European Archery Championship

May 2016, Nottingham, England

In Association with the Nottingham Building Society

About Archery

About Archery

So what's so great about archery? It is one of the most fascinating, inclusive accessible sports that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Archery is a must for anyone that enjoys spending their time in a fun and sociable community, which encourages personal fulfilment and friendly competition.

A Sport for All

Archery is a test of accuracy, strength and concentration. Anyone can become an archer, it doesn't matter if you are young or old, short or tall, able bodied or disabled. Archery is a fun, safe and challenging way to enjoy sport, in an environment where all are welcome. It provides something for everyone whether you just enjoy shooting, take pleasure from volunteering or would like to take part in competition.

Types of Archery

Target Archery:

This is the type of archery you will see at the European Championships and is the same format seen at the Olympics and Paralympics. Competitors shoot from set distances at a target with coloured rings. Arrows are scored depending on which of the ten rings they land in, with the ultimate aim to score gold in the centre.

Field Archery:

A field archery course is set up over woodland and rough terrain. Archers shoot a specified number of arrows at different targets in sequence. Archers might have to shoot uphill or downhill and the targets could be different sizes set at different distances.

Clout Archery:

This form of archery uses a target called a clout, which is a small flag on a vertical stick, stuck in the ground and placed up to 165 metres away. An archer's score is determined by how close each arrow lands to the flag and the arrows that land closest gets the highest points.

Flight Archery:

This form of archery is simply shooting an arrow over the longest possible distance. It requires a very large flat area, about the size of an aerodrome. Recurve, compound and longbow classes can all shoot with different weight categories. Specialist bows and arrows are also used to maximise power and reduce drag.

The first step to getting involved in archery is to find and contact your nearest club or archery provider. You can do this by visiting and using our club finder tool. The Archery GB website also gives you access to lots of helpful resources and information.

Types of bow

There are three main types of bow: recurve, compound and longbow.

Recurve Bow

The recurve bow is usually used to introduce beginners to archery. It is designed so the limb tips curve away from the archer and stores more energy than a straight-limbed bow. As recurve archers become experienced, they add more pieces of equipment to their bows such as stabilisers to help with balance and absorb some of the vibration, sights to improve accuracy and pressure buttons to fine tune the arrows flight.

The recurve bow is used at the Olympics and Paralympics and can be seen in action at the European Archery Championships.

Compound Bow

A compound bow is a modern bow which provides maximum performance. Its handle is similar to the recurve bow, but has very short, powerful limbs that are attached to the pulley wheels and cables used to draw the limbs back.

The compound bow is used at the Paralympics. The compound bow is not an Olympic discipline but will also be seen in action at the European Championships.


The longbow is a traditional bow and holds huge historical significance. Longbows are hand crafted from a variety of different woods, including yew, lemonwood and hickory, or from just a single piece. Longbows are less accurate and are more difficult to shoot than modern bow designs - but people who shoot them say that this makes them much more fun.

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