Judges are the technical officials for the sport of archery. They are responsible for implementing the latest version of the World Archery Rulebook and ensuring a fair field of competition at international events.

Judges fulfil many roles during competitions, the most important of which is the adjudication of arrow values: when a judge decides the value of an arrow if it is not easy to determine whether it has broken the scoring line or which arrow is closest to the centre of the target in a tiebreak.

World Archery only accredits international judges, who must serve as international judge candidates and pass an exam before being fully certified. Continental and national archery federations are responsible for accrediting continental and national judges.

The list of judges appointed to officiate at international events is published publically each year.

Judging roles

There are a variety of specific roles for judges appointed to officiate at an event.

The chair is in charge of the technical officials at an event, scheduling the timetables of each judge, ensuring that the competition runs according to the World Archery Rulebook and dealing with any issues or appeals. The chair is usually supported by a deputy chair.

The director of shooting is responsible for the timing of the event and is usually the person who operates the signalling devices that indicate when archers can and cannot shoot their arrows.

During the early stages of competition, judges usually fulfil similar roles, first inspecting athlete equipment, then being allocated a small number of targets to manage for observation, safety and score adjudication, when requested. During mixed team and team events, judges ensure that athletes comply with the team rotation rules.

During finals or televised matches, judges take one of two roles: line judge or target judge.

The line judge is responsible for the archer end of the competition field, confirming shooting order, compliance with timing and rotation rules, and ensuring range safety.

The target judge is responsible for the target end of the competition field, confirming scores, adjudicating on arrow values and determining the result of any tiebreak.

Competition appeals, which can be submitted by team officials, are evaluated and ruled on by members of the jury of appeal.

Judge guidebook and resources

The Judge Guidebook describes the role of a judge in detail.

World Archery’s judges committee also issues regular newsletters, which are sent to all international judges and international judge candidates, which include case studies and updates on changes to the World Archery Rulebook or new interpretations.

The Judge Competency System outlines the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes required of international judges and is used to support the training and evaluation of technical officials.