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The Basics of Archery

Archery – The skill of shooting an Arrow using a Bow was in the bygone ages a military weapon and also a hunting method before the invention of gunpowder. It is mainly confined now as a competitive sport used for target shooting.

A bow is a weapon that shoots arrows using the elasticity of the bow. The bow is made of a strip of flexible material with a cord linking the two ends of the strip to provide tension from which is propelled the arrow which is a straight shaft with a sharp point on one end or have flints and usually with feathers attached to the other end.

The modern day ‘Target Archery’ involves shooting arrows at a target from a pre-set distance. A Recurve bow is the only type of bow allowed to be used. Archery competitions may be held indoors or outdoors. Indoor distances are 18 m and 25 m. Outdoor distances range from 30 m to 90m depending on the seniority and 70 m is being used in the Olympic Games. Competition is divided into ends where an archer shoots either 3 or 6 arrows per end, depending on the type of round. There are 20 ends of 3 arrows in a round for indoor competition, but outdoor rounds generally involve more arrows per round. At the end, the competitors walk upto the target to score and retrieve their arrows.

Targets are painted with 10 evenly spaced concentric rings, which have score values from 1 through 10 assigned to them. Targets are colored as follows:

  • Outermost 1 ring & 2 ring – white
  • 3 ring & 4 ring – black
  • 5 ring & 6 ring – blue
  • 7 ring & 8 ring – red
  • Innermost 9 rings & 10 ring – gold
  • There is an innermost ring, sometimes called the 10X ring or the Bull’s-eye.

The score for each arrow depends upon where it hits on the target. The highest score, a ten, is awarded by shooting an arrow into the two inner most circles. The bull’s-eye ring is typically as a tiebreaker with most X’s winning. Missing the rings on the target results in a zero score and in case of Line breaker where an arrow just touches a boundary line will be awarded the higher score. Scores are tallied at the end of each round or volley of arrows by summing the scores for their arrows which are recorded on a score sheet.

Archers have a set time limit in which to shoot their arrows. For indoor competition is 2 minutes for 3 arrows. Signaling devices such as lights and flags prompt the archers when it’s time to shoot.