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Archery is a very old sport that evolved out of the hunting practices of some of the earliest humans. The word "archery" is derived from the Latin word for "bow," which is "arcus." Today, archery continues to be a popular sport, in part because it's fun for people of all ages and abilities.


The History of Archery

The oldest arrow points ever found are from Africa and date back 64,000 years. Their shape leads researchers to believe that these pieces were attached to arrows and fired with a bow, making this the oldest evidence of archery. The oldest actual bow that has been found was discovered in Denmark and appears to be at least 8,000 years old. The first archery in North America is believed to have occurred in what is now Alaska during this same time period. Early humans used archery as a way to hunt for food and provide protection for themselves and their communities.

Benefits of Learning Archery for Kids and Adults

Kids who participate in a sport or other activity outside of school are more likely to do better in school. Archery is a great choice for an activity to do because just about anyone can do it. Practicing archery can help you developer upper body strength and stamina. It can also help you learn to regulate your emotions; being upset or nervous can ruin your shot. And practicing archery can also teach you about setting goals and working toward them by practicing until you get better.

Archery Equipment

To do archery, you'll need some special equipment. Of course, you'll need arrows and a bow. Arrows are usually carried in a quiver that either hangs from the archer's belt or over their shoulder. It's a good idea to wear a finger protector or a glove to protect your fingers from being hurt when you draw back the bowstring over and over again. A forearm cover known as a bracer is worn on your bow arm to protect it. You might also want things like stabilizers and bow sights that can help you to hit your targets. These things may not be allowed in competitions, though, so keep that in mind.

Learning Form and Technique

The best way to learn archery is by learning from a live person. It's a good idea to read about archery and watch videos to learn the basics of the sport, but working with an experienced archer is the safest and easiest way to learn to shoot. Specific things you'll need to learn include how your feet should be placed, how to aim the arrow, and how to pull the string back to make the arrows fly.

Archery Safety Rules

Archery is fun, but everyone needs to follow basic safety rules to make sure that it's safe, too. Only point the bow and arrow at a target. Know what is around, in front of, and behind the target. Never release a bow that doesn't have an arrow in it; doing so can hurt both you and your bow. Never shoot an arrow straight up into the air. Always wear protective gear. Keep your arrows safely stored in a quiver. And check your gear regularly for damage: Frayed bowstrings need to be replaced and any other issues need to repaired before the equipment is used again.

Rules and Scoring the Game

Archery's scoring rules are really simple. Where the arrow hits determines the number of points the archer receives. The highest score possible is ten points for people who hit the inner gold ring. Not hitting the ring at all means the archer gets no points. The outer white ring gives you one point. During Olympic-style competitions, each archer gets 12 turns to shoot, and you shoot six arrows in each turn, totaling 72 arrows. The score from each of the 12 rounds is added together to get your final score.


Edited by: Ben Thompson