The Kentucky High School Athletics Association continued its recent expansion of offerings for students on Thursday by announcing that archery would be added as a varsity sport this school year.
Archery joins competitive cheer and bass fishing, which are holding their first KHSAA-sanctioned state championships in late January and April, respectively, as the newest activities offered.
Bowling held its first KHSAA championship in 2012.
Kentucky is one of the first states nationally to offer archery as a varsity sport. The regional and state competitions will take place in late February and early March.
"We are thrilled to be able to add archery to our growing list of sport-activities," KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said during a Thursday morning news conference. "It's another activity that seems like a perfect fit as it adds a group of students who may not already participate in an extra-curricular activity representing their school and it gives them a chance to compete and become a part of a team. Kentucky's rich outdoor heritage certainly helps, but the work done by Roy Grimes, president of the National Archery in the Schools Program, and his team of experts in helping the sport reach a wider audience has been phenomenal. Students who have participated have a lifelong love for archery."
The NASP program, launched by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in 2002, quickly gained widespread popularity. Kentucky ranks No. 1 among 47 NASP states in both number of participating schools and students.
The first KHSAA sanctioned state championship for archery will be held in Louisville at the Kentucky International Convention Center in conjunction with the KYNASP tournament on March 18-19, 2013.