Red Rose Archers

Field Archery Club (Northampton)

A member of the English Field Archery Association
EFAA
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What is Field Archery

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What is Field Archery

Field Archery is an outdoor sport and many of the courses are in beautiful settings. The sport derives from the ancient pastime of "roving". Groups of archers would go out into the fields or woodlands and one of them would pick a target, such as a tree-stump, and the archer whose arrow came closest to the mark would choose the next target, and so on.

The modern sport of Field Archery is practised on areas of land known as "courses" or "ranges" on which is laid out a number of targets or "butts", usually in units of 14. As in golf, groups of competitors move from target to target, scoring as they go. The archer stands at a marker at one end of the shooting lane. He shoots at a "face", which is a paper target sheet (either the conventional concentric circles, or a picture of an animal overprinted with the circles, or in some types of competition with "kill" and "wound" areas), affixed to a layer of cardboard and then to the butt.

The distance from the archer to the target varies from a minimum of 20 feet to a maximum of 80 yards. The largest Field Archery face is 65cm in diameter, the smallest is 20cm in diameter.

The marked distance rounds became popular in Britain when American servicemen, who were stationed here, wanted to maintain their hunting skills. They started shooting at paper targets, the now familiar black and white "Hunter" and "Field" faces, they also used pictures of animals. This has now evolved into a highly competitive international sport, which tests the archers ability with his equipment against inanimate targets at known and unknown distances.

With this sport, you can be as competitive or as casual as you like, some rise to the challenge of striving for perfection, the archer not only competing against other archers but also against himself to better his score each time. Some just enjoy the day out shooting a bow and arrow.

Contrary to popular belief no great strength is needed in archery, just skill, and the right calm mental attitude. Field Archery is one of the few sports which may be enjoyed by anyone from the age of six to eighty-six.

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The Divisions (or Styles) of Shooting

In competition gentlemen shoot only against gentlemen, ladies only against ladies, and juniors (under 17) only against juniors. Juniors are often sub-divided into Cubs and Juniors, Cubs being archers under the age of 13. Archers are further sub-divided by the equipment they use. The basic international divisions are:-

FREESTYLE: in which sighting devices, fixed to the bow, are permitted, and in which the archer may use any of the available "shooting aids", stabilisers, clickers, bow-levels, etc.

BOWHUNTER: in which no sighting device is permitted, and only a very limited range of shooting aids.

UNLIMITED: which is a recent addition due to the introduction of various shooting aids which are unacceptable to the Freestyle and Bowhunter divisions. These include optical and telescopic sights, and "release aids" which allow the archer to release the string of the bow by means of a trigger mechanism or similar device.

TRADITIONAL: this includes the well known Longbow and all its variants, with special divisions for the Flatbow, both styles have to be used with the traditional wooden arrows.

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Equipment

Equipment does not have to be expensive, the cheapest fibreglass bows can cost as little as £35. A composite bow (wood and fibreglass laminate) starter kits including arrows and quiver start from about £150. Compound bows can start from about £200 but you could buy a bow for £1000 if you really wanted to. Second-hand equipment is available and your instructor or the retailer will guide you as to whether the equipment is suitable for you.

But PLEASE.... If you have not shot a bow before donít be tempted to buy one before you shoot it, it so often goes horribly wrong, have some experience first in our beginners courses.

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Find Out More

To find out if archery is for you pay us a visit, see archery in progress and talk to other archers. You will receive a warm welcome at our club meetings on the first Sunday of the month from 10-12am or at our Open Shoots on the third Sunday from 09:30. Alternatively, contact any member of the committee.

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