ALBANY — The Ohio Atlatl Association and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 100 will hold its 18th annual Atlatl Contest in Albany on Aug. 12 and 13 at the Albany Riding Club (fairgrounds) at the corner of State Routes 32 and 681.
The atlatl is an ancient hunting system claimed to be over 30,000 years old. It was replaced by the bow about 5,000 years ago, according to a news release for the event. The atlatl is a flexible stick, about two feet long, that is used to propel six foot or longer spears with great speed and accuracy. The atlatl was used almost everywhere in the world.
Today, the atlatl is still used all over the world but mainly for sport and recreation. It is used for hunting in some states but is currently illegal to hunt with in Ohio. It is believed that some areas of the world, Australia and Alaska, may have never stopped using the atlatl.
The World Atlatl Association has created a standardized contest in which people all over the world can compete in the same contest and their scores will be compared. The International Standard Accuracy Contest (ISAC) consists of 10 throws, five at 15 meters and five at 20 meters. This would have been the effective hunting range in ancient times. In Albany, there will be instructions, demonstrations and states contests all day, but World Atlatl Association rules mandate that a competitor can only throw one ISAC a day. On Saturday, the world competitors will be around 2 p.m. and one Sunday they will start around 11 a.m. There will also be Ohio Atlatl Association contests both days.
Many world ranked atlatlists live in New York, Ohio and West Virginia. The 2016 international rankings included many Southern Ohio competitors. The world championship was won last year by Douglas Bassett of Warsaw, New York, who will be attending the Albany events. Mamerto Tindongan of Albany was sixth; Mike Glenn of Lucasville was seventh; and Ray Strischk of Athens was ninth. In the women’s division, Debbie Andrews of Albany finished eighth in the world while Nisa Holbrook of Charleston finished tenth.
There will be four past world champions at this year’s contest. Mamerto Tindongan of Albany was the 2010 world champion; Douglas Bassett of Warsaw, New York was world champion in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2016; Ray Strischek of Athens was the 1997 world champion; and Mike Glenn of Lucasville was the 2014 world champion.
Information on the atlatl, with current world rankings and a schedule of atlatl evens can be found at www.worldatlatl.org.