Many a Slip Twixt Shot and App

You’ve shot your arrows. You’ve trudged down to the boss gossiping with your target partners. Now its time to score but as you start, an experienced archer on your target snarls at you … What just happened?


Yes, technically its in the yellow but I don’t think it scores!

Likely, you broke scoring etiquette and there’s little that wynds up competitive archers as much as people not following the accepted procedure. Why is this important? Because a mistake by you, if you did it in a competition, could actually cost them points and they get a little up tight about such things. You might not be a competition right now but its never too early to learn the correct way to score. So what do you need to know?

When scoring your arrows, don’t touch anything. Not your arrows, not your target partners arrows, not the boss, the face or anything else. This is to ensure that there is no interference with the more iffy arrows in the face such around the lines between values or with a tenuous grasp of the boss. If an arrow falls out of the boss before being scored, it almost certainly won’t count. If an arrow is touching the dividing line between two scores, you get the higher score. But interfere or affect these arrows and their potential value drops!
So whats the right way to score?


Grim Reaper taking a day off from judging.

When its your turn to score your arrow values, point at your arrows nocks calling out the values (highest to lowest) you believe that arrow to be (remember, no touching). Just remember its the location of the shaft of the arrow that denotes the score … not the hole the arrow made. Take care here. If you touch an arrow that is a possible line cutter … you instantly get the lower score – same for someone else’s if you touch theirs. If everyone is happy with your opinion, the scores go in the book. If anyone in your group disagrees and you can’t resolve it, a judge needs to be called. They will examine the arrow from 2 different angles, peer at it through a magnifying glass, weigh up all the evidence … and then give you the lower score (at least that’s our Vice-Chair’s experience).
ps: always claim the higher score if its even vaguely close to the line. You may get mocked but sometimes you get the point and that makes it all worth while.

So, scoring etiquette = Easy Peasy.  But, what about the more iffy things that can happen at the target when its not so cut and dried. Did you know there are times an arrow can be a scoring arrow but ISN’T even in the target. I know, freaky! So how are these arrows scored?


When shot, both were 9’s … somehow Euan’s is now an 8. Sorry Dude! :o)

Most spectacular is the Robin Hood where one arrow is lodged in the back of another. Here, rather logically you score the same as the arrow your arrow is currently stuck in. Arguments are often made that “it was going to be a 10, that arrow in the nine got in the way” but those arguments will be mocked and you will just get a nine!
Even more infuriating is if you shoot an arrow and its a 10 that you can literally see from the line but a subsequent arrow pushes it out to a lower score. Sorry, you get the value of the arrow at scoring time, not the score it was originally. Somehow, its always higher pushed out to lower … never the other way around!
Another annoying situation is the bounce out. Should your arrow hit another arrow and bounce back, the good news is you get the score of the arrow you hit assuming the nock of that arrow is visibly damaged. Otherwise, if it just bounced or fell out, you just get to shoot the arrow again.


Well, hello there!

The opposite of this situation is the passthrough when your arrow punches right through the boss. This can happen on old bosses (shot out), in the rain (water acts as a lubricant) or if you have stupid poundage on your bow (looking at you compounders!!!)! Normally you would just get to shoot the arrow again. However, if the arrow passed through the face but is still in the boss, either the target captain or judge can push the arrow straight back through. Where the nock appears on the face, that’s your score. (Our Vice Chair had this happen to him in competition … he got a 10 on the push through from one of the few judges he’s even been fond of! Wonder what came first, the fondness or the 10? Go on, guess! :o)

The metric scoring system is a bit less convoluted since in competitions you mark every hole made on the face with a V after scoring that end. This means if you get a bounce out or a passthrough there will be a hole without a V and that’s the score you get for that arrow. Obviously this only works on faces you have V’ed all the holes!

Hopefully all of the above seems sensible to you and you will remember next time you are scoring. Even the most placid and cuddly, if slightly competitive archer can become a savage <censored><censored> when someone breaks scoring etiquette. Every single point is a beloved child to them and will be protected like a mama grizzly in defense of her cubs. You have been warned!

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Archery Grim Reaper by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Glasgow Archers

We are an amateur archery club based in the centre of Glasgow.

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