Basic Rules of Archery

Basic Rules of Archery

Archery is one of the oldest disciplines in human history, with evidence of humanity’s use of archery being found as far back as 20,000 B.C. Archery was primarily used in warfare until the first recorded archery competition was held in 1583 in Finsbury, England. In the present day, archery is seen at the Olympics and has regular competitions held all around the world.

The Objective

Archery Gameplay

The objective of archery is to fire arrows from a bow and strike a target, or close to a specified region on that target, at a specific distance for the highest amount of points possible. In target archery, this would mean hitting the center of a circular target. In the 3D target discipline, points are scored by hitting the target on a designated area on a foam replica target. Archery is played in rounds and whoever has the most points at the end of a specified number of rounds wins the competition.

Basics Rules

Below are the basic rules of archery:

  • An archer has only two minutes to shoot an end of three arrows and four minutes for an end of six arrows.
  • If an arrow were to be shot into another arrow’s nock (called a Robin Hood-style shot), the arrow will be counted the same amount of points as the arrow it has been shot into.
  • Players may only raise and shoot their bow when given the command from a regulator.
  • Archers may not use special equipment that would give them an advantage.
  • Players must listen to and follow all rules and regulations set forth by tournaments and areas of play.

Setup and Equipment

Archery Equipment

To start practicing archery, you will want a bow, some arrows, a quiver, and a target to shoot at. Additional equipment to prevent injury or irritation would be a shooting glove, a chest guard, and an arm guard. 

Setup for archery depends on the type of bow you are using. If you are using a recurve bow, the target is 122 centimeters (four feet) in diameter and set at a distance of 70 meters (230 feet). If you are using a compound bow, the target is 80 centimeters (2.6 feet) and set at a distance of 50 meters (164 feet). 3D archery standards vary by tournament, so having a variety of targets and practicing at different distances and environments is recommended. Just remember to make sure everyone is finished firing around you before retrieving arrows.


archery scoring

Targets are scored from one to 10. A 10 is the very center of the target, or the bullseye, and one is the outer ring of a target. Points decrease by one for each ring outward from the bullseye. There are two different ways to score in an archery match: using a set system or cumulative scoring.

When using a set system, there are a set number of rounds that competitors play in. Competitors fire three arrows per round for individual play and six for team play. Whoever scores the most points on a target in a round wins the point for that round. The first person or team to reach six points for individual play and five points for team play wins the match. In a cumulative score match, a set number of arrows for the match is given, and whoever has the highest score at the end of the match wins.


What are the basic rules of archery?

Different tournaments and locations have different rules for how they go about archery. The biggest rule in archery is safety. Never point bows at people, directly in the air, or anywhere where you do not intend to fire an arrow at. In competitive archery, an archer has two minutes to shoot an end of three arrows and four minutes for an end of six arrows. Players may also not use any equipment that would give them a special advantage of any kind.

How do you do archery?

When the correct materials are acquired, doing archery is very simple. With your bow pointed to the ground, take a stance with your body perpendicular to your target. Attach an arrow to the bowstring of your bow. Raise the bow so that the arrow is aiming at the target. Pull back on the bowstring and arrow. Release by relaxing your fingers. Repeat and remember to wait until everyone has finished shooting to retrieve your arrows.