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Not just for Robin Hood



Heroes use them. Hunters use them. Hell, even Scottish princesses use them. So why not take a look this year at the increasingly popular sport of archery.

Archers will show their skills at the ISAA Pro-Am at Hy-Vee Hall Jan. 2-4.

Archers will show their skills at the ISAA Pro-Am at Hy-Vee Hall Jan. 2-4.


“The ISAA Pro-Am started in Des Moines 21 years ago by the Iowa State Archery Association (ISAA), which is affiliated with the National Field Archery (NFAA),” said Don Parker, ISAA tournament director. “This event has been held in Ames, Clear Lake, Mason City and has grown so much in number that it was brought to the Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines in January 2012.”

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This year’s event looks to be a great one. While the last day to register is Dec. 31, at the time of this writing 620 archers had already signed up. To date this has been the largest turnout in the history of the Pro-Am.


“Many people might think that a bow and arrow are just for hunting, just for 3-D shoots, just for guys, not safe, just not cool. This is not true,” Parker said. “All sports have a training stage with a lot of practice and education about the sport, and this is the same for archery.”


“I would say a lot of people think all archers are Robin Hood and using that type of equipment,” said NFAA Director Ray Jones. “They have no idea the high tech equipment or the degree of accuracy these shooters are capable of.”


Like mastering any skill or technique, the rewards far exceed their direct uses. Archery teaches sportsmanship and humility as well as builds character, concentration, strength and mind control, Parker said.


Competitors of all ages and skill sets will demonstrate their commitment to the sport. While the tournament is about bringing together archers and fans, it’s not without its rewards.


“Our goal has been to offer a professionally-ran tournament that will attract archers from all over the U.S. and other countries at all levels of abilities such as beginners, intermediate, professional, physically handicapped even Olympians,” said Parker. “Matt Stutzman, known as the Armless Archer throughout the world, will be shooting this event. We hope that spectators will enjoy and be encouraged to try the sport of archery. Not all people are into contact sports. This sport can be accomplished by all walks of life and abilities.”



Registration Fees

Money Class – $100

Adult and Young Adult- $40 (18 and older) (15-17)

Youth and Cub – $20 (12-14) (11 and younger)

No charge for spectators.

Friday 6 p.m.: Competition shooting begins, featuring Matt Stutzman.

Saturday 8 a.m.: 11 a.m., 3 p.m.: Competitive shooting starting times.

Saturday 6 p.m.: Pro-Am (a short and fun competition in which amateur archers are matched up with professional archers )

Sunday shooting times: 7 a.m., 9:30 a.m., noon and 2:30 p.m.

Awards will be handed out after each line at the staging area near the entrance of the Hall.


David Rowley is an Iowa native with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and a master’s in film journalism from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

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