Updated: Nov 20
Archery Through the Ages
Archery has been around for a long time. But how long exactly, no one really seems to know. Some suggest that it has origins dating all the way back to the early Stone Age, almost 70,000 years ago, but most seem to settle on the theory that it was first prominent around 10,000 – 15,000 years ago.
Where it originated also seems up for debate. However, many gravitate towards the Ancient Egyptians, who used it for warfare and hunting.
When we look back at Brittan's history and the use of the longbow, the first real note of archery was in the Middle Ages, with a nod to the battles of Crécy and Agincourt as being particularly prominent in the usage of the longbow.
The Transition From Warfare to Sport
As it was becoming less prominent on the battlefield, due to the invention of gun powder, archery became more of a sport and transformed into what most people recognise it as today. One of the first known archery competitions was held in Finsbury,1583 and had over 3000 participants. Then, in 1900 archery was first bought into the Olympics. However this wasn’t permanent and it took until 1972 for archery to become an ever present at the games.
Archery’s Different Disciplines
As archery has evolved as a sport, it has taken on various forms. The main three archery disciplines are: target archery, indoor archery, and field archery.
Target archery is the most common form of archery, and it is the formant used in the Olympics.
Archers shoot from different distances: 50 meters for compound bows and 70 meters for recurve bows. They aim at one main target with five colours and 10 scoring zones. The innermost circle, which is gold, scores the highest at 10 points, with each outer zone subtracting a point as you move away from the centre.
Indoor archery is an adaptation of target archery. Archers shoot at much smaller targets, but it’s also over a much shorter distance (18 meters). Archers tend to use recurve or compound bows. However, they also barebow. Barebows are much harder to use and do not allow for the use of sights and stabilisers.
Here’s a useful video from the World Archery Team explaining how to shoot a barebow:
Field archery seems to take archery back to its roots, more so than the other two formats above. Field archery involves shooting at targets of varying heights, sizes, and distances.
Again, here’s an informative video from the World Archery Team explaining all you need to know about field archery:
Archery at The Adventure Service
When we take Adventurers to our Archery site in Edwinstowe (the heart of Robin Hood country) we teach the guys the art of target archery.
Target archery is a great way for the Adventurers to be introduced to the sport, whilst it also provides a sufficient challenge for those who already have experience. Archery is certainly a favourite amongst the Adventurers, and the short break is always well-attended.
Archery is an ever present activity at our service centres. During our archery sessions, we focus on safety and proper bow and arrow use, explain the scoring system, and go over the sport's rules. It's always fun to see our Adventurers engage in friendly competition too, trying to hit as many gold targets as possible.
One of our Adventurers so close to the bullseye!
Our Famous Local Archer
Though there is controversy around his existence, we couldn’t write a blog post about archery, without including one of the most famous archers of all time.
Robin Hood and his merry men have played a crucial role in the exposure of archery, as well as increasing tourism for the local area and Sherwood Forest. It’s fantastic to have such history so close to our centres (though that history maybe patchy…).
The Adventurers certainly channel their inner Robin Hood when they venture out to our Archery site and its always a good story to tell when we are explaining the sport and it's history.
Not One to Try at Home
It’s really important when practicing archery that it’s done in a safe and controlled environment that is purpose built for the activity.
Archery isn’t really a sport that you can try at home or in the countryside. It might land you in some trouble!
Are You the Next Robin Hood?
However, due to our qualified instructors and dedicated archery site, we are in the right place to guide you into becoming the next Robin Hood. We’re always happy to chat about our service and we’re always looking for budding adventurers to join our team.
If you’re interested in coming along to the service, or know somebody else who is, fill out this form and one of our guys will be in touch.