This is one activity that everyone can enjoy whatever your ability. Have a go at playing Robin Hood for a while and see how many “golds” you can get. Or even try your hand at popping balloons or play one of our many games.

Archery is mobile so could be brought to your school.

What is Archery

Modern competitive archery is governed by the International Archery Federation, abbreviated FITA (Fédération Internationale de Tir à l'Arc). Olympic rules are derived from FITA rules. FITA is the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) recognized governing body for all of archery.

Currently 142 nations are represented by FITA archery governing bodies. The largest of these are the FFTA (French archery federation) with approximately 60,000 members, FITARCO (Italian federation), DSB (German federation), AJAF (All-Japan archery federation), and the GNAS (Grand National Archery Society) of Great Britain, with approximately 30 000 members. In the United States the FITA affiliated governing body is USA Archery (National Archery Association of the United States) which dates to the 1870s, making it the second oldest archery governing body after GNAS, which dates to the 1860s.

Target archery is the most popular form of archery, in which members shoot at non-moving circular targets at varying distances. All types of bow - longbow, barebow, recurve and compound - can be used. In Great Britain, Imperial rounds, measured in yards, are still used for a lot of tournaments and these have slightly different rules to FITA (metric) rounds, which are used internationally. Archers are divided into seniors and juniors, with juniors being those under the age of 18.


Archery competitions may be held indoors or outdoors. Indoor rounds are normally shot at one distance, whereas outdoor competitions normally consist of several distances. For lists of tournament rounds, see section entitled Tournament Rounds. Since archery involves the use of potentially lethal equipment, much attention is paid to order and safety. All competitors must wait for the command to start shooting and are not allowed to collect arrows while other people are shooting. These rules apply to all forms of target archery. Other rules, or points of etiquette, include:

The command Fast means stop shooting immediately and return the unshot arrow to the quiver. It is used when the situation becomes suddenly and unexpectedly dangerous
Do not distract another archer when they are shooting. If an archer is at full draw, wait before taking your place on the shooting line.
If an archer damages another archer's arrows (or other equipment), they must offer to pay for any damages


Standard FITA targets are marked with 10 evenly spaced concentric rings, which generally have score values from 1 through 10 assigned to them, except in outdoor Imperial rounds under GNAS rules, where they have score values 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. In addition, there is an inner 10 ring, sometimes called the X ring. This becomes the 10 ring at indoor compound competitions. Outdoors, it serves as a tiebreaker with the archer scoring the most X's winning. The number of hits may also be taken into account as another tiebreaker. In FITA archery, targets are coloured as follows:

1 ring & 2 ring - white
3 ring & 4 ring - black
5 ring & 6 ring - blue
7 ring & 8 ring - red
9 ring & 10 ring - gold

Archers score each end by summing the scores for their arrows. An arrow just touching a scoring boundary line, known as a Line Breaker or Line Cutter, will be awarded the higher score. Values scored by each arrow are recorded on a score sheet and must be written in descending order (e.g. if an archer scores 5, 7, 6, 10, 9, 8, this must be recorded as 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5). During and before scoring no one is allowed to touch the arrows. This is so that if there is disputed arrow score then a judge may be called and the judge will make a ruling on how the arrow lies. The archer in charge of scoring on a target at a tournament is known as the ''Target Captain'' and in larger tournaments, they may be assisted by a ''Target Lieutenant''; a Target Captain will make an initial judgement on all disputed arrows. Under FITA rules, in major tournaments, after scoring, each hole is marked before arrows are retrieved. In the event of a "pass through" (the arrow passes straight through the target) or "bouncer" (arrow hits the target and bounces out), points may be awarded to an unmarked hole. Under GNAS rules, and in some smaller tournaments, in the case of a bouncer, the archer must step off the shooting line and hold their bow in the air. A judge will then make a decision as to whether the archer is permitted to shoot a replacement arrow. If an archer accidentally shoots more arrows than they are allowed, the highest scoring arrow is not counted.

Different rounds and distances use different size target faces. Common sizes (and example rounds they are used in) are:

40 cm (18m FITA Indoor)
60 cm (25m FITA Indoor)
80 cm (30m and 50m FITA)
122 cm (70m and 90m FITA)

122 cm faces are used in Olympic competition. There are also versions of the 40cm and 60cm targets known as the "3 Spot". The targets contain 3 instances of the inner 5 rings of the 40cm and 60cm faces arranged in a line or an equilateral triangle. This is to stop competitors from damaging their own arrows by shooting a "robin hood".

Text from Wikipedia