For Beginners Lessons dates see our dedicated page.
The bows we use in our training sessions are three piece, recurve, bows. These bows can have different draw weights to suit anyone from children to adults. They are referred to as “recurve” because of their shape, when being strung ready for use. You may need to see one to appreciate this.
These three piece bows being easy to dismantle make transportation and storage easier. They come in a variety of draw weights and lengths and are the bow most commonly used for target shooting.
The club also has a large selection of arrows in differing lengths for use during training and until you are ready to buy your own.
Should you decide to purchase your own equipment, please see our equipment guide.
Most new archers start with target shooting outdoors.
The distance between the shooting line and the target will be 10 yards during the first couple of weeks of a “try-it” session, then increase to 20 yards. Under the rules of Archery GB (former GNAS) the distances for shooting are fixed. Some shoots use yards and some use metres. The minimum imperial distance is 20 yards and go on to 30, 40, 50, 60, 80 and 100 yards. Each shoot or “round” specifies the number of distances, which can be from 1 to 3, and the number of arrows at each distance.
The imperial rounds have names such as York, Hereford, Albion, Windsor, National and lots more. The York, for example, is the longest gentleman’s round and has 6 dozen arrows at 100 yards, 4 dozen at 80 and 2 dozen at 60 – a full day’s shooting. The longest ladies’ is the Hereford which has 6 dozen arrows at 80 yards, 4 dozen at 60 and 2 dozen at 50 yards. These rounds all use the same size target face – 122cms diameter, and the scoring is 5 zones: Gold – 9, Red – 7, Blue – 5, White – 1, going outwards from the centre gold.
The metric rounds, known as FITA (Federation Internationale de Tira L’Arc, the former name of the world governing body for archery, recently renamed to World Archery Federation) work on the same principles. They use distances in metres instead of yards and can have up to 4 distances in a round. They also do not have such romantic names. The longest round is the FITA (Gentlemen) with 3 dozen arrows at 90 metres and 3 dozen at 70 into a 122cms face. This is then changed for an 80cms face with 3 dozen arrows at 50 metres and 3 dozen at 30 metres. The scoring is also “metric” – the inner gold is 10 and the outer gold is 9, the inner red is 8 and the outer red 7, and so on.
Indoors in the winter we use a round called a Portsmouth with 5 dozen arrows at 20 yards. A smaller target face of 60cms is used, with a 10 zone metric scoring.
Complete details of all shoots, scoring and handicaps are listed in the Archery GB booklet “Rules of Shooting” which can be downloaded from the Archery GB web site (please google for “archery gb rules of shooting”) or its hardcopy purchased. Membership of the club includes Archery GB membership, as stated earlier. You would then receive their magazine, which includes details of prices etc. Archery GB also has its own web site – www.archerygb.org.
Other forms of shooting
Other types of shooting, which provide variety and fun, include:
- Clout – up and over! – a post with a flag is placed in the ground 150 or 180 yards away and you shoot up in the air and hope your arrows lands somewhere near it.
We very often finish with a barbecue after a Clout.
- Field shooting – explore the woods shooting at a mixture of targets which are at different distances you have to guess at, through the trees, down a hill etc.
While, like many other clubs, we do not have the facilities, (i.e. vast private wooded grounds) to provide for Field shooting, though as a Club and Archery GB member, it is possible to enter such events, held by others, through out the year.