Archery is defined as the art, skill, or practice of using a bow to shoot arrows, and has been used worldwide and in many various cultures in varying forms for thousands of years.
Some researchers say that people began practising archery as long as 15,000 years ago.
Throughout history, it was mainly used for hunting and defence, and later warfare, but today it has essentially evolved to become a popular sport.
Archery is used for various disciplines as a sport, consisting of :
# Target Archery (Indoor & Outdoor)
# Field Archery
# Clout Archery
These disciplines are controlled by Archery Victoria (AV) under the auspices of Archery Australia (AA), and ultimately World Archery (WA).
Archery is also used in Bowhunting. Under strict control and licencing, and subject to permitted seasons and game types, Bowhunting is regulated through the Australian Bowhunters Association (ABA).
# Target Archery:
Target Archery is the most commonly practised form of archery worldwide and is practised at most Australian Archery clubs.
Tournaments are conducted regularly and are held in both indoor and outdoor venues.
Shooting distances vary according to the specific competitions being conducted, and can be at a single fixed distance or at a range of distances from 18 metres (Indoor) up to 90 metres (Outdoor), with target sizes ranging from either 40, 60, 80, or 122 centimetres dependant upon varying competition rounds (distances).
# Field Archery:
Field Archery involves shooting a pre-set course of targets at varying distances, often in bush and/or rough terrain including inclines and declines, and may contain obstacles.
Rounds can be shot at either marked or unmarked distances ranging from 5 metres to 60 metres, and at target face sizes varying from 20 to 80 centimetres dependant upon the distance being shot.
A field course is made up of either 24 or 48 targets depending on the round being shot. The archer is usually required to shoot three arrows at each target.
# Clout Archery:
Clout Archery is another popular discipline in Australia, although is limited in its availability due to the size of the field required to conduct events in.
Clout archery is derived from the medieval warfare tactics used where archers would fire arrows in an arc onto an advancing army at extended distances.
In Clout a target measuring 15 metres in diameter is marked on the ground, with a triangular marker (clout) placed at its centre.
The archer’s task is to shoot their arrows in an arc as close to the centre of this ground target as possible from distances ranging from 100 metres up to 180 metres dependant upon the age, gender, and equipment used by the archer.
It should be noted that the Australian style of Clout Archery differs to that used elsewhere worldwide.