Archery Is A Sport That Dates Back Years And Years
Archery is a sport that dates back years and years before the modern day version that we have today with all sorts of high-tech equipment and different techniques of shooting and competing with other archers. To give you an idea of just how old archery really is, in approx. 2800 BC, the first composite bow was produced by the Egyptians. It was made from wood, tipped with animal horn and held together with animal sinew and glue.
Unstrung, it resembled a "C" shape and would have required 2 people to string it. The bowstring was made from "catgut" (sheep intestines). The arrows used were extremely light, could be shot 400 yards using the composite bow and would easily penetrate the armor of that time period. The Egyptians used archers on the back of light chariots who were highly trained and skilled and could easily outflank an enemy army with devastating effect.
Back in the day of the Roman Empire, they owed much of their military superiority to their skilled archers. In Europe the bow and arrow were displaced by firearms as a military weapon in the 16th century. By the time the Spanish Armada attempted to invade England in 1588, an English county troop levy consisted of one-third bowmen to two-thirds soldiers with guns, and by century's end the bow had been almost abandoned as a weapon. Nevertheless, peoples of the Far East employed archers in warfare as recently as the 19th century, and the use of the bow and arrow in hunting and intertribal fighting continues in central Africa and South America up to the present day.
The bow was retained as a hunting weapon, and archery continued to be practiced as a sport in England by both royalty and the general public. The earliest English archery societies dated from the 16th and 17th centuries. The oldest continuously held archery tournament still extant, known as the Ancient Scorton Arrow, was founded in Yorkshire in 1673; and about 1790 the Royal Toxophilite (Greek toxon, "bow"; philos, "loving") Society was formed to advance the sport. The Prince of Wales, afterward George IV, became the patron of this Society and set the prince's lengths of 100 yards, 80 yards, and 60 yards; these distances are still used in the British men's championship York Round (six dozen, four dozen, and two dozen arrows shot at each of the three distances).
Although archery has definitely changed since the people of the Bible first used it, without it history might have turned out much differently. Bows and arrows saved many people's lives, and even do today. As a means of hunting animals for food, as a defensive or conquering weapon, or as an instrument in competition, the bow and arrow has impacted the world. Physically, the structure of archery has developed, the circumstances for which archers use their bow and arrow has changed drastically, and the way in which warfare utilized archery has nearly come to an end. Archery has etched and will continue to etch an imprint on the world's mind--even if only in history, legends, and stories.
Modern archery is very scientific in its approach, but it still relies on athletes having confidence in their own instincts - it is a tough sport both in terms of technique, discipline and mental resolve. There are two main types of competitive archery - field and target.
Target archery is the most commonly practiced form of archery worldwide. Target tournaments are conducted regularly and held both indoors and outdoors. Shooting distances vary from 18 meters (indoor) to 90 meters (outdoor), with target sizes being 40 or 60 centimeters for indoors and either 80 or 122 centimeters for outdoors. Targets have five colors with each color being divided into 2 to provide 10 scoring zones. The innermost ring is given a value of 10 points, down to the outermost ring with a value of 1 point. Target rounds involve shooting a set number of arrows over one or several distances. Indoor events involve shooting a total of either 30 or 60 arrows; with outdoor events shooting 72, 90, 120 or 144 arrows are shot.
Field archery is a challenging outdoor discipline in which the archer takes on the terrain as well as the target. Field archery is a combination of archery, golf, and bush walking. A course is set up in a bush land setting taking advantage of hills, slopes, angles and light and shade. A field course is made up of either 24 or 28 targets depending on the round being shot. The archer is required to shoot either three or four arrows at each target. Distances range from 10 to 60 meters and target face sizes vary from 20 to 80 centimeters.
Archery is a great activity that can help you relieve stress and let you enjoy the outdoors. It can even be a form of exercise! There are millions are archers all over the world, and there's no reason why you can't join them and enjoy this fine sport. But how should you go about getting started in archery? Are you worried that it will be too expensive? Maybe you think that it will be hard to learn? Don't fret, you can get started in archery for fairly little money, and there are plenty of resources available to help you learn the craft.
You won't need to dedicate hours everyday to practice if you want to become a proficient archer. In fact, you may be able to consistently hit a target with as little as an hour of practice. However, archery some of the more advanced aspects of the sport can take years to master. First you need to determine what you would like to do with archery. Do you want to just be a recreational shooter, or do you want to use your archery skills to hunt with? There are even archery competitions, if you wanted to get that involved in the sport.
You should locate an archery shop in your area. Preferably a place that focuses only on archery, as opposed to general sporting goods stores, as they will have a deeper understanding of archery and will better be able to assist you. Talk to the staff and try to learn more about archery, so that you can best determine which areas of the sport you would like to pursue. Many archery shops even have indoor ranges, where you can test different types of archery equipment and get a feel for your own style of shooting.
