Is Archery a Sport? [Answer In Here]

Since its inception over 10,000 BCE, ancient warriors used archery in wars. Then the archery bow comprises a bow (usually wooden or metallic), a string, and some arrows in a quiver. Then, humans used archery for wild hunting. Over the millennia, archery became a hobby for many people. Thus, individuals fired at objects in their backyards or the forest for fun.

Is archery a sport? Archery is a sport when two or more individuals contest for accuracy while targeting an object or mark over a distance. In archery, you use a bow to fire arrows. Also, note that archery requires focus, repetition, accuracy, and control.

How is archery a sport? When is archery considered a sport? In which country is archery considered the most famous? What are the rules that regulate archery as a sport? We have provided you with sufficient details on all these questions below.

Is archery a sport?

Is archery is a sport? Archery is a competitive sport when two or more people fire arrows with a bow against a target over a distance. Prehistorically, archery was a significant weapon for wars and battles; then, it transcended to a hunting art. Archery has evolved into a hobby and even more—a sport in recent times.

Is archery a sport

What is archery?

Archery is the act of shooting arrows with a bow. Etymologically, the term archery comes from the Latin form arcus, which implies ‘bow.’ Since the beginning, archery was a technique of war where archers march in arrays or solitude against enemy troops.

The History of Archery

Archery is an ancient combat means that originated in the late Paleolithic to early Mesolithic era. Even though Europe records a very early origin of archery—over 10,000 BC, Asians claim to have proof that archery existed in Asia even before then. However, the earliest evidence of archery began in South Africa over 72,000-60,000 years ago. Men of antique used the bow as a significant war and hunting weapon in every country but Australia.

The History of Archery

In the latter days, primordial Greeks and Egyptians began recreational archery. Also, the Seljuq Turks, Huns, Mongols, and other sojourning horse archers ruled a significant portion of Asia. They did this for over 15 centuries, beginning from the first century in Common Era. The widespread of firearms for hunting and warring also increased archery by affluent Europeans from the 1400s to the 1500s.

In 1900, archery emerged in the Paris Olympics, where only a few countries could contest in the competitions. Then, 20 years later, it became the first Olympic sport to involve women. In 1972, the International Archery Federation’s female leader and president reinstated the sport in the Olympic Games after being ignored for over 50 years.

Notwithstanding archery’s long-standing fame for being a one-man sport, nations partaking in the Olympics began to team up their most skillful archers for competitions. These teams contested in Seoul, South Korea Olympics in 1988.

Presently, the Olympic Games permit only one type of bow: the recurve bow. In addition, archery as a sport permits four various events for archers to contest in.

Although the gameplay has evolved in archery, it still follows the same principle of control, focus, accuracy, and repetition.

Archery as a sport is accessible to almost everyone, regardless of gender, age, or ability. The sport is widely accepted in both advanced and emerging nations. It is even among the handful of sports that can be performed by both able-bodied and disabled athletes.

When is Archery Considered A Sport?

Archery is a sport when two or more players contend against each other in a tournament or a contest. Also, when athletes propel arrows from a determined distance to precisely hit a target.

Although this is a very debatable topic by most individuals, before we understand if archery is a sport, let’s consider what a sport is.

When is Archery Considered A Sport

What is a sport?

A sport is any activity that involves the enforcement of physical strength and skill, restrained by some rules which the contenders obey while contending against each other. They do this either in teams or as individual competitors.

What is a sport

Thus, let’s consider the four determinants individually. For anything to be called a sport, it must:

  1. Be an activity requiring physical strength.
  2. Require physical skills.
  3. Follow a set of rules.
  4. Include some sort of contest between teams or individuals.

Therefore, from the definition of a sport, any activity that obeys the above definition is a sport. Now, does archery follow these conditions? Let’s see that below.

Does archery require physical strength?

Notably, when you are doing something worthwhile, you will need to exert some amount of physical strength. The same applies to archery. However, unlike other activities like lifting a heavy bag or picking up your pet from the floor, archery is more exact and repeated.

