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Archery History 1879 AD -  The First Tournament of the National Archery Association held in Chicago, USA 1900 AD - Archery in Olympic Games - also in 1904, 1908 and 1920. Women were allowed to compete in the Archery event in 1904 and 1908.

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1879 AD -  The First Tournament of the National Archery Association held in Chicago, USA

1900 AD - Archery in Olympic Games - also in 1904, 1908 and 1920. Women were allowed to compete in the Archery event in 1904 and 1908.

1931 AD - FITA (International Archery Federation) is formed.

1972 AD - Archery reappears in the Munich Olympic Games for both Men and Women.

1988 AD - Olympic Games held in South Korea. The Teams Event was added into the Archery Competition

2008 AD - Developments in materials technology will see the production of lighter and stronger bows as well as lighter and stronger arrows. Arrow speed will increase giving better accuracy over the longer distances.


Compound Bow

Recurve Bow

Cross Bow

Yellow-9, Red- 7, Blue-5, Black -3, White-1


The bow and arrow is a weapon consisting of two parts; the bow is made of a strip of flexible material, such as wood, with a cord linking the two ends of the strip to form a tension from which is propelled the arrow; the arrow is a straight shaft with a sharp point on one end and usually with feathers attached to the other end.


  The longbow was first accepted as a formal military weapon in 1252. The longbow has a very narrow limb and a thick core. The longbow is extremely stable and can be easily shot when canted or tilted. These bows can be made to shoot varying draw weights and are surprisingly fast shooters. Longbows are light in weight and generally hand made. They are shot without sights.

   Longbows were not as elaborate as other weapons of the time, especially those commonly used by the wealthier members of society such as the nobles. Swords, axes, shields &c. were built to last, and were often elaborately decorated. An archer, on the other hand, would generally work through several bows during his life, and at most may have painted his bow, or attached some carved nocks to keep the bowstring in place. Younger archers were usually more likely to decorate their bows than were the grizzled veterans, and occasionally a wealthier archer would have some extra armor, or maybe even a full set of armor, but his bow was never significantly fancier then the rest.

   A longbow was usually full of knots and bends. A great deal of patience had to be put into tapering these imperfections to produce a usable bow. Every knot and knobble had to be either followed carefully to eliminate weak spots, or ‘raised’ without causing any weakening of the bow. Although the longbow was a work of great artistry, it had none of the frills that you might see on a crossbow, with a complicated mechanism to fire the arrow, a fancy grip, and a fancy arrow-plate to prevent the arrow from wearing a groove.

   Longbows were generally self-nocking, meaning that the nocks for the string were an integral part of the bow. Some of the fancier bows had horn or ivory nocks fastened to the end, but otherwise the nock was part of the wood of the bow. The bowstrings were generally made of good quality flax or linen, and were impregnated with beeswax to repel rain and dew. “The bowman would watch his string carefully and if it showed signs of fraying, especially at the loops, he scrapped it before it broke. With a good yew bow, a broken string often meant a broken bow. Spare strings were always carefully broken in at practice - a new string never shot at first in the same way as the old one; archers were required to carry two spare bowstrings

Recurve Bow

   Recurve bows are very similar to the longbow. The main difference is that the tips of the recurve bow are bent forward.

   A recurve bow is a bow that, in contrast to the simple bow longbow has ends that curve away from the archer when the bow is held in shooting position. An unstrung recurve bow can have a confusing shape and many north American aboriginal (Indian) weapons were incorrectly strung and destroyed when attempts were made to fire them.

    The recurve shape in effect can reduce loading at full draw (let-off) and will impart more energy to the arrow than a longbow The longbow of similar top draw weight. A recurve will permit a shorter bow than the simple bow for a given arrow energy and this form was preferred by archers who were forced into environments where long weapons could be cumbersome: e.g. in brush and forest terrain, on horseback, etc

Composite Bow

   Around 2800 B.C., the Egyptians developed the "composite bow." Using this device, archers mounted on light chariots became a devestating military force. A composite bow is made of various materials (wood, horn, sinew) glued together so as to increase their natural strength and elasticity. The composite bow gives superior accuracy, velocity, and distance in comparison to the longbow. Using a modern bow, target archers of equal skill can score an average 30 to 40 percent higher than they can with the longbow. The modern composite bow shoots farther than the longbow: a maximum distance of more than 850 yards has been obtained with it, compared to about 300 yards for the longbow. The efficiency (the percentage of energy in a fully drawn bow that is transferred to the arrow at the moment of loose) of the modern bow doubles that of the longbow, the velocity of the arrow with the new bow reaching 212 feet (65 m) per second as opposed to 150 feet per second.

