The Grand National Archery Meeting (GNAM) returns to its usual position in the calendar on Wednesday 22 June 2022, for three days.
This will be the 167th GNAM, with a few years missed owing to war, flooding and Covid-19.
The usual format of the GNAM is a Double York or Double Hereford for the gents and ladies, respectively. The third day is a Long National, which is shot by everyone - the third day allows the double rounds to conclude in case of bad weather on the first two days, thus allowing the trophies to be awarded. However, if this is not required, a handicap shoot takes place using the GNAM handicap system.
The meeting is opened by a notable member shooting a single arrow from a longbow - sometimes the arrow even hits the target! Traditionally, shooting always used to stop at midday for lunch, irrespective of whether the first distance is complete or not. However, we stick to the normal practice of having lunch when the first distance is complete.
Shooting is very relaxed. Rather than the traditional practice of shooting 3 and 3 arrows, we now shoot 6 at a time. However, the judges will still keep an eye for those constantly exceeding their four minutes.
The awards are split into two sections, first the GNAM Spiders' are awarded. The first set are for your normal 1st, 2nd and 3rd in recurve, compound and longbow and these are gilt medals. Then Double Distance' silver medals, where the combined score of each distance on both days is calculated and ranked and then awarded to recurves and compounds, ie gents 100 yards. The awards are made to the highest unrewarded archer so no one will receive two spiders. Finally, in this section there are six handicap medals which are awarded based upon the handicap quoted by the archer at the beginning of the event.
Then we move to the challenge trophies, of which there are 28. Initially, these are awarded for first and second place and will go to the winners of the gilt spiders, but there are also awards for Most Hits and Most Golds. Additionally, the Double National Score, most hits or most golds for the ladies (as part of the Double Hereford).
There are the best gold and worst white. The best gold, however, is not on a chosen end by the judges, but all the way through the double round. It can be claimed by any archer but can then be bettered until the end of the round. You will see that the judges use a piece of cardboard to keep tally on arrows closest to the centre. The worst white is always chosen on last end of the double round.
For the third day, handicap awards are given using the GNAM Handicap System, which is your average score of day 1 and day 2. The handicap of that score is taken and used to find the allowance of your day 3 score. The two are added together and the highest is awarded.
Although adding a medal to your collection is always fun, it's not all about the shooting, scoring and awards! It's a chance to meet like-minded people, potential new friends and have some fun with your shooting. Requests to shoot with or near your friends are always welcome, but please bear in mind, some minor changes may be made to the target list by the organiser for the third day to help people get to know each other.
In order to make the event more inclusive, we are retaining the Double Bristol rounds as well as other national rounds on the third day. So if you are not able to shoot the longer distances, this shoot provides something more attainable. The whole meeting attracts UK record status, so maybe there's a national record up for grabs - a couple certainly fell last year!
The British Target Championships follow straight after at the weekend (25-26 June) so if you are taking part in that, GNAM makes for a great warm up! Let's make this year the best one yet - spread the word and find out why GNAM is such a highlight of the competitions calendar. We need to beat last year's entry levels!