Handicaps and Classifications

“So I just hand my score sheet to the Records Officer after every session and they do the rest”?
Records Officer, “Yes”!

Note:
This section explains the theory behind Handicaps and Classifications, you as an archer only have to submit your score sheet to our records officer after every session and they will do the rest for you. Just ensure your score sheets are completed correctly and counter signed as an honest score.

Handicaps

An archery handicap is a number between 0 and 100, it indicates the ability of an archer, essentially the lower the handicap the better the archer. Every archer has one outdoor handicap and a separate indoor handicap for each bow style they shoot.

Note: Currently Archery GB do not recognise the Horsebow as an accepted bow to shoot with to gain handicaps or any other Archery GB award.

Handicap tables are produced by Archery GB which gives a handicap for every possible score for every round irrespective of the archer’s age, gender or the bow style used. The club Records Officer has a copy of the latest handicap tables and uses these to calculate member’s handicap figure.

The archery handicap system has three uses:
1. It helps archers to monitor their progress
2. Enables scores to be compared between different rounds.
3. Enables archers of different abilities to compete on equal terms.
The rest of this section describes how to calculate a handicap.

Calculating Handicap

Calculating a handicap is the same for both indoors and outdoors. This section describes how a handicap is calculated for an archer without a handicap, how it is modified during the season and then what happens at the end of a season. A useful tool for members to use is the Archers Mate website.

Initial Handicap:
For archers without a handicap their initial figure is the average of the handicaps for the first three official rounds recorded. All handicaps are quoted in whole numbers and the average must be rounded up to the nearest whole number.

For example, if an archer shoots 3 outdoor rounds with handicaps of 64, 70 and 69 then the initial handicap is 68 (64+70+69=203, 203÷3=67.6, round up = 68).

During a Season:
When an archer has established a handicap it can be improved after each round shot. If a round is shot with a handicap at least 2 handicap points better than their current figure, then the archer’s new handicap is the average of the current handicap and the handicap for the round just completed. As with the initial handicap this must be rounded up to the nearest whole number.

For example:
• An archer with a handicap of 68 shoots a round with a handicap of 68, the handicap remains 68 (no point difference)
• An archer with a handicap of 68 shoots a round with a handicap of 70, the handicap remains 68 (68+70=138. 138÷2=69, handicap’s do not increase so remains at 68)
• An archer with a handicap of 68 shoots a round with a handicap of 67, the handicap remains 68 (only 1 point difference)
• An archer with a handicap of 68 shoots a round with a handicap of 66, the handicap becomes 67 (68+66=134. 134÷2=67)
• An archer with a handicap of 68 shoots a round with a handicap of 65, the handicap becomes 67 (68+66=133. 133÷2=66.5, round up = 67)
An archer with a handicap of 68 shoots a round with a handicap of 61, the handicap becomes 65 (68+61=129. 129÷2=64.5, round up = 65)

End of Archery Season:
Handicaps can be used to enable archers of all standards to compete against each other. This is achieved by adding a certain number of points onto an archers score at the end of the round. The lower an archer’s handicap, the fewer points get added to his score. The winner is the archer with the most points after the handicap has been taken into account. The number of points to be added is included in the Archery GB handicap tables held by the clubs Records Officer.

Using Handicaps in Competition

Handicaps can be used to enable archers of all standards to compete against each other. This is achieved by adding a certain number of points onto an archers score at the end of the round. The lower an archer’s handicap, the fewer points get added to his score. The winner is the archer with the most points after the handicap has been taken into account. The number of points to be added is included in the Archery GB handicap tables.

Handicap Improvement Medal

At the end of the summer season annually (31st December), the handicap improvement medal will be awarded to the member who has achieved the greatest reduction in handicap over either; the last summer season or from when the archer gained their initial handicap to the end of season. If there is a tie there will be a shoot off between the archers factoring handicaps.

 

Classifications

Archery classifications are similar to handicaps in that you must shoot at least three rounds to gain a classification, and there are separate indoor and outdoor classifications for each bow style an archer shoots. However unlike handicaps, classifications take into account an archer’s, gender, age and bow style. They therefore give an indication to an archer’s ability taking these factors into account.

The outdoor classification is widely recognised by other archers, unlike the indoor classification. As with handicaps, Archery GB produce classification tables which state what score must be obtained for a given round to qualify for a given classification. Unlike the handicap tables, classification tables can be downloaded from here and can easily be found on the internet from Archery GB’s Shooting Administrative Procedures which can be downloaded from the Archery GB website. You can work out your own classification or submit your scores to the club Records Officer and they will work it out for you.

Section 7 of the Archery GB’s Shooting Administrative Procedures provides the definitive description of the classification scheme. Again www.archersmate.co.uk is a very useful tool to track classification scores.

Outdoor Classifications

Classification badgesOutdoor classifications are (the easiest to obtained are listed first) 3rd class, 2nd class, 1st class, Bowman (BM), Master Bowman (MB) and Grand Master Bowman (GMB). Juniors can gain Junior Bowman and Junior Master Bowman instead of Bowman and Master Bowman respectively. You can achieve 3rd, 2nd, 1st classes or BM (Bowman) classification at any club shoot or competition.

You can only qualify for MB (Master Bowmen) and GMB (Grand Master Bowman) having submitted 3 scores to Archery GB, from Record Status competitions.

Badges are awarded for all outdoor classifications. To get an idea of the difficulty of getting these classifications they are designed so that the top 1% will get GMB, the top 4% MB and top 15% Bowman.

Indoor Classifications

Indoor classifications are different to the outdoor scheme in that they run from A to H, A being the best. As with outdoor handicaps, classification tables are produced by Archery GB and three qualifying scores are required before a classification can be obtained. No badges are produced for indoor classifications but the handicaps can be used during competitions for example Worcester and Portsmouth shoots.

 

Excerpt from Malcolm North’s Guide to Target Archery Rounds, Scoring , Handicaps and Classifications. Herts Group of Archery Coaches. Full guide available here.