Regardless of most individuals’ notion of archery being an activity by which you stand still and draw a bow, it requires much more than that. Sometimes, most bows require you to draw their 40lb bow and even sustain that stance for over 30+ seconds before letting go of the string. Even some individuals propel over 100 to 200 arrows daily for years.

Does archery require physical strength

That said, we can see that archery needs physical exertion. However, even though the draw weights of our bows depend on our capacities, we are still exerting some effort based on our abilities. Furthermore, professional archers undergo some training for their muscles by weight-lifting and practicing other exercises.

Does archery require physical skills?

Another significant thing to know about archery is that it requires skill. Also, precision, focus, and even consistency are skills that every individual must get to be considered an archer.

In archery, the target situates some distance away from the archer. Thus, targeting and hitting the exact range or even the “bull’s eye” over great distances, and doing so over time, is a matter of significant consideration. So, we see that archery fulfills the two first conditions of any activity becoming a sport. Let’s consider the other two.

Is there a set of rules that govern archery as a sport?

When practicing archery as a sport, there are several rules to be followed in the event. In these rules, individuals can understand the kinds of bows accepted in the contest, the archer’s clothing. Also, the regulations outline the standard target distances.

Thus, we see that archery again fulfills the third requirement.

Is archery a competition?

As we have previously understood, archery is a sport. It has its rules and regulations that the World Archery Federation controls. There are various kinds of archery competitions, and these depend on the archers’ class, gender, and the type of bow used.

For class, there are three archer classes available—the cadet, the junior, and the master. The bows are either recurved or compound. Even individuals of all genders can partake in the competitions.

That said, we have seen that archery fulfills all the requirements for any activity to be considered a sport. So, we can proudly say that archery is a sport, undeniably.

Where is archery most popular?

South Korea is the country where archery is most famed. Not only that, the country has players who are among the best archers in the world today, according to modern archery. From a tender age, South Koreans follow the culture of wielding the bow. Thus, government officials and celebrities are also skilled in the art of archery. Foreseeably, South Koreans populate the Olympic medalists, with the United States heeling them.

Historically, archery had a notorious root in Korea, as it was one of the first nations to use the art while warring and hunting. As we have earlier stated, South Korean children are well-indoctrinated with the culture, as schools ensure an archery training session of at least two hours daily.

This makes South Korean athletes obsessed and extremely skilled in the art of archery, thus the gold medals in the Olympic Games.

Where is archery most popular

Succeeding South Korea, the United States is very well-famed for their high adoption of archery for hunting and sport. In addition, the US has one of the biggest lists of annual archery events, including state, national, and regional archery tournaments. Due its many states, the United States is one of the ideal places for archery, notwithstanding the season.

Which set of rules or customs regulates archery?

In archery, certain rules govern and regulate the sport, thus keeping orderliness and justice in competitions.

customs regulates archery There, we have outlined the 10 most essential rules for archery as a sport. Let’s consider them below.

  1. Equipment
  2. Timing Rules
  3. End Rules
  4. Scoring Rules
  5. Knockout contests
  6. Tiebreakers
  7. Distance Rules
  8. Reshooting Rules
  9. While Commands
  10. Rare Scoring Scenes


In archery, there should be no archer with an undeserving advantage from the accessory or tool they wield in the contest. The bow must have a handle, two limbs that end with a tip and string notch, and a riser. Unfortunately, the only accepted bow in the Olympic Games is the recurve bows.

The rules consider having a bowstring that enables the archer to aim with an unfair advantage and disallow it in archery games. Also, recurve bows must not have any sort of release aids. In addition, all forms of electronic help connected to the bow are unfair advantage and discouraged.

However, the bow can have sights, clickers, allow-rests, and stabilizers. Generally, there are fewer regulations on arrows in a contest, so far as the arrows only create regular damage to the target. Also, archers should mark their arrows for identification, and the arrow shafts shouldn’t be larger than 9.3mm, and their diameters should be within 9.4mm.

