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Archery Definitions

Obviously, when you start your archery learning period you’ll want to understand archery definitions. When an instructor or peer is talking archery language you want to know what they’re talking about. So we’ll try to pass on to you as much of the basic archery definitions as we can.

Arm Guard archery definitions

When you are getting into archery, you’ll surely want to wear an arm guard so as to protect your bow arm from abrasive friction which can come from the oscillating string after release. When you’re practicing or even in competition, you can make great use of a clicker.


This spring-loaded finger will help you by sounding an audible cue that your arrow has been drawn to a repeatable distance. As you’re practicing you will want to judge how good every end, or set of arrows released (three to six), has been for your accuracy progress.

Leather Finger Tab

And speaking of releasing the arrow, don’t forget your leather finger tab for protecting your string fingers. Always pay attention to the condition of the fletching on your arrows so that you don’t start releasing mis-flights. When you are in competition, you’ll want to keep close track of how well you’re doing in each FITA Round, that set of 144 arrows shot at a target from four different distances.

This is the most common round in archery contests. That set of 144 arrows won’t all belong to the same group though, as this is either a trio of arrows that you have shot at a target or the pattern in which your arrows landed on the target.

Bow Limbs

Before either practicing or entering into a competition, make sure you have checked the condition of your bow’s limbs on either side of the riser, as this is very important for how well your string is held. Oh, and speaking of the arrows’ fletching,  the feathers on an arrow, you also want to check your arrows’ nocks , a notch or groove at the end of an arrow into which the bowstring fits, to be sure that they don’t have any cracks or fissures and are not clinging too tightly to the string.

Release Aid

Your arrows should all be nicely stored inside your quiver and awaiting the time for you to draw one out and nock it upon the string. Most compound bow shooters, who are more experienced archers in most cases, instead of relying on their fingertips choose to use a release aid. This holds the string directly instead of the fingers and permits
more fluidity of release.

You want to always be sure that you have a firm but relaxed grip upon the riser of your bow with your bow hand. The “back” of the riser faces the target. The “belly” of the riser is the side nearest to the string and the archer.


Once you get pretty advanced into archery you will probably want to start using a sight so that your aim and vision are enhanced. Upon release your bow string can cause some very unwanted torques in your bow, thereby throwing off your follow-through form.

Vertical Stabilizer

In order to minimize this negative effect, you can get an extending weight placed upon your bow This weight is called a vertical stabilizer because of the way it extends out from the riser. Now, once you get very advanced as an archer, you might just be able to split open the shaft of one arrow already in the target with a precisely placed release of
a second arrow.

You’ll then have had a real Robin Hood moment! WOW! And you like others will want to display your achievement on your wall in your home or office.

Archery Definitions Bottom Line

This is just a fraction of archery definitions. You can find an extensive list at Wikipedia. The best way to learn archery terms and every other aspect of archery is to throw yourself into it and the longer you are involved the better your education of this ancient sport.

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