A Guide to Scoring in Archery

Scoring in archery can at first appear quite confusing, but it is really quite straight forward when the basics are understood.

Scoring in archery varies slightly subject to certain criteria. First is the round being shot an Imperial round ( York, Hereford, Western, National etc) or is it a Metric round ( WA1440, Metric l, Long Metric lll, Short Metric lV etc)

Second is the round being shot indoors or outdoors

Finally the type of bow you are using

Lets first look at a standard target face

It will be observed that the above face is divided up by a number of rings, as well as divided up by colour. If the archer is taking part in an Imperial round shoot (where targets are located within the range and measured from the shooting line in yards) then the scoring is referred to as “Five Zone Scoring” – what that simply means is that scoring is determined by the colour ring that the arrow embeds itself within. Any arrow hitting and remaining in any of the gold rings scores 9 points, any within the red rings scores 7 points, any within the blue rings scores 5 points, any within the black rings score 3 points, and any within the white rings, scores 1 point. Any arrows within the plain white corners of the target face, embedding in the boss, boss frame or in the grass scores 0 points and are written on the score sheet as an “M” for miss.

However if the archer is shooting a FITA or Metric round, where the distances of the targets are measured from the shooting line in metres) then the scoring is different, and is referred to as “Ten Zone Scoring”. This in essence means that every single ring on the target face has a score value. To help new archers especially on the full 122cm face targets point numbers are also printed within each ring to make scoring easier.

At this point though, the other previous criteria now comes into play, First we will deal with all bow disciplines with the exception of the Compound bow. If all of these bows shoot indoors then the scoring will be the inner 10 ring (the smallest of the gold rings with the centre cross in the middle) scores 10 points, the inner gold ring (the middle gold ring) also scores 10 points, and the outer gold ring scores 9 points. All of the other colours will be scored in numerially decreasing points, therefore the red rings will score 8 and 7 points, the blue rings will score 6 and 5 points, the black rings will score 4 and 3 points, and finally the white rings will score 2 and 1 point respectively. As before with the Imperial rounds any arrows within the plain white corners of the target face, embedding in the boss, boss frame or in the grass scores 0 points and are written on the score sheet as an “M” for miss.

Whilst this clearly deals with all bow disciplines except the Compound bow, we must now deal with scoring when using the compound bow. It is very similar in process, with the exception of arrows in the gold rings. The inner 10 ring (the smallest of the gold rings with the centre cross in the middle) for the compound scores 10 points, however the inner gold ring (the middle gold ring) now scores 9 points, and the outer gold ring again scores 9 points. All of the other colours will be scored in numerially decreasing points as detailed above.

Having now dealt with shooting FITA / Metric rounds indoors let us now consider FITA / Metric rounds outdoors The difference to start with is that there is no difference between any of the bow disciplines at all, and all will be scored exactly the same.

Any arrows within the inner 10 gold ring (the smallest of the gold rings with the centre cross in the middle) whilst it scores 10 points when adding scores up at the end of the shoot is actually written on the score sheet as an “X”, this is to assist when determining tie breakers. The inner gold ring (the middle gold ring) also scores 10 points, and the outer gold ring scores 9 points. All of the other colours will be scored in numerially decreasing points, therefore the red rings will score 8 and 7 points, the blue rings will score 6 and 5 points, the black rings will score 4 and 3 points, and finally the white rings will score 2 and 1 point respectively. As before with the Imperial rounds any arrows within the plain white corners of the target face, embedding in the boss, boss frame or in the grass scores 0 points and are written on the score sheet as an “M” for miss.

Whilst that in principal deal with the general scoring process, there are a few other points worth covering, and that in particular deals with how arrows strike the target face and remain (or not) in the target. First if an arrow touches any of the black rings that divide the coloured rings, then the higher score is taken and the arrow strike is referred to as a “line cutter” (therefore a line cutter between the blue and red rings scores the red ring 7 points). A “hanger” arrow is one that stikes the target but is trapped between the traget face and the boss. This must be declared to the Judge / Field Captain before it falls away to the floor to be scored, and will carry the score points of the ring or colour it is within. If an arrow passed through the target face and almost throught the boss, as well so that it dissappears from the front of the target, the the Judge / Field Captain is required to attend the boss, remove the arrow from the rear of the boss, and pass it pyle / point first back through the target from the back, where the pyle cuts through the target face that will be the number of points scored.

If the arrow passes right through the target face and right through the boss, and onto the ground beyond, then no score will be obtained at all, and the scoresheet will be wrtitten up as an “M” for miss.

The arrow that strikes the target face but bounces off is logically called a “bouncer” its score used to be determined by the eye of the archers present, however now the Judge / Field Captain is now required to confirm the score, and during a tournament all arrow holes (before removal of arrows) on the target face are marked using a pen (this also includes sighters). The Judge /Field Captain is then able to confirm any mark / hole that the arrow made, but which does not have a pen mark next to it.