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Field archery 101: the discipline explained

Zagreb (CRO) - Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Field archery 101: the discipline explained Not your usual game: field archery’s a completely alternative style of archery than usual target tournaments. Here are five ways it differs…
Zagreb 2014 19-24 August
World Archery Field Championships


Wed 20 Aug Qualification
Thu 21 Aug Qualification
Fri 22 Aug Elimination

Sat 23 Aug Team finals
LIVE: Team
Sun 24 Aug Individual finals
LIVE: Junior | Senior

See full schedule

1) Divisions

Three bowstyles compete at the World Archery Field Championships: compound, recurve and barebow. The first two are seen on the World Cup and international target archery circuit – and use similar or identical equipment – but barebow is unsual.

Recurve bows shot without sights, stabilisers, clickers and other useful devices, barebows use techniques like string walking (moving their draw hand up and down the string) to make aiming easier. Accurate barebows archers are impressive: the style is hard to master.

2) The field

Target archery is shot on level ground, no matter if it’s indoor or outdoor. Field archery is only outdoors, across all kinds of terrain. Hills, woods, mountains, lakes…

It brings in all kinds of variables like shooting uphill and downhill – which changes the sightmark distance – crossing slopes, light and dark and wind conditions from target to target.

3) Distances

Field archery is shot at marked and unmarked distances, which differs from target archery were all distances are known: usually 70 metres for recurve and 50 for compound.

Field archers target distances vary from five to 60 metres – depending on the division. The targets themselves have six scoring zones – one to four are black rings, five and six gold – and come in four difference sizes: 20, 40, 60 and 80cm diameters.

4) Competition

At the world field, archers shoot three arrows at 48 targets over two days for qualification: 24 marked and 24 unmarked distances.

The top 16 archers in each division move to the first elimination round were they shoot only 12 targets at know distances.

Top eight goes on to the second elimination round and shoot at eight targets. Then, top four moves on to semi-finals, and as well on the final, archers shoot at four new marked targets.

Teams are formed by one archer of each bowtype, and shoot one arrow each per target. Top eight teams go on to head to head matches in quarterfinals at eight targets.

Semifinals and finals matches are between top four teams at for target, all at marked.

5) Shooting groups

Field archery head-to-heads are – as the name suggests – pretty similar to target archery matches: one athlete against another.

But for qualification and elimination, rather than shooting all in a line like target archery, field archery courses are shot in groups of four. Which tends to make conversation during competition a little more relaxed…

…but that’s not to say the competition is any less competitive. This is still archery, after all: and there are world champion titles up for grabs.

At Zagreb 2014, official practice take places on 19 August, followed by the qualifications on 20-21 August, through elimination 22 August, and team events and individual medal matches on 23-24 August.

Follow news from the 2014 World Archery Field Championships in Zagreb – and World Archery’s coverage on Facebook and @worldarchery on Twitter.

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