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Everyone Should Know About Archery

The activity of shooting arrows with a bow is known as archery. The Latin word for bow, arcus, is the source of the word. Archery has always been used for both hunting and combat. It is mostly a competitive sport and leisure pastime in current times. A person who shoots an arrow is commonly referred to as an archer, bowman, or toxophilite.


With the exception of Australia, the bow has been a primary tool of combat and the hunt from prehistoric times. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks also engaged in recreational archery in addition to military archery, an example of the latter being the contest in which Odysseus triumphed and won Penelope’s hand. Large portions of Asia were ruled by horse-mounted archers such as the Huns, Seljuq Turks, Mongols, and others for around 15 centuries beginning in the first century CE. During the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453), English longbowmen earned magnificent military successes, while the crossbow gained popularity throughout continental Europe, particularly in Switzerland, some regions of Germany, France, and the Low Countries. In the 16th century, firearms replaced the bow and arrow as the primary military weapon in Europe. An English county army levy comprised of one-third bowmen to two-thirds troops with guns by the time the Spanish Armada attempted to invade England in 1588, and by the end of the century the bow had all but been abandoned as a weapon.

The bow was kept in use as a hunting tool, and both royalty and commoners in England continued to engage in archery as a sport. The 16th and 17th centuries saw the development of the earliest English archery societies. In 1787, the prince of Wales—then George IV—became the Toxophilite Society’s sponsor. He established the prince’s lengths of 100 yards (91 meters), 80 yards (73 meters), and 60 yards (55 meters); the British men’s championship York round still uses these distances today (six dozen, four dozen, and two dozen arrows shot at each of the three distances). These archery-related pastimes gave rise to the contemporary sport we know today as archery. The Grand National Archery Society was established as the sport’s regulatory organization in the UK after the first of the Grand National Archery Meetings—the British championships—was held at York in 1844. With the establishment of the Fédération Internationale de Tir à l’Arc (FITA; Federation of International Target Archery) in Paris in 1931, international regulations were defined.

The United Bowmen of Philadelphia, which was established in 1828, was the first archery association in America. Similar to England, the sport was initially a well-liked upper- and middle-class pastime. Numerous archery clubs emerged in the 1870s, and eight of them united to become the National Archery Association of the United States in 1879. To encourage hunting, wandering, and field archery, the National Field Archery Association of the United States was founded in 1939. After 1930, there was a fantastic increase in the number of archers worldwide, with the United States seeing the greatest expansion. By the end of the 20th century, all sports had probably attracted more than 10 million Americans to the country. They included those who hunted game with a bow, shot at targets of all kinds from a variety of distances for accuracy, and pursued ever-greater distances in “flying” shooting.

Archery categories

The sport of archery is split into three main categories: target, indoor, and field, according to World Archery, the sport’s international regulatory body.

Target Archery

Target archery entails firing at fixed, circular targets that are spaced at preset intervals.

In a typical competition, archers can fire up to 70 meters (for recurve) and 50 meters (for compound). A five-color target with 10 score zones in gold, red, blue, black, and white circles is what arrows are aimed towards.

The outermost white rings receive two and one points, while the innermost yellow circles receive ten and nine points, eight and seven for red rings, six and five for blue rings, and four and three for black rings.

The Olympic Games and the World Archery Championships both use this style of contemporary archery because it is the most well-known. Target archery competitions are also used to determine the global rankings.

Indoor and Field Archery

Field archery and indoor archery are the other two subcategories.

Target archery is a subset of indoor archery, which involves shooting at stationary circular targets from close range (usually 18 meters) inside a structure.

From 1991 to 2018, the World Archery Indoor Championships were held, and since then, the “Indoor Archery World Series” has been organized.

Field archery, on the other hand, involves shooting at stationary circular targets of various sizes that are placed around a natural landscape at varied distances, heights, and angles. It puts archers’ ability to judge distances, shoot uphill and downhill, and shoot in various lighting conditions to the test.

Every two years, the World Archery Field Championships are held, which are events for field archery. The first one was held in 1969.

Archery rules

Each archer shoots 72 arrows in the qualification phase of the individual event, and the combined score is used to establish the rankings for the matchplay phase, in which archers compete against one another.

Archers engage in best-of-five set competition during the matchplay phase. An archer or team shoots a preset number of arrows in a set, and the one with the higher overall score wins the set with two points. Each archer or team earns one point if the set is drawn.

Three arrows make up a set for individual events, four arrows for mixed team events, and six arrows for team competitions.

According to archery regulations, a matchplay is won by the first archer or team to earn six points, with the losers being eliminated. Until the final, when the winner receives the gold medal and the loser receives the silver, this arrangement is followed.

If the scores are tied after five sets, a tie-break is used to decide the match. The archer whose arrow lands closest to the target wins the individual competition.

Each archer fires an arrow during a mixed team or team event, and the team with the highest total is crowned the champion.

What equipment is used for archery?

The archer typically wears a quiver on his or her belt or hanging over the shoulder to hold his or her arrows. The fingers used to draw back the bowstring are protected by a glove or finger protection, while the inside of the bow arm’s forearm is fitted with a bracer to provide defense against the released bowstring.


Field archery and target archery are the two main competitive archery disciplines. In field archery, contestants fire arrows at variously sized targets placed around a course at various and arbitrary distances. Participants in target archery fire a predetermined number of arrows at predetermined ranges at a target with predetermined scoring values. In a round, a set number of arrows are shot at a set distance in a competitive target shooting event. The round or rounds are then scored. The American round, Hereford round, National round, and York round are the four main categories of rounds. For males, the typical FITA round consists of 36 arrows being shot at each of the following distances: 90, 70, 50, and 30 meters (295, 230, 164, and 98 feet). For women, the usual FITA round consists of 70, 60, 50, and 30 meters (60, 50, and 98 feet). The FITA requirements have been the ones that are most frequently utilized since the 1930s. (Also see FITA round.)


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