Para worlds to include visually impaired archery

18 May 2015
Lausanne (SUI)
At least 12 athletes will compete in VI1 and VI2/3 categories at the Donaueschingen 2015 World Archery Para Championships; marking the reintroduction of visually impaired divisions at world competition.

Visually impaired athletes will compete at the World Archery Para Championships for the first time since 2009.

The para archery discipline is steadily gathering recognition within national archery federations and three national teams have already registered a total of 12 athletes to compete at Donaueschingen. 

Archers from Australia, USA, Great Britain and any other nations that register in advance of the deadline will be ranked over a 72-arrow qualification round shot over 30 metres and using a full-size 80-centimetre diameter target face, before progressing to head-to-head brackets decided by the set-system. 

There are two competition categories in visually impaired archery: VI1 and VI2/3. 

Athletes competing in VI1 must wear blindfolds or black-out glasses while competing. Both VI1 and VI2/3 athletes use tactile sights and are permitted an assistant sitting or standing one metre behind the shooting line. 

The assistant relays information about the position of arrows in the target, safety issues and helps with scoring.

Classification for the visually impaired archery divisions will be held at Donaueschingen, immediately before the event, by classifiers from the International Blind Sports Association. The classification procedure differs from other para archery categories, resembling a trip to the optician or an eye specialist and using much of the same specialised equipment. 

This event will be the only opportunity for athletes to become classified as visually impaired athletes in 2015 and as there will be only one panel of visually impaired archery classifiers at the World Archery Para Championships, there will be no opportunity for protest. 

It is hoped that the inclusion of visually impaired archery at the worlds will be the first step in having the discipline formally recognised in countries around the world. 

Timeline

  • Visually impaired athletes WAREOS registration deadline extended without penalty until 26 June 2015. (All other categories: deadline 25 May 2015.)
  • Visually impaired athlete medical forms submitted to World Archery office before 11 July 2015
  • Visually impaired classification on site immediately before event
  • Donaueschingen 2015 World Archery Para Championships from 23 to 30 August