Tour of Tournament Financials – Part 2

(Read Part 1)


The money that the ITAA has is from the community, and it needs to serve the needs of the community.  This Tour of Tournament Finances is an effort to be transparent about the ways and reasons we spend that money and showing what we get in return for it.  This isn’t an audit trail or forensic review, but it’s a glimpse into the thinking of how the money flows in the organization.  Part 1 will be an overview, and Part 2 will be a deeper dive into the numbers.

The Numbers:

For 2019, we largely used existing equipment, without large purchases of target bales.  So that year was mostly a year of saving up for the next big expenditures.

On Jan 1st, 2019 our bank balance was $22K.  On Dec 31st, 2019, it was: $31K.  $7,200 of that came from our portion of USAA membership fees.  The remaining $1,800 is near the total of the CBH kitchen donations (see part 1).  The tournaments break even.  This additional savings is put to longer-range use.

We’ll take a look at some real numbers, using our 2019 tournaments as an example.  This shows our pattern of JOAD events running lean, and all-ages events running with a higher income.  That income later goes into replacement of targets, safety curtains, and other multi-event “consumable” items.

The tournaments’ tight budgets show why volunteer efforts are critical to make them successes.

Finances of an Indoor Tournament:

Using the northern venue of the 2019 ITAA Indoor JOAD State Championship (108 scorecards)


  • $4,633 Total Income
    • $3,883 Registration
    • $ 750 Kitchen/Concessions (provided by Chicago Bow Hunters**)


  • $4,487.13 Total Expenses
    • $2,000   1-Day Venue Rental (DuPage County Fairgrounds*)
    • $ 863.35   Awards
    • $ 525   Electronic Scoring and registration (provided by Kishwaukee**)
    • $ 1098.78 Other expenses (credit card fees, target faces, name tags, misc)


  • $ 145.87 Total Tournament Revenue
    • $4,633     Total Tournament Income
    • $4,487.13     Total Tournament Expenses

Finances of an Outdoor Tournament:

Using 2019 ITAA Outdoor State Championship (196 scorecards – both JOAD and All-Ages)


  • $9,311 Total Income
    • $8,472 Registration
    • $ 839 Grill/Concessions (provided by Chicago Bow Hunters**)


  • $6,117.49 Total Expenses
    • $2,000 2-Day Venue Rental (DuPage County Fairgrounds*)
    • $1,488 Awards
    • $ 955 Electronic Scoring and registration (provided by Kishwaukee**)
    • $1674.49 Other expenses (credit card fees, target faces, name tags, misc)


  • $3,193.51 Total Tournament Revenue
    • $9,311 Total Tournament Income
    • $6,117.49 Total Tournament Expenses

*,** See Part 1 for details of the venue rental and various club-specific roles.

Bale Replacement Finances:

Bales are expensive to buy, store, and transport.  The primary bales we use are the A-152XF target from American Whitetail.  They retail for around $600, but sometimes Whitetail offers USAA a discount that we can use as the state org.  Most equipment planners try to replace the cost of the bales well before the bales themselves are worn out.  That helps replace the existing bales and funds more bales over time.  So if we split out the cost for a bale to be replace-every-10-events, with 8 scores shot per bale per event, $600 ÷ (10 x 8) = $7.50 per scorecard just goes to replace the bales.

We bought our bales in 2017, and now in 2020 they’re on roughly events #10-#11 this winter.  We’ve been using them nearly exclusively for the fastest compound bows, and using older bales for recurves and barebows.  A few of them are starting to have penetration in 4-target positions.  We should be able to mark those bales, and put them to use for recurves, since the centers should be nearly brand-new, so we’ll get another 2-3 years out of those without any problems even before we do regular maintenance tasks like replacing the center cores.

Stretching that out further means that the math improves.  With a discount from the $600 retail price and getting closer to 18 events from the same bales, the price-per-scorecard for drops below $4.00.  With replacing bale cores and other techniques, we can stretch the life of a bale even further to make it more economical.

Regardless, target bale lifespan and maintenance always has a big impact on tournament planning.

Next Steps:

So what does this mean?  It means that the tournaments break even on per-event costs.  The longer-range costs are paid from other income – USAA memberships, donations, etc.  This includes target bales, the clocks, the web site, and branding items like flags, pins, and stickers.  We have healthy savings even counting the day we need to spend $6K-$8K on new bales.

This solid footing means we have the finances to help smooth out the financial difficulties for archery growth.  We can look into development programs that work in other places and see if they are right for Illinois.  By establishing good money habits for tournaments, we can turn to the other parts of our charter to grow archery and create positive archery experiences for everyone.