Archery In The Backyard

What archery is about?

Archery can be considered to be the practice of shooting arrows using a bow. The word is derived from the Latin term arcus which means “arch” or “bow”.

Archery, which was invented during the early Mesolithic periods, has been employed for combat and hunting throughout the years. In the contemporary era, archery is primarily a recreational activity and a competitive sport.

Any individual participating in archery is usually known as an archer. Archery requires the skills of control, precision, determination, focus, and repetition. Almost any individual irrespective of his or her gender or age will be able to practice archery at present.

How do you play?

Competitive archery involves individuals aiming arrows at a particular target and it consists of different forms with the identical objective of shooting the arrows as close to the target’s center as feasible. Competitors are required to aim from a distance of approximately 70 meters at the target in the Olympic Games. Rounds consist of a ranking round where the rankings of the athletes will be figured out by their overall scores before they become eliminated.

Players and equipment

While a bow will be held by only one archer at a given time, individual as well as team competitions can be undertaken. However, all the archers should have a bow which can be described as an instrument featuring a handle, riser, plus a couple of flexible limbs each of which ends in a tip consisting of a string nock.

It is possible for the bowstring to have any strand numbers so long as it will fit the bow, while a bow sight plus an arrow rest can likewise be used. Not much restriction is there over the arrow types used apart from those which might damage the targets, although it is important for the arrow shaft’s maximum diameter not to be more than 9.3 millimeters and that of the tips not more than 9.4 millimeters. It is imperative for the arrows to be marked with the name of the particular athlete while they are being used.

Protection for the fingers (including gloves or tape) can be used along with armed guards, chest protectors, together with other similar accessories which will help to provide comfort and protection to the athlete.

The target can vary in size; however, all of them consist of as many as 10 concentric rings representing various scoring sectors. The 2 rings on the outermost part are white, 3 and 4 are black, 5 and 6 are blue, 7 and 8 are red, and 9 and 10 are gold. The last ring also comes with an inner ring which is employed for deciding ties at times.


In archery, scoring is quite simple. The number of points has to be simply added up depending on where the arrows will be hitting the target. For a single arrow, the maximum score can be 10 in case it hits the innermost gold ring, and the least score is 1 point (in case the arrow hits the outermost white ring). On the other hand, no score will be counted for arrows which are missing the target.

Becoming the winner

This is going to depend on the rules set by the tournament where the archer is going to compete; however, in a typical competition of archery, the winner will be the individual with the maximum total score following a particular number of arrows or who has been able to overcome all the rivals in a knockout situation.

In case the score becomes tied, the winner will be the archer having the maximum number of tens. In case this number is equal, the athlete with a maximum number of inner tens will be declared the winner. Otherwise, there can be a shoot-off for deciding the eventual winner.

Archery rules

  • It is important for the archers to stick to all the official regulations when it comes to the equipment used by them while performing the sport.
  • One has to shoot an end of 3 arrows within 2 minutes, and an end of 6 arrows within 4 minutes.
  • It is not possible for the athletes to lift the bow arm till the signal for starting is given. One might be required to face penalties in case one draws the bow following the closure of the official practice.
  • It is not possible to re-shoot an arrow in any situation. In case the arrow is misfired or it falls from the bow, it will not be considered to have been shot. The same thing will happen in case the target falls over or blows. In such situations, additional time will be allotted.
  • In case an arrow hangs or rebounds from the target, it will nevertheless be able to score depending on the mark made by it on the face of the target.
  • In case the athlete does not obey the regulations of the competition, he will be disqualified and his points will be deducted depending on the severity of his or her offense.
  • If any damage is made to the equipment, one can request the judge to either fix or replace such equipment and it will depend on the judge whether he will allow it or not.

What equipment is required?

Below, we have mentioned some essential equipment without which you will not be able to perform archery. You will require them irrespective of whether you are playing the game in your backyard or in a competition.

1. Bow and bow stringer

It will not be possible for you to shoot without a bow. You’ll come across different bow types for starting your training.

Recurve Bow

This type of bow features a riser having a couple of limbs which curve backward away from the archer. The components are linked to a bowstring which can be drawn using the fingers. A clicker and stabilizer can also be used with it along with a magnifying sight too.

