The sport of archery is governed in Britain by Archery GB, which has over 1,200 affiliated clubs and around 45,000 individual members. Archery GB is itself affiliated to the International Archery Federation (FITA) and is a member of the British Olympic Association. At the present time, only target archery with recurve bows takes place at the Olympics.
There are four main forms of archery:
This is the most popular and most familiar form of the sport, where archers shoot a given number of arrows at targets set at known distances. Various standard 'rounds' exist, using different numbers of arrows at different distances, with special rounds for juniors using shorter distances according to age. A variation is head-to-head matches over a smaller number of arrows. Target shooting can also take place indoors with shorter distances and smaller targets.
Field archery uses a course of targets set out in rough country, often woodland. Distances to the targets are often not marked and are left to the archers to assess using their judgement and experience. Scoring is often based on the number of shots required to hit targets as well as their accuracy.
This is similar to target archery except that the target is laid out on the ground around a marker flag. Archers will typically shoot at longer distances (up to 180 yards for men and 140 yards for women) and will aim to land their arrows as close to the flag as possible, within a series of circular scoring zones.
In this form of the sport, distance is all that counts.
The most frequently used type of bow is the recurve, the modern form of the traditional longbow. The bow limbs have a reverse bend at the end which enables them to generate extra power. Compound bows employ even more technology - they are typically shorter with pulley wheels, cables and telescopic sights. The longbow is still popular with archers who enjoy the skills of traditional bowmanship without sights and arrow rests, which places greater emphasis on the archer’s judgement.
Arrows may be wooden, particularly for use with longbows, but most are made from aluminium or carbon, or a mixture of the two. Arrow lengths and weights can be chosen to suit the individual archer.
Archery GB also recognises crossbow archery, which has become a distinctive, specialist discipline with its own rules and objectives.
(Adapted from the Archery GB website (see below))
GNAS Field Archery
Northern Counties Archery Society
Lancashire Archery Association
Wikipedia - Archery
Wikipedia - Bows
Wikipedia - Arrows
Aardvark Archery, Pudsey, West Yorkshire
Archery World, Preston, Lancashire
Bow Sports, Wolverhampton
Custom Built Archery, Sherwood Forest
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