ARCHERY RULES FOR BEGINNERS
Archery competitions may be held indoors or outdoors. Indoor rounds are normally shot at one distance, whereas outdoor competitions normally consist of several distances.
For lists of tournament rounds, see section entitled Tournament Rounds.
Since archery involves the use of potentially lethal equipment, much attention is paid to order and safety. All competitors must wait for the command to start shooting and are not allowed to collect arrows while other people are shooting. One whistle is the signal to begin shooting, two whistles to collect your arrows, three whistles signifies the end of the session for routine club nights.
This may vary in formal competitions and you should always check in competitive shooting if you are unsure.
These rules apply to all forms of target archery. Other rules, or points of etiquette, include:
How many Arrows can I shoot
When shooting indoors each archer is only allowed to shoot 3 arrows at a time ( this is termed an END) before collecting their arrows and recording the score. When shooting outdoors each archer can shoot 6 arrows (usually in 2 groups of 3) .
The command Fast means stop shooting immediately and return the un-shot arrow to the quiver. It is used when the situation becomes suddenly and unexpectedly dangerous
Etiquette helps the club run smoothly and safely. There are specific rules within competition shooting but here are a number of observations which will help you on general club nights as well as competitively. Please don’t let these put you off – although it looks like there are a lot of rules and regulations most of them are common sense and support all archers to develop to their maximum potential within the sport.
Know where the shooting line and the waiting line are and keep behind the shooting line when not shooting
It is good manners to ask the target captain (the archer who has usually set up the target or the senior archer on a target) for permission to shoot on their target. It is rare that this will be refused but occasionally numbers may not permit another archer and it may not be immediately obvious who is shooting on which target.
Do not approach the shooting line just as an adjacent archer is coming up to full draw, and similarly, do not leave the shooting line under the same circumstances.
Try not to talk or exclaim on the shooting line in such a way to distract another archer. Also be aware of other archers around you – we do have a number of juniors in the club so swear inwardly if you need to.
Similarly, try to keep the noise down to a manageable level when others are shooting. Although this is usually not an issue outdoors, when we shoot indoors this can be a problem with relatively large numbers of archers in a small space.
Unless permission is given by the owner, never touch other people's equipment, not even the arrows in the target. The exception to this rule is when arrows are found in the grass. The correct procedure there is: draw the arrow carefully out of the ground and stand it point down in the ground where it was found.
In the event of you damaging another archer’s equipment, including arrows, it is courtesy to offer to pay for replacements.
Help look for lost arrows on adjacent targets once your own target’s scoring and arrow collection is complete. In the event that you lose an arrow and it cannot be found you must log this is the ‘Lost Arrow’ book which is held in the container at Slazengers. If you subsequently find the arrow don’t forget you complete the book to identify that it has been found.
Help to put up / put away the targets and equipment. It is part of being a club member that everyone takes a turn rather than a few individuals each time and many hands make light work. If you are not sure how you can help just ask. A pair of gardening gloves or similar in your kit may be useful for this.
Please take all your litter with you – this includes target faces which are condemned after you have been shooting on them.
Be aware of your surroundings, equipment and other archers. Be careful not to trip over ropes or lines and be aware of archer’s foot markers or other similar equipment.
Specific scoring criteria are provided in the following sections, however, this is some general guidance which you might find useful.
Give your score to the target scorer in the following way: Highest score first, and in 2 groups of 3, e.g. 9-7-7 pause, 5-3-1, pointing at the nock of the relevant arrow as you do so. Do not touch the nock or the arrow when scoring.
In competition archery you do not enter your own scores on the score sheet but hand it to another archer to complete. For club nights and practice shoots individual archers often keep their own score cards, however, if you are submitting these for badges, classification status etc. you must have your score signed off by another archer.
Always ask whether it is OK to draw the arrows once scoring is complete or once the end has been shot. Do not touch any arrows in the target prior to this.
Be aware that archery equipment and particularly arrows are expensive. When drawing other archer’s arrows from the target do so with as much care as if they were your own. Look behind you before drawing so you don’t stab anyone and hand the arrows back carefully so you don’t poke anyone with a sharp nock or pile.
Don't dawdle while retrieving arrows or while walking back from the target.
FITA Rounds (FITA rules)
For FITA rounds, standard indoor distances are 18m and 25m. Outdoor distances range from 30m to 90m for senior archers, with juniors being able to shoot closer distances. In the Olympic Games, 70m is used.
Competition is divided into ends. An archer shoots either 3 or 6 arrows per end, depending on the type of round. After each end, the competitors walk to the target to score and retrieve their arrows. There are 20 ends of 3 arrows in a standard round of indoor competition (i.e. the FITA 18 or the FITA 25).
Archers have a set time limit in which to shoot their arrows. For indoor competition, under FITA rules this is 2 minutes for 3 arrows. Signaling devices such as lights and flags inform the archers when time is up.
