The mystery of my archery scores
After shooting 615 on a Western round a month ago or so, which is still my personal best and my only first class score to-date, my scores suddenly dropped. Like the one below, which is four dozen arrows at 60 yards:
|9 9 7 3 3 M 9 7 7 5 5 M|
|9 5 5 5 3 M 9 7 7 7 5 M|
|9 7 5 3 1 M 7 7 7 5 5 M|
|9 9 7 7 5 M 9 9 7 5 3 M|
If you can spot the one curious thing in the score, well done. I did not. Not until, that is, I started to shoot at 80 yards and a fellow club member remarked on that there was always one arrow that fell short. Perhaps it was always the same arrow? No, I said, that’s just me being rubbish. Inconsistent draw length and all that. But I marked the arrow and… yes. It was always the same arrow and it had a loose fletching. Then I went back to the score above: if one arrow was faulty, that means the total is in fact for a five arrow end, not six, and when I added the sixth arrow as the average of the other five, I found I had not been doing so badly at all! Pity that the outdoor season is drawing to an end, so I probably will not be able to get the two more first class scores I need to qualify for first class. The positive thing, on the other hand, is that I am now able to refletch arrows.
On a related note, have you ever tried to describe an arrow nock over the phone? (Non archers will note that a nock is the bit with the groove at the end of the arrow, where the string goes. It is very small and its shape is generally unremarkable and much the same across various nock designs.) The person on the other end of the line was very, very patient and I did receive the correct nocks in time for the County Western match. (Thank you, Quicks!) Which saved my neck, so to speak, because one of the new fletchings promptly fell off in the first end of the match (not my fault, it was an old glue), I lost a nock on another arrow, and if I had not been able to replace it (or, to be more precise: if I had not been able to supply a new nock so that another club member could replace it for me), I would have had only five good arrows – I had started the match with seven arrows, not eight, because the one thing I am not able to do is to pull out the metal bit that goes between the arrow shaft and the nock from the shaft. That makes my eighth arrow unusable until I can corner someone owning the right pair of pliers at the next archery practice.