In this article, we will dive into Target Archery Basics and walk you through what you can expect at your first Local Target Archery Event. When you finish reading, you’ll be ready to step up to the shooting line and put your first arrow on target.

Target Archery as a category is a little misleading because all forms of archery are essentially target archery. When shooting 3D Archery, you aim at a three-dimensional animal replica with scoring rings that aren’t easily seen. When shooting what many people of as Target Archery, you shoot at two-dimensional paper targets in the shape of a bullseye. The latter is what we’ll be focusing on in this article.

Target Archery is a segment of Archery in which participants shoot at two-dimensional bullseye targets at predetermined distances. The round type will determine target distances, target size, and the scoring system used to judge the event. The most common rounds of Target Archery are the Indoor Vegas Round, NFAA Indoor Round, and World Archery 50 Meter Match Round.

Target Archery Basics: Finding a Local Tournament

Finding a Local Target Archery Tournament can be a bit challenging. In states with a high population of bowhunters, archery clubs will tend to cater to 3D archery shoots due to their popularity. Unlike 3D Archery Shots, Target Archery Tournaments will rarely be held as a recurring monthly event. They will instead be scheduled periodically in a way that does not conflict with other tournaments in the area.

The best way to locate a Target Archery Tournament is to visit your local Archery Pro Shop and inquire about upcoming events. The staff can steer you toward a particular club, or they may even have event flyers posted.

If you cannot visit your local Archery Pro Shop, the next step in finding a club is to head to Google Maps and use the Search Term “Archery Club.” Google will return a list of results for your area based on your location. Visit a club’s website (or Facebook Page) that catches your eye and look for an Event Calendar. This should inform you when the next Target Archery Tournament is being held.

Target Archery Basics - Google Maps

Target Archery Basics: Getting Registered

When you find a local Target Archery Tournament that you would like to attend, it is important to contact the club about registration. Target Archery is shot at fixed distances, and the host club determines the number of archers that can be accommodated. For example, if a club has an Indoor Range with 8 Lanes, they can only accommodate 16 Archers (8 Shooting the Top Target and 8 Shooting the Bottom Target).

Contacting the Host Club and inquiring about registration is the only way to ensure a spot in the tournament unless you are willing to wait for a no-show. Clubs often have multiple line times to accommodate as many archers as possible. During registration, you’ll be asked about the type of bow you’ll be shooting and placed in the appropriate division.

Target Archery Basics: Format

Target Archery comes in various shapes and sizes, but there are effectively two types of Tournaments – Informal Club Level and Formal Sanctioned Tournaments. This article will focus on what you will likely encounter at Informal Club Level Tournaments. If you would like to shoot a Sanctioned Tournament, we recommend reading up on the various organizations for rules and regulations.

Indoor Target Archery

Here in Southeast Pennsylvania, Indoor Target Archery is primarily a seasonal style of archery held during the late Fall and Winter. When the days become short and the weather turns cold, a warm indoor range is a beautiful thing. Warmup Tournaments (prep for events like the Lancaster Archery Classic and various State and National Tournaments) begin in December, with Indoor Season in full swing by January.

Vegas Round

The Vegas Round is an Indoor Archery Tournament shot at 18 Meters. The target face is a 40cm Target with 10 Scoring Rings for a maximum of 10 Points per arrow. The Vegas Round is commonly shot as a 600 Point Game in 20 Ends of 3 Arrows. Some clubs may shoot it as a 300 Point Game in 10 Ends of 3 Arrows.

Target Archery Basics - World Archery  40cm Single
World Archery 40cm Single

The World Archery 40cm Single Face is a multi-color target with ten scoring rings ranging from 10 Points (Inside – Gold) to 1 Point (Outside – White). This face is often used for the Recurve and Barebow divisions, with all three arrows shot into the same target face. Compound shooters may also use this face as it provides the maximum number of scoring rings.

The X Ring is placed at the center of the target and is used to break tie scores. It is scored as 10 Points.

World Archery 40cm Triple
Target Archery Basics - World Archery 40cm Triple

The World Archery 40cm Triple is a variation of the Single with the Black (4 Points and 3 Points) and White (2 Points and 1 Point) removed. Three target faces are presented with the intention of a single arrow being shot into each. Target faces may be oriented in a triangular or vertical pattern and are most often used for the Compound division.

