This is a glossary of terms used to understand the general terms used by archers.

Boss – The straw disk to stop arrows, that you pin the target face to.

Bow Hand – The hand holding the bow- your left hand if you are right handed (or right eye dominant)

Bracing Height – The distance between the string and the bow. Different type of bow requires different bracing heights.

Cast – ability of a bow to shoot an arrow. A bow with a good cast will shoot an arrow a long way for its draw weight.

Centre-shot – A bow with a cut-out to allow the arrow to pass between the centre limbs.

Cock Feather – The fletching which is at right angles to the nock. Usually a different colour and designed to help an archer nock the arrow.

Critical – Describes a bow that is sensitive to an archers shooting style.

Draw Length – How far back you pull the bow. Normally measured in inches from the nock to the bow. Draw length depends on the length of an archers’ arms and on technique.

Draw Weight – Amount of force required to pull the bow back to full draw, normally measured in pounds.

Drawing Hand – The hand that pulls back the string (see bow hand).

End – A number of arrows shot before scoring (usually 3 or 6).

Face – The paper target pinned to the boss.

Fast – Shouted to indicate a safety problem. No arrow should be loosed after this is shouted.

Forgiving – A bow that is tolerant of variants in an archer’s style. Contrast with critical.

Spine – The stiffness of the arrow. Should ideally match the draw length and draw weight of the bow. The archer’s technique can also affect the desired spine.

Stacking – Describes a bow that has a significant increase in draw weight towards the end of a draw.

Weigh-in-hand – The physical weight of the bow rather than the draw weight.