ST. LOUIS–Missouri has a state song (“Missouri Waltz”), a state musical instrument (fiddle), a state invertebrate (Crayfish), even a state hockey team (The Blues). It doesn’t have a state sport. But a mid-Missouri state lawmaker has introduced legislation to give it one–Archery.
Representative Tim Taylor is the sponsor of HB 1672, which highlights the state’s connection to the sport in 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 had a hearing in the House Special Committee on Tourism Wednesday, which featured testimony in support of the measure.
“Archery is fast becoming a family pastime. It is sport that everyone can enjoy that doesn’t require one to be outstanding athlete and is affordable. Parents are taking lessons along side of their kids and making it an afternoon or evening family time. The sport teaches kids patience, discipline, concertation and doing things repetition. Missouri has rich history of archery and archers,” Bill Myers wrote, noting that the sport’s hall of fame is in Springfield.
A mother from the Jefferson City area submitted testimony about the impact the sport has had on her daughter. “She has severe anxiety, ADHD and A lot of other problems but they all disappear when she steps up to the line to shoot. I cannot thank this program enough for what they have done for kids like mine.”
If approved, Missouri would be the first state in the U.S. 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 this would mean for baseball, which has a strong legacy in the state thanks to the Cardinals and Royals, there is a potential workaround.
Maryland has adopted Jousting as the official state sport and Lacrosse as the official team sport.