State Field

Field Archery has seen a decline as well and it mostly mirrors the target side. This is to be expected as competitive archers tend to shoot most formats.

We do miss some years in this as these are only the years which I have both target and field together.
They are very similar. The dive the year the 6 ring came out did match what the feeling was at the time. People were not happy about it.
The 2011 year may have been an anomaly. The event was held at Sherbrooke, usually a popular venue, and only had 46 entries. The Silver cup, held 2 months prior, had 57 entries, including 27 compound archers (still low). However given the immediate bounce back the following year it may well have been a timing issue rather than a trend issue.

Otherwise the trend is the same between the two formats.

It's quite likely the 6 ring led to a decrease in participation.
in 2006 the Top 6 Mens Compound were super close.
1st: 692
2nd: 692
3rd: 689
4th: 688
5th: 686
6th: 685

That's 7 points over 6 places. Exciting!
If we convert those 6 places to 6 ring scoring they shuffle around a bit.
3rd jumps to 2nd. 6th to 3rd. 2nd to 4th.
Now the gap between the top 6 places is 18 points.
1st: 755
2nd: 754
3rd: 744
4th: 743
5th: 742
6th: 737

The gap from 1st to 8th though goes from 20 points to 40 points.

and that's the bit that really matters.
When scores are close people get excited and motivated to improve. When they are too big people don't bother so much.

Lets look at the Top 8 point spread over more years

6 RIng Era
2019: 237 points (8 competitors)
2018: 49 points
2017: 83 points
2016: 66 points
2015: 58 points (1st won by 26 points alone)
2014: 89 points
2012: 88 points
2011: 109 points (top 6)
2008: 55 points

5 Ring Era
2007: 28 points
2006: 19 points
2005: 48 points (Top 5 were clearly better that year)
2003: 30 points* (National round day one. So took second day and doubled scores to create comparison)
2001: 42 points

So basically the format is now less competitive from the top to the 8th place. The most uncompetitive day with the 5 ring, was more competitive than the most competitive day with the 6 ring.

This matters because people, frankly, don't get motivated by getting smashed.

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