Vegas 2017: 10 things you need to know

10 February 2017
The fourth stage and final of the 2016/17 Indoor Archery World Cup takes place as part of The Vegas Shoot on 10-12 February.

In Vegas, things are bigger. The Indoor Archery World Cup, after stops in Marrakesh, Bangkok and Nimes, once again concludes in the SouthPoint Hotel and Casino in Sin City.

As part of the world-renowned Vegas Shoot, this year’s circuit finale promises fireworks (literally), showcase shooting, shoot-offs and shootdowns – as the world’s best archers gather in the Nevada desert. Here’s what you need to know…

1. Gigantic

When all is said and done, nearly 3500 different people will have competed in this year’s Vegas Shoot. Arguably the biggest indoor competition in the world, the event has almost doubled in size over the last five years – as has its prize fund, which is at over $400,000 in cash and scholarships in 2017.

Unique in both setting – a Las Vegas casino – and structure, as archers shoot three days of 30 arrows, the 51-year-old Vegas Shoot is only getting bigger.

2. Schedule

The Vegas Shoot lasts a total of three days, two of which make up the fourth stage of the Indoor Archery World Cup. The event hosts the Indoor Archery World Cup Final, too – and the World Archery Gala, where the Athletes of the Year for 2016 are revealed.

Friday 10 February: Day one Vegas Shoot, Indoor Archery World Cup stage four (30 arrows).

Saturday 11 February: Day two Vegas Shoot, Indoor Archery World Cup stage four (30 arrows) – plus Indoor Archery World Cup Final in the evening.

Sunday 12 February: Day three Vegas Shoot (30 arrows), followed by shootdowns – plus World Archery Gala in the evening.

3. 10s & targets

At The Vegas Shoot, compound scores are much higher than at normal World Archery events – and that’s because all archers at the tournament use the same target face. The recurve, four-centimetre wide central ring scores 10 points, no matter the bowstyle. It’s only at the Indoor Archery World Cup Final (on Saturday night) that compound archers have to switch back to the 2cm 10-ring.

The Vegas Shoot also allows slightly wider arrows than the 9.3mm diameter in the World Archery rules.

4. Lucky dog

The main event in Vegas is the compound men’s – or open pro – shoot-off. It’s where the perfect-900 shooters compete for the grand prize, now at $51,000. For a while it had been around the 15-mark in terms of the number of archers that made that line – but in 2016 it was just five.

Joined by the Lucky Dog, the 899 shooter that survives a last-man-standing closer-to-the-middle shoot-off, it was fitting that at the 50th anniversary of The Vegas Shoot, history was made. The Lucky Dog, Sergio Pagni, won for the first time.

It would defy belief if that happened for the second year in a row.

5. +1

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the cards for 2017, though, is Sara Lopez. The reigning world number one in the compound women’s division is the only female to have entered the newly-open pro category, now available for those of both gender. Only two women have previously shot perfect 900s in the event.

Marcella Tonioli, the Hyundai Archery World Cup winner in 2016, had originally planned to compete in the event, too – but switched back to the women’s category.

6. On the grapevine

When to drop: Two compound men were heard saying they’d prefer to drop on the first day than the last, if they were going to drop at all. A perfect 900 is needed to make the shootdown in the open pro division – and, if not on the line for that, they’d rather be enjoying their holiday in Sin City.

Escalator counter: The entrace to The Vegas Shoot arenas features two elevators; one up, one down. Since last year’s tournament, the venue has installed counters to track how many people traverse the corridor. (You can still use the stairs in the middle, if you’re in a rush.) The over-under is on 100,000 trips by the end of the weekend.

Waste the nines: On the practice range, there were archers purposely going wide. “Waste the nines today,” was the explanation. “Tomorrow only 10s.”

7. Bubble

To qualify for the Indoor Archery World Cup Final on Saturday evening, archers in the four competition categories – compound men, compound women, recurve men and recurve women – had to shoot in at least one other stage of the circuit and finish in the top 16 of the rankings after stage four (the first two days of Vegas).

In the lead: Stephan Hansen, Tanja Jensen, Brady Ellison and Claudia Mandia.

Perhaps more interestingly, those needing a good position in stage four to make the top 16 include Olympic Champions Chang Hye Jin (ranked 17th recurve woman) and Ku Bonchan (tied in 16th in the recurve men’s list) – and reigning Vegas Champion Sergio Pagni (19th seeded compound man).

8. 51st

The last man to win the open division at The Vegas Shoot with a recurve bow - using a release aid – was Bob Jacobsen. Last year, he was the only (known) person to have competed at all 50 editions of the tournament.

He’s shooting the 51st Vegas Shoot, too.

9. 217

Two hundred and seventeen. That’s the number of competition targets, spread across six halls (not including the extra practice venues) used at this event – all at the same time.

10. Podium

The defending Indoor Archery World Cup Champions:

This year? Tune in to results on www.worldarchery.org and coverage on World Archery’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Watch live finals on World Archery’s YouTube channel.

The fourth stage and final of the 2016/17 Indoor Archery World Cup runs 10/11 February 2017 in Las Vegas, USA as part of The Vegas Shoot on 10-12 February.