Archery is about hitting a target with an arrow shot from a bow. The bow can either be an straight bow or a crossbow, although most people think of upright bows when they hear the word ‘archery’. Within the sport or hobby of target archery, there are two kinds: target archery and field archery. The champion is the archer with the highest combined score of his arrows that struck the target.
Target archery involves shooting arrows, usually six, from different distances typically 90, 70, 50 and 30 metres. The archers stand in a line before their targets beginning at 90 metres and shoot an arrow on the command of whoever is in charge.
Then they all move forward to the 70 metre mark and shoot again on the order and so on. After the six arrows have been shot, the archers proceed to their targets and add up their scores.
Field archery necessitates walking around a course where targets are set at different distances. The targets may be the traditional round ones or they may be models of wild animals like rabbits, elk or mountain lions.
Traditional targets are made from straw. Handfuls of straw are tied with string and made into a kind of rope. This rope is then wound around and around itself until a target of the right size has been made. The rope is held in place either by pinning it or tying it. A canvas or paper target is then pinned to the front of it.
Target archery can be practiced outdoors or indoors and the target sizes are different to match the various distances. An outdoor archery target can be either 122 centimetres or 80 centimetres in diameter. The middle of this target is 24.4 centimetres in diameter and there are four concentric circles around this. The indoor target is 80 centimetres in diameter. The centre of this size target is 16 centimetres and also has four concentric rings around it.
Each ring is about eight centimetres wide on the smaller target. The targets are coloured gold in the centre, then red, blue, black and white. At the centre of the gold is what many archers call the ‘pinhole’.
It is a small cross of about two millimetres in width. The target should then be placed on an easel or stand with a tilt of about 15 degrees. The pinhole should be 130 centimetres off the ground (plus or minus five centimetres).
If there is more than one bowman, the pinholes should all be at the same height off the ground and the targets should be clearly numbered. The shooting line should be plainly marked and an archer’s shooting spot should be marked too. Five yards behind the archer, there should be another line, behind which non-competitors may watch.
The danger zone between the archers and the targets should be cordonned off to prevent spectators wandering into the line of fire. Knowing that the spectators are kept well back helps the archers to focus on their archery.
Owen Jones, the writer of this piece writes on various subjects, but is currently concerned with longbows for sale. If you would like to know more or for special deals, please go to our website at Kids Archery Set.