How do I score my arrows

How do I score my arrows at target archery tournaments?

During a tournament sanctioned by the WA (World Archery) Federation, each archer has two score cards and all archers score and pull their arrows together in pairs or groups. This helps make sure the scoring is fair for all competitors and reduces the chances of mistakes.
The duties of each archer are different depending on how many shooters are on each target. Typically, one will call the scores and the other two will write them down. In another situation where fewer archers are competing on the same target, they might share these duties. Sometimes you may be in a group that has to score arrows from two different target bales.

Some steps for how to score arrows during tournaments:

  • Wait until you hear three whistles before crossing the shooting line.
    • Walk to your target carefully to avoid stepping on any arrows that might be in the ground.
    • Look but do not touch the arrows until all scoring is done.
    • Decide who will call arrows and who will write down the scores.
    • After scoring, mark all arrows with a dash.
    • Glance over your shoulder to make sure nobody is standing behind you, then pull your arrows.
    • Always ask permission before pulling another archer’s arrows.

How to call arrow scores:

  • Call the scores for one set of arrows at a time.
    • Be consistent by calling each archer’s scores in order to prevent mistakes.
    • Begin with the highest numbered arrow down to the lowest numbered arrow.
    • If one arrow is not on the target, check for an unmarked hole to see if an arrow passed through the target.

How to use the scorecards:

  • Choose one clipboard with score cards printed on white paper or coloured paper. You will score with this set of cards for the rest of the tournament.
    • Be consistent by scoring each archer in the same order to prevent mistakes.
    • Write down the arrow values from highest to lowest, each in its own box.
    • Mark arrows in the X-ring as “X” and arrows off the paper target as “M” for missed.
    • Never erase an arrow’s score. Instead call a judge to correct mistakes in writing down arrow values. However, you are allowed to correct mistakes that you make during addition.
    • Do your own math as you go. Never copy the other scorer’s math, because it can lead to mistakes.
    • Before pulling arrows, verify your results with the other scorer.
    • Check your math at the end of the round, tally all 10’s and X’s, and be sure to sign your name legibly.

Who can use an archer’s agent to score for them?

Sometimes an archer may want help in pulling their arrows. In target archery, any competitor can designate an “archer’s agent” to pull and score their arrows for them. The agent can be a friend, family member, or tournament volunteer capable of staying at the tournament as long as the archer is competing. The agent may call, score, mark, and pull arrows, and may also request a judge for assistance. Otherwise he or she does not have the same authority as the archer and is simply there to help.

Usually an archer designates an agent because he or she does not feel physically able to walk back and forth to the target. This can be because of a disability, injury, or mild illness. However, an archer does not need to prove a physical difficulty to ask for an agent. He or she may choose one at their own discretion for any number of reasons.

Some disabled archers are capable of going to the target, but chose not to during a tournament for a variety of reasons. A disabled archer might run the risk of tiring faster than able-bodied archers, because crutching or pushing a wheelchair over rough terrain can be tricky. Also, it might be difficult for an archer to safely re-orient their wheelchair every end when there are many tripods on the shooting line.

Parents often wish to help young archers with scoring. This can increase accuracy in scoring and keep the tournament moving in a timely fashion. However, it is best for the parents to help only when needed so that archers may learn how to score their own arrows. Keep in mind that it is the judge’s prerogative as to whether or not a parent may help. If a problem arises, tournament officials may seek a compromise or an alternative arrangement.


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