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Archery at the Maccabiah Games

Maccabi World Movement is the largest and oldest Jewish sports movement in the world, operating in over 5 continents and 60 countries. Its goals are the strengthening of the Jewish people as a national body, emphasizing the centrality of Israel in the life of the Jewish people and ensuring the continuity and strengthening of Jewish communities around the world. One of the highlights of 'Maccabi Global Movement' is 'The Maccabiah', the 3rd largest multisport event in the world, which takes place every 4 years in Israel and is the largest Jewish sports event in the world. The Maccabiah brings together Jewish athletes from all over the world for one event that combines Zionism and sports

The beginning of the archery event in the Maccabiah Games was in an attempt to join the 18th Maccabiah Games, an attempt which unfortunately failed. When the new executive board of the Archery Association was elected shortly afterwards, a new petition was raised to add archery to the 19th Maccabiah in 2013. The request was discussed by the Maccabi management only after Ela Matzkin located and found five potential teams, including names of archers who had committed to attend, and only then was it decided that archery would be part of the Games.

The preparations took about a year and it was "the biggest and most successful international archery competition in Israel since the days of Bar Kochba!" (quotation from Eitan Tager). Following this success the archery event was also included in the Maccabiah Games of 2017, a successful Maccabiah like no other. Unfortunately, and although archery was included in the original program for the 2022 games (which were postponed due to the COVID), archery in these games was canceled due to the war in Ukraine which effected a significant part of the archery delegations for these games and due to the absence of several other delegations due to the restrictions of the COVID. Archery is set to return in a bigger and better format than ever before for the 2025 games!

The archery competitions in the Maccabiah are spread over 5 days. The competition program includes two days of training, after which two competitions are held one after the other - a short distance competition (18 m) and a long distance competition (50 m and 70 m).

20 archers from 8 countries and another 32 archers from Israel participated in the competition in 2013.

In 2017, 20 archers from 8 countries and 19 archers from Israel have participated.

The countries that sent representatives over the years were Ukraine, Cuba, Czech Republic, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, USA, France, Australia and Turkey.

As a sport that participated for the first time in the Maccabiah Games, there was no guidance or support with contacting potential Jewish athletes, in the various Jewish communities around the world. The stimulation of the idea and invitation to the competition was carried out by the officials of the Israeli Archery Association directly with the athletes. This suffered from a lack of communication with Maccabi centers in their own countries, when there were cases that archers' requests to register for the Maccabiah games were answered that there was no archery competition in the Maccabiah from the local Maccabi representatives. Unfortunately, this disconnection also caused the loss of large delegations that wanted to participate in the games but didn't make it in the end. It's important to know that participating in Maccabi is expensive, even though some athletes manage to raise donations that help them participate. Some potential participants hope that the local Maccabi branch will participate in the financing of the competition, and when that doesn't happen, they cancel their participation.

Having archery in the Maccabiah program is one of the most important objectives for the Archery Association in Israel, and we see great importance for its inclusion at the 22nd Maccabiah Games in 2025. In order to get more details about the competition, you can directly contact the association's representative for this matter at:

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