Indoor target archery is shot at a distance of 18 or 25 metres, mostly during the winter. It is a modern way of shooting competitively indoors.
Both Recurve and Compound divisions participate in indoor archery events.
International indoor archery competitions are a recent addition: the first world indoor championships were held in 1991, Finland and have since been held every two years. In 2001, junior athletes began to have their own world indoor championships that are usually staged at the same venue and time as the senior world indoor championships.
Targets used for indoor competitions are identical to those used at World Archery outdoor target archery competitions but smaller in size. Athletes shoot at 25 metres on a 60cm target and at 18 metres a 40cm target. Actually, 18 metres is the only distance shot in world championships. Competitors can choose between 40cm single spot target face and a triple spot target face which are the same size but with fewer scoring zones. Vertical triple spot faces are used more and more during the qualification round and are obligatory in the final rounds of competitions.
Compound athletes can only score a maximum of 10 points when they hit the inner ring with their arrow, known as the X10, while Recurve athletes have a larger 10 ring to score 10 points.
If an arrow hits outside the 6 ring, on the triple spot target face, it is considered as a miss and the athlete will score 0 points for this arrow.
Athletes shoot 60 arrows each at a distance of 18m on a 40cm target face. Athletes shoot 20 ends, each end consisting of 3 arrows, in a time limit of 2 minutes per end. This round is shot during the first day of competition to rank the top 32 men and women in each division and the top 16 men's and women's teams in each division, in accordance to the highest scores achieved.
The highest 32 scoring men and 32 women, in each division, of the qualification round will be ranked and proceed to the Elimination phase of the championships.
Elimination and Final Rounds
The highest 32 ranked male and female athletes will be placed in a single head-to-head Elimination Pairing Chart/draw, according to their ranking in the Qualification Round. Higher ranked athletes are placed separately in the draw to ensure the top ranked athletes meet later in the competition i.e. No 1 Ranked against the 32nd ranked, No 2 ranked against the 31st ranked and so on.
All male and female recurve athletes shoot their elimination matches at a distance of 18m. Preliminary elimination rounds, athletes shoot, simultaneously, over the best of five (5) sets, with three (3) arrows per set, in a time limit of two (2) minutes. The winner of each set will be awarded two (2) points, one (1) point each, if the scores for the set are tied. If the match is tied, with both athletes achieving five (5) set points each in the fifth (5th) set, there will be a single arrow shoot-off, and the athletes whose arrow is closest to the centre will win the match. The winner of the shoot-off will be awarded 1 set point, taking the match 6-5.
When athletes progress through to the final, to decide the medals, a similar format is used. However, on this occasion, athletes take it in turns, shooting their arrows alternatively in the match, one by one, twenty (20) seconds each, to add to the excitement. Loosing semi-finalists use the same format to shoot-off for the Bronze medal.
Compound male and female athletes shoot, simultaneously, four (4) ends of three (3) arrows in a time limit of two (2) minutes. The athlete with the highest cumulative score will win the match and proceed to the next round. If both athletes have the same score a one (1) arrow shoot-off will be required and the athlete whose arrow is closest to the centre of the target, wins the match.
When athletes progressed through to the final, to decide the winner of the gold and bronze medal, the same format is used. However, athletes will shoot their arrows alternatively, having 20 seconds each to shoot their arrow.
Teams comprise of the three (3) highest scoring athletes of the same gender, bow discipline and affiliated team from the qualification round. As with the individual competition, the top sixteen (16) ranked male and female teams will be placed in a head to head elimination draw, highest ranked against the No sixteenth (16th) team and the second (2nd) highest ranked against the fifteenth (15th) ranked team and so on.
The team event, for the recurve bow, will be the best of four (4) sets, with each team shooting, simultaneously, six (6), arrows in each set, two (2) arrows per athlete, in a two (2) minute time limit. The team with the highest cumulative score in the set wins, and is awarded two (2) set points, one (1) points each, if the scores are tied. The first team to achieve five (5) set points, win the match. However, if the teams set points are tied at 4-4, after the fourth (4th) set, a shoot-off will be required. Each of the 3 team members shoots one (1) arrow, each in a time limit of twenty (20) seconds and the team with the highest cumulative score, wins the match 5-4. If the cumulative shoot-off scores are the tied, the team with the arrow closest to the centre of the target, wins the match.
For the compound bow, the teams are comprised and shoot in the same rotation as the recurve teams but instead of set points, the compound format uses cumulative scoring. Each team, shoots, simultaneously, four (4) ends of six (6) arrows, two (2) arrows per athlete, in the two (2) minute time limit. The team with the highest cumulative score wins the match and progresses to the next round. If the scores are tied, the match will be decided by a shoot-off. In the shoot-off, each team shoots three (3) arrows, one (1) per athlete, and the team with the highest cumulative score, win the match. If the scores still remain tied from those arrows shot, the team that has an arrow closest to the centre, wins the match.
In the medal matches (Gold and Bronze) for both recurve and compound, the format is very similar. However, rather than teams shooting simultaneously, teams shoot their arrows alternatively between each other, and twenty (20) seconds is allocated for each team member to take it in turns to shoot their arrow. Should teams tie, the familiar shoot-off procedure is used but teams alternative between each other to take it in turns for (1) one of their team members to shoot an arrow in the twenty (20) second time limit.s.
The top 8 teams of women and top 8 teams of men remaining from the Elimination Round shoot a series of individual matches (quarter-finals, semi-finals, bronze and gold matches), each match consisting of 4 ends of 6 arrows (2 per archer) shot in 2 minutes at 18 metres, culminating in the team gold medal match.
The archers may shoot in any sequence but they may only shoot 1 arrow each time they are on the shooting line.