Making the U.S. Olympic Archery Team

First, let’s look at how each country qualifies for the Olympic Games. Each country can qualify either 1 or 3 places each for the Olympic Games in the men’s and women’s recurve categories.

The main qualification tournament is the World Archery Championships the year prior to the Olympic Games. Each country’s team who places in the top 8 in the men’s and women’s recurve team rounds at the World Championships will qualify a full team of 3 men and 3 women for the Olympics. If either team should fail to qualify 3 spots, there are individual spots available (1 per gender) and an additional qualifying tournament for teams prior to the Olympic Games. 

To fill the quota spots we have earned, USA Archery hosts a three part event process that typically starts about a year before the Games. The first event of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials is open to anyone who officially registers for the event, is a USA Archery member and a citizen of the United States. The first trials event will consist of a qualification round that will cut the field down to the top 16 male and female recurve archers. The top 16 archers in each gender category will shoot against each other archer one time (also called “Round Robin match play”) and all archers in the top 16 qualify for the second selection event.

The second Trials event is typically held in the spring of the Olympic year. It will be the longest event and will cut the field from 16 archers in each division to the top 8 archers. The top 8 archers from this event will qualify for the third and final event.

In the past, the final Trials event has consisted of a ranking round, team round simulation, head to head elimination rounds, and round robin match play. The total points accumulated from each event will determine the final rankings for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.  

If USA Archery has earned 3 Olympic quota slots in each division, the top 3 archers per division will be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team. The athlete who is ranked fourth is named the Alternate to the U.S. Olympic Team. If we have only earned 1 quota slot in a division, only the top finisher in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be named to the U.S. Olympic Archery Team.  In addition to their final ranking in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, athletes whose ranking makes them eligible to be on the U.S. Olympic Archery Team must also meet the Minimum Qualification Standards set by World Archery for each quadrennial.