Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen


Sports: Archery

Sport & Pastime

Archery is a great competition sport and can be enjoyed as a casual pastime too, including hunting. However, like all sports (competitive or not) it is important to abide by correct etiquette in the interests of safety and good sportsmanship, as follows:


Even if there are more participants than just you, arrive in good time and always help set up and position equipment including target(s) as appropriate.

Basic Safety

Never shoot (loose) an arrow unless you have clear sight of where it could land i.e. not just the target but beyond the target too.

Do not loose an arrow directly up into the air – it may come back to “bite” you, or someone else!

Just like any propulsion type weapon, never point an arrow at someone, even if “just” pretending.

If there is any danger or you see a potentially dangerous situation do not hesitate to shout “Fast” (short for “Hold fast”) or “Stop”.

Do not load or draw your bow unless you are in the designated shooting area.


Do not touch anyone else's equipment without their prior permission.

If you touch someone else’s equipment, with or without their permission, and you break it then you must pay for it. This even includes breaking their arrows e.g. when “pulling” them etc.

If there is any damage or believed damage to your bow or arrow, never use it until it has been checked and confirmed safe (or repaired) by professional repairers. Faulty equipment accounts for all too many accidents, do not be the source of or a victim to one!

Wear your quiver on your back so it hangs at your bottom, rather than over your shoulder and hanging at your side. This is because when held at your side it is easy to “poke” someone with your arrows kept in the quiver.

"Hun bow". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/


Waiting Line/Spectators

Participants when not actively shooting (and all spectators) should be clearly behind the shooting line, and in many cases this area is designated by a second line, known as the waiting line. Do not cross this line, towards the shooting line, unless you are approaching to shoot.

At The Shooting Line (or in a hunting blind)

"Archery competition" by Photo by Casito - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Archery_competition.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Archery_competition.jpg

Ensure all electronic equipment (e.g. cell phones, digital watches etc.) is turned off or on silent, so as not to disturb anyone (including yourself).

Be quiet, so as not to disturb other shooters. This preferably means no talking and certainly no loud talking or letting out exclamations of either disappointment or happiness. This requirement is similar to any form of shooting, teeing off at golf etc.

Do not start or continue conversations with people who clearly prefer to focus and concentrate on their archery (or hunting).

Do not offer advice or suggestions to others, unless they ask you themselves.

In competitive archery, do not walk around, up and down the line e.g. comparing scores. Stay in one spot.

Do not stand beyond the shooting line (or hide). Not only is this a potential distraction for archers but also, you are in danger of being hit by an arrow. Never go beyond the shooting line (or hide) until told to, or everyone has finished.

When “nocking” (loading) your arrow, keep your bow upright (vertical) as any tilt may disturb the concentration of other archers either side of you. Certainly do not let your bow “wave” backwards and forwards, as this will certainly annoy others nearby.

Do not move or leave the line (or blind) if an archer directly to your left or right is commencing their draw or is at full draw, as your movement may disturb them. Wait until they loose their arrow and then retire.

At Competition Target(s)

"Archery target". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Archery_target.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Archery_target.jpg

Do not “pull” (retrieve/remove) your arrows (or anyone else’s for that matter) until everyone is happy and the scores have been recorded.

Do not pull anyone else’s arrows unless you have asked their permission previously. They may be sensitive about potential damage to them etc.

Never “pull” an arrow unless you are sure no one else is behind you.


Even if there are more participants than just you, always help to dismantle, clean and put away all equipment including target(s) as appropriate.

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