Scoring and tournaments

Once you have started hitting the target more often than you miss, you will probably want to test your skills in a more competitive environment!

Whether it is a local club shoot, or a more formal competition that attracts you, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor tournaments that take place throughout the year to suit all abilities and ages.

Every archer remembers their first tournament, and as well as helping you improve and compete against others, they are an excellent way to socialise,
meet other archers and have fun.

This guide prepares you to compete in target archery. There are also tournaments for the other forms of archery including field, clout and flight.

Click here for the Archery GB Classifications & Handicaps information.


Competition is organised so that you shoot a set number of arrows at specified distances, at a specified size of target face, this is known as a ‘round’. For example:

A New Western round consists of shooting:

4 dozen arrows at 100 yards
and 4 dozen arrows at 80 yards
on a 122cm target face

A Junior Western round consists of shooting:

4 dozen arrows at 40 yards
and 4 dozen arrows at 30 yards
on a 122cm target face

There are a great number of different rounds, of varying distances and number of arrows. This can be a little confusing to begin with, but you will soon get used to
them. Your club coach or fellow members will help you choose a round suitable for you.

The types of rounds are split into Archery GB and World Archery Rounds.

Archery GB Rounds (imperial):

These traditional British rounds tend to use 5 Zone scoring and are governed by the Archery GB Rules of Shooting. Most people find these more relaxed and are often the first tournaments that archers enter. These rounds fall into ‘families’, which are a group of different rounds that take place on the same field, at the same time, and have the same number of arrows, however with different distances. This means that you can choose the round that best suits your ability, age and gender.

You can choose whichever round you prefer and it doesn’t matter if you shoot a round that is for a different age group, gender or if as an adult you want
to shoot a junior round (although you may not be eligible for any competition awards).

World Archery Rounds (metric):

These are rounds shot using the World Archery Rules of Shooting, and use 10 Zone scoring. These rounds are shot all over the world and some are used at the Olympics and World Championships.

These are a little more formal as there are stricter regulations, such as timings, but are straight forward to adapt to.

Indoor Tournaments:

All scoring indoors is 10-zone scoring, although Xs are not used. At these events, everyone shoots the same distance; 30 metres, 25 metres or 18 metres.

Indoors, the 10 and 9 zones depend on the bowstyle. For compound archers only the very inner 10 is scored as 10, the other two gold areas are scored 9. For non-compound archers, only the outer gold is scored 9, the central two areas are scored as 10.

Levels of Competition

Each tournament has a level or standard attached to it.

1. World Record Status (WRS): This is the highest level of competition and is the most strictly controlled. The only Rounds that can achieve WRS are World Archery Rounds. Shooting in these tournaments gives you the opportunity to claim World, European and National Records as well as World Archery Performance

These tournaments will have at least one National Judge present and will be controlled using traffic lights, whistles and occasionally count down clocks to let you know when to shoot.

2. UK Record Status (RS): The rounds shot can be either Archery GB or World Archery. At these events you have the opportunity to shoot National Records and some of these tournaments also have Rose Award status.

These tournaments will have at least one Regional Judge present.


3. Non-Record Status (NRS): These are the most relaxed type of tournaments and are the first place many archers start to compete. Archery GB o or World Archery rounds can be shot. Some rules such as dress regulations are not used at Non-record Status events.

These tournaments will have a Judge in charge of them (although there is no minimum level of Judge required), or will be run by an experienced archer.


In target archery there are two scoring methods, 5 Zone (‘Archery GB’) and 10 Zone (‘World Archery’). Both methods use the same target face but have different scoring zones. In both scoring methods an arrow that is touching a line separating zones (a ‘line cutter’), scores the value of the higher scoring zone.

Scores are recorded on a score sheet with the highest scoring arrow recorded first, for example, “9-7- 1”. An arrow that does not score is called a miss and is marked ‘M’ on the score sheet.

Outdoor arrows are shot in ‘ends’ of six or three arrows (depending on the round or distance being shot). Once all arrows have been scored and all archers accept the recorded values they can be removed from the target face. Once written down, the arrow values can only be changed by a judge, and then only before the arrows have been removed from the target.

Indoor arrows are generally shot in groups of three with every six arrows shot being called an end.

(On World Archery Rounds, instead of ‘hits’ and ‘golds’ columns you will have a 10s and Xs columns).

At the end of the shoot, the scorer should add up the score, the hits and golds column totals. Of course, the score total should total should be the same as the running total. Corrections to totals can be made at any time but the arrow values must not be changed. As well as helping the organisers to produce the results and awards, if a total has not been entered, you may be given 0 instead. Check your scoresheet and make sure that both you (the archer) and the scorer sign the scoresheet.

Sandhill Ln, Selby YO8 4JP