just fun and games though. A lot of money is given out to the top shooters, so everyone wants to do their best. Perfect 300 scores are common, with some archers achieving them all three days. There’s great competition for archers who don’t make those top scores too. Flights allow any level of archer to be competitive. In flights, archers are broken down into smaller categories according to their scores from the first two days. Then, on the third day, they are only competing against those, with similar scores, in their smaller category. This gives everyone a chance to be a winner.
In addition to the regular event, the finals for the Indoor World Tournaments is held over the weekend. This brings top archers from all over the world to the event. Archery is not always the most exciting sport to watch but these archers have you holding your breath waiting for the next shot. The targets are shown on the big screens so the audience can see as each arrow hits its mark. Even if you don’t know any of the archers, it’s fun to watch.
The Vegas Shoot is a great tournament for all levels of shooters. Although it’s recommended that archers are able to keep their arrows on their own target face, that’s all that’s needed to be able to win. Even if you don’t walk away with cash or prizes, having fun, and getting to know so many other archers, makes everyone a winner. Even spectators can have a good time visiting vendors and watching the excitement. If you haven’t ever been to the Vegas Shoot, put it on your calendar for next year.