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12 November 2007 - Archery on the right track and developing rapidly

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Archery on the right track and developing rapidly Lausanne – 12 November 2007   FITA Council met on 10-11 November in Istanbul for the first time since the Congress in Leipzig. Some important decisions were made in relation to the by-laws of the sport. In particular 61 bylaws were examined by Council and changes were made to improve the impact of the sport. FITA Council was also informed on the progress of many other activities.   The FITA President, Dr Ugur Erdener, opened the meeting and looked back at the events since Leipzig. He stressed the success of the World Championships in Leipzig and was also satisfied with the test event in Beijing. However some areas will need to be fixed and we are sure that BOCOG will deliver the best ever Games for Archery.   First Council Meeting for new member Mark Miller    Development programs are showing a real impact on quantity and quality! FITA Council was very pleased to see the progress of performance of all teams participating in Leipzig. We had record participation despite that FITA reduced the maximum number of athletes from four to three per category. Even more impressive was the record performances from all participants. The difference between the top 10 and the 64th and even 128th place has shrunk tremendously. This is a result of the athletes and their support personnel becoming more and more professional. The fact that many new countries had excellent results and obtained Olympic Quota places shows the enormous progress since the quota places were introduced for the 1996 Games in Atlanta.   Archery is one of the most competitive sports in the Olympic Program with an estimated 50 countries to qualify for the Olympic Games. In Atlanta there were 36 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) represented and Athens had 43. The American continent is the one with the most impressive progress and it is the first time in Archery history that the USA women’s team failed to qualify for the Games despite having excellent archers. Also in Asia, the non qualification of the Japanese men for the team competition shows the progress of the other Asian countries.   Development is a slow process but we are starting to see how the investments made by FITA, the Olympic Solidarity, the Continental Associations and all other development partners in our sport are paying off. However, this is creating new challenges that FITA Council has discussed and proposals will be made to the IOC for the London 2012 Games in terms of qualification systems.   FITA finished a special development program for the Russian speaking countries with a successful Youth Camp in Ankara, Turkey. Some new national records have already resulted from this camp.   The Middle East Archery Training Centre has been very active in the recent months and Coaches from all continents attended the centre for further training. This was possible thanks to scholarships from the Olympic Solidarity and the International Foundation for the Development of Archery.   Youth Olympic Games FITA Council was informed on the progress of the Youth Olympic Games and FITA is continuing to prepare for these Games. The Youth World Championships that will qualify for the first edition will be held in Salt Lake City, USA pending the finalization of the bid that was received. The qualification process will now be finalized in cooperation with the IOC and it is expected to be very similar with the Olympic Qualification system.   Bylaw changes The key bylaw changes approved are:   Ø      Simplification of the dress regulations but at the same time a stricter reinforcement by FITA especially for the team officials. Ø      A redefinition of the number of team officials and their position of them on the field of play to clarify the current rules as well as make sure that the TV cameras have an unobstructed view of the archers. Since the coaches will be further away they will now be allowed to use spotting scopes. Also for the athletes the scopes need to be at all times below the armpit to give an unobstructed view on the archers by TV cameras and photographers. Ø      For Field Archery several bylaws were submitted in order to reduce the shooting time as well as make the rounds more competitive. The rules that were approved are to change the scoring for all divisions and the X that was formerly only used to break ties will now be scored as 6. The shooting time for the 3 arrows in all parts of the competition will be reduced to 3 minutes. The scoring change combined with the stricter time limitation will make the rounds more challenging and reduce the number of ties. These rules will be used at the next World Championships which is also the qualifier for the next World Games. Ø      The 3D rules were modified based on feedback after the World Championships. Ø      Some of the doping rules were changed but no major changes were made awaiting the outcome of the World Conference on doping.   A bylaw change where in match-play the Judges would make the decision on the arrow values was rejected. Archery remains a sport where the athletes or their representatives make the decision on the value of the arrow, and only when there is no agreement, a judge will make a decision.   