Krista Snodgrass, with The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, explains the new program. "The advantage to the virtual tournament is now we are not going to limit the number of kids who can participate in the Archery in the School tournament. Now it will be unlimited, we won't have to have a limit on how many can participate per school, it will be limited to teams of twelve to sixteen when they come to qualify at the state tournament."
This is what last year's state tournament looked like the Civic Center, it was packed! Since the tournament has grown so much, so fast, the DNR had to find another way to accommodate all the kids who wanted to take part. Todd Morris coaches the team at John Marshall high school in the northern panhandle near Wheeling and he's fired up about the virtual tournament.
"It will give them more of a chance to elevate their competition and give them something to look forward to coming down state to Charleston. There are only twelve spots available and this gives them a little more incentive to try a little bit harder." says Morris
Snodgrass says the ability to compete over the web also gives schools more of a chance to take on other schools without having to take on a lot of travel costs. There is a window of opportunity for teams to compete against each other without having to leave their gyms.
"A school has two options, have a tournament at your school and have a principal verify the score, or they can compete with other schools as long as it falls between January 2 and February 22."
That gives teams a lot of time to get familiar with the virtual tournament before the state finals in the spring.
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