Archery Etiquette

As a new – or even, not-so-new – archer, you may have of questions about what you should or shouldn’t do, either at your club training session or at a competition shoot.

Below is a list of basic points that will help you understand the general etiquette – as well as the rules and safety of archery …

Please note the following prior to and during shooting:

  • Always help to put out stands, bosses, faces etc. before setting up your own equipment. Put away any equipment you have used when shooting finishes.
  • Don’t start to shoot until given the appropriate instruction. If you don’t know the club’s whistle commands – then ASK! These are the whistle signals used at CADAC shoots:
    • Single whistle to go forward from the waiting to the shooting line and shoot.
    • Three short blasts to advance to the targets to score & collect arrows.
  • Always shout “FAST” if you spot any danger during shooting. If you see danger, don’t wait for somebody else to call ‘FAST’ – just do it! If you are drawing an arrow, come down and remove the arrow from your bow.
  • Never talk loudly, shout or comment whilst others are shooting.
  • Don’t talk to another competitor who obviously prefers to be silent (respect their way of focusing on their sport).
  • If you have finished shooting, then wait on the shooting line while a neighbour is at full draw. Leave after they have shot their arrow*.
  • Never advance to the shooting line when an archer is at full draw*.
  • Do not move forward of the shooting line for any reason (not even to collect a dropped arrow), until the field captain gives the appropriate command.
  • Never draw your bow or nock an arrow, except when on the shooting line.
  • Never shoot when you see anyone within the safety areas (that’s the space to the sides and further on past the end of the shooting lanes). If not already called – call FAST!
  • Don’t touch or handle other archers’ equipment unless they have given you permission.
  • Should you damage another person’s equipment, you should make immediate arrangements to pay for repair or replacement as appropriate*.
  • Refrain from walking up and down the shooting line comparing scores or equipment.
  • Don’t try to shoot distances beyond your capability causing delays whilst looking for arrows. (Start with shorter distances and work up to the longer distances)*.
  • Always know how many arrows you have shot and how many are in your quiver*.
  • Always help your fellow archers to find a lost arrow.
  • Turn off mobile phones or put them on silent so as not to disturb other archers when shooting.
  • Do not smoke on the shooting line or waiting line*.
  • Unless there are obvious designated bins, please take any litter home with you at the end of the session or competition.
  • Refrain from packing up your equipment until the last archer has finished shooting so you don’t disturb their concentration or make them feel rushed*.
  • Always wear appropriate clothing at competitions. Camouflage or denim are not acceptable and you may be told you are unable to shoot in a competition. If you are at a competition, wear your club shirt with pride!
  • Always wear closed-toe shoes or trainers. Open-toe or flip-flops are not acceptable and may get you hurt if you stub a toe on an arrow in the grass.

Where marked * above – the point can be considered a ‘polite suggestion’ rather than a hard & fast rule.

When you are scoring …

  • Wait until scores have been taken before you go behind and search for any arrows that have missed the target.
  • When calling scores, do so in groups of three, and in descending order, for example, ‘X-10-9’ … ‘9-8-7’
  • While calling scores, point to each arrow as it is called, without touching the arrow or target face.
  • Do not touch any arrow or the target face until all arrow values have been recorded and checked.
  • Only remove another archer’s arrows from the target, if this has been agreed with them.
  • Don’t stand behind somebody who is pulling arrows!
  • Always thank the Target Captain for the work done by them at the end of the round.
  • Call for a judge if in doubt as to an arrow’s scoring value.

We have all been at that ‘first competition’ or that ‘first shoot at the new club’ – so don’t be afraid to ask a fellow club member or fellow archer – and I’m sure you’ll be given any help and advice that you need.