Photographs and article on Archery
are courtesy and copyright of Eastnor
Castle (country sports & activities)
The first evidence
of man using arrowheads is believed to be around 50,000 BC, the
primeval need to hunt being the catalyst for the early development
of the bow and arrow.
Using the skill for attack and self-defence has also been important
of course – good use of a bow and arrow could mean the difference
between life and death for an individual and many great armies
in world history have prided themselves on the skills of their
archers. These have included the Ancient Egyptians, Macedonians,
Persians, Hannibal, Qin Shihuang (1st Emperor of China), the Mongols
and Ghengis Khan.
Archery has also entered into legend and folklore through heroes
such as Robin Hood and William Tell. It is not surprising therefore
that a skill so necessary and useful for thousands of years has
evolved into a competitive sport – an arena where men and
women can compete and tests their skills against each other.
Modern competitive archery,
or target archery, is basically defined as shooting arrows
at a fixed target and can take place both outdoors and indoors.
The targets are marked with 10 concentric rings with a value of
1 to 10 and there’s an inner 10 ring, sometimes called the
X ring. Each competitor gets to fire either 3 or 6 arrows.
Indoor archery will usually use distances to
target of between 18 metres to 25 metres with the targets themselves
smaller - 40 cm size. Outdoor archery distances
to target are greater ranging between 30 metres and 90 metres
and because of the longer distances, the targets are larger –
up to 122 cm size.
Outdoor archery is offered as a country sport on some of Britain’s
country estates – eg. at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire,
archery is an option for corporate
team building. In recent years there’s been
a growth in the popularity of field archery which takes place
outdoors with the targets laid out in a wooded setting.
Variations on the sport have developed significantly over the
years and today there are a number of recognised ‘alternative’
forms of archery – these include:
- 3D archery – basically this uses life
size models which simulate real hunting conditions.
- Clout archery - here the archer attempts
to drop arrows at long range, men up to 166 metres, ladies up
to 129 metres.
- Flight archery – essentially who can
shoot the furthest.; typically seen on old aerodromes where
there is plenty of space.
- Ski archery - similar to a biathlon but using
a recurve bow as opposed to a gun. There are kneeling and standing
positions with a shooting distance of 18 metres.
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