Shooting With a Whistle System

Shooting With a Whistle System in Practice and Competition

Archers often shoot according to a whistle system because it is consistent and works well even in loud conditions. This whistle system is official for tournaments sanctioned by the World Archery Federation (WA), but it is also very common during practice at many different kinds of archery ranges.
—  Two whistles signal that the archer can come to the shooting line.

—  One whistle means that the archer may nock their arrow and begin shooting.

—  Three whistles signal archers to stop shooting and retrieve arrows.

or more —  Multiple long whistles mean that all archers should stop shooting immediately for safety reasons.

At some tournaments this whistle system may be used with beeps or other auditory signals. There may also be a clock, a lighting system or a series of flags to let you know when to shoot. Because there may be differences for each type of competition, you should ask a judge to be sure what each signal means and how the timing will work. Generally, however, these are the colours you will see in competition:

  • Green means you may shoot.
  • Yellow means that the end will be over in the next thirty seconds.
  • Red means you may not shoot.


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