here is my 2.3 cents (inflation)
If you have a guy (or girl) out in a field shooting archery and having a blast it is doubtful that it is going to grow. If you have one guy off to the side making really awesome period arrows but no one uses them and they just sit there, he is going to move on to something else eventually. Who is more important . . . the person that goes out and shoots super great, the person that thinks about it and studies and build targets and designs a shoot that will test their skills, the person that teaches the new people how to hold a bow, how to aim, how to hit the target, the person that helps to review all of the rules, scores, runs the range, and teaches classes . . . how about ALL of them. When you watch a crowd that is watching the finals, part of what excites them is when they see a shoot and they think wow is that even possible and then they watch as the archers step to the line and
prove that it is possible. Part of what builds the excitement is the target and the contest part of it is the skill. If you are not sure about this put a pin in the target at 20 yards and shoot at it, each time you eliminate 1/2 the people until there are only 2 and closest to the pin wins - do you really believe that people are going to be laughing and joking and jeering for this shoot?
IMHO we NEED to think, and work towards being a community.
People that can make crossbows, longbows, flatbows, arrows, bolts, strings, fletches, run shoots, study the history of archery, study the art of archery, hold offices, run the range, and even those that shoot good should be included. Bards that write songs about archery should be our friends! Now I am not delusional enough to think that no one wants awards or ranks or recognition, but before we determine those things we need to determine what we are trying to accomplish. For me, I want to build the archery community so that when the nobility or royalty sit down and discuss an upcoming event they plan for archery community because they know it is a large and important group. When there is a Crown Tourney or a Coronation - this is NOT the time to stay home! This is the time that we should put in to autocrat the event, to run tavern to set up the
lyst field, to haul stuff, to serve on entourage, handle parking, run gate, all the while making sure people know we are archers. Make it so they constantly see us. If we go to an event, shoot archery, have a blast, do really great, and get to court and people say "There was archery today?" "Did you guys just get here?" "Where have you been all day?" we have failed:-( We need to be sure it is announced in court, on the websites, in flyers, by the heralds, and talked up.
If this will be just a group to see who can get the highest score, myself and many many others will never join.