Archery is one of the few sports that is enjoyed with few compromises by people with most types of disability. Special guidance and instruction is available, even for the visually impaired; it is not uncommon to see disabled archers sometimes in wheelchair’s, shooting alongside their able bodied friends on the same tournament shooting line.
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, bare bow, 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 under the age of 18.
Numerous outdoor and indoor tournaments throughout the year are an important part of the sport for those of a more competitive nature. Nevertheless, club and recreational archery is just as important for people who find they have little time for any serious commitment, though still enjoy ‘shooting arrows’ with friends, family or colleagues in the familiar surroundings of their club.
Modern competitive archery is governed by the International Archery Federation (FITA). Olympic rules are derived from FITA rules. FITA is the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognized governing body for all of archery.
Field archery is an all year round outdoor sport. It brings people into the countryside where, as well as carrying out the sport, field archers also grow to appreciate their surroundings and conserve the countryside.
The field archery targets vary widely, and represent anything in size from a field mouse to an elephant. They are placed in open or wooded countryside and at distances unknown to the archer. The ground is rarely flat, and the archer may be shooting up or down slopes, across lakes or through gaps in woodland to reach the target. The varying target sizes, distances and the lay of the ground test the archer in many ways both physically and mentally.
A field archery course normally consists of between 28 and 40 targets, with the most common course layout made up of 36 targets. All the targets are generally either flat picture faces mounted on a foam or straw ‘boss,’ or are 3D foam models. Each are different and the archer moves around the course, following a previously planned route.
Scores are awarded for accuracy on each target.