An Overview of Different Archery Styles
by Scott Byers
The first type of archery we'll focus on is "Target Archery". Target Archery is practiced my mainly competitive archers which consist of "Target Archery Rounds" in which the archer shoots arrows at a target at various distances, usually wearing a bracer on their arm to keep loose clothing away from the string and a finger tab to make for a smooth release off the fingers. Some archers also use a chest guard to keep loose clothing at bay. In this type of archery, the archer stands erect. The archer's back muscles are used to pull the arrow to the anchor point.
The second type of archery is "Clout Archery". In this type of archery, participants shoot from a distance at selected marking areas in the ground. This type of archery gets its name from what old English would call "Clouts" on the ground for the marking areas. For gentlemen, they must shoot at 180 yards and ladies must shoot at 140 yards. Junior gentleman under eighteen years old must shoot at 140 yards, under sixteen 120 yards, under fourteen 100 yards, under twelve 80 yards. Junior ladies under eighteen must shoot at 120 yards, under sixteen at 100 yards, and under thirteen 80 yards.
The third type archery we'll focus on is "Field Archery". The only similarity this type of archery bears to target archery is that there is a target to be shot at, but that's all the similarity they share. The shooters in this type of archery will shoot at 28 targets in a wilderness/nature environment in a sequence, shooting 4 arrows at each target. Each of the targets are set at different distances and angles and must be shot either up or down depending on the kind of target. The most commonly shot rounds in this type of archery are "Field" and "Hunter" rounds. The targets also vary in size depending on the round being shot at it as well as the distance. Because of the rocky, unsteady terrain of field archery, it makes it significantly more difficult than the flat targets shot at in target archery.
The fourth and final type of archery is called "Flight Archery". It's meant to improve the distance of the archers' shooting and is an important and traditional part of archery. Different archers' experimenting with this type of archery has resulted in better, more accurate shooting. Flight archery is practiced in wide, open areas because of the distance that carbon arrows can fly (about 300 M or more). This type of archery is started by putting down a shooting line. In flight archery, you must have both feet between the line, unlike target archery where you must only have one. With the arrow on the string, you point the bow up at about a 45 degree angle (over head draw). You slowly draw the bow as soon as full draw is reached. In flight archery, there is no holding at full draw because the arrow will lose energy.
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