3.31.09 | Newly Published Technical Guidelines Promise Consistency for Archery and Bowhunting Equipment
Salt Lake City – Leaders from the archery and bowhunting industry have published the first edition of Archery Trade Association Technical Guidelines, a book of 22 archery guidelines based on 50 years of engineering expertise.
The manual is compact and user-friendly, featuring custom illustrations to compliment written guideline descriptions. Each guideline follows a uniform template so readers can easily capture and digest the essence of each recommendation. If the reader delves deeper into the text, he or she will find a short briefing on the scope of each guideline and a section on terminology and definitions. Many of the guidelines also list reference documents.
“Over the years, there has been an enormous amount of work to ensure guidelines are relevant to today’s equipment, but we never found legs to get the information out there,” said Randy Walk, ATA Technical Committee chair and President of Hoyt. Walk joined the trade association’s technical committee in 1987. “There’s always been a fundamental goal to write guidelines that would be available to the general industry. When I accepted the position as chair in 2004, the ATA agreed to fund an effort to publish the manual and make it available to a wider audience.”
As early as the 1950s, industry leaders recognized – in part due to a growing list of manufacturers – a need for uniformity in basic equipment categories. Since then, a succession of technical committees have reviewed, edited and formatted engineering documents and written standards to accommodate changes in technology and modern equipment. Standards were published by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) which is the recognized authority on technical and engineering testing throughout many industries. The ATA Technical Committee’s archery guidelines are a complimentary effort to the ASTM, as Walk and his committee created the manual as suggestions for archery industry companies.
“The intent of these guidelines isn’t to tell manufacturer how to design or build new products,” Walk said. “Nor do the guidelines tell archery pros how to fix or fine-tune equipment. Rather, the manual ensures everyone knows how the industry tests, measures and evaluates its products to ensure consistency and compatibility between components.”
This also means consistency in terminology, definition, thread dimensions, the distance between mounting holes for sights and other basic specifications. And while it’s true the guidelines most directly benefit manufacturers, retailers can use the manual to gain knowledge and confidence in the industry’s efforts to ensure uniformity. The technical guidelines also benefit outdoor media who are tasked with writing valuations on products without having access or an understanding of recommended standards.
Guidelines relevant to both groups – retailers and outdoor writers – include information for determining the actual draw length of compound bows, percent of let-off for archery bows, the technical description of different types of bows, arrow spine, rating the velocity of compound archery bows and measuring the finished length of bowstrings and cables.
State wildlife agencies, charged with developing and enforcing equipment regulations for bowhunting, is another group that stands to benefit from the published manual. Wide variation in equipment regulations exists between states and, in some cases, differences can be settled based on the use of information in the technical guidelines.
“As manufacturers compete in the marketplace, they’ve also worked together to create a list of guidelines that everyone can agree on,” say Jay McAninch, ATA CEO/President. “The result is a level of cooperation among our industry that is built on equipment that has met tough, consistent industry guidelines that don’t vary by manufacturer. These guidelines will be especially helpful in our work to help state agencies understand better how to evaluate the value and impact of equipment regulations. Only by working together under the umbrella of the ATA Technical Committee are such guidelines possible. I’d like to commend each individual and company involved for their considerable expertise.”
Techincal Guideline Experts and Writers
Randy Walk, ATA Technical Committee Chair, President of Hoyt
Did You Know?
In 2004, ATA estimated the average full-time dealers’ sales were $282,000.