Missouri lawmaker wants to make archery the state sport

ST. LOUIS–Missouri has a state song (“Missouri Waltz”), a state musical instrument (violin), a state invertebrate (Crayfish), even a state hockey team (The Blues). There is no state sport. But a midstate Missouri lawmaker introduced legislation to give him one: archery.

Rep. Tim Taylor is the sponsor of HB 1672, which highlights the state’s connection to the sport by pushing for the designation. “Archery was revolutionized by Missourian Holless Wilbur Allen in 1966 with his invention of the compound bow. Participation in the sport can span all ages, sizes and abilities.

The bill was heard Wednesday by the House Select Committee on Tourism, which presented testimony in support of the measure.

“Archery is quickly becoming a family pastime. It is a sport accessible to all, which does not require to be an exceptional athlete and which is affordable. Parents take lessons alongside their children and make it a family afternoon or evening. Sport teaches children patience, discipline, concerted action and the repetition of things. Missouri has a rich history of archery and archery,” wrote Bill Myers, noting that the sports hall of fame is in Springfield.

A Jefferson City-area mother testified to the impact sports have had on her daughter. “She has severe anxiety, ADHD and many other issues, but they all go away when she walks up to the line to shoot. I can’t thank this program enough for what it has done for kids like mine.

If approved, Missouri would be the first state in the United States to claim archery as an official state sport. In Minnesota, the honor goes to ice hockey. In Alaska, it’s dog mushing. If you’re wondering what that would mean for baseball, which has a strong legacy in the state thanks to the Cardinals and Royals, there’s a potential workaround.

Maryland adopted jousting as its official state sport and lacrosse as its official team sport.

Earnest A. Martinez