In Target Archery, the shooting line is fixed and the targets are set out at known distances, usually on a flat field. There are a variety of ‘rounds’ that may be shot. Consisting of a certain number of arrows (usually in values of Dozens of arrows), at certain varying distances.
Several ‘Ends’ of 6 arrows (sometimes two sets of three arrows, shooting in alternating details) are shot and scored, until the required amount of arrows have been completed at a particular distance, the longest distance is always shot first. Then the targets are moved to the next distance (shorter) and the process starts again, until all the required numbers of arrows at required distances have been shot. Choosing the winner is easy, whoever has the highest score is the winner, if it’s a tie, then it goes to the number of Gold’s shot (in recurve archery the inner part of the target is never called the bulls eye), the highest number of gold’s deciding the winner.
Distances range from 20 yards / 18 metres (male & female) indoors up to 100 yards / 90 metres (for adult males) or 80 yards / 70 metres (females) outdoors. For imperial rounds (target distance measured in yards), the scores are recorded using a ‘5 Zone’ scoring system , 9 points for the gold, 7 for the red, 5 for blue, 3 for black and 1 for the white. For Metric rounds (target distance measured in metres), each coloured ring is further divided into two individual rings, giving a ’10 Zone’ scoring system, with the inner gold ring known as the ‘X’ ring (or 10 ring), then reducing by 1 point as the rings get further out. The target faces are the same for both imperial and metric rounds.
During the Olympics, archers usually complete a ranking round at 70 metres to obtain seeding, and then compete in Head to Head matches to determine the eventual winner. In this style of competition, both the men and women compete at the same distance.
One of the best things about Target Archer is that all age groups, genders and bow types can shoot together on the same field, just with the targets at respective distances, this promotes a social side to the sport which is seldom evident in other sports, which I really enjoy.