The Sport of Archery
What started out as a means for hunters and soldiers to practice their aim, slowly developed into a competitive sport. Archery has been around for thousands of years, and its place of origin is still undetermined because of how widely available bows were in ancient civilizations. Archery has been an Olympic sport for men and women since the early 1900s.
How to be an Archer
To compete professionally in archery, it takes years of practice developing a shooter’s aim and precision. Because the distance of archery targets vary throughout tournaments, archers will also need a grasp on how wind and angle will affect their shot.
All an archer will need to compete is a regulation recurve bow with about 45-55 lb in drawback weight for men, and 40-48 lb in drawback weight for women. Archers will also have to strengthen the muscles in their back, shoulders, and core to prevent any distractive “shaking” that may take place before casting their shot.
Rules of Archery
- All Olympic archers, men and women, will take their shot from about 70 meters away from the target.
- Archers are allowed to wear protective gloves or chest padding to avoid any contact with the bow string. Because of the thickness of the string and the heavy drawback weight, being struck or grazed can cause injury.
- The size of the target and its rings may vary throughout tournaments, but Olympic regulation targets are 122 cm in diameter. The target will have 10 evenly spaced rings with different point values: two white rings count as 1 or 2 points, two black rings are 3 or 4, two blue are 5 or 6, two red are 7 or 8, and two gold are 9 or 10.
- Archers will have a two minute time limit to cast three arrows, or a four minute time limit to cast six arrows.
- Archery point system is simple. All arrows will be added up in a cumulative score.
- If an arrow bounces off the target or is partially in, it will still count.
- If there is an equipment malfunction, it will be up to the judges to decide whether or not that archer should be given extra time to get their shots downfield.
- The first 12 rounds of archery are qualifying rounds to determine the rankings in which archers will compete in the final round.
- In the event that there is a tie in the final round, those archers will go to a single round shoot off -- or until a winner is clear.
You remember the scene from Robin Hood where he split an arrow (that was already in the target) in half by hitting it with another arrow? This has actually happened in competition, and the rule is that the point still counts regardless of damaging the other arrow. Nevertheless, this is an extremely rare occurrence in archery.
Written by: Devin Pickell