Compound Bow

This particular bow uses a cam system which works with the cables and a bowstring for enhancing the energy while the arrow is been shot. A magnifying sight can also be used along with it.

The English longbow

This will be the type of bow which will help to make archery quite fun and enjoyable. The construction of the bow is quite simple with a string and a stick. In this case, instinctive shooting has to be done using the bow without any sight and you have to depend on your skills on most occasions. Shooting using this type of bow is the most rewarding in spite of being the most challenging. The most notable thing about the longbow is that all the bows are different when it comes to features. In this case, lots of archers shoot using feather fletching and wooden arrows.

The American Flatbow

Being almost similar to that of the longbow, this one is fantastic when it comes to target shooting. The construction of the bow has been made from fiberglass along with wood veneers made from red Oak.

The horse bow

The horse bow has been used in the Asiatic world by archers for centuries. As compared to a longbow, this one is smaller in size. Moreover, it comes with recurved limbs and is mainly used for shooting from horseback. However, it can also be used while standing.

The Recurve bow is going to be the best option when it comes to archery. The best bows of this type are available online at a comparatively reasonable price. The bow stringer is another vital item with which you will be able to safely string a bow.

2. The arrows

The arrows are the subsequent essential items without which it will not be possible to shoot anything. In excess of 1 arrow will be required by you, and therefore, it will be a sensible idea to purchase a 6-pack initially. In case you purchase a Recurve bow, make sure to buy the arrows simultaneously. This is because you will be provided the properly sized arrows by the bow technician. They will be able to get this done by measuring the draw length of yours.

Nevertheless, in case you’d like to select your own arrows, this can be performed by you by measuring the draw length on your own. Make sure to spread the arms while keeping them parallel to the ground and do not pull the shoulder blades at the same time. Request a friend or a member of your family to measure the distance between your middle finger and index finger. Divide the measurement by 2.5 which will allow you to get a proper estimate of your draw length.

Consequently, in case your arm span is 70 inches, this number has to be divided by 2.5 which will provide you with a draw length of 28 inches. That measurement will help you to figure out what arrow length will be required by you. You simply need to add a couple of inches to the 28 inches measurement. This will provide you with an ideal arrow length of approximately 30 inches long.

You are recommended to make use of carbon or fiberglass arrows for practicing while the carbon arrows will be effective for hunting too. Apart from this, a difference exists between making use of a hunting arrow shaft and a target arrow. The difference is actually the arrow’s total weight. In case the arrow shaft is quite heavy, it will be able to penetrate deeper on impact which will be fantastic for hunting. However, not much penetration will be required by you while target practicing.

3. Nocking Points

In spite of the fact that this particular equipment is not considered to be imperative, it definitely helps to provide a proper placing on the bowstring for knocking the arrow. It will provide you with consistency when it comes to shooting. Moreover, it will allow you to find your target easily every single time. On the other hand, it likewise prevents nicking the bow hand while shooting. You will be able to prepare one from tape, brass points, or even serving string. You can request the bow technician for setting it up while purchasing the bow.

4. Targets

It is time for you to shoot arrows given that you already have the essential equipment at your disposal. You need to aim at something, and for this, you will require a target. There is no need for this to be impressive and you will be able to draw one on your own. In case you do not like to spend your time doing this, you have the option of purchasing a target either online or from the physical stores. You’ll come across different targets for practicing archery which ranges from bag archery targets, paper targets, 3-D archery targets, and foam targets.

What types of equipment are there and what should I watch out for?

There is no doubt about the fact that archery is a wonderful sport where you have to focus on various things. Having mentioned the necessary equipment in the earlier section, we will talk about the essential aspects which you should watch out for.

1. Try to rent your equipment initially

On most occasions, clubs are going to provide equipment to the beginners free of any charge or for some small fees. It will be a good idea to try out archery at first instead of indulging in something which you will never be able to master.

2. Know the basic techniques

You’ll come across instructional materials referring to the basic steps for shooting arrows including finger placement, stance, hand placement, anchoring, drawing, holding, aiming, releasing, and following through. One has to master all these techniques and should be mentally as well as physically fit in order to improve in the long run.

3. Improve your physical condition

Although physical strength will not be the primary concern to start with, it is imperative to provide attention to the arms and upper body, particularly if you like to become more competitive. In case your upper body is powerful, you’ll be able to get more control over your shot.

