Now what are we shooting AT?
All bows can shoot in all types of archery. Obviously in their own categories. It would hardly be fair for a compound to go head to head with a longbow! Click the links to get more details but here’s a taster of what each is …
Target Archery: is when you shoot at the “classic” 10 ring/5 colour target either indoor or outdoors. This is the starter for 10 type of archery. Easiest to access, least complicated to set up, easiest to learn on, dull as dishwater to watch. Has been perked up considerably by the head to head format where its 1 v 1, highest score in 3 arrow end = 2 points (draw = 1), first to 6 points Wins. It makes for tense stuff. A staple in both international indoor and outdoor competitions, it was spectacularly showcased in the 2012 Olympics for heart stopping pressure where in the mens team gold match, it came down to the last arrow & virtually the last second. Click here for more details and probably banter as well
Field archery: consists of rambling through the woods on a path to shoot at 5 ring black and gold targets that you find on your stroll. These target can have the distance marked or they can be unmarked depending on the round being shot. Every single course will be unique as these courses typically use rough terrain to make shots more….. challenging! ;o) A variant of this is 3D Archery. Roughly the same as field but instead of a ring target, you shoot at 3D foam animals. Basically a representation of hunting with a bow. This is legal in the UK as foam does not have feelings … at least not yet. Click here for more information and humour if archery in a natural setting takes your fancy.
(Note: Actual hunting with a bow was prohibited by law in the UK in 1965. In the most up-to-date Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, its legal status remained unchanged.)
Flight Archery: Just how far can you shoot an arrow? The basic premise of flight archery is to shoot arrows as far as possible. Person with the longest walk to collect their arrow … wins. Archery equivalent of taking a walk to the shops after slipping on your state of the art, hi-tech footwear. Distances achievable with a bow can be quite surprisingly long. Also, the one form of archery where shooting into the ground no where near where you were aiming isnt actually a bad thing. Interested in a nice walk/gossip coupled with a little arrow finding? then click here
Golf Archery: Not a joke! In the US archers can and do shoot against golfers with very few changes in rules. It is however wise not to cross the fairway if archers are addressing their shot and ball thieves had better be quick! Not very common in the UK. A little more information about this rare form of archery can be found here
Clout Archery: Clout is where archers shoot their arrows at a flag quite long distances away and score points depending on how close the arrow lands to the flag. A medieval “military” variant of this is called “Shooting the Mark”. More information here about walking in the shadow of our medieval forebears (aka shooting arrows into the bushes DELIBERATELY)
Other archery Types: Yes, there are more. There’s archery fishing (although this also falls foul of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and can only be done OUTSIDE UK territorial waters). Horse archery obviously. There’s Biathlon, crossing cross country skiing with archery and archery water polo ……… ok, I made that up but adding archery makes every sport better (looking at you golf) so why not water polo?
Again just to reiterate that although popular in the US and in Continental Europe, Bow Hunting is ILLEGAL in the UK. There is however a story of an unfortunate pigeon who flew across the range during a national shoot at Lilleshall National Sports Centre. The poor beast got about half way across the field before (s)he got a pointed reminder that archery in the UK used to be something more deadly than just a target sport.