Last Sunday I was in the mood for a little shooting. I packed up our bows and my daughter and I took a ride over to Stowe Archers. Knowing her well, I offered up a challenge. We were going to shoot a 450 Round and the winner would get a prize. If I won, I’d get a hug and a kiss. If she won, I’d have to buy her an ice cream on the way home. No matter the outcome, we would have fun with a little competition.
For the matchup, I would be shooting 20 yards at a standard 3-Spot Target. My arrows would be scored as shot, no handicap. My daughter, on the other hand, would be shooting from 5 yards at a Single Spot. She would also receive a handicap of 100 points per game.
Knowing that I’m not a great shot, 100 points would be difficult for me to overcome. To my surprise, I shot better than I had in quite a while and came out ahead by 7 points after the first game.
During the second game, and as a grape soda began to kick in, my daughter found her groove and rallied back. Despite a second good round shot by me, my little girl rallied ahead and won. The third game wasn’t even close. She spanked me.
Using the same 80% handicapping system that we use during the Stowe Archers 450 League, my handicap comes out to 9 points. This is a pretty solid improvement over the 14 point handicap I was shooting last winter.
During the ride home, we discussed the next matchup. Some quick calculations told me that she should be shooting a 75 point handicap next game. Being the little negotiator that she is, we agreed on her shooting a 90 point handicap next time (dropping in 10 point increments as she gets better). I suspect I’ll be buying a lot of ice cream in the near future.
Another added benefit to shooting scored games is that she also gets to practice her math (she is in 1st grade). Calling arrows and tallying scores were a nice twist.
Since I felt that beating her Dad was a nice little milestone, I dug out one of the medals we keep at the club for Youth Awards. She was proud of her medal and has reminded me, quite often, that she has an archery medal and I do not – which has been great for keeping her motivated.
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