If you’re a beginning archer you may have asked yourself: “So how do I know I’m getting better? How can I prove to my friends and family that I’m almost at Robin Hood level? How can I show my true archers-worth to the world?” Well, the answer is in your classification. Archery Australia has developed a classification system so that even beginning archers can achieve a classification and a medal after just one year. An archer’s improvement can then be measured in the continued climbing of the classification ladder.

We start with the colours of the target – White – Black – Blue – Red – Gold.
Next, we continue through to Master Bowman and Grand Master Bowman.
For those who aren’t afraid of the dizzying heights of archery fame and glory there are three Elite levels:
Elite Bronze, Elite Silver, and Elite Gold

The system before 2013 had small medals to show your prowess to the world (usually on your quiver), and we expect that this new system will have the same. Watch out for them!

There are a few general guidelines you will need to know first, then keep scrolling down for the nitty-gritty:

To claim a White, Black, Blue, Red or Gold award:

  • Shoot a round with a minimum of 72 arrows
  • Shoot three scores within a calendar year within one classification category
    • For example: if you shoot scores that put you in two Black and one Blue classification, then you can claim the lower, Black, classification for the year.
  • Any distance can be shot to claim these awards
  • You can achieve the award only once in your archery career

To claim a Master, Grand Master, or any Elite award:

  • Master and Grand Master can be claimed annually, but one round must be shot in a tournament or QRE
  • The Elite awards can be claimed annually, but all three rounds must be shot in a tournament or QRE
  • Shoot a round with a minimum of 72 arrows, but the round must include at least 30 arrows shot at the following distance or greater:
    • 60 m (122 cm face) for Recurve men, women, master, veteran, 20 & under, & cadet archers
    • 40 m (122 cm face) for Recurve or Compound intermediate & cub archers, or Longbow cadet archers
    • 60 m (122 cm face) or 50 m (80 cm face) for Compound men, women, master, veteran, 20 & under, & cadet archers
    • 50 m (122 cm face) for Longbow men, women, master, veteran, & 20 & under archers
    • 30 m (122 cm face) for Longbow intermediate & cub archers
  • There must be at least three other Archery Australia members competing

So, with that in mind, follow these steps to work out your classification and get those medals!!!

 FIRST: Shoot a registered round

  • All organisers of tournaments, QREs, and club shoots will have registered the rounds that they will be shooting on a certain day with Archery Australia. For your score to be eligible for classification you must shoot one of those rounds on that day. If you are unsure, check with the organisers first. The registered rounds for an event are usually listed on the tournament invitation (and are also listed on the Archery Australia calendar)
    • Check our Calendar for events in SE Queensland that are registered – search for the tag “Official”. The calendar entry should list the registered rounds available. Club shoots across SE Queensland are not listed though – check the calendars of individual clubs (available on the links page).
  • End of month shoots (EOMS) at Centenary Archers shoot registered rounds – search for the tag “EOMS” on the calendar, then click on the calendar entry to find out which rounds are registered for each shoot.

SECOND: Work out your rating

  • Each score you get in a particular round can be converted into a ‘rating’ using the rating tables.
  • These tables are big, so I’ve broken them down into a spreadsheet on google docs here.
  • Here’s how to use it:
    • Find the spreadsheet tab at the bottom of the page that lists the number of arrows you shot: 144/120 or 90 or 72 (or the type of shoot if not outdoor target).
    • At the top of the page find the name of the round that you shot (e.g. 50/720, or Darwin)
    • Scroll down the page to find the score you shot in the column that represents your round (round it up or down if you are in between scores on the table)
    • Look across to the blue number in the ‘Rating’ column – That’s your rating!

THIRD: Use your rating to find your classification

  • In the same document find the Classification tab at the bottom of the page (towards the right), or use the table at the bottom of this page (click here to go there)
  • Find your bow type on the left (Recurve, compound, etc) then narrow down to the row that has your age division (cub, master, etc)
    • Don’t know your age division? There is another tab at the bottom of the google-docs spreadsheet called ‘Age Divisions’ which explains the groupings (or find the table here on the Rounds & Divisions page)
  • In that row find your blue rating number that you worked out using the method above.
  • Now follow that column up to find your classification. Voila!
  • If you are familiar with the old system (before 2013) you can compare your old classification with your new by using the grey numbers on the right of the table.
    • The Grand Master Bowman ratings are the same in both schemes.
    • The new ‘Gold’ class is equivalent to the old Master Bowman
    • The others aren’t exactly equivalent due to some ratings changes within a column, but the new ‘Red’ is approximately equal to the old First Class and the new ‘White’ Class is approximately equal to the old Third Class.

Are there easier ways to work all this out?

Actually, yes!

In March this year Archery Australia’s Jim Park (our 2012 Olympic coach amongst many other things) wrote a program that you can run on your PC to figure out your rating. You can download it from the Archery Australia website:

Ratings Calculator Download page

Alternatively you can use the online Rating Calculator written by David Luyer at Pioneer Archers in the south-eastern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia:

Online JavaScript Ratings Calculator

If you’re looking for a portable version then you could try one of the App stores. Personally I like “Archery Scorepad” written by James Dudley (for Android) – it  has all the Australian and FITA rounds, and it automatically figures out your rating as you put in your scores (although as of 2013-03-27 it still uses the old 1st, 2nd, 3rd class system – but he should update it soon). Email me if you have other suggestions (

The Classification Table


All this information came from FAQs on the Archery Australia’s website.

Author: Naomi Etheridge

Last updated: 2013-07-18