Most people have only one conception of Archery and that is of Robin Hood, usually relating to the classic 1960’s television series starring Richard Green, and without exception it is the theme tune from this series which everyone will whistle, hum or sing when passing a group of Archers practicing at the Butts. However, unlike most people believe, Archers do not spend all their time running round in green tights shooting apples off people’s heads, this was actually done by William Tell and he used a crossbow.


The modern sport of Archery is a participation sport for the individual, of all ages and social groups whether able bodied or handicapped. The sport has the ability to be tailored to suit the individual, whether they wish to enjoy it as a relaxing hobby, or even if they have aspirations to represent their country at Olympic level.


Archery has many facets to its make-up, physical, psychological and technical, which can provide a never-ending challenge to the dedicated and casual archer alike.

There are three main disciplines of Archery that are practiced in this Country, these being Target, Field and Clout, but there are several more, which are enjoyed.


Target Archery is the discipline most people will have encountered, this being the discipline included in the Olympics. The target face’s come in two sizes 122cm and 80cm in diameter and are divided into five colour bands these being GOLD (this is the name given to the center of the target and not the Bull, which is a darts term), RED, BLUE, BLACK and WHITE. Each colour band is further divided into two zones, giving a total of up to ten scoring zones. Target Archery involves shooting rounds, which comprise of targets being placed at known distances and a set number of arrows being loosed, the arrows are scored using the colour bands and zones. The maximum distance which targets are set at is 90 meters for Metric rounds and 100 yards for English rounds, targets can be moved to a number of different distances during the course of a round.

Field Archery is a popular alternative to target archery. It is based on conditions that might be met when hunting (which is illegal in this country), by shooting at targets that vary in size and which are set at a variety of different shooting positions and distances. If set in undulating woodland, a course can be both attractive and challenging to the archer. A typical course consists of 24 targets, the distance the targets are set at can be either marked, unmarked or be a combination of both marked & unmarked. The actual distance varying between 5 and 60 meters. Target faces have 2 colour bands divided into 6 scoring zones and are black and gold. The targets come in 4 sizes 80cm, 60cm, 40cm, and 20cm diameter.


Clout Archery involves shooting arrows that have to fall into a target area that is either marked by rings on the ground or defined by a measuring chord. The English clout round consists of shooting 3 dozen arrows at a target 24 feet in diameter, containing five scoring zones, at distances of 120 yards to 180 yards, dependent upon gender and bow type. The Metric clout round consists of the same number of arrows, but the target area is 15 meters in diameter and distances are 125 meters for Ladies and 165 meters for Gentlemen. This form of Archery is directly related to the way the Longbow was used as a weapon of war back in the Middle Ages, this being to loose arrows into the air to rain down on the advancing forces at distances of up to 250 yards, usually with devastating effect, as at the battles of Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt.


3D Archery is a form of Field Archery and is a relatively new discipline that is still in the development process. 3D archery more closely simulates hunting that does field in that the targets are full sized models of animals made of material that can stop arrows. They are set up in country side that more closely relates to their natural habitat. Compound, Barebow, Instinctive and Longbow are the styles recognized, but the sighted Recurve bow is not generally used. All distances shot are unmarked.


Can you spot the target in the photo?




Anyone wishing for more information on the subject or on the location of local Archery clubs can, either call into their local library, ring ArcheryGB

( (01952 677888) or visit their web site