An Introduction to Archery by hedongchenchen

VIEWS: 294 PAGES: 24

									An Introduction to
             ‘A Sport for All’

         Exeter Company of Archers 2005
• Although its origins go back much further,
  archery as a sport or recreation probably
  dates back to the late middle ages, when with
  the introduction of firearms the bow ceased
  to be regarded as a weapon of war.
• From this period until late Victorian times,
  wealthy landowners would often erect
  targets in their grounds and guests would
  spend a pleasant afternoon 'shooting in the
                           Exeter Company of Archers c1952
           Archery as a sport
• Archery was introduced to the Olympic Games in
  1900, and at the IVth Olympiad held in London in
  1908, Britain took all medals except the Men’s
  Bronze. Unfortunately, there was no international
  governing body for the sport at that time, and
  archery was dropped as an Olympic sport after the
  1920 Games.
• However, it was reinstated at Mexico City in 1968,
  and at Barcelona in 1992, the British men’s team of
  Steve Hallard, Richard Priestman and Simon Terry
  took the Team Bronze Medal. Simon Terry also took
  the Men’s Individual Bronze. More recently, Athens
  in 2004 saw Alison Williamson overcome stiff
  opposition to gain the Women’s Individual Bronze.

                                  Tournament, Exeter, September 2002
           Archery in Exeter
• There is a long tradition of archery in Exeter, with
  Southernhay being used as the practice ground in
  the middle ages.
• The present club, Exeter Company of Archers, was
  formed in the early 1950s, and is currently one of the
  largest and best equipped clubs in Devon and
• The club meets in the grounds of Exeter School,
  which provides excellent outdoor and indoor
• Top grade competitions are hosted each year,
  attracting top archers from the South West and
• There are also other active clubs locally, and
  throughout the country.
          Archery Equipment
• The development of archery shooting
  equipment reflects advances in materials

• Until the 1950s, the type of equipment
  used would have been familiar to the
  British archers at the battles of
  Crecy(1374) and Agincourt (1415).

• The bow would have been recognisable
  as a traditional longbow and wooden
  shafted arrows fletched with feathers
  would have been used.
• During the 1950s, tubular steel bows
  and arrows were introduced. These
  were a great advance on their
  predecessors, and were well liked by
  their users.

• Unfortunately, they had an alarming
  tendency to break after a period of
  use, due to metal fatigue, and their
  popularity waned when laminated
  fibreglass and wood bows were
  introduced in the 1960s.

• This type of bow (known as a
  recurve) has evolved into the current
  three piece bow consisting of a wood
  or aluminium alloy handle (or riser)
  and laminated upper and lower limbs.
• An alternative form of bow, known
  as the compound has been
  developed. Whilst constructed of
  similar materials to the recurve, the
  compound bow has a pulley or cam
  at each limb tip.

• This provides a mechanical
  advantage, and takes much of the
  effort out of drawing the bow.

• Compound bows are extremely
  powerful and accurate, and are
  growing in popularity among both
  new and experienced archers.
• Permitted accessories on a bow include a
  sight (basically an adjustable pin) and
  stabilisers, rods which absorb vibrations and
  cause the bow to react in a predictable
  manner when the arrow is released.

• Arrow technology has also advanced,
  wooden shafted arrows giving way to steel
  and then to high grade aluminium alloy

• Aluminium arrows are still very widely used,
  but are being superceded by carbon fibre or
  an aluminium/carbon composite, both of
  which are lighter than an aluminium shaft of
  the same strength.
• Despite all this modern technology, the
  traditional longbow is still alive and well, and
  most archery clubs (including Exeter) have a
  group of members who shoot longbows at
  least part of the time.
• The traditional longbow material, yew (Taxus
  baccata), is difficult to obtain (as it was in the
  middle ages) and difficult to work.
• Fortunately several other native or imported
  woods are suitable for bowmaking, and may
  be a more practical proposition.
• Longbows are often made to order by expert
  bowyers, although it is not too difficult for
  someone of reasonable DIY ability to
  produce their own equipment.

                           Longbow Tournament, Dunster, June 2002
       Competitive Archery
• Whilst many people enjoy archery on a
  purely recreational basis, one is constantly
  aware that it is an extremely competitive
• Archers normally compete as individual
  representatives of their club rather than as a
  team, and ultimately each archer is shooting
  against him or herself in an attempt to
  improve scores and reduce handicap ratings.
• Even so, there is much friendly rivalry
  between clubs and individual archers.
                           Longbow Tournament, Dunster. June 2003
• The Competition normally takes the form of a
  'Round', which specifies the number of
  arrows and the distances over which they
  will be shot.
• The maximum outdoor distances are l00
  yards or 90 metres for men, and 80 yards or
  70 metres for women. Shorter distances are
  specified for junior and novice archers.
• A typical round would consist of up to 12
  dozen arrows shot over three or four
  different distances.
• This type of round would take several hours
                          Tournament, Exmouth, August etc.
  to shoot, so there are breaks for meals2003
• A four foot (128cm) diameter target would be used in
  most cases, and while this may seem large, it
  appears almost microscopic when viewed through a
  bowsight at l00 yards!
• Competitions traditionally take place on Sundays,
  and as archery is a popular sport in the South West
  it is possible to compete almost every weekend
  during the summer months without travelling great
• During the winter months, target archery retreats
  indoors to school halls and sports centres where
  the standard distances are 20 yards or 18 metres.
• Although not as frequently as in summer, indoor
  competitions take place throughout the region.
• Novices and juniors are catered for at most
  competitions, so new archers need not feel
  apprehensive about entering.

                              Indoor Tournament, Exmouth, December 2002
                Forms of Archery
• Most people are aware of the existence of Target Archery, as
  described above, but there are other forms, all of which have
  their enthusiasts. Target archery is the form seen at the
  Olympic Games.

