Archery Styles

Target Archery

This is the traditional form of Archery as it has been practiced for hundreds of years. This takes place over various distances and with targets of various sizes. The size of the target often varies with the distance shot, and while some rounds call for just one shooting distance, others require additional distances - such as 50 yards & 30 yards.

Row of archery targets set out on a shooting range

Clout Archery

Clout Archery is a form of Archery in which the contestants shoot arrows at a brightly coloured flag, which is set into the ground at 180 yards for men and 140 yards for ladies. Juniors shoot at various distance depending on their age.
You score points, depending on how close each of your arrows land near to the flag.


Measuring the distance from the clout flag to the arrow

Types of Bow

Perhaps the most common type of bow you will find at an archery club is the recurve bow. This type of bow is used in Olympic disciplines and typically has stabiliser rods and an adjustable sight. It gets it name from the fact that the limbs of the bow curve towards the archer after they leave the riser (the grip) but then turn away from the archer at the tips. This helps create additional springiness and dynamic power. 

archer aining clout style

The compound bow was originally designed for hunting and is usually built from a metal frame and springs. These springs are compressed by the use of a pulley system, which makes the drawing of the bow very efficient. Add to this the fact that cams at the end of each limb semi-lock once the bow has been fully drawn, which makes it easier to hold and aim steadily. These are also used in competitions. In the illustration a compound bow is aimed at a distant flag - clout shooting style.

compund bow archer aiming clout style

Traditional bows, such as the longbow and flatbow are the oldest examples of this type of weaponry and are usually made from wood - either solid or laminated. The English longbow (typically made from yew) is historically famous and accredited with several important military victories during the middle ages. However, this sort of bow and its many subvariants, such as shorter bows for use from horseback, can be found on most continents of the world and are still used for hunting in some places.
These bows are used without an add-on sight system and this type of shooting is called barebow style. Recurve bows without sights can also be used barebow style.

longbow archer takes aim
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