Tournament day.  What happens?  Well, it's a lot like your normal shooting practice, just a lot more people and a lot more fun.

An overview of a typical NAA indoor tournament in Texas

Usually you should arrive at least 30 minutes before your chosen shooting times especially if it is cold outside - you need time to acclimate, to get used to the gym, and to get your head in the right place. 

Times: For JOAD archers, the tourney director usually designates one particular time, say, Saturday at 8am, for all JOAD archers.   Many JOAD archers will also take advantage of the event to shoot with the adults in the "double FITA" event, which means that the archer shoots TWO other times.  A typical choice would be to shoot Friday at 6PM, the first half of the event in the "FITA" event, and the second half of the FITA event on Sunday.   On Saturday, shoot the JOAD event.  This means you would shoot at least 180 arrows over the weekend!!!  

Lines: Each shooting time is often called a "LINE", as in a line of archers.  When the tournament has a LOT of people signed up, the tournament director will make the shooting time into a "double line" or "two lines".  Since the target butt is large enough to hold FOUR targets, two archers will shoot on each target butt at a time, and when they are done the other two archers on the target get up to shoot, so there are two lines taking turns shooting before all go down to the target to score and pull. 

The line can be very tight - lots of people standing close together.  Don't worry, you will have enough room to shoot but be it is a good idea to use a deodorant IF you know what I mean!  :)

Timing:  Each line will hear one whistle, then have 10 seconds to walk to the line (red light displayed), hear two whistles and then have TWO minutes to shoot three arrows (green light displayed).  After 1 1/2 minutes ( there are 30 seconds of shooting left) an yellow light is sometimes displayed, so the archer knows that time is getting short.   When the 2 minutes is up, either two whistles sound (if there is another line waiting their turn to shoot) or else three whistles sound telling everyone to stop shooting, go down and score/pull.  You'll do this for 10 ends (turns), get a break, and then do it again for 10 more ends.

Dress: you need to comply with the NAA dress code if you want to shoot.  Check here for the rules

Equipment: Bring as much spare equipment as you can - it is especially good to have a backup bowstring, finger tab, arm guard, etc.  You need at least 4 arrows that are properly marked.  You will shoot 3 at a time (per end), and if one gets disabled by a lost fletch or broken nock, you'll be glad for the spare.

Remember that the shooting will go on for several hours - be prepared, food-wise.  Eat well enough before that you aren't feeling sleepy, for example, but also so that your stomach isn't talking to your backbone by the last end. 

On a related note, you will be shooting sixty arrows under most conditions, so you want to practice shooting often enough and hard enough to be able to not feel "totally whupped" by the time arrow number 60 comes around.   Work up to it gradually, though - don't expect that you can go form 20 arrows a day to 60 or even more in just a day or two, and still be able to make your best shots.

This is really fun.  You get to meet lots of other archers your own age, and everyone there is just trying to do their best.  So you plan to do your best too.  Make some new friends.  Learn a little about yourself.  HAVE FUN.  And don't put too much pressure on yourself - it's all for fun.  For more information, take a look at the pictures page, of the various indoor tournaments.