The point of shooting a Round is to end up with a score. For Imperial Rounds the score for each arrow is Gold = 9, Red = 7, Blue = 5, Black = 3, White = 1. This gives us a maximum score for the Round being shot, for example the maximum for a York is 144 arrows x 9 = 1296. For Metric Rounds each colour is divided in half and the scoring from the centre outwards is 10, 9, 8 etc.
What is a Round?
A Round is a specified number of arrows at a specified set of distances. Outdoors the target is usually 120cm in diameter and divided into the traditional coloured rings: Gold, Red, Blue, Black & White. Indoor targets are somewhat smaller.
The GNAS recognised rounds are listed in sections 3 and 4 of the Rules Of Shooting, available from the Archery GB website.
What about tournaments?
Tournaments are organised shoots, which can be Closed - i.e. for the club only - or Open. At a tournament one or more of the recognised rounds will be shot, with variations in distance for gents, ladies and juniors. Archers will shoot the version of the round appropriate to their age and gender.
Some archers like tournaments, some don't. It does not matter either way, but you should try it at least once. Many archers, particularly novices, think that they are "not good enough" to go to a tournament, but provided you are safe and follow the basic rules of etiquette, it doesn't matter at all what you score; it's the taking part that counts. It is quite common to see members of the County (and even national) team shooting on the same target as a relative novice: what better way to learn? Every year there are tournaments run specifically for novices, organised by the county archery association and the regional association.
Handicaps and classifications
Every Score you achieve is rated with a Handicap and a Classification.
Scores are sent to the Club Records Officer, who will calculate your current handicap & classification, according to the rules laid down by GNAS. Your handicap is your guide to the standard of shooting you have achieved, averaged over the most recent rounds you have shot and submitted. To gain a handicap you need to shoot and submit three scores to the club records officer. The handicap awarded will be equal to the average rating of the three rounds. Your handicap will then improve as you shoot and submit better scores.
Handicap values go from 0 (the best and rarely achieved) to 100. You will gain separate handicaps for indoor and for outdoor shooting. In assessing the handicap equivalent of any score, the figure to be taken from the table is the one corresponding to the LOWER score which is listed. e.g. the handicap figure for a Hereford score of 1006 is 39 NOT 38.
Classificationis a statement of the current quality and accuracy of the archer taking into account the difficulty of the rounds shot e.g. distance and target face size. Classifications are also rated according to sex and age. Outdoor classifications are calculated using the best scores shot in each calendar year. The outdoor classifications are Grand Master Bowman, Master Bowman, Bowman, 1st Class, 2nd Class and 3rd Class. Indoor classifications apply from 1st July to 30th June and are A, B, C, D, E, F ,G or H (A being the best).
To gain either an outdoor or indoor classification the archer must shoot, under GNAS Rule of Shooting, three rounds of, or better than, the qualifying scores at a meeting organised by GNAS or a body affiliated to GNAS or at any associated club target day. In most cases this is one of the normal shooting sessions for Droitwich Archery Society.
The Society will award badges to members achieving each of the outdoor classifications. In addition many open tournaments held outdoors or indoors make awards for the best scores in each class, provided there are sufficient archers of that class competing. This gives even novice archers a chance for recognition.
Once gained, a classification will apply until it is improved by shooting three scores equal to or better than the qualifying score set for the next highest class. A classification will also be kept until the end of the following season when, if it has not been maintained, it will be revised downward to the best class achieved in that season.
Other awards and badges
DAS Distance Badge Award, the "252 Challenge"
The club runs its own distance award scheme for novices. This gets new members used to shooting rounds, ensures that they progress at a pace that is right and appropriate for them and builds their competence at each distance before moving on to something more challenging.
Archers shoot three dozen arrows, aiming to achieve a score of 252 (for recurve - other scores qualify for different bowstyles). Once successful they can move on to a new 252 goal at a bigger range. Distance awards are available for 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80 and 100 yards. Full details are available from the Records Officer.
FITA Beginners Award Scheme
There are two FITA awards available for beginners; Feathers for junior archers (under 12) and disabled archers; Arrows for juniors over 12 and adults. These awards test knowledge and technique as well as accuracy. The distance ranges from 6-26m making them a good precursor to the DAS Distance Badge Award and very suitable for those who wish to take smaller steps in the distances over which they shoot.
Archery GB Progress Award
These are designed to provide beginners and younger archers with awards for developing their archery skills. Qualification for the badge is by score only and the awards may be shot indoors or outdoors, with 36 arrows shot in ends of 6. Depending on your age, the distance and the score achieved archers are awarded either a white, black, blue, red or gold badge.
The Portsmouth is a popular indoor round consisting of 5 dozen arrows at 20 yards. The club enters teams into a national Postal League every indoor season, shooting the Portsmouth round once a month on a club night. Badges are available at 25 point intervals from 300 to the perfect 600!