Archery Rules: A Beginner’s Guide

BULLS-EYE! You probably know that term for archery. But what is an end? What are the different types of archery competitions? How do you score in archery outside of the bulls-eye area? Don’t worry. We will cover all that and more.

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    What Types Of Archery Are There? How Large Is A Target And Archery Field? What Are The Colors On A Target?

    Before we begin, there are two types of outdoor archery competitions: recurve and compound. Recurve and compound are the main types of bows.

    In outdoor recurve archery, the length of the field between the archer and the target is 70 m. The total diameter of the target is 122 cm and each point has a 12.2 cm diameter ring.

    There are 10 total points and the outermost ring is 1 point while the innermost 12.2 cm diameter ring is 10 points (bull-eye area). The target contains 5 colors: yellow, red, blue, black, and white.

    In outdoor compound archery, the length of the field between the archer and the target is 50 m. The total diameter of the target is 80 cm and each point has a 8 cm diameter ring.

    There are 10 total points and the outermost ring is 1 point while the innermost 8 cm diameter ring is 10 points (bull-eye area). The target contains the same colors as recurve archery.

    The white area contain points 1 and 2, black contain points 3 and 4, blue contains points 5 and 6, red contains points 7 and 8, and yellow contains points 9 and 10.

    How Many Judges Are In An Archery Competition?

    There is usually a judge that checks at least 7 targets during the qualification rounds. Once the competition gets reduced, a judge is usually assigned to track at least 4 targets.

    What Type Of Equipment For An Archery Competition?

    An arrow of any type may be used as long as it follows the World Archery’s definition of an arrow.

    “An arrow consists of a shaft with a tip (point), nocks, fletching and, if desired, cresting. The maximum diameter of arrow shafts shall not exceed 9.3mm (arrow wraps shall not be considered as part of this limitation but may not extend further than 22cm toward the arrow point when measured from the nock groove where the bowstring sits to the end of the wrap). The tips/points of the arrow may not exceed 9.4mm in diameter. All arrows of every athlete shall be marked with the athlete’s name or initials on the shaft. All arrows used in any end shall be identical in appearance and shall carry the same pattern and colour(s) of fletching, nocks and cresting, if any. Tracer nocks (electrically/electronically lighted nocks) are not allowed.”

    — https://worldarchery.org/rulebook

    A bow of any type may be used as long as it follows the World Archery’s definition of an arrow.

    “An instrument consisting of a handle/riser and grip (no shoot-through type riser) and two flexible limbs each ending in a tip with a string nock. The bow is braced for use only by a single string attached directly between the two string nocks, and in operation is held in one hand by its handle (grip) while the fingers of the other hand draw and release the string.”

    — https://worldarchery.org/rulebook

    Archery rules state that an archer use as long as it does not assist aiming through marking and any other means. Furthermore, archery rules state that the archer use a draw check indicator as long as it is not electric or electronic. In addition, it allows a bow sight for aiming too.

    Accessories

    Accessories are permitted as long as they do not give an athlete an unfair advantage. This can be vary between arm guards, finger tape for finger protection, wrist strap, shooting glove, etc.

    Visual Aids

    An individual and/or team can use binoculars and other visual aids for spotting arrows. Digitally-enhanced glasses and other visual aids that give an athlete an unfair advantage are not permitted.

     
    Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

    What Causes A Disqualification In Archery?

    Archery is a very stringent sport with rules and safety. Any violation can range from loss of points to disqualification.

    An equipment malfunction can be devastating for an athlete. Due to the judge’s discretion, this is usually permissible as long as the archer can fix the equipment and complete their arrows within 30 minutes. If they are unable to do this in time, they lose their highest scoring arrow for the end (round).

    If a judge catches an archer cheating and they knowingly cheated during a competition, the judge will disqualify the archer and, potentially, suspend them for future competitions.

    Due to the safety hazard, if an athlete goes from the waiting area to the shooting area too early (e.g. while the opponent is still shooting), they risk losing points. A disqualification occurs based on the severity of the offense.

    What Are The Phases Of An Archery Competition?

    The Field, Target Size and Colors section discuss about the point system for the target in detail. The score that an archer can get on one shot ranges from 0-10. A score of 0 is applied if the archer misses the target and a score of 10 is applied if they hit on the innermost yellow circle. There are three types of competitions: individual, mixed team, and team.

    Individual Competition

    Recurve

    An end consists of each archer shooting 3 arrows. Each archer gets 20 seconds to shoot and alternates with the other archer until both are finished. The judge will tally all the points for both archers and the one with the most points earns 2 set points for the end. If the archers end up in a tie, both archers earn 1 set point for the end.

    The first archer to win 6 set points wins the competition. The maximum amount of ends in a game is 5 and, if there is a tie of 5 set points, a shoot out is implemented.

    Each archer gets 1 arrow in a shootout and whoever gets closest to the center wins the match. However, if both archers record a 10 (inside the bulls-eye area), another shootout is required and the same rules apply.

    Compound

    The set-up is the same where each archer shoots 3 arrows per end for a total of 15 arrows. The difference is that the score is the sum of the points scored for all 15 arrows from the 5 ends. The archer with the highest score wins the competition. If the score is tied, the shoot-out rules are the same.

    Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

    Mixed Team Competition

    Recurve

    Each team consists of one male archer and one female archer. Each team has 80 seconds to shoot 4 arrows (2 per archer). After the end is complete, the judge will tally the points for both teams.

    The team with the most points wins the end and is awarded 2 set points. If the teams end up in a tie, both teams earn 1 set point. The first team to win 5 set points wins the competition.

    The maximum amount of ends in a game is 4 and, if there is a tie of 4 set points for both teams, a shoot out is implemented. Each archer gets 1 arrow in a shootout and the team with the highest score wins the match. However, if both teams tie, the process is repeated until a winner is decided.

    Compound

    The set-up is the same where each team shoots 4 arrows per end for a total of 16 arrows. The difference is that the score is the sum of the points scored for all 16 arrows from the 4 ends. The team with the highest score wins the competition. If the score is tied, the shoot-out rules are the same.

    Team Competition

    Recurve

    Each team consists of three archers . Each team has 120 seconds, or 2 minutes, to shoot 6 arrows (3 per archer). After the end is complete, the judge will tally the points for both teams. The team with the most points wins the end and is awarded 2 set points. If the teams end up in a tie, both teams earn 1 set point. The first team to win 5 set points wins the competition. The maximum amount of ends in a game is 4 and, if there is a tie of 4 set points for both teams, a shoot out is implemented. Each archer gets 1 arrow in a shootout and the team with the highest score wins the match. However, if both teams tie, the process is repeated until a winner is decided.

    Compound

    The set-up is the same where each team shoots 6 arrows per end for a total of 24 arrows. The difference is that the score is the sum of the points scored for all 24 arrows from the 4 ends. The team with the highest score wins the competition. If the score is tied, the shoot-out rules are the same.

    Summary

    Welcome to the end of the article. I hope you found new meaning for the word end. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with others. If you want to learn more about archery, check out this article on archery competitions.