Archery got its beginnings in hunting and warfare, predating the majority of other sports origins by tens of thousands of years. The first competition conducted in a way comparable to modern competitions were held in the late 1500s, but popularity has since declined as new weaponry has been invented. However, it is still included in both the Olympics and Paralympics.
There are three main types of bows used in competition: recurve bow, compound bow, and the barebow. Only one type of bow called a recurve bows can be used in the Olympic Games, but the other types are used in various other competitions. The barebow, which is the traditional type of bow, is the most widely used among competitions.
The most common form of competitive archery involves shooting an arrow from a bow at a target that is placed a specific distance away from the competitor. By pulling the bow string backward, aiming at the target, and releasing the arrow and string, a seasoned archer can hit the target with ease.
The goal of archery is to hit the center of the target and earn as many points as possible. As the arrow lands farther away from the center of the target, the archer is awarded fewer points. At the end of any competition, the archer with the highest total amount of points wins.
In regular competition, the archer will shoot between three and six arrows in each round, called an end. In the Olympics, the archer shoots 72 arrows overall.
Archers typically wear arm guards, finger tape, and other protective gear when they are competing, since the bow string can injure the archer on release. No additional equipment can be added to the bow that is not specified by the tournaments' rules to prevent placing any other competitors at a disadvantage. Some competitions will allow extra aids, like sights or arrow pullers, which assist the archer with accuracy.