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Sample Rules for an Archery Competition

June 22nd, 2018.

There are many ways to run an archery competition.

For example the "300" method is for archers to shoot 30 arrows on targets with scoring 1 to 10 and get a score out of 300. Person with the highest score out of 300 wins. There is also variations of this that call for 600, 1000, etc - to say nothing of other methods of competing.

However watching archers shoot 10 ends of 3 arrows per end is rather boring - or 3 ends of 10 arrows per end, whatever combination they decide to go with, still pretty boring. It is a simple way of conducting a competition, but it is admittedly pretty boring for spectators.

Thus various archery competitions now use a system of "archery duels" in which two archers compete against one another in order to move up the rankings during the rounds and eventually make it to the final round.


For example, the upcoming 2018 Seton Archery Competition on June 23rd (tomorrow, unless it rains) will be using the following rules. Update - Because of rain on both Saturday and Sunday, the competition was rescheduled for Sunday, July 29th.

#1. The Ranking Round ↣

All the competitors (in their separate categories of Olympic recurve, compound and barebow) will do a ranking round where they are not competing against anyone per se, but are simply trying to get a good or decent score which will allow them to be ranked and sorted according to their scores. You cannot fail the Ranking Round. All it determines is who you will be facing first in the Elimination Rounds, as the highest scoring person will be facing the lowest scoring person. The second highest scoring person will face the second lowest scoring person, etc.

Strategy - The better you score during the ranking round, the more likely you are to face an opponent who is not as good as you in the first elimination round.

#2. The Elimination Rounds

Your goal during the elimination rounds is to stay in the competition and not get knocked out via Double Elimination. You can lose one round and still be fine, but lose two rounds and you are out.

During each round the competitors will take turns shooting 3 arrows per end, with a total of 3 ends. So 3 sets of 3 arrows, with scores out of 30 for each of the sets.

The competitor who wins at least 2 of the 3 ends wins the Elimination Round and moves on to the next Elimination Round.

If a competitor loses two Elimination Rounds, they are out. (Yes, in theory they could place 3rd, but this is highly unlikely to matter due to the ranking process, having already sorted archers based on their Ranking Round, as that process quickly knocks out the archers who tend to score lower, and they would need to be beaten by both the first place and second place winners during the Elimination Rounds, which is also unlikely due to the ranking system.)

The Elimination Rounds continue until there is only 4 competitors left at the top of the rankings.

#3. Rules on Scoring Points

Archers should not touch any of the arrows until after the scoring has been recorded. Tampering with the arrows will result in a judge being called to see if the scoring has been effected by possible tampering.

If a judge believes an arrow's position has been tampered with, they will score the arrow the lower amount of points in the records.

If an arrow is touching or breaking a line, it counts as the greater number of points. eg. The arrow is clearly on the 8, but it is touching the line for 9, then it counts as a 9. When in doubt about whether it is touching or not, call a judge to determine whether it is touching or breaking the line. (A common method of cheating is to tamper with an arrow to get 1 extra point so that it is touching a line.)

If an arrow is on the bullseye it doesn't receive any extra points, but it should be marked X in the records. Furthermore, if the end was a tie, the competitor with the most bullseyes wins that end.

Optional - Some competitions also have a rule that ties can be broken by whomever had the most arrows on the target. For example if one archer gets two 9s and a 0 (having missed 1 shot completely), and the other archer gets three 6s, they both have a score of 18. Under this rule, the archer with more of their arrows on the target wins the tie for that set. Since it is rare that someone manages to tie a round, but still missed the target that round, this rule is rarely used.

After 3 ends, if there is somehow still a tie (eg. 1 person won the first round, the other person won the second round, and they tied the third round) then the two archers will do a Shoot Off wherein they each shoot 1 arrow, and the winner is whomever is closest to the bullseye.

Optional - If after 2 rounds one archer has already won the first two ends, the other archer can - at their choosing - concede defeat for the round. There is no pressure to do so, or they can continue to the 3rd end and score it just to see what score they would have got. (With the pressure off, the gracious winner might even score poorly that 3rd round because they are not worried about getting a nice score any more having already won the round.)

#4. The Finals

During the final rounds of the competition there is typically 3 rounds left to shoot.

Losing the first round makes you a contender for 3rd place. Winning the first round makes you a contender for 1st or 2nd place.

The other two competitors do the same, and thus you end up with two winners who go on to compete for 1st and 2nd, and the two remaining archers compete for 3rd and 4th.

#5. The Awards Ceremony

Typically this follows soon after the competition is complete, wherein trophies, medals, and awards are given out. Often followed by drinking and food.

The trophies and medals shown below are for the 2018 Seton Archery Competition.


Personal Note ↢

Unless it rains tomorrow, I will have the honour of judging the competition tomorrow. So it will be my responsibility to make sure people are scoring properly, not tampering with arrows, adjudicating any disputes, etc.

If it does rain, the competition will be held Sunday - in which case I will be spending Sunday with family for my son's birthday and someone else will have the honour of judging the competition. Oh well.

Either way, I am bringing watermelon to at least 1 event this weekend.

Update - Because of rain on both Saturday and Sunday, the competition was rescheduled for Sunday, July 29th.

The watermelon was still tasty. Ate it at my son's birthday.

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