Competitive Archery

Competitive archery could easily have started with a couple of stone-age archers with nothing better to do than to find out which of them could shoot the furthest. Modern competitive archery encompasses the full spectrum of bows and shooting styles.

Flight bows are used to shoot purely for distance, the different classes of bow allow off-the-shelf production bows to be used as well as specialised bows made to shoot arrows huge distances the current World record is for an arrow which travelled 1327 yards. Flight shoots are normally held at airfields in the UK, in other parts of the world salt flats and dry lake beds give archers the space they need.

Field archery is an ideal way of rekindling the feeling of adventure, shooting at targets in a wild natural enviroment such as a forest, archers who shoot this style seem to have a great deal of fun in spite of lost or damaged arrows. Different disciplines in Field archery allow archers to shoot at known distances or at targets that require you to develope the skill of estimating the distance. Field archery is shot at World level with some of the best archers from other disciplines proving that a good archer is a good archer regardless of the target!

3D archery is similar in many repects to Field archery. The target course is always in a woodland setting allowing some very challenging target placements, the targets themselves are replica animals made of plastic foam. Starting in the USA where at one recent competition a valley was full of life-size plastic elk, the 3D form of archery has been a great success and is starting to find favour in other parts of the World.

Target archery as we know it today owes its modern appearance to the Prince Regent, later to become George the fourth of england the target, its size and colours were set down in the 1800's and remain largely unchanged today. Archery competitions, were shot using the Long-Bow and target arrows and some of the records shot still stand today, mainly those of Horace Ford, who was the foremost Long-Bow target archer of his day.

Archery clubs can be found in almost every country of the World, and most of them practice at the familiar round target, a glance at the record books clearly shows that alongside technical improvements in equipment archers themselves have developed skills that rank them as true athletes. In 1972 the World Record for a FITA round was 1204 pts. Today that record is 1361 pts!

Archery competitions are shot indoors at World level and it is one of the few sports that allows disabled sportsmen and women the opportunity to compete on equal terms with able-bodied shooters.

New forms of competition are being developed with the aim of bringing archery to a wider media audience, Head-to-Head competitions where archers are eliminated at each stage, leading to a showdown final are now used at World level and are sure to be adopted at club level. There are so many forms of archery that you can hardly fail to find something that you get hooked on.

Archery today is one of the few target sports that has appeal for people of all ages and many clubs have whole families as members, in the UK and Europe great emphasis is placed on encouraging juniors to become involved in Archery, as with any sport they are the future.