Compound Bow

   One of the biggest advantages to the compound bow is that the shooter does not have to hold the "pull weight" when the bow is fully drawn. This is a result of eccentric cams. The benefit is that the hunter can hold the bow at full draw for a longer period of time. This gives the compound bow a mechanical advantage over other bows.

   A modern compound bow or composite bow is a special type of bow made of laminated wood, plastic, and fibreglass. It is affected little by changes of temperature and humidity and gives superior accuracy, velocity, and distance in comparison to the classic longbow

   In addition to the composite, the compound has pulleys set on its limbs, usually at the ends of its limbs. One or both of the pulleys is a cam This enables the shooter to hold the bow fully drawn with less effort by providing a mechanical advantage


Arrow weight has a great deal to do with the penetration qualities that are inherent in the broadhead. That does not mean that a heavier arrow will always have better penetration. An arrow needs to be "spined" to match a bow. Most compound bows can shoot a lighter arrow than other bows of the same draw weight and retain true flight.

If you have ever watched an arrow as it is released from a compound bow, you can see that the arrow will warp or almost buckle as it is fired and then straighten itself out. So, the initial thrust on a relaxed compound bow is not the value of the full thrust to come. For this reason, the arrow released from a compound bow doesn't need to be as stiff as a standard bows arrow.

The arrow is made up of five basic parts:

Arrowhead -- This is the part that hits the target and does the damage.

Inserts/Outserts -- This is the part where the arrow and the arrowhead are fastened.

Shaft -- This is the body of the arrow.

Fletching -- These are the feathers which keep the arrow stable in the air.

Nock -- This is the piece which holds the arrow to the bowstring.

Arrow Nochs

    The proper fit of a noch is that when it is seated on the string, the arrow will just hang from the string by its own weight, but is on firm enough so the arrow will not slide on the string.

    There are four main materials used for the shaft portion of arrows. They are wood, fiberglass, aluminum and carbon or graphite.

Wood Arrow Shafts

    Wood is the original material used for making arrows. Wood shafts were used by the earliest hunters and they were also used as weapons. Finding quality wood arrows today can be difficult. If you want to use wood arrows, you will need to learn about weight, grain, spine and straightness. Wood arrows will very a great deal in these attributes from one arrow to another and from one set to another. Wood is however a very durable material to shoot from a bow. It will take some abuse from rocks and stumps before breaking or other damage. If you plan to use wood, do your homework.

28 Cedar Wood Shaft Archery Arrows from Satellite ArcheryTM- 72 Arrows

Features include: 3 Feathers Metal Points Price is for 72 arrows There is no actual image of this item. The image shown is representative only. The actual item will have a cedar wood shaft.

Economy Wood Arrows (Pack of 12) from Cajun Archery, Inc.

Mill run grade 5/16 shafts. 2 1/4 feathers and snap nocks, with lightweight crimp-on target point. Spined up to 30 lbs.

    The wooden arrows used by archers for millennia have been replaced by ones made from aluminum-alloy or fibreglass tubing, and plastic fins have replaced feathers.

Fiberglass Arrow Shafts

    Light, Precise; Easy to fit to draw length and weight. Difficult to find, liable to snap

1939 - James Easton experiments with making arrow shafts out of aluminum, rather than wood.

1941 - Larry Hughes uses aluminum arrows to win the American National (archery) Championship.

Aluminum Arrow Shafts

    Greatest Range of Sizes, Weights; Light, More Precise, Interchangable Arrowheads. Aluminum arrows are used by the majority of hunters and target shooters today. The first aluminum arrow was developed by Doug Easton. (Easton Arrows) Aluminum arrow are extremely consistent in weight, spine and straightness. Aluminum arrow are very durable unless abused. Fletching or vanes are easily replaced when damages. These arrows come in more than four dozen sizes. The reason for the range of sizes (weight) is that each bow shoots (and shooter) certain weights and lengths of arrows to obtain maximum speed and efficiency. In addition, lighter weight aluminum arrows are normally used for target shooting and travel faster. Heavier arrows are most commonly used by hunters.

1983 - Easton develops the first carbon arrow shaft.