The X Ring is placed at the center of the target and is used to break tie scores. It is scored as 10 Points.

NFAA Indoor Round

The NFAA Indoor Round is an Indoor Archery Tournament shot at 20 Yards. The round uses an NFAA 40cm Target Face and is scored at 300 Points. It is broken into 3 Games, each consisting of 4 Ends of 5 Arrows. Halfway through scoring, archers will switch target positions – Top to Bottom and Bottom to Top. Archers are allowed two minutes per end.

Target Archery Basics - NFAA Indoor Single

NFAA 40cm Single

The NFAA 40cm Single Target is 40cm in diameter. The white inner ring is valued at five points and includes a 4cm X Ring used to break tie scores. The blue outer rings are scored as 4 Points, 3 Points, 2 Points, and 1 Point. All five arrows will be shot into this target face, which is commonly used on Barebow and Traditional Divisions. Compound archers may also choose to use this face if they prefer.

NFAA 40cm 5-Spot

Target Archery Basics - NFAA Indoor 5-Spot

The NFAA 40cm 5-Spot target is a variation on the Single with the outer 3-point, 2-point, and 1-point scoring rings removed. The 5-point White ring remains 8cm in diameter and includes a 4cm X Ring used to break tie scores. The two outer blue rings are 4cm wide and scored as 4 points.

Spots may be shot in any order with multiple arrows – as long as the archer does not shoot more than five total arrows.

Local Leagues

More common than Target Archery Tournaments, many clubs with an Indoor Archery Range will host Indoor Leagues. These are mini-tournaments shot on a recurring basis. League shooters often meet every week for a series of months. Target Archery Leagues are more relaxed than tournaments and are a great way to get to know fellow archers in your area.

Indoor Target Archery Leagues are often held during the Winter months when the weather isn’t conducive to Outdoor Archery.

Target Archery Basics - Indoor Archery Leagues

Outdoor Target Archery

Like Indoor Target Archery, Outdoor Target Archery follows the seasons. Tournaments and Leagues will begin in the Spring and get into Full Swing by Summer. Local Tournaments tend to be scheduled around State and National Tournaments to warm up for major events.

50 Meter Match Round

The 50 Meter Match Round is the most common of the Club Level Outdoor Target Archery Tournaments. It requires minimal setup with all archers, regardless of equipment, shooting at a fixed distance of 50 Meters on a World Archery 122cm Target Face. The tournament consists of 90 Arrows for a maximum score of 900 Points. Local Tournaments and Leagues may choose to deviate from this format to reduce the time required for shooting.

For a complete list of Rules and Procedures, please see the World Archery Rulebook – Section 32.1.1

900 Round

The 900 Round utilizes the World Archery 122cm Target Face at three distances – 60 Meters, 50 Meters, and 40 Meters. Each distance is shot in 5 Ends of 6 Arrows (30 Arrows per Distance). The total number of arrows shot in this round is 90 for a maximum score of 900 points. Each end has a three-minute time limit, which is ample time – take your time and do not rush.

Target Archery Basics - WA Scoring

Local Leagues

Outdoor Target Archery Leagues aren’t nearly as popular as Indoor Leagues. This is likely due to the open field space required for such shooting. Archery Clubs with a JOAD Program (Junior Olympic Archery Development) may host a weekly 50 Meter Match Round over the Summer. If you are interested in this type of league, we recommend contacting your local Archery Clubs to inquire. If they do not currently host a league but have enough interest, they may be willing to start one.

Target Archery Basics: Get Out and Shoot

At this point, you should have a firm grasp on Target Archery Basics and be ready to get out and shoot your first Local Target Archery Event. We want to encourage you to get out there and try Target Archery. Don’t forget to drop us a line at ArcheryCompass@Gmail.Com and let us know how it went!

More on Target Archery

Does Target Archery sound like something you’d like to learn more about? At Archery Compass, we aim to be a resource for the Archery Community. Below is a breakdown of our recent Target Archery Blog Posts. Be sure to check them out and share them with your friends!