Imperial Rounds (GNAS rules)
For Imperial rounds, the standard indoor distance is 20 yd (18 m), with 5 dozen arrows being shot in a round known as a Portsmouth round. Outdoor distances range from 40 yd (37 m) to 100 yd (91 m), for seniors, and 10 yd (9.1 m) to 80 yd (73 m) for juniors.
Competition is divided into ends. An archer shoots either 3 arrows per end (indoors) or 6 arrows per end (outdoors). After each end, the competitors walk to the target to score and retrieve their arrows.
At all record status tournaments, archers must adhere to the GNAS dress code, which consists of wearing dark green and white clothing, or 'club colours'. Club colours are those which are unique to a club and registered on the GNAS shooting colour register.
In a tournament, awards are normally split into categories according to sex and, for juniors, age. All registered GNAS archers also have an indoor and an outdoor classification, and classification awards may also be presented - this allows archers to only shoot against those of the same ability.
The Grand National Archery Society (GNAS) runs two systems of classification: the main Classifications (for indoor and outdoor shooting) and Handicaps. To do this, they produce tables of scores for all recognised rounds and an archer's classification and handicap can be worked out from their scores, normally by a club's Record Officer (Wakefield Archers – Bill Jepson).
For indoor rounds, an archer has a classification represented by a letter from A to H, with A being the best and H the worst. This applies for both seniors and juniors.
Standard FITA targets are marked with 10 evenly spaced concentric rings, which generally have score values from 1 through 10 assigned to them, except in outdoor Imperial rounds under GNAS rules, where they have score values 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. In addition, there is an inner 10 ring, sometimes called the X ring. This becomes the 10 ring at indoor compound competitions. Outdoors, it serves as a tiebreaker with the archer scoring the most X's winning. The number of hits may also be taken into account as another tiebreaker. In FITA archery, targets are coloured as follows:
• 1 ring & 2 ring - white
• 3 ring & 4 ring - black
• 5 ring & 6 ring - blue
• 7 ring & 8 ring - red
• 9 ring, 10 ring & inner 10 ring - gold
Archers score each end by summing the scores for their arrows. An arrow just touching a scoring boundary line, known as a Line Breaker or Line Cutter, will be awarded the higher score. Values scored by each arrow are recorded on a score sheet and must be written in descending order (e.g. if an archer scores 5, 7, 6, 10, 9, 8, this must be recorded as 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5). During and before scoring no one is allowed to touch the arrows. This is so that if there is disputed arrow score then a judge may be called and the judge will make a ruling on how the arrow lies.
The archer in charge of scoring on a target at a tournament is known as the ''Target Captain'' and in larger tournaments, they may be assisted by a ''Target Lieutenant''; a Target Captain will make an initial judgment on all disputed arrows. Under FITA rules, in major tournaments, after scoring, each hole is marked before arrows are retrieved. In the event of a "pass through" (the arrow passes straight through the target) or "bouncer" (arrow hits the target and bounces out), points may be awarded to an unmarked hole. Under GNAS rules, and in some smaller tournaments, in the case of a bouncer, the archer must step off the shooting line and hold their bow in the air. A judge will then make a decision as to whether the archer is permitted to shoot a replacement arrow. If an archer accidentally shoots more arrows than they are allowed, the highest scoring arrow is not counted.
Different rounds and distances use different size target faces. Common sizes (and example rounds they are used in) are:
• 40 cm (18 m FITA Indoor)
• 60 cm (25 m FITA Indoor)
• 80 cm (30 m and 50m FITA)
• 122 cm (70 m and 90m FITA)
122 cm faces are used in Olympic competition. There are also versions of the 40 cm and 60 cm targets known as the "3 Spot". The targets contain 3 instances of the inner 5 rings of the 40 cm and 60 cm faces arranged in a line or an equilateral triangle. This is to stop competitors from damaging their own arrows by shooting a "robin hood".
Imperial rounds (measured in yards) are mainly shot in the United Kingdom.
Metric rounds, also known as FITA rounds, measured in metres, are used for most other tournaments. These are the main rounds that are able to be shot in target archery:
How to use the tables
Go down the first column of the relevant table, until you get to the round you require. Go across this row, to find out how many arrows you shoot at each distance (yds=yards, m=metres, doz.=dozen). – means no arrows are shot at this distance.
These rounds use 5-zone scoring, as opposed to the usual 10-zone scoring. The points are awarded as follows: 9 for a gold, 7 for a red, 5 for a blue, 3 for a black and 1 for a white. Arrows are shot at increasingly closer distances - for example, in a York round, an archer would shoot 6 dozen at 100 yards (91 m), followed by 4 dozen at 80 yards (73 m), followed by 2 dozen at 60 yards (55 m). Senior rounds are for archers aged 18 and over and junior rounds are for archers under the age of 18.
These rounds use standard 10-zone scoring. Arrows are shot at increasingly closer distances - for example, in a Gents FITA round, an archer would shoot 3 dozen at 90 metres, followed by 3 dozen at 70 metres, followed by 3 dozen at 50 metres, followed by 3 dozen at 30 metres.