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Archery Competition Rules (Regulations Governing Competitions)

Archery Competition Rules (Regulations Governing Competitions)

Archery is a captivating sport that has evolved over the years. Archery competitions have gained immense popularity worldwide, and these competitions allow contestants to compete among fellow enthusiasts to showcase their skills.

Archery competitions have a very rich history that dates back thousands of years, and the set of rules and regulations has been evolving ever since. Archery competitions are governed by a set of rules to ensure fair gameplay among all the contestants. It adds to the safety of the sport and its contests and brings consistency, and the enthusiasm to win rules.

Understanding the rules and regulations plays a vital role in setting the seal on fair gameplay, and is equally important for advanced and beginner players. In this blog, we will delve into a comprehensive guide to the set of regulations that govern Archery competitions. By the end of the blog, you will have a solid understanding of various aspects of Archery including competitions.

Equipment Regulations

The Archery federation enforces strict regulations about equipment in Archery competitions to ensure fairness and equality among all the competitors. These regulations apply to everything that comes under the umbrella of Archery equipment including bows, arrows, and all other accessories used by the archers.

Enforcing rules and regulations on equipment is primarily to build a set of equality among all the contestants, as well as ensure that all contestants compete on equal footing. Following are the rules, all archers must abide by for Archery equipment;


Archery competitions are classified according to the types of bows including; recurve, traditional, and compound, players must abide by these classifications by shooting with their respective bows. Other than that, there is a specific criterion for axle-to-axle length, stabilizer limitations, and maximum weight draw, and you must not overlook it.


The regulations for arrows cover their weight, length, and diameter to ensure fair gameplay. Other than the weight and length, there are specific regulations for the material of the arrows. Carbon and aluminium arrows are allowed only.


Archery Federation of Rules does allow accessories like sights, stabilizers, and releases, but there are certain limitations. Complying with the guidelines of using accessories comes with consequences like players having to limit the number of aiming points.

Shooting Rules

The Archery Federation has made shooting rules to make the competitors comply with different rules of shooting. These rules define how the Archers shoot by taking into account different aspects of shooting, which include shooting distance, positions, and time limits.

Common shooting rules employed in almost all Archery competitions are as follows;

Shooting Positions 

Archery competitions allow Archers to shoot in different positions including; standing, sitting, and kneeling. Each position comes with its own set of guidelines and rules, that Archers must follow according to their respective position.

Shooting Distances 

Shooting distances are different for different Archery disciplines. For the Olympics for instance, the shooting distances are 60 and 70 meters for women and men respectively. Field Archery, on the other hand, comes with its set of angles and shooting distances and varies according to the natural setting.

Time Limits

Time limits are set for the Archers to shoot a specific number of arrows in a given time. It may vary for different games, the general rule for natural field setting is to shoot 6 arrows in 4 minutes. Setting time limitations is a way of bringing all the archers to the same footing, allowing for gameplay.

Drawing and Releasing

Drawing and Releasing must be very clean, the rule applies to all Archers irrespective of their position and distance from the target. There should be no eternal aid involved in the release of the arrow, as per the regulations of the Archery competition rules.

Scoring Systems

Different scoring systems are considered in different disciplinary settings of Archery competitions; however, the most common one is the 10-ring system. The innermost ring, known commonly as ‘bullseye’ is worth the highest scores. The score decreases as you move away from the bullseye. 

The basic principles of Archery Scoring employed all around the world are;

Scoring Zones 

Rings are set, every arrow passing through a particular ring scores a point respectively. However, the highest points are scored when the arrow passed through the line between the two rings.

End and Set System 

Archery competition is divided into an end and sets, which has the end and set scoring system. With each end, the archers are given a set of arrows, and every set has a specific number of arrows. The scores at the end of each round, or the competition are totalled, and the player with the highest score holds the victory.

Target Faces

Target Faces are the most commonly followed scoring system in archery. It is the 10-ring system, where the central ring or bullseye holds the maximal score and the rest of the rings lose a point as you move away from the bullseye.

Tournament Format

Archery competitions are held in different formats, with each format having its own set of rules and regulations. The challenges of the game vary with these formats, let’s see how;

Indoor Tournaments

Indoor tournaments occur in a more controlled setting with short distances and controlled lighting. There are no environmental limitations for the players, and with the standardised lighting, there is no such issue faced. 

Outdoor Tournaments

Outdoor tournaments take place in open environments, and are known to be more challenging. Archers have to face factors like wind, weather conditions, and other environmental conditions. 

Field Tournaments

Field tournaments take place in open natural settings. The terrains and shooting distances can vary from game to game.

Code of Conduct

The Archery Federation has devised a code of conduct that every player has to adhere to, in order to ensure a professional and respectful environment. This code of conduct emphasises sportsmanship, safety, and ethical behaviour towards everyone around. Common conduct guidelines preached in every Archery competition are;

Safety Guidelines 

Safety is of prime importance in every Archery competition. From handling the equipment safely to maintaining a safe shooting distance from the target, safety is paramount in Archery.

Respect towards others

The Archery Federation is very strict about how players treat each other. Treating your fellow archers with respect and building a sense of dignity throughout the game is what the code of conduct puts great emphasis on.

Fair Play

By every means, the archers should adhere to fair gameplay. Honesty and integrity are highly admired in the game. Refraining from unsportsmanlike behaviour and cheating through any means is highly encouraged.


Archery is a thrilling sport, and the experience is alike for the players and spectators. To ensure fair gameplay, Archery competitions are governed by a set of rules and regulations. These regulations are important to build sportsman behaviour in the competitors, by giving them satisfaction that only fair play is encouraged.

Furthermore, for different disciplines of Archery, different rules are made to bring all the contestants on equal grounds and judge them based on their skills only.

This comprehensive guide has given insights into all the important factors, rules, and regulations of Archery. By familiarising yourself with regulations through this guide, you can confidently play in any setting.

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