Nearly all of Arundown’s activities fall under the heading of Target Archery. Apart from quite a large number of Americans who are Bowhunters, and of course a few scattered traditional populations who still hunt for their food with bows, most of the World’s Archers are Target Archers. This type of Archery is the Olympic Discipline (although that is restricted to one type of Bow) and also includes a number of Continental and World Championships and Professional Events which allow several other designs of bow. The second largest Discipline, Field Archery, is intended to be a simultated, humane, form of Hunting, but actually owes more to Target Archery than real Hunting.
In Target Archery, the Archers shoot arrows from a marked shooting position at some form of printed ‘face’ mounted on a Butt or Boss which is designed to stop the arrows safely, set at a specified distance away. Shots are scored according to how near to the centre of the face the arrows hit. Generally archers shoot several dozen arrows at several set distances. In competition the distance(s) from shooting line to target, and the number of arrows shot at each distance, are formally laid down in the Rules of Shooting, each formula being known as a ‘Round’.
One of the factors which makes Archery lower-cost than many other Projectile Sports is that the arrows are re-cyclable (even traditional hunters are careful to retrieve all their arrows), so in shooting a Round, the Archers shoot a specified number of arrows (usually three, or five, or six), and then go to the target to note and write down the score for each arrow before pulling them out and returning to the Shooting Line to shoot the same number again. This process is called ‘Shooting an End’, which makes sense if you know that all archers used to set up their shooting range with targets at both ends, facing each other. They would shoot at one set of targets, walk up to the targets to score and then turn round and shoot back in the opposite direction, shooting three or six arrows from each end of the range. Traditional Longbow Archers still shoot some competitions this way.
Few rounds involve less than 72 shots, or less than two distances, but because of the popularity of the Olympic Competition Round, more archers are now shooting Rounds with fewer shots and just one distance. County, Regional, and National Championships over the last century and a half almost invariably comprised twelve dozen (144) shots, over either three or four distances; and for the Senior Archers the greatest distance for the Gentlemen was 100 yards or 90 metres, and 80 yards or 70 metres for the Ladies. Now the World Archery / Olympic distance of 70 metres is becoming more widespread.
For Junior Archers the distances are shorter, as little as 10 metres for youngest group, with distances increasing with age until at 19 years the archers are classed as Seniors.
Target Archery is carried out Outdoors and Indoors, usually according to whether Summer or Winter time. The commonest indoor distance is 20 yards / 18 metres, but if the hall is large enough, there are recognised Rounds at 25 metres and 30 yards. Targets are smaller than outdoors. For the most part, Seniors and Juniors, Ladies and Gents all shoot the same distances, with some concessions for beginners and the very small.
Arundown hosts two Indoor Tournaments each year in the Sports Hall of the Angmering School. The events are well suited to newcomers to competitive archery – but also bring in high achievers too, the picture below includes a participant in the 2016 Rio Olympics, an International-Level Field Archer, and at least three County and Regional Champions.
Outdoor Archery tends to be greatly influenced by the weather, particularly by the wind, which is often a feature of Sussex Coastal Weather. Indoors is dry and still. It gives everyone an opportunity to develop their ‘pure’ shooting style, and to set-up and ‘tune’ their equipment.
For more details about Outdoor rounds and distances, go to the Outdoor section of our Archery Rounds page.
For more details about Indoor rounds and distances, go to the Indoor section of our Archery Rounds page.