There are many different forms of archery, not just the target archery that you see at the Olympics. At the Bowmen of Lyme, we are lucky enough to be able to shoot 3 different disciplines, all within our club grounds.
Target Archery is the most popular archery discipline and this is the discipline that you see at the big events like the Olympics.
Target archery revolves around a number of different rounds. These rounds specify what distances you shoot at as well as how many arrows you shoot at each distance and the scoring method to use.
We offer a flexible approach to our members in that we do not set what rounds are shot on what days. You are free to choose what you want to shoot depending on how much free time you have.
Each archery body (ArcheryGB, World Archery etc) has a selection of rounds that you can shoot. Here at the Bowmen of Lyme, we are affiliated to the GNAS (now known as Archery GB) and as such, you can shoot any round recognised by the GNAS.
Distances vary from 20 yards to 90 metres. The maximum distance for gents is 90m and the maximum distance for ladies is 70m, mainly due to the poundage of bows used to reach that distance.
The size of face used also varies according to what distance and round you are shooting. The standard archery target is 122cm in diameter with the gold being little more than a dinner plate in size. At closer distances (50m or less), the target shrinks to an 80cm face where the gold is smaller than the diameter of a CD!
Most of the archery you will see at the Olympics will be shot at either 90m for the gents, and 70m for the ladies on a 122cm face and the vast majority of them shooting would be getting about 80-90% of all their arrows in the gold.
Our main Target Archery day is a Sunday. We ask our members to arrive at 9:30am to help set out the field (put targets up etc) so we can start shooting at 10.00am.
Some archers do arrive earlier than this, in fact you can start as early as 8am when the park opens.
Our annual target championships are held in September and is a full day event. Entry is open to all club members and prizes are awarded for the best lady, best gent and best junior. We also have a handicap trophy to ensures that archers of all levels of ability have something to compete for.
Clout archery is very different from target archery because the target is actually situated on the ground. A flag (the clout) is placed at a specified distance (typically 180 yards for Gents and 140 yards for Ladies) and the idea is to get as close to the flag as possible. 5 scoring zones are established around the clout using a coloured rope. This rope is used to measure the distance from the flag of each arrow and therefore determine the score.
This discipline is much more ackin to how archers were used in medieval battles. Archers would rain down a volley of arrows at a set distance to hit any knights caught in their range.
There are not many archery clubs that can practice clout archery because of the size of grounds required for safety reasons. Any club that wants to shoot clout must have a very large ground with a minimum length of approx 250 yards to make sure they have the adequate over shoot.
Clout archery tends to be practiced more on a Saturday but due to the layout of our grounds, it can be practiced along side archers shooting target archery.
Our annual clout championship are usually held in April and because we are one of a few clubs that can shoot clout archery, we often invite archers from other clubs to come and join us.
Field archery is a much more traditional form of archery and due to its very nature, some clubs specialise in this form alone. These clubs tend to be affiliated to the NFAS (National Field Archery Society).
Field Shooting involves shooting at different sized targets at unknown distances. These targets are placed within a woodland setting and involve shooting across ponds/streams and up and down hills. Undulating ground makes it much harder to judge distance and this provides an additional challenge to the archer.
There are a number of different rounds that can be shot. Some use standard targets and target faces, others use pictures of animals and 3D foam targets. Scoring zones (when shooting animal rounds) are based on what is known as a 'kill' zone and a 'wound' zone, with higher points being awarded for a kill.
Our field shooting area has recently been improved to allow us to shoot a full 14 target Big Game round. We predominantly use 3D foam targets of various shapes and sizes and these include; a lifesize crocodile (see inset picture), a 4ft tall bear as well as a slightly more exotic 4ft Velocirator!
Field archery can be practiced on any day as it does not interfere with any of the other disciplines on offer.