National archery group offering competition for students across state

HARRISBURG — A huge opportunity is “nocking” for Pennsylvania’s student archers.

The 2017 National Archery in the Schools Program State Tournament is set to be held March 10 in State College. Qualifying for the state event is currently open across the state. And the Pennsylvania Game Commission is encouraging all schools participating in the program, commonly referred to as NASP, to take part.

Teams hoping to make the state tournament must first shoot at one of the many state qualifiers being held across the state. Qualifying opened on Oct. 1 and closes on Feb. 5.

The top 12 teams in each age division, as well as the top 30 individuals in each age class, will earn a ticket to the state championships.

For information on how to host a state qualifier at your school use this link. http://www.pgc.pa.gov/Education/NationalArcheryInTheSchoolsProgram/Pages/NASPStateTournament.aspx

The NASP state tournament has been growing each year since its inception in 2011, and the March 10 tournament to be held at the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility figures to include close to 1,000 participants. Students from more than 50 schools across Pennsylvania are expected to participate. The increase is representative of growth in the program statewide.

NASP, which started in Kentucky in 2002 and has since gained participants around the globe, came to Pennsylvania in 2005. The Game Commission began coordinating the program in 2010 and, to present, the program has expanded to 237 schools.

The tournament should be a sight to see. Ninety-five lanes, each with two archers, will be operating at once. About 9,000 arrows will fly each hour. And somewhere near 46,000 arrows will be shot on the day.

This year, there will be over $7,000 in scholarships handed out to the top-performing archers in the state to help pay for college or trade school.

To find a state qualifier tournament in your area, use the NASP Tournament website, http://nasptournaments.org.

Teams are reminded they must be NASP schools and participate in a state qualifier for a chance to qualify for the state championships.

NASP helps school districts in Pennsylvania meet physical-education curriculum requirements standards set by the state Department of Education, and at the same time introduces students to the world of competitive archery.

Tournaments are held at the state, national and international levels, and Pennsylvania sent over 160 students to the 2016 national competition in Kentucky.

To get NASP started in a Pennsylvania school, contact Todd Holmes, at the Game Commission headquarters, at 717-787-4250 (ext. 3330). Also, “PA NASP” can be found  at www.facebook.com/PennNASP.

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