The amount of archery equipment available may be overwhelming at first, but a more experienced archer or store employee should be able to help you choose between the different types of bows, arrows, and accessories. If you are on a low budget, you should know that many archery shops will allow you to rent equipment for very reasonable prices. You may want to consider joining a local archery club, if there is one in your area. The more experienced members will gladly teach you about archery, and you can make life-long friends as well.
The arrow is the single most important piece of archery equipment, followed by the bow. Without good archery arrows your aim will always be off, no matter how accurate you can shoot. So what makes a good archery arrow? There are many factors that influence the quality of an archery arrow. The stiffness of the shaft of the arrow affects how much the arrow wobbles after being shot from the bow. You don't want an arrow that bends too much, or it will be less accurate.
The material that an archery arrow is made of can affect its performance. Modern arrows are usually made of wood, aluminum, or carbon. It is important to select arrows of the right material to suit your needs. A heavier arrow will impact the target with more force, but will travel much slower than a lighter arrow. Make sure to take this into consideration when choosing an archery arrow.
The head of the arrow is also important to consider, especially if you are going to be using the arrows to hunt with. Be sure to select a head that is best suited for the particular animal you will be hunting. The nock of the arrow is the slit on the end which holds the arrow in place as you shoot. An archery arrow's nock should not be too tight on the string, or it will not release properly when you shoot.
The fins attached to an arrow are called the fletching. Some fetching is made of real feathers, and other are made of plastic or synthetic feathers. Archers often debate which is better to use, so it is best to try both types and see which better fits your needs. Selecting good archery arrows can improve your shot tremendously, so try out many different types of arrows and find out which types of arrows are best for you. Don't be afraid to spend a little more, because high quality tools are always worth their price.
Choosing the right archery bow is a very personal choice, but a very important one. Many factors come into play, and fortunately there are many different bows available on the market for you to choose from. Choosing the correct bow will greatly increase your comfort while shooting, and will increase your accuracy. The correct bow for you should have the proper draw weight and draw length. This means that it will draw back far enough (but not too far!) and with the proper amount of tension. Many archery shops will be able to measure you, to determine your ideal draw length. An ideal draw weight should be one that you can comfortably draw back and hold for at least 60 seconds.
Another factor to consider is the axle-to-axle length (ATA) of the bow. This is the distance between the points where the two respective cams are attached. Bows with longer ATA's are generally considered more forgiving and easier to draw back, but remember that if you are hunting you may not always have a lot of space available! Whether you choose a single cam, dual cam, or hybrid cam style bow will depend on your style of shooting. Single cams tend to draw smoother, while dual cams are generally faster. Hybrid cams offer a mix of the two, and are relatively new to the market.
Archery first appeared as a sport in the Olympic Games in Paris in 1900. Because no formal rules were developed for the game, each country developed their own format. The Federation Internationale de Tir a l'Arc (FITA) was founded in 1931 and created standardized rules for competition. At first, there were only individual competitions held, but 1988 team competitions began being held.
There are four different archery events held at the Olympics: Archers used to shoot a double FITA round of 288 total arrows, with the championship decided by the highest total score. In an effort to make the sport more exciting, the format was changed to head-to-head elimination for the top 64 competitors beginning with the 1992 Olympics. The format of the men's and women's individual competition is the same and consists of a ranking round followed by the FITA Olympics round.
In the ranking round, archers shoot 72 arrows at a target 229 feet, 8 inches away in 12 ends of six arrows each. A perfect score is 720. The same set of shots is used to seed teams for the team competitions. The FITA Olympic round is divided into the elimination round and the finals round. The 64 competitors, seeded from the ranking round, advance to the elimination round, a single-elimination, head-to-head style of competition (seed No. 64 vs. seed No. 1, 63 vs. 2, etc). Six ends of three arrows -- for a total of 18 -- are shot at a target 229 feet, 8 inches away with a 40-second time limit per arrow.
The format of the men's and women's team competition is the same and consists of the ranking round, followed by the FITA Olympic round. In the ranking round, archers shoot 72 arrows at a target 229 feet, 8 inches away in 12 ends of six arrows each. A perfect score is 720. The same set of shots is used to seed competitors in the individual competitions as well. In the men's and women's competitions, the top 16 teams -- seeded from the ranking round -- are selected using scores from the ranking round. If there are less than 16 teams, the top teams will be given byes.
Always remember to be safety-conscious while you are practicing archery. Your backyard may not be the best place to shoot, especially if you live in a more urban area where a poorly aimed arrow could injure someone. You should be able to locate an archery range within a reasonable distance from your house, where you will be able to safely practice and even meet other archers. I hope you take action and get into the sport of archery. It can be a very rewarding pastime for you and your whole family for years to come.
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