Benning to host ASA archery classic
About 1,500 archers are expected to gather at Uchee Creek Thursday to compete in the sixth annual ASA Classic. The four-day event runs through July 26 on the ranges at Uchee Creek Campground.

About 1,500 professional and amateur archers are expected at Fort Benning next week for the sixth annual ASA Classic, sponsored by Team Realtree, organizers said.

The four-day event begins Thursday and runs through July 26 on the ranges at Uchee Creek Campground. A Saturday evening session featuring various pro classes will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Columbus Civic Center.

The Archery Shooters Association stages seven events each year, and this is the premier showcase on the calendar, with a purse of more than $200,000, said Mike Tyrell, president of ASA. The total includes season-ending bonuses and promotional prize money.

"It's our largest event of the year," he said. "Our classic championship includes people who qualify from state federations, so it typically draws another 200 or 300 competitors ... It's one of largest archery events in the country."

The ASA Classic is the nation's biggest 3-D archery event, Tyrell said.

3-D shooting is unique because people with all levels of archery skills - from novice to pro - can participate, according to Uchee Creek Archery Club's Web site. It involves placing a realistic animal decoy at known and unknown distances, guessing the yardage and shooting exactly where a competitor aims.

Cliff Hughes, manager of Uchee Creek Campground and Marina, said the ASA Classic generates more than $20,000 in revenue for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

"It is the largest, best-attended shoot in the U.S.," he said.

He said up to $5,000 in prizes will be up for grabs among Soldiers and their families during Thursday's kickoff event, the DFMWR Benefit Shoot. Military units will compete with a pro partner for the MWR Fort Benning Cup.

The entry fee is $25 and registration starts at 9 a.m. For more information, call 706-545-7238 or 706-681-6995.

The Uchee Creek Archery Club has about 300 members, and one-third will compete in the ASA Classic, including 50 to 75 Soldiers and family members, Hughes said.

In all, there are 12 categories, ranging from junior amateur shooters to the Senior Pro Class.

Tyrell said organizers are hoping for decent weather to avoid any serious heat problems for spectators and competitors.

"If temperatures are in the 80s, we'll be very happy," he said. "We have a very good relationship with the MWR and people at Uchee Creek. Everybody involved with that event is very professional. They're used to dealing with large events and big crowds.

"We get very good support and we look forward every year to coming down there."

Page last updated Fri July 17th, 2009 at 17:08