Things were different the last time the Archery Shooters Association (ASA) came to Foley. It was February of this year and the coronavirus pandemic had not begun to impact sporting events in the United States. This weekend ASA returns to Graham Creek Nature Preserve for the Easton and McKenzie ASA Classic and the focus this time around is keeping participants safe.

Mike Tyrell, President of ASA said that since the pandemic they have held two other events- one in London, Kentucky, and one in Cullman, Alabama. These events helped them thoroughly develop the safety protocols that will be in place in Foley.

“We have a series of precautions that we will be taking,” Tyrell explained. “This will include taking the temperature of everyone arriving for the event with non-contact thermometers, staggering competition times to lower the number of shooters on any range, mandatory masks in buildings and areas where social distancing can’t be maintained, and several other modifications to help address the need to keep our shooters as safe as possible.”

Tyrell said their previous two events did see a dip in attendance. The organization has a number of international competitors that have not been able to attend due to travel restrictions. However, even with the decrease, Tyrell expects upwards of 1,500 visitors to the city for this event.

Leslie Gahagan, Graham Creek Nature Preserve Director, said the entire city has been working together to make sure every single one of those visitors, as well as city residents, are kept as safe as possible.

“Each city department, including public works, fire, and police, have been working closely on this event,” Gahagan said. “We also have a wonderful working relationship with ASA which allows us to talk through what has worked well for them, what has worked well at our events, and truly bring together a complete plan.”

The ASA Classic is free and open to the public, including the Saturday evening Pro Shoot Down where cash prizes are awarded. Everyone attending will be required to follow all safety guidelines. For more information on the ASA Classic or any FST event contact Stephanie Donald.