With a history characterized by hunting and combat techniques, archery is the practice of using a piece of equipment called a bow to shoot arrows at a target. Throughout the years, it has become a sport of precision, leading to numerous competitions, as well as a spot in the Olympics. The title given to a person who is an expert in the practice is an archer. For some, archery is like an intense game of darts that involves more equipment, as well as increased physical skill.
Modern vs. Traditional Archery
The start of archery is thought to have emerged about 5,000 years ago. The first use of the bow was probably used for hunting, while its recognition as a tool for war came later. In ancient times, early man threw projectiles at their enemies. It is the bow that replaced this technique.
There are many different types of archery that has evolved from traditional archery. Classical archery was prominent among the Macedonians, Greeks, Persians and Indians, which often took up a large part of their armies. When directed effectively, masses of soldiers could be taken out with precision. Advanced armies took archery to horseback, allowing a swift execution of war plans.
In Medieval European times, archery was used in times of war, but was not as popular as you may think. On the contrary, archers received the lowest pay and were often looked down upon. Since it didn’t take much to fashion a bow and arrow, this contributed to the negative perceptions of the archers. It was viewed as a weapon for the lower class.
Asia and the Middle West used archers on horseback in their military force. In the Kingdom of Bhutan, archery is the national sport of the land. One of the differences in Asian arrows is they are less stiff than the arrows from the west. Today, competitive archery is popular, significantly straying from the traditional archery of the past. The use of archery as a form of warfare has been discarded and mostly only hobbyists hunt with a bow and arrow. Modern archery involves competition.
Competitive archery consists of shooting arrows for accuracy points from varying distances, quite popular in Europe and North America. Both indoor and outdoor venues hold archery competitions with different rules. For example, there are varying time limits. Indoor competition allows only 2 minutes to shoot 3 arrows. Archery equipment demands special attention to safety rules and use. You must receive proper instruction on how to hold a bow and shoot an arrow so that you do not hurt yourself or others.
Modern Archery Competitions
The color of the archery board for competition is white, black, blue, red and gold. There are two rings each per color with corresponding point values. The end score of a competition is computed by adding the total of all scores made by their arrows. If an arrow lands on the line between two different point values, the higher sum will be granted. Despite these rules, there are still disputes that call for the assistance of a judge.
There are many different types of bow shapes and sizes. During competition, the only type of bow that can be used in the Olympic games is called a re-curve bow. When you are ready to further your interest in archery, there are plenty of other details to take note of. For example, archers in competition often wear bracers that protect the arm. Tabs protect the drawing hand. Chest-guards protect clothing, as well as the body of the archer. All of these things, coupled with the archer’s stance, hand-eye coordination, release form and grip will all contribute to either the success or failure of an archery competition.