4. Train patiently

It will not take a long span of time to learn how to shoot an arrow safely, and most individuals will be able to hit the middle of a target with proper instruction from a certain distance with several tries. Nevertheless, it will not be a good idea to expect to become a master instantly since a professional archer will require training for many years to come to that level.

5. Select the proper equipment

In case you need to provide your personal equipment, then you should go for specialist beginner equipment for helping to train you. This implies making use of a bow of the proper size which is able to pull with less effort as well as arrows which are adequately long such that you do not go past the arrow rest while you are at full draw. Make sure to take the advice of a club export prior to purchasing any equipment.

6. Go on practicing

You will need to be dedicated and practice regularly so as to get to a proper standard. One cannot become an excellent archer without regular practice.

How big should my backyard be?

Many individuals are concerned about the fact that there will not be adequate space in their backyard for practicing archery. However, an archery range which is small can be quite effective as a bigger one, particularly for the beginners out there. Thus, the question that arises is how big your backyard should be.

There is no need to have a huge backyard for making a proper archery range. It has to be wide enough for placing at least one target and one has to consider safety as well. It is imperative for the backyard to be a minimum of 20 yards for allowing a standard practice range. However, in case the range is longer you will be capable of practicing longer in it.

In case your backyard is quite large, it will be feasible to have a range featuring several distance markers. It will be sensible for any newbie to aim to shoot at approximately 8 to 10 yards. Once you make progress, it will be possible for you to shoot arrows from further distances. Thus, planning beforehand will allow you to improve your archery skills in your backyard.

How many people can play it?

On most occasions, the game is going to be played alone in which case individuals will practice aiming the target. However, it is also feasible to form a team of 5 to 10 members, in which case they will try to outscore the rival team by scoring points.

For what age is this sport suitable?

Archery is a sport that can be played by individuals of all ages. However, the question is that when can one start playing the sport. It will actually depend on your kid. Although bows and arrows will be available for kids from 3 years of age, it is essential to figure out a somewhat more responsible age (of course, under supervision).

As a matter of fact, it will be possible for children who are approximately 7 years of age to start this game under your supervision. At this particular age, the draw weight of the bow will be ideal for the small arms of the children such that they will be able to shoot properly. This is mainly because they require some sort of strength. A 7-year-old kid will be having adequate strength as well as physical balance for holding a bow. One will require some patience as well as the ability to focus while hitting the target.

What do you have to pay attention to?

One cannot deny the fact that learning the skills of archery is a thrilling adventure. However, it will be imperative to purchase the proper equipment for you after diving into the sport. Making use of your personal gear will help to enhance your skills more quickly. You will be able to enhance your accuracy by using a bow which has been fitted to the draw length of yours and arrows which have been cut to the proper length. You will find it more comfortable to shoot once the gear is able to fit you comfortably.

1. Basics equipment requirements

It will take more than simply bows and arrows to learn and play the game of archery. Look for assistance for learning which kind of bow is appropriate for you, and also devote some time to select the first bow. Different accessories will be required by conventional bows as well as compound bows including releases, sights, plus rests. Go to the archery shop in your locality for being able to choose the proper equipment.

2. What to choose while purchasing

Figure out whether you are going to purchase new or used gear. What kind of sights will be required by you? These are the questions that you should be asking yourself while purchasing a bow. The experts at the archery shops will be able to answer all your queries and also measure the draw length. At present, almost every shop can boast of carrying a number of styles and brands of bows. You will be able to hold, feel, and also shoot a number of bows for finding the appropriate one. Moreover, while purchasing a bow, the experts in the shop will assist you in selecting the accessories as well.

3. Arrow length is important

Different types of arrows are stocked by archery shops these days; however, make it a point to have the bow technician of the shop cut the arrows to your preferred length prior to purchasing them. It is imperative for the arrows to match the bow as well as the draw length. The arrows should be adequately long as well.

4. Coming in touch with clubs

A fantastic way to learn archery will be to join archery clubs and take classes. The majority of the archery shops come with league nights as well as other events. You will be able to improve your skills by competing with the other archers. Bear in mind that you need to be patient in case you’d like to master the art of archery and this will not happen overnight. The proper information as well as assistance from the experts of the archery shops will allow you to shoot bull’s-eyes using your personal bow within a short span of time.

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