By Bonnie Culverhouse
After months of planning, an event that takes aim at the prize – and the local economy – will soon be underway.
April 21-24, 2022 is the target date for Camp Minden to host the McKenzie Archery Shooters Association Pro/Am Tour, and more than 2,000 archers and their families are expected to descend on Webster Parish, Bossier Parish and Minden. Registration is from 1 until 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 20. Practicing facilities open then. Competition begins Thursday. The event takes place at Camp Minden.
The four-day tour will be an annual event for the next 10 years and will bring an estimated economic impact of $25 million dollars to the area over the course of that decade.
“I think the archery association event will have a significant impact on our hotels and restaurants at a time when out-of-town traffic is a little slow,” said Jim Bonsall, President of the Webster Parish Police Jury. “I hope so. And the fact they plan to come back every year for 10 years gives us something to be excited about.”
The Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission and the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission will serve as tournament hosts, in partnership with the Louisiana Office of Tourism and City of Bossier City.
Competition Archery Media (“CAM”) provides “live” coverage on the national cable The Sportsman Channel to showcase the Pro Pressure Point Shoot Down which will be held at the Bossier Civic Center Saturday, April 23 at 4 p.m., in partnership with the City of Bossier City. CAM also will provide full media coverage of the ASA Pro/Am Tour weekend on Facebook or YouTube under “Competition Archery Media.”
In addition to the National Tour, the ASA supports more than 350 clubs in 35 states that provide an excellent opportunity for everyone to experience 3-D archery. With a focus on the growth of the sport of 3-D archery by supporting local clubs and making a commitment to youth education and training, the ASA has established itself as a leading force in the movement to bring the sport to mainstream America.
ASA 3-D archery features competitive rounds of 20 lifelike, three-dimensional animal targets made by Delta McKenzie Targets. The scoring rings are molded into the target and sometimes are not visible from the shooting stake, so binoculars are allowed. ASA was the first national archery organization to implement a speed limit (280 feet per second) for equipment safety and also to establish a more level playing field for 3-D competitors. Prior to 2007, 3-D was shot as unknown distance requiring archers to visually determine the distance to the target and execute the shot. Beginning in 2007, the ASA established another first in national 3-D archery by offering known distance competition classes to provide competitors with another option for competing in 3-D archery.
The ASA uses a scoring system of 12, 10, 8, 5 or 0 points per arrow. Scoring is based on zero points for a miss, five points are earned for a hit anywhere in the body, eight points for the largest scoring ring in the center of the animal, ten points for the five-inch center circle inside the 8-ring, and twelve points for the smaller ring offset to the bottom or top of the 10-ring. Another circle housed in the upper rear of the 8-ring is the 14-ring which is reserved for use in special bonus competitions.
“We are excited to host the Mckenzie ASA Easton/Hoyt Pro/Am tour in conjunction with all of these great partners,” said Sara Nelms, Director of Sales and Events for the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission. “We have no doubt the archers will fall in love with Louisiana once they experience the world class cuisine and hospitality we are known for.”
Members of police juries from Bossier and Webster parishes, mayors of Bossier City and Minden, the National Guard Commander of Camp Minden training site, representatives of tourism and convention agencies and a representative of Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser spoke of the archery tournament’s impact at a press conference in the fall.
“People will see what north Louisiana has to offer,” said Mike Walsworth from the North Louisiana Outreach Office of the Louisiana Lt. Governor.
Speakers pointed to a 10-year commitment by the tournament organizers, along with an economic impact on the Webster, Bossier, Caddo area of up to three million dollars a year.
“And you know what? I really believe this event will create an economic impact that exceeds those numbers,” said Bossier police juror Bob Brotherton. “When people see the attraction that is Camp Minden, I believe other opportunities will follow.”
Brotherton, along with Webster Parish Police Jury member Nick Cox, visited an ASA tournament in Texas and returned with the idea that event would be ideal for north Louisiana, if a suitable location could be found. That’s when attention turned to Camp Minden.
Brotherton and Cox said the cooperation of many agencies, along with the efforts of Camp Minden Commander Lt. Col. Harry Wilson of the Louisiana National Guard and his staff, resulted in “…what we see here today, and hopefully what we will see more than 10 years.”
Cox said this event brings a lot of great energy with it.
“Vendors and food trucks come and set up their products,” Cox said. “We are pulling this off together. People with the right expertise did an outstanding job. Good leadership makes things look easy, and it makes easy for the rest of us.”
“Frankly, I’ve been doing this for 25 years and this is very humbling,” said American Shooters Association President Mike Tyrell. “It was amazing to see the commitment of everybody to make this happen.”
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