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Types of Archery

There are several types of archery practiced in the UK today. The main types are target, field, clout, and flight, and each requires slightly different shooting methods and equipment. Archers can take part in any - or all - of the disciplines.

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Target Archery

Target archery is the type of archery practiced at the Olympics,

and is the version most beginners learn first.

Archers shoot a set number of arrows at targets set at specified

distances on a flat surface. It can take place either indoors or outdoors.

What is Target Archery?

As the name suggests, target archery is all about hitting the target from a set distance. The distance you shoot over and the size of the target varies depending on the type of bow you are using. 

Under World Archery rules, a typical outdoor target face is 122cm in diameter for recurve and barebow, for compound archers the diameter is smaller at 80cm.

The target face is circular with gold, red, blue, black and white scoring zones. The 10-ring (centre of the target face) for a 122cm target face is 12.2 centimetres (the size of a Blu-ray), whereas on the 80cm face, the 10-ring is just eight centimetres (or just a bit bigger than a cricket ball).

Target Archery

How do you score in Target Archery? 

Each colour on the target face is split into two values. The inner ring (closest to the middle) scores higher. Starting from the centre it goes; 

If you miss the target, it is scored as a miss on the score sheet, scoring 0. 

For more information visit

WA Metric Rounds                                

  • Gold      10/9                                     

  • Red        8/7                                      

  • Blue       6/5                                      

  • Black     4/3                                       

  • White    2/1                                       

  Imperial Rounds

  • Gold       9

  • Red        7

  • Blue       5

  • Black      3

  • White     1

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Field Archery

Field Archery

A field archery course is set up over woodland and rough terrain. Archers shoot a specified number of arrows at different targets in sequence. Archers might have to shoot uphill or downhill, and the targets could be different sizes and at different distances so anyone taking part has to really think about what they are doing. Field archery is a great way of keeping fit and enjoying the outdoors

How do I get into field archery? 

Anyone can do field archery once they’ve completed a beginners’ course. You will need to go to a specialised field archery club in order to practice or compete in field archery. To have a go, click here to find clubs near you. Not all clubs offer field archery so check the club's website before you book. 

What distances will I shoot?

In field archery, there are different distances for different age groups and bow style. The targets are between 5 and 60 metres away. The targets can be marked (showing the distance) or unmarked (not shown). The archer will need to judge the distance for unmarked targets. 

What do the targets look like? 

Field archery targets have a yellow centre, scoring 6 (inner ring) and 5 (outer ring). Followed by 4, 3, 2, 1 in black. There are four different size target faces in field, 80cm, 60cm, 40cm and 20cm in diameter, for different distances. 

For More information on Field Archery please download the following document.  

For more information please visit

Clout Shooting

This ancient form of archery was used as military training in the middle ages. The target is the clout, which is a small flag on a vertical stick, stuck in the ground and placed up to 165 metres away. An archer’s score is determined by how close each arrow lands to the flag, the arrow that lands the closest gets the highest points.

How do you score? 

An archer’s score is determined by how close each arrow lands to the flag, the arrow that lands the closest gets the highest points. There are scoring zones, these are defined by maximum circles from the flag, painted on the floor. If your arrow hits the flag, you score the highest.


How many arrows are shot?

Three dozen arrows are shot during a single clout round. It is shot in ends of three or six arrows. 

For More Information please download the following document on Clout Archery

For more information please visit


Clout Archery

Flight Shooting

This form of archery simply consists of shooting an arrow over the longest possible distance. There is no target but it does require a very large, flat area – something the size of an aerodrome. Recurve, compound and longbow classes can all shoot flight archery within different weight categories. Specialist bows and lightweight arrows are used to maximise power and reduce drag.

How do you score?

Each archer will shoot four ends of six arrows, marking out your arrows each end. Each shot is measured precisely to get the furthest arrow. Flags or other markers are used to show where each arrow lands.

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