NASP/IBO 3D Challenge Continues to Benefit Student Archers

The NASP and IBO continue to work individually as well as together to improve the lives of student archers and promote the outdoor lifestyle.

NASP/IBO 3D Challenge Continues to Benefit Student Archers

Since 2002, the National Archery in the School’s Program (NASP) has provided the fun and fulfillment of archery to students, parents, coaches and educators in 47 states and 11 countries. It has helped students do better in school and enhanced their confidence knowing they can excel at a sport, improve as an athlete, and make new friends while doing so.

In 2014, NASP and the International Bowhunting Organization (IBO), a program founded in 1984 by a dedicated group of bowhunters with a mission to promote, encourage, and foster the sport, partnered up to further enhance the archery experience for youth participating in NASP. It’s biggest goal, one the organization places its highest value on, is to introduce youth to the sport of archery and the outdoors.

NASP President Roy Grimes shed some light on how NASP and IBO came together: “The NASP board of directors voted in June of 2014 to establish a 3D event that would be familiar and welcoming to nearly all NASP archery students. The purpose of the 3D effort would be to respond to the 65 percent of NASP students who said they wanted to try other forms of archery, including 3D where foam animals replaced the bull’s-eye rings they normally shoot. In order for the effort to be successful, a brand-new format would need to be developed that didn't require new equipment or advanced skills."

This collaborative effort is called the NASP/IBO 3D Challenge (3D Challenge) where students shoot at targets simulating wild turkey, coyote, bear, pronghorn, deer and mountain sheep. The 3D Challenge was originally designed like its companion event, the Bull’s-eye Challenge, to be shot in school, but is also conducted outdoors, adding a little extra variety dealing with the outdoor elements.

During the National and Open Championships, the 3D Challenge is performed the same way as the Bull’s-eye Challenge, where students start by shooting five practice arrows. Instead of knowing the exact range of each of the six targets, the targets are placed on a line diagonal to the shooting line instead of parallel. The turkey is placed the closest at 10 meters. The sheep is placed at 15 meters. The other four animals are placed at somewhat unknown distances between the turkey and sheep (photo below). This imparts a bit more realism into the format.

As shown here, targets at the 3D Challenge are not at the same range for student archers.
As shown here, targets at the 3D Challenge are not at the same range for student archers.

Increasing Interest

Since the beginning of the NASP/IBO 3D Challenge, 23,246 archers have shot at the national tournaments. This year alone, the 3D Challenge had 6,026 archers in attendance, a 201 percent increase from its first year. As the format’s popularity increases, 27 states now have a state-level NASP/IBO 3D Challenge event, with IBO directly hosting 11 of those. These state-based events experienced a 42 percent increase over last year with more than 10,000 participating student archers. It appears the 3D Challenge by the IBO is on the same rocket-like trajectory as NASP has experienced over nearly 2 decades.

IBO President Bryan Marcum said, “We’ve embraced this opportunity to partner with NASP, not to benefit our own organization or membership, but because of the impact it has on the student participants’ lives.”

NASP and IBO have been extremely successful individually and collectively because they share the same goals — putting the student first, and spreading the sport of archery and the outdoor lifestyle to people everywhere.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.