A beginner's guide to archery and classification

The sport is open to male and female athletes with a physical disability in standing and wheelchair classes, both team and individual events. Success in this sport requires intense concentration, accuracy and strength.   Targets Archers shoot at a 122cm-wide target from a distance of 70m.   Targets are marked with 10 evenly-spaced concentric rings divided into five colours, with score values from one to 10 assigned to them. Targets are coloured as follows:   Outer rings – white: one and two points Black rings: three and four points Blue rings: five and six points Red rings: seven and eight points Inner circles – gold: nine and 10 points "X" is marked in the exact dead centre of the target to aid judges in measuring any "closest to the centre" shoot-offs Bows
Since the Beijing 2008 Games, athletes shoot both recurve and compound bows.   Recurve is the more traditional bow that is also used in the Olympics. This bow is still made of scientifically cutting edge materials such as carbon, composites and aluminium, but the bow has the traditional design to it and, as you would expect, as you draw (pull) the bow back the force needed to hold the string in place increases until release.   Compound bows are much more technical and smaller than recurves and generally shoot the arrows around 40% faster. The main difference between the two bows is in the drawing back. As you draw a compound bow the force increases, as you would expect, until you get two-thirds of the way back, after which the weight suddenly drops off to approximately 40% of its heaviest point. This helps the archers aim and makes it physically easier to shoot.   Further features permitted when using a compound bow are a magnifying lense that enables more accurate aiming, a spirit level to make sure the bow is upright, and a release aid, which is a mechanical device that releases the arrow instead of the archer releasing with their fingers, as with other bows.   Classifications
Athletes are classified in three groups according to their functional ability: W1, W2 (both wheelchair classes) and standing. See 'Classification Guide' below for detailed information.   Competition Format The archery competition format includes a 72-arrow ranking round, head-to-head team and individual elimination rounds as well as finals.   The individual head-to-head matches use a sets system. Each set consists of three arrows from each archer. Archers are awarded two points for winning a set, one point for a draw. The winner of the set is the first archer to reach six points or, if it's tied after the fifth set at five-all, there is a one arrow shoot-off, closest to the centre wins.   The team head-to-head matches use the total score system with both teams shooting 24 arrows in four lots of six arrows. Highest score wins. If scores are tied again, a shoot-off is used with each team member shooting one arrow each, with t6he highest score winning. If the score for the shoot-off is tied, the team with an arrow closest to dead centre wins.   Famous Archers Paralympian Antonio REBELLO (ESP) was the archer who famously shot a flaming arrow into the cauldron to ignite the flame during the Opening Ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic and Paralympic Games.   A Simple Classification Guide   Recurve bow W1 and W2 There are insufficient recurve W1 archers to have a totally separate event so they are combined with W2. W stands for the wheelchair classes.   W1 W1 athletes are the most severely disabled, having problems with their arms, trunk and legs. They may have broken their neck or have cerebral palsy or amputated limbs.   W2 W2 athletes have problems with their legs and possibly with their trunk. If they are able to walk it is only for a short distance. They may have a spinal injury, both legs amputated or another condition that affects mobility.   Recurve bow standing In this class the archers will have varying degrees of problems with their legs. Those with more severe conditions and those who have difficulty with balance are allowed to sit on either a stool or chair. If they have a chair they are not allowed to lean against the back while shooting. They would normally have good trunk control.   Compound bow open In the compound women's category all disabilities shoot against each other. They will all have been allocated a class W1, W2, ST but they will shoot in one category. In the men's compound the W2 and standing class shoot together as one category but the W1s have their own competition.   Compound bow W1 There are not enough women competing in compound W1 for them to have a separate category. These are the most severely disabled and who shoot a compound bow but with certain restrictions: the weight of the bow is limited to 20kg for the men and 16kg for the women, and it must have a sight as allowed by World Archery for a recurve bow (i.e. no rear peep sight or magnifying scope/sight).   An A to Z of Archery at the London 2012 Paralympic Games   Armguard – guard that protects the arm from the bowstring when an arrow is shot. Arrow – has a maximum diameter of 9.3mm. Most are as small as 5.5mm for faster flight and reduced wind drift. Each arrow must be marked with the competitor's name or initials, while archers use distinctive colours for the nocks and vanes to distinguish their arrows. Assistant DoS – appointed to assist the director of shooting.   Back number on wheelchair    Back number – allocated to identify competitors at the Paralympic Games. Athletes receive a back number according to their target number in the ranking round then change for one that denotes their ranking for the rest of the competition. Back – the part of the bow handle that faces the target. Belly – the part of the bow handle that faces the archer. Blind – a dugout, or protected area, where scoring judges, the archers' agents and a spotter sit. A separate blind can also be used by cameramen. Bow – the bow's draw weight (the force it takes to draw the bow back) can be about 22kg for men and more than 17kg for women. The bow consists of a riser and two limbs. Bow hand – the hand that holds the bow; the left hand for a right-handed archer, and vice versa. Bowsight – see: sight. Bowstring – most strings are made of polyethylene fibres, which are stronger than steel. Box – an area a metre behind the shooting line where athletes wait to shoot in the elimination stages.   