Timing Rules

In archery contests, the competitors are all given a determined time to propel their arrows. Usually, they have 2 minutes for a set end of 3, and 4 minutes for a set end of 6. In the Olympics Games, every archer gets an extra round after the first round, where they shoot one arrow one at a time, for 20 seconds per arrow.

If an archer shoots an arrow before or after the time frame, as a penalty, that archer will give up the arrow with the highest score. This rule is the same for individuals and teams contesting.

End Rules

In archery, each round is known as an END. This end comprises propelling a troop of 3, 4, or even 6 arrows.

After shooting the arrow, the archer goes to pick the arrow from the target. Also, note that, in each contest, several rounds comprise archers’ firing ends.

In the Olympics, archers propel 12 rounds/ends of six, which surmounts 72 arrows. Thus, the highest probable score in archery should be 720. For professional indoor archery, competitors fire 20 rounds/ends of three, thus firing 60 arrows. Therefore, the highest possible score for indoor archery is 600.

Scoring Rules

The scoring rules in archery depend on the age/class of the archers. The standard target size has a diameter of 122cm in the Olympics. The target comprises ten very small rings when closer to the center of the circle.

The outer rings (2 in number) are white. Then the next two black rings. After that, the next two blue rings, then there are two red rings, and then finally, there are two innermost black rings.

Every ring gives more points as you get closer to the center circles, which are 10 points each. The points are lesser as you hit outer rings.

Knockout contests

This is famous in the Olympics, and in this contest, an archer goes head to head with another. The archer with the highest score competes against the archer with the lowest score, and the archer with the second-highest score goes against the archer with the second-lowest score.


On occasions of a tie, there are several ways to break the tie. This is because, at all costs, there must only be one winner in an archery competition. Most times, the tie ends by determining the archer with the most arrows in the innermost circle—a 10-pointer.

If more than one archer has the same number of arrows in the innermost circle, both archers will continue shooting in the innermost circle until there is a winner.

A shoot-off happens when the previous means still show equally. This way, both archers shoot only one arrow. The archer with the closest arrow to the center wins, and it spans for only 40 seconds in the Olympics.

Distance Rules

In an archery contest, every competing archer must stand from a set distance to shoot. You can calculate the distance by determining the number of competitors and the location of the competition (indoor/outdoor). For the Olympics, each archer’s target stands or hands 70 (230 feet) meters away.

However, other non-Olympics competitions use larger distances, and for indoors, the set distance is 60ft (18.3 meters).

Reshooting Rules

Most times, when an arrow has left the bow, the archer can’t reshoot it. Howbeit, on occasions where there’s a misfire, or the archer shoots too early and the arrows fall around his reach, there can be a reshoot. Also, if the archer can grab his arrow mid-air, then the rule counts that as an early release or misfire. In this scenario, the archer can reshoot without penalties.

While Commands

In archery competitions, there are whistle commands to signal the archer to shoot or when to pause. The first whistle (two whistles) command signifies the archer to go to the shooting line. The next whistle tells the archer when to fire the arrow. Then, the last whistle command tells the archer when to stop and go retrieve the arrow.

There is a rare whistle signifying emergencies.

Rare Scoring Scenes

There are various ways an archer can score in archery. Should the arrow hit the range of the line of the circle, it will get the point. However, the closer the arrow lands to the innermost circle, the more points for the archer.

A Robin hood score occurs if a fired arrow passes through another arrow. In this scenario, the arrow receives the same point as the previous arrow receives. In addition, if the arrow rebounds on the target, it will get the point where it hit the target.


Is Archery a Sport? Archery is undoubtedly a sport. It requires physical exertion, consists of a set of rules, requires skills, and is competitive. Archery requires a level of concentration and precision. Thus, if you are considering if archery is essential, we’re glad to let you know you’re in for some eventful activities.

That said, before playing archery as a sport, ensure to follow all the rules of archery. If you do this, you’d have the best archery contest of your time while not breaking any rules.