How Does Scoring Work In Archery?

How Does Scoring Work In Archery

In archery, scoring is based on the location of arrows on a target. The target is divided into 10 concentric circles with different point values assigned to each circle. Archery is a game of concentration and composure with little to no room for error.

World Archery Federation Scoring

Archery Scoring

The point values of archery are different from most other sports. The targets have a diameter of 122 cm, which means each individual circle has a diameter of 12.2 cm. The innermost circle, which is typically yellow, is worth the most amount of points at 10. This circle also has another circle inside of it, which is known as the “inner 10” or the “X ring,” which is sometimes used as a tiebreaker.

The rest of the circles decrease by one point each circle you move away from the center. If an arrow lands on the line between two point values, the higher point value is rewarded. Any arrow that doesn’t get inside a circle or misses the target altogether will result in no points.

Set Scoring

In most competitions, archers shoot a total of 60 arrows in six sets of ten arrows each. The total score is calculated by adding up the points of every individual arrow. These are the set scoring rules that are followed by the World Archery Federation.

Olympic Archery Scoring

Archery in the Olympics has three different events, which include Individual, Team, and Mixed Team. Each event has slightly different scoring methods.

Olympic Individual Competition Scoring

In Olympic Archery, the system of scoring is based on the rules of the World Archery Federation. The archery targets are usually placed  70 meters away in these competitions.


In the Olympics, there are 128 total competitors, which consist of 64 men and 64 women. Each archer shoots 72 arrows in a qualification round, with a maximum possible score of 720. Archers are ranked and categorized by their final score, and the top 32 of each gender move to the following elimination rounds.

Archers also only have 40 seconds to shoot each arrow. In the elimination rounds, participants will compete in a head-to-head elimination format. The 1 seed will play the 32 seed, the 2 seed will play the 31 seed, and so on in a typical bracket format.

Set Scoring

Each match has a maximum of five sets, where each archer will shoot three arrows per set. The archer will win two points for a higher score, and both will earn a point if the score is a tie. The first archer to either reach six points or have a higher score after five sets wins the match.  If the match is tied after five sets, a single arrow shoot-off is used to determine the winner. The archer who was previously ranked higher will shoot first.


If both archers shoot a 10, the shoot-off will continue until an archer gets a higher score. Archers only have 20 seconds to shoot in the tiebreaker round. The winner of the final match receives the gold medal, and the loser will receive the silver medal. The losers of the semi-final compete in a match for the bronze medal.

Olympic Team Competition Scoring

Team scoring rules are slightly different from individual rules in the Olympics.


Team matches use sets of six arrows, which is different from the three-arrow set in individual events. Every country that qualifies has a team made up of three athletes of the same gender. The combined score of those three archers in the ranking round will control their seed for the elimination rounds, where teams will be ranked 1-12 in a bracket-style competition.

Set Scoring

Just like individual scoring, a team wins two points for winning a set and receives one point for a draw. The first team to five points is declared the winner. Each match contains a maximum of four sets, with six arrows per team and two arrows per archer.


If tied, each member of both teams will get one arrow to shoot. The team with the higher cumulative score will win the tiebreaker. If the match is still tied, the team with the closest arrow to the center of the target will win the match.

Olympic Mixed Team Competition Scoring

The mixed team event was recently added to the Olympics in 2020.


Each mixed team contains one man and one woman. Contrary to the individual and regular team rules, in mixed competitions, teams shoot four arrows per set, which is two per archer.

Scoring and Shoot-Offs

Tiebreaker and point rules are the same as team scoring, as well as the bracket-style competition. Both teams are allowed 80 seconds per set to shoot their arrows.


How do you score points in archery?

You score points in archery by shooting arrows as close to the middle of the circle as possible. The highest point value is 10, which is the innermost circle. The other nine circles have point values of 9-1, decreasing by one point in each circle the farther you get from the inner circle. Each round can consist of either three or six arrows, depending on the format, and the score is calculated with all the total individual arrow scores combined.