The 2018 Lancaster Archery Classic promises great competition … and more

Watch some of the sport's biggest names — and some promising amateurs — compete in this exciting tournament.

2018 Lancaster Archery Classic

The stage is set for the 15th annual Lancaster Archery Classic, Jan. 26-28, at Spooky Nook Sports, 75 Champ Blvd., Manheim, PA.

About 1,500 archers from more than a dozen countries around the world will compete in this unique tournament for over $160,000 in cash and prizes from Lancaster Archery Supply, plus another $190,000 in potential contingency awards from equipment manufacturers. The top prize of $15,000 — plus thousands more in contingency money — will be paid to the Men’s Open Pro champion.

Big-name competitors

The Classic is the largest indoor archery tournament on the East Coast, which is why it draws many of the sport’s biggest stars, including World Archery’s top three archers in Men’s Compound: Stephan Hansen of Denmark, Braden Gellenthien of USA and Mike Schloesser of Netherlands.

Also registered to compete are 2016 Olympic individual bronze medalist and team silver medalist Brady Ellison of USA, World Archery No. 1 ranked Women’s Compound archer Sarah Sonnichsen of Denmark, 2016 USA Olympian Mackenzie Brown and dozens of other elite archers, such as Jesse Broadwater, Levi Morgan, Cara Kelly and Sharon Wallace.

The competition also draws a large amateur crowd, with payouts, $40,000 in door prizes and live video coverage for all 15 divisions. Included among the amateurs this year will be more than 200 young archers under the age of 21, who will be competing in a special Youth Trophy Tournament. This “tournament within the tournament” gives young archers the chance to compete in a major competition like the Classic for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time commitment.

Footage from the three-day tournament will be broadcast live on YouTube, Facebook, www.lancasterarchery.com and Blue Ridge Cable TV 11, attracting tens of thousands of TV and online viewers.

An appealing format

The Classic’s format is what makes it so popular. One bad arrow doesn’t necessarily eliminate an archer from contention.

On Friday, Jan. 26, each competitor will shoot a qualification round of 60 arrows, shot at targets 18 meters away. A perfect score would be 660, since the inner-most bull’s-eye ring — about the size of a penny — scores 11 points.

After ranking archers’ Friday qualification scores, the field in each of the 15 competition divisions will be whittled down to top finishers, who will then shoot head-to-head elimination rounds in a bracket-style competition on Saturday morning.

Finalists in each division will emerge from those brackets to compete in 12-arrow, shoot-up style elimination rounds, where lower-ranked archers can shoot their way up to the top to win the competition. Some divisions will hold their shoot-ups Saturday afternoon, while the remaining divisions — including Men’s Open Pro — will finish Sunday.

Get a look at the latest gear

Besides the competition, more than 40 vendors will have booths set up at the venue, showcasing the latest and greatest in target archery equipment.  The 200,000-square-foot TRUBALL/AXCEL Archery Hall could accommodate up to 2,000 archers within the 17-acre Spooky Nook Sports Complex.  Seminars will be conducted all day Friday by various industry experts in the Carbon Express Practice Hall.

Tournament hours are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28. Spectators are invited to attend the competition for free, however Spooky Nook charges for parking.

Lancaster Archery Supply thanks its 2018 Classic sponsors: T.R.U. Ball/Axcel, Hoyt, Dead Center, Carbon Express, Victory Archery, Mathews, Black Eagle, Carter, Bloodsport, Doinker, BCY, Scott, CBE, Easton, Shrewd, SKB, Shibuya, Gold Tip, B-Stinger, Vortex Optics, American Whitetail, Top Hat, Stan, Win&Win, Cartel, Prime, Elite, Leupold, PSE, Gateway, Last Chance, Limbsaver, Neet, Beiter, Big Shot Targets, Speciality Archery, Bowtech, Yeti, Rogue Bowstrings, Gas Bowstrings, No Limit Archery, Competition Archery, Zbros Archery, Brownell and Gillo.