This is an open letter to those who attend both IBO and ASA archery tournaments as sponsors, vendors or competitors. By this time, you are well aware of the decision by Mike Tyrell and the ASA to schedule on top of our first leg of the National Championship Triple Crown being held at Pipestem Resort State Park, May 16-19. I want to be very clear as to the IBO’s role, or lack thereof, in this problematic decision which lacks empathy for those involved and overall good judgement.
Since the IBO’s founding some 35 years ago and the subsequent inception of the ASA some 10 years later, there has never been a scheduling conflict affecting our National Championship Triple Crown or World Championship events. During the early years of the ASA, there were feelings among some IBO members that the IBO should schedule on top of the fledgling ASA organization to not allow it to grow and become a rival to the IBO. This obviously did not happen because of the integrity of the IBO Board of Directors and their belief that there was room for both organizations, each having their own demographic base with different missions, or reasons for their existence. It was the IBO Board of Directors’ decision that it would be best for the Archery industry and the shooting population for both organizations to exist - this is why today, we have both organizations.
This brings me to the conflict at hand. In September of 2013, we publicized our event schedule through the year 2020 to not only reaffirm our historic dates but to allow other organizations to see these dates in plenty of time to avoid conflict. On February 10, 2014, Mike Tyrell sent me a tentative schedule for 2015-2017 and asked me to review it for potential conflicts. I noted conflicts with the first leg in May for all three years and with our August World Championship for the 2015 season. To make a long story short, after several emails were exchanged, Mike Tryell’s final email read:
“After discussions with several of our mutual sponsors, along with reviewing and identifying other issues that we must confront with our Pro/Am schedule we have been able to adjust our schedule through 2020 to insure that there are no date conflicts with any of your Triple Crown and world events.”
“I apologize for the confrontational nature of our previous contact.”
What happened between February of 2014 and August of 2018, when ASA announced their 2019 schedule, is anyone’s guess but the fact is clear that they intentionally moved their date from one that did not conflict to one that does conflict with the IBO’s first leg of the National Championship Triple Crown. Furthermore, on February 22, Mike Tyrell wrote in his 2019 Rule and Procedure Updates:
“We apologize for the scheduling conflict in May. We had been lead to believe that IBO was changing their May date and there would be no problem. You have my personal guarantee that this will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.”
Because of our obligations to the NASP/IBO 3D Challenge program and other contractual issues, our dates have remained the same, have been publicized since 2013, and cannot be moved. I can assure everyone that the IBO has NEVER led anyone to believe that we were changing our National Championship Triple Crown date.
As a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Bowhunting rights, we distribute tens of thousands of dollars per year to fulfil our mission. We support many like-minded organizations that share our values and goals. Just recently, we surpassed $250,000 in donations to the Sportsmen’s Alliance who is a great partner in our efforts to protect our way of life. Make no mistake about the decision of Mike Tyrell and the ASA - It not only hurts our efforts to protect the sport of Bowhunting, it also hurts the competitors, some of which make a living shooting their bows; it hurts the sponsors, vendors and our Host of the IBO first leg, Larry Kade. Larry has been an advocate for competitive archery and competes in both the ASA and IBO. He worked very hard to get an IBO National level event in West Virginia because he wanted to help the local economy by bringing in much needed revenue.
So when you make your decision as to which tournament you will be attending, as a competitor or as a vendor, we ask that you take these things into consideration. The only way to prevent this type of detrimental decision from being made in the future is to take a stand. We ask for your support by attending the first leg of the IBO National Championship Triple Crown and look forward to seeing you in Pipestem, WV.
Bryan J. Marcum