Following a sport by getting updates on the score didn't really sound that fun, I have to admit. Vanessa was so excited about it and she insisted you can tell a lot from the numbers, but I was very dubious. At least, I figured that maybe if you’ve lived and breathed archery like these guys do, you might get more out of it than little old me.
The occasions to follow a competition like this are way more numerous than matches you can see broadcast or actually go to, though, so there’s that. Vanessa was over the moon about a bunch of archery/computer fans she met in Turkey who’ve set up a site where you can read regularly updated scores as a competition is happening. Apparently, the top-level archery set keep a window open on their computers while one’s going on and they just keep hitting refresh. The events really are international, so you have to shuffle through and pick one.
I gave IANSEO a go. None of the games that day were in English-speaking countries, which didn’t seem promising. The site itself is sort of part English, part Italian, and probably written by someone whose first language is Italian. Not super helpful for figuring out what I was looking at. Which was in Finnish. And, actually, it turned out to be so much fun that I don’t want to explain it to you. It’s laid out in these diagrams called brackets and I had to figure out what it all meant, including the structure of the game, by deduction and I was so pleased with myself, that I really think you should experience it for yourself. If anything, you may have to look up ‘set points’.
Having said that, it is still names with numbers beside them. World Archery also posts scores for their stream of competitions on their own site and Hamilton tells me they've glitzed it up a bit with photos and more detailed info on individual performances. To really go to town, this is where you work the social media to add a little sparkle: look up the fan pages for a couple of opponents, pick who you’re rooting for, and then see how it turns out. Look for related twitter feeds and conversations, too. It’ll be awhile before it’s time to hit refresh;)