Archery Tag Anyone?

Bratcher hoping to introduce sport here

Archery Tag?

Playing tag with bow and arrows sounds about as safe as Jarts, those big steel-tipped lawn darts that were popular in the ’70s.

But the “arrows” are tipped with foam.

And they’re perfectly safe, Jared Bratcher says.

Bratcher, sports marketing director for the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, hopes to interest city and county parks or maybe a private company in bringing Archery Tag to Owensboro in 2018.

“It would be a great secondary event for kids in town for a tournament,” he said recently. “It would cost about $4,000 to set it up.”

Bratcher said, “It’s a cool thing. It’s a lot like paintball with obstacles. Or dodge ball with bows and arrows. The videos look like it’s a lot of fun.”

Arrows, he said, are “tipped with something that looks like a big marshmallow. You wear helmets like paintball. The bows and arrows are placed in the center and people race for them. You use longbows, not crossbows.”

Archery Tag tournaments “are really picking up,” Bratcher said. “I don’t know that it will ever be nationally sanctioned though. It’s still pretty new.”

Archery Tag, a trademarked name, was created by John Jackson of Ashley, Indiana, in 2011.

Within three years, the sport’s website says, Archery Tag — the “original family-friendly combat archery sport” — had spread to dozens of countries on six continents.

The rules say that two teams with five players each are separated by a “safe zone.”

Each team has a “5-Spot Knockout Target.”

There are two objectives — to hit the opponents and to knock out the five discs of the opposing team’s target.

A player is eliminated when hit by an arrow or when someone on the other team catches his or her arrow.

A “hit” player can be called back into the game when a target spot is knocked out or when a teammate catches an arrow.

Archery Tag’s rapid rise in popularity was tied in part to the “Hunger Games” movies, which featured people fighting with bows and arrows.

Bratcher said he plans to meet soon with people who might be interested in bringing the sport to Owensboro.

Click here for the full Messenger-Inquirer article written by Keith Lawrence.