Carbon Arrow Shafts (Graphite)

  Durable, Most Precise, Light with Interchangable Arrowheads. Carbon arrows are growing in popularity. There are two kinds of carbon arrows shafts; pultruded and cross wrapped. Pultruded shafts have grain that runs the length of the arrow. This type required the use of outserts to prevent splitting where the field point of broadhead attaches. Putruded shafts where the first type of carbon arrow and had a reputation for splitting when hitting a hard object like rock, trees or bone. Cross wrapped carbon arrows are a bit larger in diameter but are still less than 5/16ths of an inch in diameter. In general, carbon arrows are very light weight. The cross wrapped carbon arrows are tougher than the pultruded. Neither can be permanently bent.

shooting steps
Shooting steps

"Take your stance

  • ¨  feet in line with target (toes and shoulders facing a side wall)
  • ¨  legs shoulder width apart
  • ¨  knees “soft”

"Nock your arrows

  • ¨  bring arrow “over the bow”
  • ¨  arrow should be on the same side of the bow as your arm
  • ¨  make sure cock feather is facing away from bow

"Grip the string

  • ¨  very little of three fingers - no thumb or baby finger
  • ¨  one finger above arrow and two below

"Raise your bow

  • ¨  push bow away so arm is quite straight
  • ¨  keep shoulders facing side wall

"Draw to anchor

  • ¨  drawing arm elbow high
  • ¨  anchor on face to keep arrow still


  • ¨  use point of aim relative to your bow
  • ¨  look down the arrow toward the target


  • ¨  straighten all fingers by opening your hand
  • ¨  hold the position still until the arrow hits the target

AMO Speed RatingThe Archery Manufacturer's Organization set this standard for evaluating arrow speed. To discover the AMO Speed a bow is set at 60 pounds, with a 30-inch draw and shooting arrows that weigh 540 grains. For today's compounds, speeds over 240fps are considered fast while anything under 220fps are relatively slow.

Anchor You should draw the bow and hold the string in the same location every time--(anchoring) the bowstring. Many people who shoot with fingers use the corner of their mouth as an anchor point.

Archer's Paradox Describes the movement of the arrow as it bends and flexes around a riser when released.

Armguard Placed on the arm that holds the bow, an armguard protects your arm from being slapped by the bow string on release.

Arrow LengthArrows are cut to a specified length. Measured from bottom of nock to the end of the arrow shaft.

Arrow nockThe notch at the end of the arrow designed to fit around the bowstring and hold the arrow in place on the string.

Axle The axles are the shafts on which a compound bow's cams rotate.

Axle-to-Axle Length The distance from one axle of a compound bow to the other. This is an important number because it tells you two things: 1) Generally if you want a finger bow, it should have an axle-to-axle length of at least 42 inches to avoid drastic finger-pinch. 2)A really short axle-to-axle length makes the bow more extreme and a little more difficult to shoot but may make it faster.

BluntAn arrow tip that is not pointed. Usually used to hunt small game or to stump shoot.

Bow PressA device used to hold the bow in a bent position so you can work on the bow or remove its string.

Bow Square Used to measure brace height or to align nocking points.

Brace HeightIs the length of a direct line from the back of the grip to the string of a bow. Generally, the lower the brace height, the faster the bow is. It is faster because the shorter brace height means that the power stroke is longer. But, because a shorter brace height provides a longer power stroke it can be much more difficult to shoot accurately.

Broadhead Arrow tips meant for hunting big-game. They generally feature at least one-inch of cutting diameter and may be fixed blades or expandables (mechanicals).

Brush ButtonFor recurves and longbows, these rubber round items are placed on a bowstring to prevent brush from catching between the bowstring and the bow.

Cable GuardHolds the cables to the side to ensure arrow clearance.

Cable Slide Fits on the cable guard and helps the cables move smoothly across the cable guard. New Teflon cable slides are said to add speed to your bow because they reduce the friction greatly. Pure Teflon is a clear or milky white color. If the slide is not white, it's not Teflon.

Center ServingThe center portion of the bowstring is wrapped (or served) to protect the bowstring from damage, either from the release aid or from the string hitting the cable guard.

Center Shot Is the point that places the arrow shaft directly in line with the string grooves on compound eccentrics or the center of the limb tips on recurves or longbows.

CreepThe arrow moving away from the wall or your anchor point as you aim or get ready to release.

vocabulary continued
Vocabulary continued

Cresting The colored designs on the end of an arrow shaft. Cresting tools are available.

Deflex Design where limbs or riser are angled toward the archer. Deflex designs are generally slower but easier to shoot accurately than reflex designs

Draw LengthThe distance at full draw from the nocking point to the back of the grip. The AMO draw length is the distance from the nocking point to a point 1 3/4 inches past the back of the grip.

How to Determine Draw LengthYour Draw Length is used to determine your Actual Peak Bow Weight for recurve bows, and to select the proper draw length setting for compound bows. To determine your Draw Length, use a lightweight recurve bow with an extra-long arrow and have someone mark the arrow at the back (far side) of the bow while you are in a comfortable full-draw position. Your Draw Length is the distance from the mark to the bottom of the nock groove.

Draw Weight The amount of force in pounds required to draw the bow.

