Competitors statewide converge on State College March 14.

The field has been set for what figures to be the largest student archery tournament ever to be hosted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

More than 1,100 competitors have registered for the 2014 National Archery in the Schools Program Tournament to be held March 14 in State College.

“At what other time in Pennsylvania are we going to have 1,100 students between the ages of say 10 and 18 together to celebrate and compete in an archery competition?” asked Samantha Pedder, who as the Game Commission’s hunting outreach coordinator, heads planning for the tournament. “This tournament is a highlight for many of these students and as an agency we are planning an event that we hope lives up to the high expectations of these young and eager archers. It will surely be a site to witness.”

The tournament, which will take place inside the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility, should be a sight to see. One hundred fifteen lanes, each with two archers, will be operating at once. About 9,200 arrows will fly each hour. And somewhere near 46,000 arrows will be fired on the day.

Participation in the tournament is up significantly from 2013, when 817 students competed.

The increase is representative of growth in the program statewide.

NASP, which started in Kentucky in 2002 and has since gained participants around the globe, came to Pennsylvania in 2005. The Game Commission began coordinating the program in 2010 and, to present, the program has expanded to 155 schools.

NASP helps school districts in Pennsylvania meet physical-education curriculum standards set by the state Department of Education, and at the same time introduces students to the world of competitive archery.

Tournaments are held at the state, national and international levels. Those competing in the March 14 state tournament might qualify for the national tournament to be held May 9 and 10 in Louisville, Ky. Pennsylvania sent 147 competitors from 14 schools to the 2013 national competition, which also was held in Louisville; and students from four schools attended the World Tournament event held in St. Louis, Mo. in June last year.

To get NASP started in a Pennsylvania school, contact Samantha Pedder, at the Game Commission headquarters, at 717-787-4250 (ext. 3327). Also, “PA NASP” can be found on Facebook at

Logo courtesy Pennsylvania Game Commission

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