What is Target Archery?
Target archers shoot at circular targets which are fixed at specific marked distances. Archers shoot on a level field with their feet or the wheels of their wheelchair on either side of a stationary shooting line. Archers may use longbow, barebow, recurve, and compound bows in target archery. This discipline is also associated with specific targets and rules made by the World Archery Federation. Formerly known by its French acronym FITA, it was founded on the 4th of September, 1931 in Lwow, Poland to set rules and standards for international archery competition.
Shooting is timed during competitions, usually with a large digital clock or series of lights to signify when it is safe to shoot. Spectators are welcome at tournaments; although large crowds of onlookers usually only appear at the highest levels of competition. Even though archery is a very focused sport, many archers feel very encouraged by fan support.
For indoor shooting during the fall and winter, target archers compete at a distance of 18 or 25 meters inside a building. Targets are in World Archery colors with a yellow bull’s-eye surrounded by rings of red, blue, black, and white. For competition at 18m, targets come in two varieties: a “single spot” at 40 centimeters and a “three spot” which are the same size but with fewer scoring rings. Archers commonly use three spot targets to prevent damaging their arrows when they anticipate shooting tight groups.
During the spring and summer, or outdoor season, target archers compete at further distances and shoot outside on a field. Adult men shoot at 30, 50, 70, and 90 meters, while adult women shoot at 30, 50, 60, and 70 meters. Archers in other divisions, such as Junior or Master classes, compete at different distances. The same applies to archers with disabilities, although they may also choose to enter simultaneously in the standard divisions. For more information, see the Constitution and Rules section of the World Archery website.
Nationwide Target Archery Tournaments
Many countries feature separate indoor and outdoor national tournaments. USA Archery hosts the National Indoor Target Championships during the winter in several regions. The results of the separate competitions are compared to each other so that rankings can be posted. The National Field Archery Association, or NFAA, also hosts a major target-style event in Las Vegas during indoor season. In late summer, both USA Archery and NFAA host national target archery events. Each tournament takes place in a venue where hundreds of shooters compete for several days.
What is Olympic Archery?
In many ways, the Olympics are the culmination of recurve target archery. Archers may train for many years before making their nation’s team for each Olympic or Paralympic Games, which happen every four years in August and September, respectively. More than 140 countries compete in archery during the Olympic Games.
The Olympic Round consists of exciting Match Play elimination rounds for both men’s and women’s classes. Archers also shoot in a fast-paced Team Round. During all Olympic Round competitions, archers shoot with recurve bows and compete at 70 meters. They aim at a target measuring 122 centimeters across, with a bull’s-eye slightly larger than a softball.
- Archery in the Paralympic Games www.americandisabledarchers.com/American_Disabled_Archers/HOME.html
- More on Team USA with the United States Olympic Committee http://www.teamusa.org/
- The International Olympic Committee www.olympic.org/