In many ways 2021 was a special year. I would refer to it as a period of transition for us – a shift between a state of sedation to renewed activity. We’re back in the woods, also recently we were given the freedom to use the indoor facilities again. It seems that most of us seize the interim period with redoubled energy – best illustrated by the accomplishments of our top archers: Michelle Jay, Helen Kavanagh, and Don Bradley. At this point, I would like to once again convey the sincere appreciation and admiration they deserve.
The Anual General Meeting of The Irish Field Archery Federation wrapped up this very unusual year nicely. The meeting was held in a friendly, one might even say: family atmosphere. There were some shifts within the management of the association. A change of guard occurred within the PRO position, which until now has been filled with enviable commitment and efficiency by Clodagh Nolan. Her place has been taken by Marcin Malek, hoping and intending to fulfill his new duties at least as well as his wonderful predecessor. The rest of the board remained unchanged with Sharon Eady (Secretary), Martin Moylan (Chairperson), and Noel Bannon (Membership Secretary) all being reelected for another 2-year term.
Members also voted on several changes. With immediate effect, binoculars, a monocular, or other sighting aid are allowed providing they do not have range-finding capabilities. The scoring rules will also change. The current scoring for hitting an inner kill of 20 points plus an X marker will be replaced by 24 points. So the new way of calculating points will be as follows: 24 points for the inner kill (marked with a larger circle) when hit with the first arrow, 20 points for the vital (the remainder of the kill area), and 16 for the wound. Safety Officer Sean Crowe also made an invaluable contribution to the discussion by bringing up the topic of range inspections, especially in terms of inspectors’ responsibility for field acceptance. The SBG first-arrow scoring change will come into effect from the new membership year (01-Aug-22). This is to maintain consistency for SBG Gains and Records in the current 2021-22 membership year and allow clubs to use up their existing stock of printed scorecards. Accordingly, the members agreed that existing SBG Records would be archived as part of general housekeeping. This ensures a historical record of Records where the maximum score was 720. New SBG Records will be based on the increased maximum score of 864.
Finally, there was a lively discussion on the constitution of the association, i.e. whether we are still an association of individual people or whether we tend to understand the association as a group which is formed by the clubs. In this matter, as it concerns the essence of the association, it was decided to hold consultations and to postpone any decision for the time being.
Overall, I found the AGM to be a very fruitful, informative meeting that took place in a spirit of respect for the views and arguments of all parties. Finally, it is hoped that the good practices from this meeting will be successfully transferred to communication between clubs and individual archers.