How to determine Actual Peak Bow Weight for RecurveActual Bow Wight (maximum of "peak" bow weight) of a recurve or longbow is the force (in pounds) to pull your bow to your full Draw Length. See "Determining Draw Length" information above. Then measure the force required to pull your bow to your Draw Length ( most pro shops have a bow scale). The AMO-standard bow weight is usually marked on the lower limb or handle.

How to determine Actual Peak Bow Weight for Compound BowTo shoot properly, the maximum draw length of a compound bow must be set to your Draw Length. A compound bow reaches its maximum or peak bow weight before reaching maximum draw length and then "lets off" in draw weight 50 to 80%. This reduced weight at full draw is called the "holding weight." The Actual Peak Bow weight of your compound bow can be determined on a bow scale at your archery pro shop.

EccentricThe cam or part of the bow that is designed to control the stored energy of the bow.

Efficiency The amount of kinetic energy of the arrow just as it leaves the bow divided by the potential energy that went into drawing it, multiplied by 100.

FletchThe plastic vane or feather that is at the end of the arrow used to stabilize the arrows flight path.

GrainThe measure of weight usually used when weighing arrows or arrow tips. 7000 grains make a pound.

Helical refers to the way fletching is laid on an arrow. Rather than straight, helical fletching curves slightly around the arrow shaft.

IBO Speed Rating The International Bowhunter's Organization has a speed rating that is generally measured with a bow set at 70 pounds, 30-inch draw and shooting a 350-grain arrow. Today's fastest bows will shoot over 310fps using the IBO rating.

Insert the adapter which is placed into a shaft to make a nock or arrow point fit the shaft. Outserts are the opposite, they fit around the shaft. Some people believe outserts make an arrow fly less true, but if all other factors are the same, outserts shouldn't effect an arrow's flight much.

vocabulary continued9
Vocabulary continued

Kisser Allows you to anchor consistently by placing the kisser on the bowstring and making sure it touches the same part of your lips each draw.

Nocking loop Loop placed around nocking point. This protects your string from being damaged by the release aid but the downside is, it reduces speed slightly and some people find it difficult to quickly attach their relase aid to it when "the big bucks a' comin"

Nocking PointLocation where arrow sits on the bowstring.

Nocking Points Objects placed on the bowstring used to keep the arrow in place and keep the nocking point consistent.

Peep Sight used as the rear sight of a gun is used. The peep sight is placed on or in the bowstring and the sight pins and target aare viewed through the peep. Sight pins should be centered in the peep. Small peeps help you gain accuracy but don't let a lot of light in. Hunters generally apt for larger diameter peeps.

Quiver Holds arrows, the most popular for bowhunting is the bow-quiver which holds arrows on the bow. But some say that makes the bow too heavy and makes it harder to hold the bow steady in the wind. Other options are hip quivers and back-quivers.

Recurve a bow design which features limbs that bend away from the archer at the tips.

Reflex Riser Features a grip which is closer to the archer than the ends of the riser. This results in a short brace height and a longer power stroke. Thus creating a faster bow but generally more difficult to shoot than deflexed risers

Shelf The part of the riser that is cut out and where the arrow rests.

Power Stroke Refers to the motion of the bowstring after it is released. The longer it is, the faster the arrow leaving it. But the llonger the power stroke, the longer the archer must hold steady after releasing the string.

Serving JigTool used to wrap center serving.

Shoot-around RestRest which features the arrow shaft sitting on the rest and as it is released it bends around the rest.

Shoot-through RestShooters using release aids use shoot-through rests. These feature two prongs holding the srrow shaft. when the arrow releases, the cock vane flys through the two prongs.

SpineRefers to the strength of the arrow shat and its ability to resist bending and to recover after bending or experiencing archer's paradox.

Stabilizer Placed on a bow for the purpose of reducing torque and shock after releasing the arrow. Also, it helps level out the bow and hold it steady prior to releasing.

TillerTo measure the tiller is to measure the perpindicular distance from the bowstring to the points where the riser and limbs meet. The tiller is the difference in these two measurements.

Torque is to turn the bow to one side when aiming or releasing the arrow.

Valley When at full-draw, the area between a compound's wall and the point where the let-off ceases to exist.

Wall Term used to describe the back of the drawing motion of a bow. A solid or hard wall is when the drawing motion comes to a sudden and precise end. If the back of the drawing motion is nondescript, it is called a soft or mushy wall. A solid wall is usually preferred because it makes it easier to anchor consistently. Now, some bow companies offer a draw-stop that helps make the wall more solid.

  • Describe in detail what the four different types of Bows used in Archery are.
  • Describe in detail what the seven shooting steps used in Archery are.
  • What are the point values for the target.
  • Define twenty-five of the fifty one vocabulary words.
  • What are the five parts of an arrow?
  • What are arrows made from?
  • List the shooting steps.
work cited
Work cited