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996Re: Archery Scoring( Long reply)

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  • Chris Nogy
    Oct 31, 1999
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      > From: "D Humberson" <dhumbers@...>, on 10/31/99 1:59 AM:

      > Here I can only speak for my own group, but in the last 6 - 8 weeks we've
      > shot RR's, 5 and 10 yard grouping practice( 5 yd with eyes closed is next,
      > now that I've got a 36" mat), wands, 70 yd random distance walkups, IKACs,
      > and a horseback shoot. It was a sawhorse, but we shot horseback! Of those,
      > RR's were about 80% of the total ends.

      Would you say that it is OK for any group within the SCA to consistently
      promote activities that 80% of the time are almost totally non-period? And
      would you say that the best time for teaching those non-period things is at a
      practice (a place where learning the skills of the SCA is the most important
      thing, not competition?). I believe that SCA archery practice should be used
      to fully ingrain the ideals of period archery techniques, as this is the place
      where most folks see and retain the most information.

      Also, if there was no ranking system associated with the RR, if all you got was
      a score at the end of a round (for your use only, not ever to be used in any
      official ranking system) and it was never recorded or used for ranking inside
      or between groups, do you think the shooters would be as interested in RR? I
      for one find the repetition of routine IKAC or a RR to be almost tedious to the
      point of not shooting if that is all that is offered.

      On the other hand, if we had a ranking system associated with some purely
      period shoots (several types of shoots, and a way of combining scores to get a
      better 'overall' picture of an archers ability) do you not think that the
      shooters would be asking for these shoots instead?

      I agree with Macsen. Giving a Grant for RR performance (no matter how high) is
      quite revolting, and if true has done more to set back the attempts of getting
      more period archery into the context of the SCA than any ten other actions to

      I also agree with Macsen's thoughts that more archers on the line is not
      necessarily the final goal we aim for - more period archers on the line should
      be more important. And it is almost as easy to do, all you as a marshal have
      to provide is a regularly scheduled set of period style shoots and a way of
      scoring them that allows them to see personal improvement. After all, if you
      don't have RR's, you don't teach their importance to new archers, they only
      learn what they are taught (in the beginning, the formative stage) and you have
      successfully led a new person to the practical art of medieval (not modern or
      pseudo-modern) archery. In my mind, too many marshals fall back and punt to a
      RR or an IKAC because it is easy to set up and run, and requires the least
      effort on the part of the marshal. I have had my share of failures with some
      of my competition setups, but I have never fallen back and punted to the
      easiest thing for ME to do - I always try to provide something that will
      stretch the archers skill and enthusiasm, not just another 72 arrows.

      We do not hold anything against the leatherworkers and calligraphers for not
      using fulminated mercury in gilding, because it is a very likely harmful or
      fatal technique. But if it were not, we would expect it to be done. Sure, we
      would get more calligraphers if we started accepting ball point pens and paint
      markers as a new standard of excellence, but the quality of work would be
      noticably inferior when judged against the work of period artists. Not
      inferior in itself, but inferior in context. We allow calligraphers to use
      disposable pens (or computers or light tables or erasable inks or watercolor
      markers) in their quest to learn their skill, so that they can focus on design
      ideas or lyout formats or many other artistic pursuits, but when it counts, we
      don't give awards for that work, we give awards and recognition for the good
      stuff. And we don't let folks reach a plateau of watercolor markers and bic
      pens - they go past that point or their work is seldom if ever used.

      In my opinion, archers can use different equipment in their quest for knowlege,
      but when it counts it should be the good stuff. Period archery is just as safe
      as modern archery, there are no inherant extra risks, so why do you ask that
      archers be held to a lower standard than we hold everyone else? I still say
      that if we don't promote individuals to be rewarded for reaching a plateau that
      rests almost exclusively outside of period, and we promote individuals being
      rewarded for going deeper into period, then we end up reaching the same
      personal goal (we recognize achievement) but we do it in a way consistent with
      the by-laws and charter of the SCA.

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