Chairman of judges' commission – the chairman of judges (CJ) is appointed by the World Archery judge committee. The chairman of judges is responsible for the duty roster of the judges' commission, and liaises with the director of shooting. All appeals to the jury are channelled through the chairman of judges to the technical delegate. Chestguard – plastic or leather, to keep clothing out of the way and to protect the body from a bowstring at release. Classification – ST – standing, W1 and W2 – wheelchair athletes, with W2 athletes' impairments having less impact on their ability to compete. Please see 'Classification Guide' above for more details. Coach – each athlete or team is allowed one coach, who stands in the box behind the shooting line during the match and is allowed a spotting scope.   Director of shooting (DoS) – regulates the timing of the ranking rounds and eliminations, and oversees the match timing in liaison with the chairman of judges and line judges. Draw – 1. To pull back the bowstring and arrow in preparation to shoot. 2. A random draw of competitors to establish target allocation for the ranking round. Competitors from the same team (NPC) will be allocated to adjacent targets. The draw will be conducted two days prior to the start of the ranking round and will be open to team captains and media. A computer/random draw is permissible.   End/set – a group of arrows, usually three or six, shot in one sequence, depending on the stage of the competition. After scoring, the arrows are retrieved from the target. In head-to-head individual matches, arrows are shot alternatively in sets. In team competitions, arrows are shot in groups of three, alternately, in a six-arrow end.   Finger tab – a flat piece of leather worn as a guard to protect the finger when the arrow releases. Fletching – real or artificial feathers at the back of an arrow designed to make it fly straight. Group – the pattern of arrows on a target.   Handle – the handle of the bow. The metal middle section (into which the limbs clip) is referred to as the riser. Head-to-head – match between two individuals or teams using a direct elimination process.   Judges (technical officials) – the members of the international judges' commission for the Paralympic Games are appointed by the World Archery Judges Committee. National judges are appointed by the national governing body Archery GB. The judges will be under the control of the chairman of judges, who will delegate duties and responsibilities for the tournament to include the line judge (LJ) and target judge (TJ) ·        Line judge – regulates the individual matches. ·        Target judge – officiates at the target for scoring and arrow value judgements. The national judges score arrows and run the training fields, while the international judges have overall control of the competition fields. Jury of appeal – consists of three members appointed by World Archery. Officials of the Organising Committee are not permitted to act as jury members. Alternates may be appointed by World Archery. They are led by a chairman.   Limb – the two parts of the bow that bend as the string is brought back. Powers the bow.   Match – a competition between: •      Individual – two athletes. •      Team – three archers per team. Each match is contested as follows: •      Individual – best of five sets. Each set consists of three arrows. The highest scorer in each set is awarded two set points (a draw is one point each) and the first athlete to six points is the winner. Time allowed for each arrow is 20 seconds. •      Team – 24 arrows per team, shot in four ends of six arrows. Each of the three team members shoots two arrows per end in a limited time.   Nock – the attachment on the rear end of an arrow that holds it in place on the bowstring.   Paralympic rounds – competition format used at the Paralympic Games consisting of an individual and team ranking round, followed by elimination rounds and then the final and medal rounds.   Qualification round – see: ranking round. Quiver – a container for holding arrows, usually worn around the waist.   Rank – placing in an event. Athletes are ranked according to World Archery rules. Ranking round – each athlete shoots 72 arrows shot in 12 ends of six arrows with a four-minute time limit for each end. The purpose of this round is to seed the archers for the match play rounds. The top scorer meets the lowest scorer and so on.   Recurve – 1. Type of bow used at the Paralympic Games. 2. To curve or bend back or backward. The shape of the limbs in a recurve bow. Robin Hood – the act of splitting the shaft of an arrow already in the target with another arrow.   Shaft – the tubular-shaped body of an arrow. Shooting line – the athlete stands on this line when shooting. Sight – a mechanical device placed on the bow to help the athlete aim; also called a bowsight. Spotter – a person who identifies each archer's score with a telescope and enters the score. Stabiliser – a weight mounted on the bow to stabilise it during and after a shot. Includes rods, weights and dampers, which are attached to the bow at differing points.   Target – the target is 122 centimetres in diameter. It appears about the size of a drawing pin to the athlete, who is standing 70 metres away. The centre of the target stands 1.3m above the ground. The centre ring is 12.2cm in diameter. Tip – the point of an arrow.   Waiting line – a line at least five metres behind the shooting line on the training/ranking round field that athletes may not cross until it is their turn to shoot.   X – a mark in the dead centre of the target to aid judges in measuring closest to the centre for one-arrow shoot-offs.   Source: PNS Edited by World Archery Communication