In 1956 the first tournament for the Golden Bow of Basel was held by the Basel Archers as a national competition. The then OC President Hansueli Schindler was mainly responsible for the fact that archers from all over Europe came to Basel to compete and exchange experiences regarding technique and equipment. Over the years, the tournament developed into one of the most important and traditional tournaments in Europe.
The Golden Bow was initially held as a single FITA on 2 days, then as a single FITA on one day, in between it was also a Swiss Championship with international participation and since 1987 it has been held as a double FITA. In the first years the tournament was held on the Pruntruter Matte in the middle of Basel. At the first Golden Bow in 1956, 8 women and 39 men from 6 nations competed in 2 categories. Shots were fired with a longbow at 90, 70, 50 and 30 metres. The winner already reached 1024 points, the last one just 130 points. In 1957 already 64 archers were at the start, in 1962 4 juniors were represented among the 96 archers for the first time.
In 1977 the Basel Archers Association was founded by the two clubs Juventas Basel and Bogenschützen Basel.
This cooperation, which is still very harmonious today, enabled the tournament to be optimally organised and the large number of helpers to be secured.
Roland Probst was the first president of this community and OC president of the tournament from 1978 to 1987. Then the presidency went to Hanspeter Saner for one year and afterwards Marcel Faber took over the management of the tournament. After the 25th Golden Bow of Basel in 1993, the Presidium changed to Beat Vollenweider and in 2003 there was another change of staff to Dominik Faber until 2014. After a 4 year break, Adrian Faber will take up the presidium. Also worth mentioning is the long-standing loyalty of the acting treasurer Gilbert Fahrni to the Golden Arc, as he has been managing the finances since 1974.
The St. Jakob sports complex in Basel is an ideal venue for competitions, and the many volunteers of the two organising clubs Juventas Basel and Bogenschützen beider Basel ensure that everything runs smoothly every year with their great commitment, so the archers feel comfortable in Basel and can set new records and achieve top sporting performances. The winner’s prize in the 4 main categories consisted of a very beautiful, handmade, genuine gold-plated bow in a picture frame mounted on velvet behind glass. Many renowned top archers from Germany, France, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Moldavia and Switzerland have registered in the winner lists.
The record number of participants today is 170, the participants include many loyal top archers from home and abroad, for whom it is an important preparation and selection tournament for the European Championships, World Championships or Olympics, as well as many tournament and hobby archers for whom the double FITA program is a real challenge. In 1993, compound archers were admitted to the tournament for the first time and have developed into an important category over the last 10 years.
Despite its size, the Golden Bow has remained a very familiar and extremely popular tournament, where many a new acquaintance has been made and many a new star and record has been shot!