Guide to How Points Are Earned on the Archery Target

Yahoo Contributor Network
Guide to How Points Are Earned on the Archery Target

View photo

Athens Olympic Games archery.

Archery is a sport of serenity, precision, and nerves of steel. Archers must remain calm under pressure while shooting for first place in a competition.

For athletes and spectators alike, archery is a sport of manners, poise, and quiet courtesy. In many ways, the intrigues of archery remind me of watching golf. Although the scoring in golf is fairly obvious to a layman, the scoring in archery is more difficult to pick up as a casual observer. Learning the basics of target scoring can earn you even more enjoyment as a spectator.

Additional references, as well as more detailed information on Olympic archery rules and scoring can be found here and here.

Height and Distance

The target is placed exactly 70 meters down range of the athletes. The target is usually affixed to a cube of dense foam. The target is placed so that the center of the bullseye is 1.3 meters above the ground.


The full target is 122 centimeters in diameter. The bullseye is 12.2 centimeters. Each of the concentric scoring rings that comprise the whole of the target is 12.2 centimeters wide, matching the diameter of the bullseye.

Colored Zones and Scoring Rings

There are five colored zones on the archery target. Moving outward from the center, they are gold, red, blue, black, and white. Each colored zone has two scoring rings. The rings range in point value from 10 to 1. The bullseye is worth 10 points. Each concentric ring is worth one fewer point as you move outward from the bullseye; the outermost ring is worth one point. If the target is missed completely, no points are scored.

Additional Procedures

Arrows that pierce the line between two scoring rings are awarded the higher score. Arrows that rebound off the target, or pass through it, score points for whichever ring they strike. If an arrow sticks into an arrow already in the target, it receives the same score as the first arrow. Archers compete in turns; athletes have 40 seconds to load and release each arrow. If that time limit is exceeded, the highest scoring arrow of that group is eliminated. An arrow misfired, or accidentally released during the draw of the bow is lost and receives no score. If the archer can reach the misfired arrow with an outstretched hand, it can be retrieved and fired again.

Coughing or making disruptive noises while an athlete shoots is forbidden and can earn a penalty if it is intentional or repeated.

Joe Capristo has practiced archery as a hobby for over 20 years. He can shoot both left and right handed.

View Comments