-Grace Groves- Many things were affected by Covid-19, including the last two years of my NASP tournaments and experiences. My first year of NASP® was the year before the Covid-19 pandemic. I had no idea that the Championship tournament of 2019 would be my last “normal” tournament for two years. Shortly after school resumed every other day, my NASP® program started again.
The most difficult struggle I encountered was finding a consistent anchor point. With the mask, I could no longer feel the arrow rest of the corner of my mouth. I had to change my anchor and my aim point. This seemed impossible at first, but eventually I was able to feel where my anchor point was through the mask. For some people, the consistent feel of a mask was an advantage. They were able to use a mask strap or a hole in the mask as an anchor point.
When we were finally able to take off our masks at practice, it once again tampered with my team’s anchor points. This meant that my entire team had to find their anchor points, with about a month until the New York state tournament. But, as soon as my team was back on track, it was revealed that we would be required to wear masks while shooting even though they were optional at school. This was a big challenge for my team because we had not worn them in a while.
The Covid-19 pandemic limited in person tournaments. Although we were fortunate enough to have virtual state and national tournaments, many student archers lost interest and stopped practicing. This caused our team numbers to decline. However, our first in-person state tournament reminded us of how much fun tournaments with our team are. My school’s middle and elementary school both took first place and qualified to go to nationals. I believe that because of this, other students from my school will be encouraged to join after learning about our accomplishments. Although this pandemic affected many of my teammates, they still were able to accomplish their goals for the state tournament and qualify for nationals this season.
Covid-19 also affected my team because of quarantining. When archers quarantined for two weeks at a time, they could not practice. Many of my friends forgot where they aimed and anchored during that time.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has affected two of New York’s archery seasons, we are all hoping to return to a sense of “normal” at nationals or the 2022-2023 season.
-Grace Groves is a 2022 student contributor. Watch for her future submissions.-