Competing

Some rules and advice for shooting at competitions.

Advice

Preparation

  • Get sightmarks for each distance.
  • Make sure you have practised the required round, and that you have enough endurance to get through the whole thing.
  • Don’t make any major changes to your equipment or technique too close to the competition.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.

Equipment

  • Bring spare arrows in case you lose or damage some: at least 1 for indoors and 2 for outdoors.
  • Bring spare nocks, fletches and fletching glue to fix arrows while away from the range.
  • Bring a spare string which you have “shot in” in case it breaks.
  • Make sure you have whatever allen keys and screwdrivers you need to tighten things on your bow.

Clothing

  • Extra layers and waterproofs should be brought along, but you must have tried them in practice beforehand to check for any clearance issues.
  • Some competitions have a dress code which must be adhered to: no blue jeans and no camouflage-patterned or olive drab coloured clothes. Get into the habit of not wearing these to competitions.
  • Shoes should be sturdy and waterproof.

Food

  • You should always have a bottle of water with you.
  • Eat whatever you normally eat while shooting. Don’t change your diet just for a competition.
  • It’s best to eat little and often to keep your energy consistent between ends.

Psychology

  • No matter who you are, your score will almost always be lower at competitions than when you are practicing.
  • Even as much as a 30 point drop on a Portsmouth can be expected, and you shouldn’t be too upset about it.
  • Always remember to have fun, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
  • If you go to the shooting line psyched up and desperately analysing every shot, you are not putting yourself in the relaxed state you need to be in to shoot well.
  • “What you are thinking” is another part of your shot routine, and needs to be kept consistent.

Rules

Different competitions may have some different rules, but the following usually hold:

Misc

  • You must sign in and present your GNAS card at the start of the competition
  • No blue jeans and no camouflage-patterned or olive drab coloured clothes may be worn.
  • You may be required to present your equipment for inspection at the start of the competition.

Shooting

  • If you have an equipment failure or bouncer, step off the line and call a judge. You will be given time to correct the issue and shoot any remaining arrows.
  • There may be a time limit in which to shoot your arrows (2 minutes for 3 arrows, 4 minutes for 6 arrows)
  • If you accidentally shoot an extra arrow or shoot an arrow after the time is up, your highest scoring arrow for that end is discounted
  • You must only shoot on your designated target number.
  • If an arrow falls off your bow and lands less than 3 metres from the shooting line, you may pick it up and shoot it again.
  • Each end, the order in which the two details shoot is rotated.

Scoring

  • You must check the scores that other archers claim on your target, and call a judge to settle disputes.
  • You must not touch the arrows or target until scoring is over, else everyone’s score for that end may become void.
  • You cannot write down your own scores.
  • You must get a judge to change what is written for each arrow, but not what is written for the totals.
  • You may have to mark arrowholes so that the hole bouncers come from may be identified.

Equipment

  • Arrows must be numbered and initialled on the shaft.
  • Arrows must all have the same nock and fletch colours.
  • You may not change arrows during the competition.
  • Barebows may not have any markings on the limbs, riser or string to help sighting.
  • If you change any equipment during a round after equipment inspection, you must tell a judge.

Etiquette

Shooting

  • Don’t talk or deliberately distract other archers on the line.
  • Try not to walk on and off the line while the people next to you are at full draw.
  • Step on and off the line quickly and quietly
  • It is good etiquette to stay on the line if there is only one other archer on the line other than yourself and wait for them to finish.

Scoring

  • Don’t go looking for arrows behind the target until you have scored.
  • If you are writing scores, say each number out loud as you write it.
  • If you are dictating scores, say them from highest to lowest in groups of three and point to each one as you score it.
  • Offer to pull other peoples’ arrows from the target.
  • Don’t tell other archers their totals unless they ask.

Shooting in the Rain

  • Ping your limbs before shooting each end to remove water that would otherwise slow the limbs down.
  • All kit must be dried and aired thoroughly at the end of the day. Water left on the bow and arrows can cause them to rust. Make sure there is no water trapped in your arrow tube.
  • Clothing should be light, comfortable and waterproof. Many light layers work better than one heavy layer. Attention should be paid to good waterproof footwear.
  • Keep scoresheets dry. An umbrella can help while collecting.
  • Bows should be protected from the rain as much as possible, either kept in your tent or covered when not in use.
  • Tabs and release aids must be kept dry in your pocket or quiver, not hanging from your bow. Moisture warps and damages leather.
  • Only ever put on extra clothing that you have tried in practice sessions with someone to watch that it does not interfere with the string.
  • To enable your body to work efficiently it must be warm. Cooling down between distances can be averted by doing regular warm up exercises.
  • If your hand is prone to slipping on your grip when wet, either use grip-tape or carefully dry your hand and grip before each end.