Understanding Olympic Archery

Friday marks the beginning of 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England.  One of the events that I am most interested in following is archery.  That should come as no surprise.

There are numerous differences between the sport of Olympic archery and bowhunting, and though our equipment may look incredibly different, we do have quite a bit in common.

I’ve written this post for my fellow bowhunters that don’t understand the premise and rules of Olympic archery.

The 2012 Olympic Archery Field

The Events

There are four events in Olympic archery:  Individual Men, Team Men, Individual Women, and Team Women.  All of the Olympic archery events are limited to recurve bows.

The individual events start with a ranking round, which consists of each archer shooting 12 “ends” of 6 arrows, for a total of 72 arrows, and possibly maximum score of 720.  The competitors will then move on to the individual matches where the highest ranking archer will be paired with the lowest ranking archery and they will have a head-to-head match consisting of sets of 3 arrows.  The archer will win the individual match by winning 5 sets, and then move on to the next round.

The team events consist of 3-person teams shooting a total of 24 arrows, 8 arrows for each archer, per match.

Scoring

All of the events are shot from a distance of 70 meters (76.5 yards) on a target that has 10 scoring rings.  The innermost 10-point ring is about 4.8” in diameter.  This means that for an archer to score a 10, they are effectively hitting a silver dollar from a distance of two-thirds the length of a football field.  Not only is extreme accuracy paramount, but the shooters are also on the clock – for example, in the individual events, the archer has just 20 seconds to shoot each arrow.

The Olympic record for highest score among individual men is 684, and the Olympic record for individual women is 673.

Did You Know?

The USA has consistently performed very well in Olympic archery.  When you look at all the medals won for all archery events from 1900-2008, the USA in at 2nd place overall, behind Korea.

More Information

2012 Olympic Archery Schedule

Meet team USA

Learn more in this ESPN segment featuring bowhunter and Olympic archer, Brady Ellison.  (Who is both an Olympic archery and a bowhunter!)

If you don’t see the video above, please watch it here.

“The adrenaline rush I get [while hunting] is better than shooting in tournaments. And the animals taste better.”

- Brady Ellison, speaking with ESPN

The Author

Mark Huelsing is a regular guy with an irregular passion for bowhunting and the outdoors. Learn more about Sole Adventure or get in touch with Mark...

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  • http://twitter.com/SoCalBowhunter Al Quackenbush

    Thanks for sharing the scoring, Mark. This is the first year I am truly excited for an event. Archery is going to be awesome and I am certainly rooting for Brady. Great all around guy and a fantastic archer. He’s got skillz!!

  • http://twitter.com/BowhunterGA Simply Traditional

    Mark,

    Wonderfully written and timely in delivery. I will be sharing a link to the article on my Facebook page. Thanks for writing this up!

    Steve

  • http://twitter.com/BowhunterGA Simply Traditional

    Mark,

    Wonderfully written and timely in delivery. I will be sharing a link to the article on my Facebook page. Thanks for writing this up!

    Steve