Yes, this sport uses bow and arrows, just like the ones used for hunting and warfare in the primitive times. However, the objective of the game is not to kill, but to strike the center of the target with arrows. Once used for hunting, combat and recreation, today the popularity of archery as a competitive sport has spread far and wide with over 83 different nations participating in Olympics archery competitions. One of the oldest known Olympic tournaments, the sport first made its debut in the second Summer Olympics 1900 held in Paris. However, owing to lack of uniform international rules, archery was excluded from the Olympic program after 1908 Games, but reappeared in 1920 Games. After a 52-year long hiatus, the sport was reintroduced in 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany and has remained on the Olympic programme ever since. The spectators witnessed individual archery events for men and women that year. The team archery events made its way into Summer Olympics in Seoul in 1988. Since then, this favorite pastime of man had been one of the most watched events in Olympics.
Archery Rules And Regulations
- Archery is played both indoors and outdoors. In an indoor match, the distance from the shooting line to the target varies from 18 meters to 25 meters, while for outdoor archery the distance between the shooting line and the target goes up to 30 meters to 90 meters. In Olympics, the standard distance is 70 meters, which is around 229 feet.
- Archery competitions are usually divided into ‘ends’, which is a segment where an archer can shoot 3 to 6 arrows based on the rules of the competition. It is only after the ends that the players get to know their scores and collect their arrows.
- In an indoor archery competition, there are usually 20 ends. Each end allows archer to shoot three arrows. However, there is no pre-determined format for outdoor games. Also, the number of shots per end differs depending on the rules of the competition.
- Players can begin shooting only after they receive the command.
- Generally, a time limit is set for the archers to shoot their arrows. For indoor archers, the allotted time is two minutes for three arrows. This command is given to the archers using flags or light and not sound generating devices.
- Depending on the location where the arrows strike, points are awarded accordingly. It ranges from the outer white ring to the inner gold and towards the center and the points range from 1 to 10.
- For a high score, one has to pierce the line between the circles. If the arrow gets deflected in between, the location where it ends up retrieves the archer a score.
- Arrows that don’t stick or pass through the target also count. If an arrow rebounds, the archer has to raise a flag and signal the judge informing them.
- In case, the arrow gets embedded in another arrow, the score of the first arrow is taken.
- Once the arrow is misfired or released without planning, it is considered to be a shot. In case, the archers can extend his/her hands and grab the arrow, then they may shoot the arrow again without any penalty.
- If an archer releases an arrow out of the time limit or out of turn, then the highest scoring arrow of that corresponding end is subjected to elimination.
Although the history of archery as one of man’s favorite pastimes date back to around 10,000 years ago, it developed as a competitive sport much later. Played in more than 140 countries around the world, archery has featured in about 14 Olympiad till date. Today, what you see is the modernized appearance of the adventurous sport. Although it starred in 1904, 1908 and 1920 Games, it scored a permanent position in Olympics only after 1988 Games. France holds the record for participating in this event for maximum number of times.