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Target archery is an internationally-recognised sport which features in both the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. This is the most popular form of the sport where, as its name suggests, participants shoot at static targets in order to score points. The size of target used, and the distance over which they are shot at, varies. A round consists of a number of ends of arrows. This is the number of arrows that each archer shoots prior to the scores being recorded and the arrows collected. When shooting indoors, ends normally consist of three arrows, and outdoors, six.

In order to achieve consistent scores, the archer aims to ensure that they are consistent in what they do for every shot. This includes standing in the exact same position, drawing the bowstring back the same distance, aiming at the same spot and so on. Many archers only ever compete against themselves, aiming to better their own personal best scores. Others will enter competitions and tournaments at local club level, county level or even national level.

The equipment used is potentially dangerous and the sport therefore takes place in properly equipped ranges, which can be either indoor or outdoor, dependent on the distance being shot. Archers tend to develop a good sense of safety and discipline and this attitude makes the sport a very safe one in which to participate. Most clubs have adequate equipment available for beginners to use on this course and for a while afterwards, until they are ready to purchase their own equipment.

Many scout HQs and most campsites have an area which can be used as an archery range, as long as safety requirements can be fulfilled. This is ideal for those wishing to have a taste of the sport. For those who wish to progress further, there are many clubs, affiliated to the sports governing body, all over the country. Many of these meet in local schools and some have their own grounds dedicated to the sport. Some clubs are dedicated to only one form of the sport, eg target archery or field archery and others will cater for more than one form. These are usually the larger clubs with their own grounds. There are a small number of scout-based archery clubs and members of The Scout Association are ensured a warm welcome at these.

How to run/provide archery

There are 3 ways of running Archery in Scouting. These are:

  1. Scout-led activity - running archery yourself or using someone else in Scouting

  2. Externally-led activity - running archery using an external provider

  3. Activity for adult groups - running archery for a group entirely of adults

Useful links

The National Governing Body for archery is:

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