Archery is a sport that many people enjoy worldwide. There are many different types of bows, arrows and other gear involved with the sport. If you have just started getting interested in archery, it can be difficult to understand all the terminology used by experienced archers. We will go over 10+ Archery Terms for you to learn!
What is Archery?
Archery is the art, sport, science and hobby of shooting arrows with a bow. Archers are typically split up into two groups: recurve archers and compound archers. Recurve archers shoot their bows by holding them in their hand at full draw while using fingers to release the string which shoots out an arrow from where it’s placed on the fingertips after reaching its maximum distance drawn back.
Compound shooters hold their bows off to one side away from themselves before drawing them towards themselves as they pull back with both arms equally until the desired brace height is reached then releasing the string for a shot that will travel in a much straighter line than those used by recurves due more technology being utilized within this type of bow.
Archery can also be done on a range or field with targets spaced out at various distances from the shooter such as 50 yards, 60 yards, 70 yards and 300 meters. These are called rounds of shooting in which archers shoot an arrow per end (single) or two arrows per end if there’re more than one person participating (double). The round is completed when all shooters have shot their arrows and moved to another station until they’ve finished for that area/range. It’s not unusual to see bystanders hang back away from these ranges so as not to interfere during each round.
Common Archery Terms
- Arrow: A shaft with an attached pointed end that is shot from a bow to shoot objects or targets. It should be noted that arrows can vary in weight, speed, length, tips and other attributes according to the type of shooting they are designed for.
- Arrow Rest: A small arm that blocks the movement of an arrow as it rests on a bow. This includes rest, plunger or slider types.
- Bow: A long object that is used to shoot arrows. It should be noted that bows can vary in size, shape and other attributes according to the type of shooting they are designed for.
- Bow String: A piece of string or wire with loops on either end which attaches a bow to the arrow so it may launch when drawn back by an archer.
- Backing Board: The board at which archers stand to shoot arrows from their bows towards targets. It should be angled away from the shooter and hold the butt end of the arrow to keep it from falling off.
- Brace Height: The distance between the string and belly of a bow when unstrung, measured in inches or centimeters. A brace height that is too low will cause an archer’s arm to become tired more quickly.
- Draw Weight: The weight needed for someone to draw their bow back fully without assistance. It should be noted that some bows can only handle certain weights before they break due bearing stress on its limbs. Draw weight may be adjusted by changing out different types of strings and cams with higher or lower pounds per inch ratings (Pounds/inch).
- Stabilizer: A device used near the front end of a bow which helps stabilize movement while drawing the string and arrow.
- Bow Stringer: An accessory used by archers who use finger release at full draw because it allows them to let go without dropping their bow while still holding the string down on the fingers so as not to release tension on it before reaching complete draw position. Wrist brace releases will also work just as well but require practice when aiming accurately due to bending your wrist outwards towards your target which may throw off accuracy at long ranges depending on one’s shooting style.
- Bow Sling: A sling used to carry and protect a bow while it is not in use by an archer, usually worn around the neck or over one shoulder with ends coming down on opposite sides of hip.
- Arrow Plate: An arrow plate can be made out of foam, wood, leather or other material that when attached to a target will catch arrows if they are missed the first time due to their distance from the shooter. It should also have some kind of backing behind it so as not to cause damage upon impact. Arrows hitting these plates may ricochet off them at high speeds which could lead to injury for those nearby so caution must always be taken before deciding where you want your arrow plate positioned.
- Bow Stand: A rack designed to hold a bow upright when not in use, usually on the ground with one end of its limbs resting in a notch and other against an archer’s foot. It should be noted that these racks are mainly used for longbows as recurve bows can stand by themselves without the need for this accessory.
- Archery Range or Archery Field: An area dedicated primarily to shooting arrows from different distances at targets which may vary between 100 yards to 300 meters away depending on preference. These ranges will most often have multiple target stations spaced out evenly so teammates can shoot together while also allowing space behind them for missed shots. The range officer is responsible for ensuring all shooters follow safety regulations before they start shooting.
- Archery Round: A round of shooting in which the archers shoot their arrows at a target and then move to another station until they have completed shooting for that area or range. It is typically shot from 50, 60, 70 yards out but may vary depending on preference as long as it falls within safety regulations set by the range officer before each round starts. This can be done with one arrow per end (single) or two arrows per end if there are more than one person participating (double).