About Archery


In these modern times archery is no longer considered a crucial skill to be used in war, but has evolved into an organised sport and a true test of precision and accuracy. From 1900 to 1920, archery was included in the Olympic Games. It was reintroduced in 1972 as an individual event and a team event was added in 1988.

There are a number of different types of archery. Target archery and field archery are the most popular but there are other disciplines such as flight shooting and clout shooting.

There is also a selection of different bow types which includes recurve, compound, longbow and crossbow. At Rickmansworth Archery Club, we focus on target archery for recurve, compound, longbows as well as other traditional bows such as Mongolian and Scythian bows.

World Archery is the world governing body of archery and it regulates and standardises the rules, policies and techniques of archery. Here in the UK, our national governing body is Archery GB which was until recently called the G.N.A.S. (Grand National Archery Society).

Rounds, competitions and classifications

A round in archery is simply defined as a set number of arrows to be shot at a specified distance or distances. The round also specifies the size and type of target face to be used at each distance.

For target archery, the rounds are broadly broken down into two categories: imperial and metric. For imperial rounds the distances are measured in yards and, unsurprisingly, the metric rounds use metres. The longest imperial range shot is 100 yards and the longest metric range is 90 metres. There are a wide range of recognised rounds to suit archers of all levels, which can be shot for both practice and competitions.

Competitions in target archery are held both indoors and outdoors depending on the time of year. There are a huge range of options and rounds for competitions, giving everyone an opportunity to get involved.

Classifications are a great way to track your own personal progress. There are 6 classification levels: 3rd Class, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Bowman (BM), Master Bowman (MB) and Grand Master Bowman (GMB). Achieving Bowman puts you in the top 15% of UK archers, Master Bowman in the top 4% and Grand Master Bowman in the top 1%.

For information on the various recognised outdoor rounds and classifications please see Rounds and Classifications.

Rules and regulations

This website provides a few of the principles of the rules of shooting rather than going into it in any great detail. If you are interested in the full rules and regulations surrounding archery, there is an 80 page document on the Rules of Shooting available from Archery GB.