Flaming Arrows Archery Club
Make archery your passion

Different Kinds of Archery

By:George Loh



Archery is a sport that has evolved continuously over the years. Originally a form of combat, archery is now an Olympic sport with hundreds of thousands of practitioners all over the world. There are typically three kinds of archery: target archery, field archery, and flight archery, with various differences and similarities between each one.

Target Archery

The Olympic Games only recognize one form of archery, and that is target archery, which is easily the most popular form throughout the world. Archers stand a certain distance from a large painted target, and then fire a specific number of arrows at the target. Each concentric ring in the target counts for more points, and the archer with the most points after several rounds is declared the winner. There are ten rings in the target, with an arrow landing in the outer ring counting as one point and an arrow in the inner yellow ring counting as ten points. Target archery is so popular because anybody is able to compete, no matter what skill level they are at. Target archery has been included in the Olympic Games since 1900, although the sport actually goes much farther back.

Field Archery

The name of this style of archery is slightly misleading. To be completely literal, target archery takes place in a field, while field archery typically takes place in the woods with many different variations in each individual round. In field archery, targets are set up at various places and distances throughout the course, and the targets can range from paper targets to wooden or plastic animal forms. It is similar to hunting except for the fact that no animals are actually shot at. Target archery takes a great deal of concentration and is highly regulated, while field archery often involves a full day of walking through the woods, talking, and having a bit more fun. In field archery, archers will often fire upon a target from one spot, move forward to a closer position, and then fire upon the target again. Scores are typically tallied the same way as in target archery, although special considerations are made for animal shaped targets.

Flight Archery

Although field archery and target archery are very different in terms of style and practice, they do have one major thing in common: the archers are shooting at a specific target. This is where flight archery departs from the others. In flight archery, the archer must simply fire an arrow as far as possible. Imagine a little boy with a toy bow and arrow set firing arrows up into the air. This is flight archery in its simplest form, and without it we would not see nearly as many advances in other forms of archery as we do. The bows in flight archery are designed with one purpose in mind- shooting an arrow as straight and far as it will go. Similarly, the arrows themselves are designed to be aerodynamic and light. This is often seen as the testing ground for other archery forms.