When it comes to archery, there are as many different bows as there are types of…
Do you like to shoot archery in your backyard or at a local range? Have you ever considered taking your skills to the next level? I’ll be
discussing how to go from being a beginner or intermediate archer and
how you can take your talents to the professional level. I’ll also inform you of the important rules that you should be aware of as to what categories you can compete in. This article will serve as a one stop shop for all things that you should know about competition
One of the first things you need to know when deciding to join the
professional ranks is what kind of equipment that you can use. There
are three main types for organized events and only one piece of
equipment allowed for Olympic level archery. Before you make it to
that level you can choose between recurve, compound, or barebow
equipment. On the USA level you can use either recurve or compound
bows but if you plan on heading to the Olympics, they only allow
If you choose to go with a recurve bow you must still be aware of
certain limitations. The most general is that you are not allowed to have any electronic devices on your bows, regardless of what type.
You can still use aids like an arrow rest or a standard sight, but itis essential to emphasize that any form of an electronic aid is strictly prohibited as a release aid.
Although compound bows are the only bows that you can use in Olympic
competitions, the restrictions on training aids are less restrictive
in comparison to the recurve bows. One of the more serious
restrictions is that your draw weight cannot exceed 60 pounds. The
good thing is that you are actually allowed to use release aids and
stabilizers, as long as they only touch the bow itself. Sights are
allowed of course and you can even get a sight that includes a level
or one that helps you calculate wind speed and elevation differences.
Again the only thing not allowed is anything electronic!
The subject of barebows is a touchy one, because different organizations
class barebows differently. Since most competitions are hosted by USA
Archery I will quickly clarify those rules for you. A barebow
according to USA archery is really just a recurve bow without any
stabilizer or sight. Staying true to the name, it really is just a
bare bow as the name states.
Since this will most likely be your first time participating in competitive
archery it’s important to understand how scoring works. It is a
rather complex system but once you understand how it works and get a
little practice with it, it will become second nature. When it comes
to close calls such as your arrow tip being on a line or touching two
colors, the highest score is taken within that tie.
Unlike most sports where the score relies solely on a judge or third party,
the score comes down to the honor system for each player in competitive archery. After shooting your arrows and it is safe to proceed, the archer walks to their target and reads the values of the
shots to the judge sitting at a table from a distance. Although it is
difficult to cheat in archery, it still comes down to each player as
the judges simply type the scores on a computer that the players say
aloud. Judges can still be called to examine any discrepancies but
that does not happen very often.
When you are participating in competition archery you shoot rounds of
three arrows at a time. With a bullseye counting as ten points, the
maximum amount of points you can score in any given round is thirty
or a perfect three bullseyes. You will be competing head to head
against another archer and the overall score is similar to tennis in
a way. Whoever scores the most points in that round wins the “set”
and the first archer to win six sets wins the match and moves on to
the next round. There is also an opportunity for team play, but I
will assume that you are starting your competitive archery career as
a lone archer rather than a team.
As for safety the rules are quite simple because there really are none.
It just comes down to common sense of knowing when it’s the proper
time to walk down range. One important thing to note is that if you
drop an arrow a little down range just leave it there for the time
being and grab another one instead. Do not panic either as it will
not count towards one of the three arrows that you shoot per round.
To prepare for competition archery the best thing you can do besides
practicing on your own is to familiarize yourself with these rules.
The earlier you understand the rules, the smoother your transition
will become because you can simply focus on shooting rather than the
specific rules associated with the competition. For the most part
they are common sense so you should be good to go anyway.
Finding An Event
Once you are familiar with the rules and confident in your abilities all
you need to do is go onto usarchery.org to find an event near you! I
have attached the link for you here!
This link will show you all the events that USA archery is hosting
with the location and date of each event. They provide a more
information tab for each event which will help you register for it if
you are interested in competing.
Competition Archery Summary
To summarize everything for you here today, one of the first things you
should do when starting your transition from beginner or intermediate
to competition archery is familiarize yourself with the rules laid
out in this article. Once you are confident in your knowledge of the
rules and your skills, head to the USA archery website to find events
near you. I hope this article was helpful and good luck with your
competitive archery career!