Target archery is the type of archery practiced at the Olympics, and is the version most beginners learn first. Archers shoot a set number of arrows at targets set at specified distances on a flat surface. It can take place either indoors or outdoors.
As the name suggests, target archery is all about hitting the target from a set distance. The distance you shoot over and the size of the target varies depending on the type of bow you are using.
Under World Archery rules, a typical outdoor target face is 122cm in diameter (or about the size of a round coffee table) for recurve and barebow. For compound the diameter is smaller at 80cm (that’s just a bit bigger than an exercise ball).
The target face is circular with gold, red, blue, black and white scoring zones. The 10-ring (centre of the target face) for a 122cm target face is 12.2 centimetres (the size of a Blu-ray), whereas on the 80cm face, the 10-ring is just eight centimetres (or just a bit bigger than a cricket ball).
Each colour on the target face is split into two values. The inner ring (closest to the middle) scores higher. Starting from the centre it goes;
If you miss the target, it is scored as a miss on the score sheet, scoring 0.
Recurve and longbow archers shoot up to 90m. This is slightly longer than a Boeing 747 wingspan. Compound and barebow archers shoot at a smaller target face at 50m. This is almost as tall as Nelson’s Column.
Yes! Target archery is a great way to get fit. You will get your steps in for the day walking back and forth to the target at training. Your upper body muscles will become stronger due to the nature of the movements involved with shooting. It also helps with focus and mental health.
There are archery clubs around the country so there is bound to be one near you. Use our club finder to see where you can start archery. You can also try target archery at most youth organisations and holiday parks such as Centre Parcs. Archery is also often featured at country fairs and at tourist attractions such as National Trust venues.
The initial cost of archery is the beginner’s course. You will be able to borrow all equipment during your course. Once you've completed the course most club's will lend you what you need until you're ready to buy your own kit.
Once you’re ready to buy, you can pick up your first full set up for around £400. Your club and coaches will be able to advise what you need, when to upgrade and what equipment will suit you.