• Field Archery: is another popular form. This differs from target
  archery in that the archers negotiate a course set up in wooded
  or mixed terrain, and encounter targets at intervals along the
• Important differences are that the shooting distances are often
  not accurately known to the archer, and the area is normally far
  from flat.
• Field archery organisers show great ingenuity in making life
  difficult for the archer. Shooting through forks in tree trunks,
  across lakes or from a rock in the middle of a stream are the
  order of the day.
• Field archery enthusiasts argue that this type of shooting is a
  much more severe test of an archer's ability than can be offered
  by target archery, although many archers compete successfully
  in both forms.                        Field Shoot, Kolora Park, February 2003
• Clout: This involves shooting at a small flag or
  'clout' at a distance of up to 180 yards. This is
  thought to be similar to the type of training given to
  military archers in mediaeval times.

• Popinjay: This involves shooting at ‘birds’ on the top
  of a mast (about 30m high) from beneath the mast. It
  is popular in Belgium and Holland, but rare in the
  UK, although a horizontal version may be

• Flight: This is basically shooting for distance. It is
  not commonly encountered in this country due to
  the large amount of space required (the British
  record is about 800 yards, and a 50% safety distance
  is required!)

• There are also agreed rules whereby an archer can
                                              player or 2002
  shoot in direct competition with a dartsShoot, December a
                                   Club Clout
            Starting Archery

• Entry to an archery club is normally by means of a
  beginners' course consisting of up to six sessions.

• Instruction is under the control of experienced
  archers with recognised qualifications, and all
  equipment is provided.

• As well as shooting technique and practice, topics
  such as the history of archery and basic equipment
  maintenance may be covered in outline.
 Safety is of paramount importance in archery, and
  this will be stressed throughout the course.

• Archery has an enviable safety record which is
  entirely due to the responsible attitude of its

• Archery is often described as a 'Sport For All', as
  technique, mental attitude and control are far more
  important than age or physical strength.

• Many disabled archers can compete on equal terms
  with their able bodied colleagues.
• For insurance and other reasons, courses
  have to be organised some time in advance,
  so prior booking is essential.
• Exeter Company of Archers runs a number of
  six week courses during the year.
• On successful completion of a course, club
  membership is normally available to those
  interested in taking up archery as a sport or
• Membership fees include affiliation to all the
  relevant bodies*, and insurance. An archer
  can then shoot at many archery clubs** in
  the UK and other countries.
•   *Affiliation is to the Grand National Archery Society (the major UK archery body,
    covering all aspects of the sport), via appropriate county and regional bodies. There
    are other archery organisations not covered by the fees.
•   **Some clubs, eg. school or works based clubs may have restricted membership.
• Basic club equipment may be available
  for use by members, but most serious
  archers purchase their own as soon as

• Advice about suitable equipment is
  readily available at the club.

It is most important that an archer does
 not obtain equipment without the
 advice of an experienced archer or
 specialist retailer.
• There is no upper age limit for archery, in
  fact many successful competitive archers are
  senior citizens.
• The normal minimum age is ten years, but
  this may depend on the availability of
  equipment suitable for small children.
• It will be necessary for a parent to remain on
  site during the course and subsequent club
  sessions for the younger age group.
• Physically disability is not necessarily a
  barrier, all Exeter Company of Archers
  venues have level access, and in recent
  years, several disabled people have
  successfully completed courses.
       Archery Organisations
• The Grand National Archery Society is the main
  archery body for the UK. It was formed in 1861. The
  objects of the Society are to promote and develop all
  aspects of competitive archery amongst all sections
  of the community.
• The GNAS is affiliated to the world archery body,
  FITA (Federation International de Tir à l' Arc), and
  organises the selection of teams to represent Great
  Britain at international events, including the Olympic
  Games. There are also training schemes for archery
  coaches and judges, at various grades to
  international level.
• Individual archers are affiliated to GNAS through
  their club, via the County and Regional archery
  organisations. This also provides public liability
  insurance cover when shooting under club
• The British Long-Bow Society was formed in 1951,
  with the object of preservation of traditional forms of
  British archery dating from medieval to Victorian
• There are strict rules on types of equipment allowed
  under BLBS rules, and shoots are organised in a
  manner laid down during the Victorian era (period
  costume is often welcome at BLBS shoots). There is
  an arrangement which allows BLBS members to
  shoot at certain GNAS competitions.
• The National Field Archery Society dates from 1972,
  and was set up to encourage the skills associated
  with field archery, in which the archer is competing
  against him/herself, the other competitors, and the
  type of terrain encountered. Regional and national
  championships are organised. The NFAS has no
  reciprocal agreement with GNAS, or any other
  archery organisation.
• Exeter Company of Archers is the local club for the Exeter area.
  The club is based at Exeter School, which has excellent
  facilities for outdoor and indoor shooting. Club membership
  averages about sixty, of all ages and abilities. A number of club
  members are qualified coaches at level 1 or 2.
• The club is well respected on the competition front, with
  frequent success at local, county, and regional tournaments.
  Most seasons see one or more club members selected to
  represent the County at competition. Exeter is also a popular
  competition venue, and top grade tournaments are hosted each
  summer. There is an enthusiastic field archery group within the
  club, which competes regularly at local shoots. Many members
  also shoot the traditional longbow.
• Exeter Company of Archers is affiliated to the GNAS via the
  County (Devon & Cornwall Archery Society) and Regional
  (Grand Western Archery Society) bodies. Individual members
  may also join the BLBS and/or NFAS in order to gain maximum
  enjoyment from the sport.
• We hope you will have an
  enjoyable and successful
  beginners’ course, and
  consider taking up archery as
  a sport or recreation at club

            Exeter Company of Archers

To top