Friday, June 16, 2017 - Updated: 10:12 AMStaff Report
In one of the biggest tourism draws in the region, archers and spectators from across the country will converge this week at the Mathews Illinois ASA (Archery Shooters Association) Pro-Am Championship located at Mermet Lake in Belknap.
For several years, over 20,000 people have entered the refuge during the event and more than 2100 men and women have aimed for championships in several categories.
Registration and practice begin on Thursday, June 22 for the main event beginning at 9 a.m.
And archers have a chance to get warmed up at a separate “pre-shoot” event, the Superman Classic Shoot, which begins on Tuesday, June 20. Prize money is awarded for the top professional and amateur finishers each day in the warm-up event. The Superman Classic is sponsored by the City of Metropolis and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and features over $20,000 in prize money. The prize money will be given at the Superman Classic banquet at 7 p.m. Friday, June 23 at Fort Massac State Park.
In 2016, the addition of a Scholastic 3D Archery (S3DA) youth tournament was added for children grades three through 12th. Children compete in three divisions — Scholastic Elementary, Scholastic Middle School and Scholastic High School.
The S3DA is a non-profit organization with a mission to foster educate and guide youth in the area of 3D, indoor and outdoor target archery.
The ASA Illinois Pro/Am Championship, which takes place Friday, June 23 through Sunday, June 25, is a true archery festival with archery and outdoor manufacturers showing the newest and latest products, special seminars and presentations, youth programs and activities and bow hunting activities for young and old.
On Thursday, practice areas will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Limb Saver Known Distance competition tee-times are: Thursday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 7:30-9 a.m.
The Zebra Bowstrings team shoot will start at noon Friday with the awards being given at 3 p.m.
The Eagle Classes and elementary pins orientation and safety meeting will begin at 7 a.m. on Saturday with the awards ceremony at 4 p.m.
Further instruction is available through the Future Champions ASA Coaching Clinic, which will be held beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
On Saturday, a First Round shotgun start will be held at 7:30 a.m., followed by the women’s pro, open pro and senior pro classes First Round shotgun start at 10 a.m., and known pro, semi-pro and amateur classes at 11:30 a.m. The traditional award ceremony will be held at 12:30. A Second Round shotgun start will be held Saturday at 3:30 p.m. for classes, as well as a 7:30 a.m. Sunday Second Round shotgun start planned. An all completed amateur classes awards ceremony will follow at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Sunday starts with a 6 a.m. sunrise church service, and all morning competitors need to be at their stake at 7:15 a.m.
The ASA practice facilities will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday; 8 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Friday; 6:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday; and from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. Sunday.
A youth team shoot bonus for 25 and 30 yard youth classes is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Sunday.
The competition culminates with the Pro Pressure Point ShootDown and Pro Awards at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
More information is available at the Metropolis Tourism website, www.metropolistourism.com.