[Ansteorra-archery] Titled Archery Champions

Travis J. luminosow at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 1 13:55:13 PDT 2005

Greetings to the great Archers of Ansteorra,

I apologize for not being able to respond to this topic sooner, as it is one 
of great concern to me, and near and dear to my heart.  However, mundane 
life has placed great demands on my time, which is in harmony with much that 
is being discussed here.

For those of you who do not know me, once again my apologies, and allow me 
to fill you in on my viewpoint of this topic.

In January of 2002 I won the title “Royal Huntsman of Ansteorra”.  I was 
told by a former RH that my “duties” would be to attend every event with a 
Royal Procession possible and stand in court to represent the archery 
community.  And whenever I was not able to attend it was my responsibility 
to find someone to stand in my place.  If you’ve ever looked at the official 
calendar you’ll notice that’s about 3 events a month, for 6 months, over a 
giant two-state area.  I did my best and ended up attending about 2 events 
per month that reign, including Gulf War.  All expenses out of my own 
pocket, and at a great strain to my family.

During Gulf War, I steeped out onto the battlefield wearing the Ansteorran 
Huntsman’s tabard and had HL Fergus look upon me and make the comment “Do 
you realize you are the first Huntsman to ever attend Gulf War?”  That is 
also the first year Ansteorra won the war point for archery.  Yet several 
times during that reign I had people telling me I was not fulfilling my 
duties and not acting as a true champion should?  I believe a lot of what 
people were expecting out of the kingdom archery “champion”, were actually 
duties and responsibilities of the kingdom archery “marshal”, and the local 
baronial “marshals” of the specific events, all official officers who have 
volunteered to serve and perform such duties.  This is why you’ve never seen 
me even show up at an event holding the RH tournament since then.  There is 
no way I could attend an event and not do archery.  And there is no way I 
could “bow-out” of a list.  And if I were eliminated from a list by someone 
that bowed out, I would demand I be put back in the list in their place.

I was at an event a few months later and my predecessor came up to me in 
private and made the comment “Why didn’t you warn me about all these duties 
and repsonsibilites?  I have not had the opportunity to practice archery 
since becoming RH!”

Look at what we are doing to our “Champions”.

Later that same year I won the title “Bryn-Gwlad Baronial Archery Champion”. 
  However, due to personal and financial reasons I was only able to attend 
one official BG event that year. (It’s a 3.5 hour drive for me.)  Later I 
even had people making comments to me like “You were the worst champion I’ve 
ever seen.”  Yet I would think to myself, “It was a double elimination 
tournament, I went undefeated every round, the local marshal said that had 
never been done before.”  Yet I’m the worst champion in baronial history?

The above bad memories are a portion of why I took a year off from the SCA.  
And why I’m slowly and cautiously easing my way back in.  Its experiences 
and memories like these that make people not want to “play” anymore.  Some 
of us have families and obligations outside of the SCA, yet like to escape 
mundane life to play and compete whenever we can.

And now I’ve jumped right back into the pot.  This May I won the title 
“Steppes Archer”.  I was told that it would be expected of me to attend 
Steppes Artisian and Steppes 12th Night, and return next May for Steppes 
Warlord.  I’ve scheduled the return flight of my summer vacation one day 
early so I can be present at court for Artisan next week. (My apologies to 
Susan in advance if my flight is delayed.)

I like attending major titled-archery championships for the thrill of being 
able to compete against the best archers there are, from all over the 
kingdom.  I feel having these tournaments restricted to local populace only 
would take much of the excitement away, and reduce these shoots to something 
not much more than a local practice.

To earn the “Title” of Archery Champion is something of Prestige and Honor, 
something to be earned, something to be proud of; an accomplishment to be 
celebrated.  To be awarded the “Office” of Archery Marshal is something to 
be volunteered for, a very serious position of duty and responsibility.  
Something that can be stepped downed from (or bowed-out of) as mundane life 
or personal reasons require.

Lord Lughaidh Mac Sheóinín

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