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Pavel Kaszonyi: «The IAU Field crossbow shooting rules have a very long history»


No championship can be held without them because they carefully monitor the competition for the treasured trophies and medals to be conducted according to all the rules. Moreover, the final result of an athlete sometimes depends on their competent decision. Of course, we mean judges. The chief judge of the Field division Pavel Kaszonyi is speaking about the features of work, training, responsibility in decision-making.

- Mr. Kaszonyi, you are rightfully considered to be the most authoritative international judge in the IAU field division. Recently no major international competition has been held without your judging. Your vote is often casting in the process of making and adopting significant changes in the field rules, addressing contentious issues that occur during competitions. You were one of the first who pointed out the necessity of introduction of a number of changes to the competition rules and new exercises of the field division in order to draw spectators’ attention and interest to crossbow shooting. Could you, please, tell in detail what changes in the rules have been adopted? And why certain decisions have been made?

- The actual IAU Field crossbow shooting rules have a very long history. No significant changes have been introduced since 1995, the year when I became a member of the big field crossbow family. Our shooting format generates top shooters who can shoot at three distances (65m, 50m, 35m) 30 shots a day for two days outdoor without special shooting dress and then in the third day they run final shots. This is a very nice and traditional shooting format, but also it is often a too long and boring style of competition. In the meantime, all the important sports become more attractive for visitors and media due to the increase of tension during the finals. During the last IAU World Cup Final indoor event in Orel we used the competition format with elimination for the first time. After the first qualification day only the best 16 shooters in categories shot duels to 5 points. The winner of a duel gets 2 points, the looser - 0 point (in case of tie both get 1 point). A shooter who gets 5 points first goes to the next elimination round till the final. The whole elimination including gold final takes about three hours and is easy to follow for visitors or media.

- When will we be able to see major international competitions held in a new format? What kind of tournaments will they be?

- The new competition format we are testing this year will be at the IAU World Cup events for 50m outdoor shooting. The first elimination event was the 24th Croatia IAU World Cup in Veliko Trgovišče and the second was the 21st Bohemia IAU World Cup in Otrokovice. The IAU Field technical committee can recommend the new format to the IAU EC only in case of one-year testing with positive acceptance of shooters.

- What are your impressions of the World Cup Final that took place for the first time in history in a new format? Do you consider the format of the competitions to be successful? Have duel competitions made crossbow shooting more spectacular?

- All my impressions from the first World Cup Final in Orel were positive. It was the biggest indoor field crossbow event with the highest level of organization and the best presentation in media. Being one of the co-authors of the new final format my point of view cannot be really objective. Only the smiling faces of successful shooters and positive reaction of visitors can help us to estimate the attractiveness of this new format of finals.

- What can you say about the policy of the IAU regarding the international judge preparation?

- The year 2019 is extremely important for the IAU Field Technical Committee. We prepare three Field Judges courses for new applicants and a reaccreditation for all IAU International Judges acting today. The first Field Judges Courses in Ulyanovsk and Moscow took place at the beginning of July. The second Field Judges Course was related to the IAU World Cup in Otrokovice where we also realized the first part of IAU International Judges reaccreditation. By the IAU World Championship in Ulyanovsk we would like to finish the reaccreditation of the rest of IJ´s. All these courses are organized according to the new Guidelines for IAU Field Judges Courses and IAU Field Judges Guidelines published on our web.

- Doesn’t it seem to you that a number of certified judges we have is not enough to provide /ensure maintenance of all the international competitions, that tend to increase in number in recent years?

- The IAU Field crossbow Judges team is not numerous enough to forget about the education of new judges. Some of the most experienced International Judges have left our ranks due to some diseases or family problems. Only a long-term and gradual preparation of new Field Judges can ensure the growth of the IAU Judges family.

- To our mind, it would be reasonable if each international competition could be serviced by different teams of international judges. As a result of certain calculations, it may help competition organizers to reduce financial costs, concerning judges’ salaries.

- An ideal solution for organizers of large international events would be to have enough domestic qualified Judges and a technical delegate nominated by IAU Technical committee to conduct the whole event with minimum financial costs. Unfortunately, only some of the IAU member federations have enough high qualified Judges for such a solution.

- What do you think about introduction of new complex exercises, including dynamic component and power exercise (such as «Carousel» and «Shooting relay» practiced in Russia) to the international competition regulations?

- We are all looking for new, attractive forms of crossbow shooting and Carousel is one of the exciting solutions. Especially younger shooters can enjoy it at traditional events organized by the Russian Crossbow Federation. I like its dynamics and the combination of running and shooting. It strongly reminds me of biathlon, cross-country skiing and target shooting.

- Lately participants from the Czech Republic have become less and less frequent at match division competitions, though everyone knows the names of great Czech shooters and coaches, closely related to match crossbow shooting and successfully working by contract in other countries. What, in your view, is the reason of the lack of interest in match division in your country? And what should be done to revive Czech shooters’ participation in international competitions?

- Match division in the Czech Republic is organized by the Czech Rifle Association which has many successful shooters and several Olympic winners of the past. Unfortunately, its leadership is currently struggling with a lack of financial support from the government and minority sports like Match crossbow shooting experience it most of all.

- What, to your mind, should be done in order to increase the number of national sports federations IAU and how to promote crossbow movement in such countries as Belgium, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, China, Great Britain and Portugal?

- The extension of crossbow shooting to other countries and an increase in the number of active shooters in the IAU member federations such as Belgium, Mongolia, etc. is only possible with the intensive work of the entire IAU management. We should not only look for an attractive format of our competitions, such as elimination and Carousel, but also actively promote our sport in all the media. Without extensive promotion and search for new ways, today's youth will not even notice us and will not enter our Field crossbow family. The current leadership of the IAU has already taken the right way, has done a lot of work and I believe that our membership will soon expand significantly.