More about archery

Some Basic Safety Requirements


A bow with the arrow nocked should NEVER be directed anywhere other than towards the target.


Archers should never step forward of the ‘Shooting Line’ for any reason, until the whistle has been blown to move forward and collect your arrows.  If, for instance, you drop an arrow which lands in front of shooting line, it should be left there until the whistle is sounded.


Archers should never nock their arrows until they are in position on the shooting line.


The terms ‘fast and loose’ derive from Archery - any archer who sees a potentially dangerous situation (e.g. a person or animal in the target area) should immediately shout out “FAST” the accepted signal to stop shooting and bring down your bow.




Archery Etiquette


Good manners on the shooting line consists of NOT


  • Talking in a loud voice whilst others are shooting


  • Talking to another archer on the line especially when they are at full draw


  • Using or having a mobile phone on or near the shooting line during the shoot.


  • Walking off the shooting line when the adjacent archer is at full draw.


  • Touching another archer's equipment without their permission


  • Shooting at distances beyond your capability thus continually missing the boss and holding up shooting until all arrows are accounted for.


  • Leaving litter on the archery site.

Glossary of Basic Archery Terms


Anchor Point - The point to be touched by the draw hand or bow string when the bow is fully drawn and ready to shoot.  A point on the archer's face, either the mouth, cheek, chin or nose.


Arrowhead - The front end of the arrow, also known as the head point or tip.


Arrow Rest - The device used to hold the arrow against the bow until it is released.


Bare bow - A bow that has no additional accessories such sight, stabiliser etc.


Boss -   The target base usually made from straw or compacted foam and holds the target face.


Bow Arm - The arm with which you hold the bow, if you are right-handed, it will be your left arm and vice versa.


Bracer - An arm guard, protective strap or sheath for the archer's forearm.


Brace Height - The distance from the bow string to the pivot point of the bow's grip.


Bracing Height Gauge -   A ’T’ shaped ruler for measuring the distance from the bow string.


Bouncer - An arrow that hits the target and bounces off it.


Bow Stringer - The device used to assist in stringing and unstringing the bow.


Clicker - A gadget which clicks into place when the arrow is at full draw, ensures a consistent length to the draw.


Clout Archery - Clout archery is a form of archery in which archers shoot arrows at a flag (known as "the Clout") from a relatively long distance.


Cock feather - A differently coloured fletch that indicates the proper arrow alignment on the string.


Composite Bow - A composite bow is a traditional bow made from horn, wood and sinew laminated together, a form of laminated bow.  The horn is on the belly, facing the archer and the sinew on the outer side of a wooden core.


Compound bow - A bow that uses a system of cables and pulleys to add leverage to the power of the bow.


Dead Release - Keeping your hand at the anchor point when you let the arrow go and don’t follow through.


Draw - To pull or draw the bow string back - full draw is the point at which you are ready to fire the arrow.


Drawing hand/arm - The name given to the hand/arm used to draw back the bow.


Draw length - The distance in which you are able to fully draw the bowstring back.


Draw weight - Measured in pounds, this is the amount of force being applied when the archer has the bowstring fully drawn.


Dry firing - Drawing and releasing the bow with no arrow nocked.  This should NEVER be done as it can break the bow.


An ‘End’ - The round of arrows shot before they are scored and collected - usually either three or six.


Field Archery - A type of archery outdoors where you shoot your arrows at different targets over different types of terrain, often in woodland with bulls-eye or 3D mock-up of animals.


Field Captain - The name given to the person who is in charge of a field competition/tournament.


Finger Tab - A leather piece that fits on your fingers to protect them when you pull the bowstring back.


Fletch - One of the vanes attached to the arrow to stabilise flight, either made of feather, plastic or rubber.


Fletching - The name given to the set of three fletches, the vanes at the end of the arrow.


Full draw - When the bow is fully drawn, at the point just before the arrow is released


Group/grouping - This is when the arrows you have shot tend to be grouped together on the target face - indicates consistent shooting.


Index Fletch - An arrow has three fletches, one of these is a different colour and is known as the index fletch.  It is positioned away from the bow when nocked and ensures proper arrow alignment.


Line cutter - A scoring arrow that cuts the line between two scores.


Longbow - A traditional wooden one-piece bow with no recurve or shooting aids.  It requires more skill than a re-curve bow.


A Miss - The arrow has missed the target rings – a non- scoring arrow.


Nock - On the end of the arrow and is shaped to clip the arrow onto the bowstring.


Nocking Point - Is the point on your bow string where the arrow should be nocked.


Nock an arrow - Clip an arrow onto the bow string.


Pull - The act of pulling the arrow from the target.


Quiver - The receptacle for your arrows which can either be attached to your waist or strapped over the shoulder or even in the ground.


Recurve Bow - Takes its name from the curvature of the limbs, is the most common type of bow in target archery and has Olympic status (also known as ‘take down bow ‘).


Release - Releasing the bow string to send the arrow from the bow.  When you fire your arrow when fully drawn.


Sighters - Practice arrows shot to help you work out the sight mark for the distance.


Riser - The centre part of a recurve bow.


A Robin Hood - An arrow shot directly into the back of another arrow, often results in damage.


Stabaliser - This is an addition to the bow to add balance and reduce vibration, either a single rod or a set of rods that attach to the riser on recurve bows.


Stance - This is how your legs, body, arms and head should be positioned ready to shoot and is key to good archery.


Tab - See finger tab above


Take down Bow - Typically a recurve bow in three pieces. The centre and handle are called the riser and the two ends that clip into it are the limbs.


Target Face - In target archery the paper on the front of the boss with the coloured rings by which you score.


Toxophilite - A person devoted to archery.