BRANSON, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (MCHF) announce that the 2020 Missouri National Archery in Schools Program (MoNASP) State Tournament scheduled for March 19-21 at the Branson Convention Center in Branson has been cancelled and is being changed to a virtual tournament where participating student archers can compete at their local schools and teams can submit scores.
The change from a live statewide tournament involving attendance by thousands of people to numerous, smaller competitions is in response to recommended health and safety precautions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“We at the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation are following the advice of health experts to avoid large concentrations of people,” explained MDC MoNASP Coordinator Eric Edwards. “The safest and most responsible option is to change the format from a live tournament to numerous smaller, local competitions where teams can submit formal scores for a virtual state tournament.”
Edwards added that other states around the country are also following similar precautions for their state tournaments by moving to virtual tournaments.
“Thousands of MoNASP student archers have worked very hard over the past year to hone their skills for the state tournament and we do not want to eliminate that opportunity for them,” Edwards said. “While not ideal, a virtual tournament still allows for state-level competition while avoiding the risks of a gathering of many thousands.”
Up to 4,000 student archers were scheduled to compete in the state tournament with an additional many more thousands of supporters expected to attend.
Student archers who shoot qualifying scores at the virtual state tournament will still earn spots at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) national tournament May 7-9 in Louisville, Kentucky.
With the change to a virtual tournament, MoNASP is providing the following instructions to participating teams:
MoNASP is coordinated through MDC, MCHF, and the Conservation Federation of Missouri in partnership with more than 700 participating schools and numerous supporting organizations throughout the state. More than 200,000 Missouri students participate in the program. MoNASP is an affiliate of NASP and promotes education, self-esteem, and physical activity for students in grades 4-12 through participation in the sport of archery.
For more information on MoNASP and the virtual state tournament, contact MDC Education Outreach Coordinator Eric Edwards at Eric.Edwards@mdc.mo.gov, or 573-522-4115, ext. 3295.