Known vs Unknown: The fight continues
Let me start this by saying I am by no means an expert in 3-d archery. I have been shooting tournaments for the last 20 years however, and semi competitively at times. In the last 2-3 years it seems the debate has been raging over known distance classes in ASA competition. Opinions seem to be all across the board but one thing is for sure, people either love it or hate it. The biggest argument over the last year aroused as to whether K50 should be considered a pro class. This year ASA is allowing Pro shooters to enter either K50 or Open Pro. Both Classes are having a shoot down and sponsors are throwing some decent contingency money at the K50 class. With the number of entries into the K50 class in Foley AL, I think it is safe to say that not everyone hates known distance classes.
From what I have seen most of the people who have the most hatred to know distance classes are Amateurs and Keyboard warriors on forums and social media websites. Even the number one 3-d shooter of all time doesn’t seem to mind known distance. Levi Morgan’s new OPA tournament later this year will even be using a known distance format.
So why do these Amateurs have such a problem with known distance classes? Their reasoning is that it is not what 3d archery is all about!! In my opinion it is simply that you must be a better archer to compete in these classes. You have to step up your game and hit more bonus rings than you do in an unknown class. When I say this I am only referring to Amateur classes. I strongly feel that any of the shooters at the Open Pro level of competition would be able to successfully jump over to K50 and compete. How do you have to be a better archer to compete in known classes you might ask? Well it’s simple. If you know exactly how far it is and make a bad shot you are going to miss the 12 ring. Couple that with the fact that your aiming point on each target changes, and the game is changed completely. In an unknown class you’re able to aim almost center 10 ring at connector lines and let your miscues in yardage drop you into a few 12’s a day. This gives you almost the entire 10 ring as cushion for making a bad shot. In a known class however you pretty much have to gun for every 12 in order to compete. You cannot aim for connectors hoping to get lucky. This leave you much less room for error when executing you shot. You are cutting off the distance to the bottom of the 10 ring by half when you aim directly at low 12. This causes many guys including myself to shoot many more 8’s with even the possibility of a 5 when gunning for low 12’s compared to an unknown round when you play it safe. I think both formats have their place and it is up to the archer to decide which he wants to shoot. The fact is it is much easier to shoot bad and score decent in an unknown round. If you make bad shots shooting a known distance course your score will show it.