Youth Bow Up For Record

Tommy Floyd, a NASP board member and announcer, gazes at the 1,350 feet of shooting line at the tournament.

NASP sets Guinness mark with 7,804 archers competing in national event

Breaking down social barriers and eliminating records is nothing new to the National Archery in the Schools Program. The non-profit organization broke the Guinness book of World Records by holding the largest archery tournament on May 12 with 7,804 participants at the 2012 NASP Nationals in Louisville, Ky.

"I walked outside of the tournament and saw acres of parked cars; It was shocking that something this large started with 12 people simply sitting around a table," said Roy Grimes, President of NASP. "And it made the tournament that much more special for the kids to be a part of a world record."

Check out images from the NASP Nationals:

The largest archery range was constructed for the event, with 1,350 feet of shooting line, 270 lanes and room for 540 archers during each of the tournament’s 1 hour rounds. Sponsors such as Bass Pro Shops, Matthews Archery and the National Field Archery Association provided $50,000 in scholarship money, highlighted by Tyler Finely from Zanesville, Ohio, receiving $10,000 for finishing first.

The organization, spearheaded by Grimes, began in 2002 with a goal to introduce archery into school's physical education programs for children in 4th to 12th grade. 

"We had been losing 2 percent of our hunting license buyers per year for 15 years," said Grimes, at the time was a deputy to Thomas Bennett, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Grimes believed that if a shooting sport was made popular through children, hunting licenses would therefore increase. Archery fit the bill, and Grimes partnered with the Kentucky Department of Education to launch the organization.

"We were planning to make it a high school sport," Grimes said, "but Gene Wilhoit, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education, suggested making it a physical education class so all students could participate during the school day, instead of it strictly being an after school activity.”

Grimes saw the genius in Wilhiot's strategy and thought that NASP could have a positive effect on the children, and the program grew quickly.NASP's goal of reaching 120 schools in five years was met much earlier than expected - in a mere 13 months.

Several neighboring states showed interest, and the organization changed its name from Kentucky Archery in Schools Program to the National Archery in Schools Program.

The organization currently has 47 states in the program, with only Rhode Island, Vermont, and Delaware still on the target. Their reach extends across the world to Canada, New Zealand, Australia and three countries in Africa.

The organization, which grew from 21 schools to 10,373 schools, "helps with attendance and discipline," according to Grimes. "Parents are wanting their children to benefit from it because it gives them the opportunity to make new friends."

Grimes said he believes the organization will actually accelerate in the next decade, due to archery being considered as an official high school sport.

It's statically difficult to attribute whether the NASP has directly increased license sales, but Grimes has high hopes and at least one definitive statistic..

"A high percentage of participants in NASP cross over into other sports, including fishing and hunting, which can lead to license purchases," he said. "Minnesota reported bow hunting licenses were up 25 percent since starting NASP."

Archery, considered by many to be a gateway to hunting and other outdoor sports, is receiving financial dividends and awareness from the public. Grimes explained that even if the children in NASP don't buy a hunting license but do purchase a bow, some tax benefits go from the manufacturer to state wildlife agencies.

In terms of contributing to the cross over, Grimes said "we teach the skill, but we let the people decide if they want to cross over into other areas of shooting."

Grimes, who has been practicing archery as a lifetime hobby, is confident in his organization’s impact.

"I firmly believe we're making better kids as they take up archery," he said.

For more information, visit

Recommended for You


Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.


MidwayUSA Pro Series Shooting Mat

G&F Staff

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat.


How to Fish Bottom Bouncers for Walleye

Mark Sak - May 23, 2019

While misunderstood by some, fishing bottom bouncers can be a very productive technique for...

See More Recommendations

Trending Stories


Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...


10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper - April 02, 2015

We all have our "swear by" bait for catfish. For me, it is chicken liver, live shad or my...


12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these five great...

See More Stories

More Stories


Call Our Complex Coyotes

Brad Fitzpatrick - July 13, 2017

We Coyote hunters spend a lot of time ringing the dog's dinner bell when we call. But we are


Coyote Calling Tips for Hunting at Close Range

Tim Lilley - January 09, 2014

Brian Meyer likes to have coyotes within 20 yards! He uses an SKB shotgun for his coyote...


Coyotes In Suburbia

Stephen D. Carpenteri - November 30, 2016

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.