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Target Archery

Target Archery

Target archery is the most recognisable format of modern archery. It takes place both outdoors and indoors, over distances of up to 90 metres and using the traditional five-colour, 10-ring target. International target archery includes two bowstyles: recurve and compound. Recurve target archery is included on the Olympic Programme, compound target archery is featured at the World Games and both are included in the Paralympic Games. Target archery is practised in clubs in over 150 countries around the world and is a fast growing sport. World Archery international target archery events include the World Archery Championships, World Archery Indoor Championships, World Archery Youth Championships, World Archery Para Championships, Archery World Cup and Indoor Archery World Cup.

Target archers shoot at circular targets which are fixed at specific marked distances. Archers shoot on a level field with their feet or the wheels of their wheelchair on either side of a stationary shooting line. Archers may use longbow, barebow, recurve, and compound bows in target archery. This discipline is also associated with specific targets and rules made by the World Archery Federation.

Outdoor target archery: Recurve athletes shoot at targets set 70 metres away and compound athletes shoot at targets set 50 metres away. Athletes of both bowstyles shoot at a traditional yellow, red, blue, black and white target that scores 10 for the inner ring and one for the outer ring. In international competition, compound targets only include the yellow, red and blue rings. This is to reduce the size of target mat needed for each target face, in order that each athlete has their own target to shoot at.

Indoor target archery: Recurve and compound athletes shoot at targets set 18 metres away. Athletes of both bowstyles shoot at a traditional yellow, red, blue, black and white target that scores 10 for the inner ring and one for the outdoor ring. There is a smaller 10 ring, measuring 2cm in diameter, for compound athletes as opposed to the 4cm diameter recurve 10 ring. In international competition, targets only include the yellow, red and blue rings and are arranged in vertical groups of three. Athletes shoot a maximum of one arrow at each target face at any one time.

Archery at the Olympic Games: Archery was first included in the Olympic Games in 1900. It was also featured on the programme in 1904, 1908 and 1920. The sport was dropped from the program because there were no internationally recognized rules for the sport- each Olympics through 1920 held a different type of event. With the creation of FITA in the 1930s, set international rules were created. However, it was not until 1972 that Archery was re-introduced with the individual event, and in 1988 the team event was added to the program. Further competition rules changes were made for the 1992 Olympic Games, which introduced match play to the program in the form of the Archery Olympic Round. The only type of bow allowed to be used at Olympic level is the recurve bow.

Notables about target archery:

  • It’s the only form of archery in the Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • Archery Association of India (indian archery)  is the National Governing Body for India, and follows the rules of the World Archery Federation. Archery Association of India came into existence on 8th August, 1973 with the objective to organize, encourage, promote and control the Sports of Archery in India and to provide ancillary facilities to Archers for training. Right from its inception, Archery Association of India is engaged in the upliftment of this ancient game in India.
  • Archers take turns shooting three arrow “ends” indoors, and six arrow “ends” outdoors. Indoors, archers have two minutes to shoot; outdoors, it’s four minutes per end.
  • Targets are marked with concentric circles.
  • Points increase the closer an arrow hits to the target’s center.
  • Targets are usually 18 meters from the archers during indoor competitions.
  • Outdoor competitions generally use larger targets placed up to 70 meters from the archers.



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