Archery: The opening game of the Druk Wangyal National Archery Tournament (DWNAT) between Zhemgang and Dagana on Saturday started on a controversial note. Dagana was declared the winner as Zhemgang did not have enough team members.

According the rules and regulation of the tournament, each team must have 13 players, of which, 11 will play and the remaining will sit as substitutes.

Zhemgang had only 11 players. One of the players has succumbed to injury during the game. And so, Zhemgang was effectively disqualified.

Officials from the Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association (BIGSA) said that both the teams complied with the regulation and had no issues with the decision.

This year, the tournament started with 31 teams, the highest in the history of the tournament. BIGSA’s administrative officer, Tshewang Namgyal, said that the huge turnover in the number of teams was because of the ban on the use of pheasant feathers on the traditional arrows.

“In the beginning, when the use of the feathered arrows were banned, people were reluctant to play. Some even boycotted the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Memorial National Tournament,” the ADM officer said. “But now, because of the readily available arrows with plastic fletches that are much cheaper than the monal-feathered arrows, more people have taken interest in the tournament.”

BIGSA banned the use of arrows with pheasant feathers because Monal Pheasant is one of the endangered bird species in the country.

DWNAT is an annual archery tournament where archers are required to use traditional bow and arrow. The first DWNAT tournament began in 2003.

Eastern United defeated Kathrab-13 in the deciding game at the Changlimithang archery range yesterday.

By Younten Tshedup