Although it is essentially an individual pursuit, it is possible to participate as a member of a team. Competitions in the sport of archery are classified in the following disciplines:
- Outdoor target archery
- Indoor target archery
- Field archery
- Run archery
- Clout archery
- Flight archery
- 3D archery
Outdoor target archery
Target archery is the most popular form of archery practised worldwide. Target archery events are called rounds and these consist of a number of ends at different distances.
Field of play layout
Recommended range layouts are shown in the diagram on the right. The field of play is divided into shooting lanes containing one to four target butts. A line parallel to the shooting like is marked 3m in front of the shooting line.
A waiting line is marked at least 5m behind the shooting line. A media line is marked one meter in front of the waiting line.
Barriers for the public are erected to keep spectators safe. These barriers must be:
- At least 20m away from the sides of the first and last target set at 90m.
- 10m behind the waiting line.
- At least 50m beyond the 90m target line.
The backstop must be high enough to stop arrows which have just missed the top of the butt at 90m.
Although there are a variety of target faces, styles and sizes, outdoor target archery uses coloured targets which are either 122cm or 80cm in diameter.
The target face is attached to a wooden stand (butt) with the centre 130cm above the ground. The target butt is also angled back about 10° off vertical.
Target faces have five colours with each colour being divided into two to provide 10 scoring zones. The innermost ring is given a value of 10 points, down to the outermost ring a value of 1 point. The X ring, worth 10 points, is used to break ties.
Indoor target archery
Indoor target archery is shot at 18 or 25 meters a the same targets as outdoor target archery. The venue generally has a polished wooden floor or a concrete floor and the range layout similar to outdoor field archery.
Barriers to keep spectators back are erected at least 10m from the end of the target line and are a minimum of 5m behind the waiting line. Spectators are not allowed beyond the target line.
Field archery requires shooting uphill and downhill. Athletes shoot on marked (known) and unmarked (unknown) distances, from 5 to 60 meters, depending on the division. Shots are uphill, downhill, with various conditions, forcing the athletes to adapt on each shot.
The course should not be positioned higher than 1800m above sea level and the maximum difference between the highest and the lowest point in a course should not be more than 100m.
The field course is arranged so that the shooting positions and the targets can be reached without undue difficulty, hazard or waste of time. Field courses should be as condensed as possible. The walking distance from the central (assembly) area to the furthest target should be no more than one kilometre or 15 minutes normal walking.
The course must include safe paths for judges, medical personnel and to allow for transportation of equipment around the course whilst shooting is in progress.
Clearly visible direction signs indicating the route from target to target are to be placed at adequate intervals to ensure safe and easy movement along the course.
Barriers are to be placed around the course at a safe distance while giving them the a view of the competition.
Para-archery is a test of accuracy, strength and concentration and is open to athletes with a physical disability (including spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, amputee) in three functional classes (Open, Standing, and Wheelchair) catering for Recurve and Compound disciplines.
Competitors in Para-archery shoot the same rounds, distances and events as non-disabled athletes.
Run archery combines cross-country running and archery. Like in the sport of biathlon, participants start with running and alternate between shooting series of three arrows on a target.
The Clout Round is a long distance shoot at a target laid out on the ground with a central flagpole called ‘The Clout’. The target is laid flat on the ground and archers shot their arrows into the air attempting to land the arrows in the target.
The targets are consecutively numbered with a number positioned to the right of the clout so that it will not be hit by the arrows and is clearly visible from the shooting line.
Similar to target archery, the preferred shooting direction is southerly and is in one direction only, towards the target. Archers shooting at different distances can be staggered so that no archer shoots over another’s head and that there is a minimum of 10 metres between the flight path of the arrow of the archer(s) on the longer distance and the archer(s )on the shooting line at the shorter distance.
A shooting line is marked on the ground at right angles to the direction of shooting.
A waiting and equipment line is marked at least 5m behind theshooting line and when all shooting is completed archers shall wait behind the waiting line.
A spectator line is marked at least 10m behind the waiting and equipment line.
A 3m line is marked in front of the shooting line.
For safety the field of play must be sign-posted or roped-off and only archers taking part in the event or authorised people shall be allowed to enter. Spectators must remain behind the spectator area.
he object of flight shooting is to see the furthest distance. The range is flat and should be free of obstructions such as trees, buildings, fences, ditches and should provide where possible, turf favourable for arrow to lodge into and be visible.
The field of play setup is similar to field archery. The courses are unmarked and the targets are three dimensional using a wide variety of animal forms of varying sizes
3D Archery is a form of Target Archery and can be set in the woods, fields and sometime even indoor ranges. The goal of 3D Archery is having the ability to guess how far away the target is and know where to shoot to achieve the highest possible score.
The field of play setup is similar to field archery. The courses are unmarked and the targets are three dimensional using a wide variety of animal forms of varying sizes.
The information in this guide is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as professional advice concerning the design of, or marking out for, sporting facilities and playing areas. No assurance is given as to the accuracy of any information contained in this guide and readers should not rely on its accuracy. Readers should obtain their own independent and professional advice in relation to their proposed sporting activity.