What is Field Archery

Field archery is an all year round outdoor sport. It brings people into the countryside where as well as carrying out the sport, field archers also grow to appreciate their surroundings and conserve the countryside. It is of major interest to the club to not only maintain the countryside we use but to improve where possible the landscape without detracting from the natural state

The sport of field archery covers all ages, sexes, and physical abilities, it is one of the few sports where disabled and able bodied can compete equally, and frequently the aged beat the young, ladies beat the gents, and the disabled beat the able bodied

In target archery the targets are clearly defined multi coloured roundels that are shot at exact known distances on dead flat ground.

In field archery the targets vary widely in size and represent anything in size from a field mouse to an elephant and are placed in open or wooded countryside and at distances unknown to the archer. The ground is rarely flat and the archer may be shooting up or down slopes, across lakes or through gaps in woodland to reach the targets which vary in size from a few inches in size to well over 6 foot tall at distances from a few yards to over 120 yards. The varying target sizes, distance and the lay of the ground test the archer in many ways both physically and mentally.

A field archery course normally consists of between 28 and 40 targets, with the most common course layout being 36 targets. In field archery all of the targets which are either flat picture faces mounted on a foam or straw "boss" or are 3D foam models, each are different and the archer moves around the course, following a previously planned route. Scores are awarded for accuracy on each target, each archer shoots up to 3 arrows at each target, depending on the round being shot for that days competition

A days competition can last between 6 and 9 hours depending on the course layout and the round being shot.

Bow Types

In field archery the bows we use range from replicas of the most primitive bows ever used by man to extremely high tech bows of carbon fibre and high grade aluminium

The choice of the style that any archer shoots is a very personal thing, some believe that the English Longbow suits their style of shooting and others think that the sniper accuracy of the modern compound bow with telescopic sights is the place to be,

Whatever the choice of bow and arrow, the archer relies on their skills and ability to do the best they can.

Arrows also range from wooden with natural feathers to carbon fibre with synthetic fletching.

In field archery there is room for all styles, in competition you only compete against others using the same types of bow so whatever the bow you select your on an even start line

Men shoot against men, women against women and youngsters against other youngsters, physical strength does not give any one archer an advantage it has often been said that archery skills are 25% physical, 75% mental

It really is the skill of the archer that decides who wins

In the Woods

The distance from which the shots are taken is not marked and has to be estimated by personal judgment of the archer alone.

Each person can shoot one arrow from each of three pegs positioned at varying distances from the target. Scores are awarded on the position of the striking arrow within pre-marked scoring zones. Scoring can vary on the day due to the type of course laid, but "Big Game Round" is currently the most common round shot. 

There are eleven shooting styles within the society: Primitive, Longbow, American Flatbow , Hunting Tackle, Bowhunter, Traditional Bowhunter, Barebow, Freestyle, Compound Limited, Unlimited and Crossbow. Up to date definitions of these styles can be found on the NFAS website

Please note that under the terms of our lease Crossbows are not permitted at Pines Park Archers.


Each style is split into six classes: Gents, Ladies, Junior Boys, Junior Girls, U12 Boys, U12 Girls. On a standard round an archer will shoot until he/she scores, up to a maximum of three arrows. Arrows are shot from the following pegs:

Adults: Red, White, Blue

Juniors (14/15): White, Blue, Blue

Juniors (12/13): Blue, Yellow, Yellow

U12s: Yellow, Yellow, Yellow

It is scored as follows.

First arrow within the centre spot can score 

24 Points (see note below)

First arrow within the inner scoring zone scores

20 Points

First arrow within the outer scoring zone scores

16 Points

Second arrow within the inner scoring zone scores

14 Points

Second arrow within the outer scoring zone scores

10 Points

Third arrow within the inner scoring zone scores

8 Points

Third arrow within the outer scoring zone scores

4 Points

Note - Not all targets have a 24 spot and not all shoots score them