FITA reinforces relationship with the Commonwealth Games Federation Alison Williamson representing the FITA President attended the CGF General Assembly. Just prior to the Council meeting FITA and CGF have signed a cooperation agreement in order to further develop the sport of Archery in the Commonwealth. Archery will be on the program of the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in New Delhi, India and is part of the sports that can be proposed by the Bid Committees for inclusion in the Games.   Para-Archery becomes an integral part of FITA FITA Council continued the process decided by FITA Congress in Leipzig in transferring the governance of Para-Archery from IPC to FITA. FITA Council adopted the transfer agreement and now the IPC Board of governors will be discussing this agreement at their next Board of governors meeting. The IPC Archery Forum in October already unanimously agreed with the transfer which was also the case for FITA Congress. The final part of the transfer will be the formal adoption by FITA Congress in 2009 and FITA becoming member of IPC in 2009 at the IPC General Assembly. However for practical matters the transfer will already be in effect as of 1 January 2008 and the new Para-Archery ad hoc committee will manage the Para-archery discipline.   FITA TV Strategy and Marketing FITA Council expressed its satisfaction with the progress in TV distribution. Archery is becoming a permanent fixture of many TV channels in many of the key countries such as Korea, Russia, Ukraine, China, France, Turkey, India, Sweden, Spain, and Italy. In Leipzig during the World Championships a record of 7 Channels took the live signal and this record is likely to be broken for the World Cup Final.      FITA President Dr Ugur Erdener and 1st Vice President Paul Paulsen Archery TV will undergo some changes in the coming year to find the best possible model for FITA.   In terms of marketing FITA Council was informed of the changes expected for next year. Balmain Swiss Watches will be replaced by another member of the Swatch group and the new Watch company will be announced after the World Cup Final in Dubai. FITA Council thanks Balmain Swiss Watches for their support and looks forward to working with the new member of the Swatch holding. The negotiations with the other partners will be coming to a close in the coming weeks and announcements will be made on the changes to the program.   FITA Budget The FITA Budget was accepted conditionally at the recommendation of the FITA Treasurer and endorsed by the FITA Executive Committee. FITA as many other organisations is suffering from the low United States Dollar (USD) and the budget has been made taking into account an expected further depreciation of the USD versus the Swiss Frank (CHF) and the Euro. This has an impact of 10% on the expenses since nearly all of the revenues of FITA are in USD whereas a majority of expenses are in CHF. Therefore the Executive Committee has been given a mandate to examine the situation in February when the situation on the marketing incomes is clearer and then to take the appropriate measures to guarantee a sound financial situation for FITA. FITA also accepted the new Membership fees which are based on the system approved by the Leipzig Congress. The new system looks at the number of archers in each country as well as the economic power of the country based on the UN classification.   Archery World Plan The Archery World Plan that was adopted in Leipzig is now in the implementation phase. The first working groups are producing results and FITA Council will soon start taking the first decisions as a result of work coming from the World Plan. TSE Consulting is a partner with FITA in the World Plan and is providing important external views on the plan.   The vision of the plan is to make Archery by 2012 an internationally recognized important Olympic Sport.   Bidding process and Calendar FITA Council was informed on the progress of the bidding process of the Archery World Cup Final for 2010 and 2011. This project is advancing well and FITA looks forward to excellent candidatures next year based on the feedback received from the cities.   For the first time FITA looked at finalizing its World Cup Calendar up until 2011 and coordinating this with the Continental Associations Calendar. A world cup event will be held in China in 2009 for a period of 3 years and Salt Lake City after the World Junior Championships is expected to have a World Cup for 2010 and 2011. Due to the change of the rotation of the Youth World Championships to the uneven years a transition system had to be found especially in relation with the European Championships which alternate with FITA. FITA will not organize a World Indoor Championships in 2011 but only in 2012. There will be however two consecutive European Indoor Championships in 2010 and 2011.     For the 2011 World Championships Paris has officially submitted their candidature and after evaluation of the candidatures, the FITA Executive Committee will decide in February on the allocation of this event. The Paris bid includes hosting the finals with a view on the Eiffel Tower.   Tom Dielen FITA Secretary General