What to Do After the Beginners Course
by Graeme Jeffrey ( Club Coach )
Step 1. What Bow is Best for Me?
LongBow, Recurve or Compound – it’s your choice.
To make an informed choice, talk to the Club Coach, talk to Club Members, visit local archery shops to check out the type of equipment that they stock, visit the internet catalogues of archery gear, (www.quicks.com has a good catalogue).
Step 2. What Size & Strength of Bow?
Talk to the Club Coach to get your draw length measured and a length of recurve type bow recommended.
Find out what strength of bow would be suitable to start with.
Find out what choice of arrows are available – the Coach can advise a size of arrow to match your draw length and draw weight of bow.
Now you are ready to go shopping.
Please buy from Archery Equipment Retailers – not places like cash converters where the price is cheap for a reason.
Step 3. Bought a New Bow – What should I do first?
Have the Club Coach check over your bow and arrows before you even have your first shot. This ensures that the bow has no defects, the basic setup is correct and that it is ready to be shot. If it’s not right or has a defect, then it can be returned to the shop for a replacement or repair.
Step 4. Do I need to Tune my Bow?
Your new bow will respond to the way that you shoot it, so bow tuning will ensure the bow will shoot the arrow better.
There are several methods of Bow Tuning – I recommend using the Paper-Tuning method for a quicker result.
Step 5. What Club Competitions can I do?
Before trying to shoot a full round for a competition, you should spend the time practising at short distances ( 10 to 20 metres ) to get used to your bow and develop your shooting form. Also get your sight settings for 5, 10, 15 & 20 metres.
Start your own Archery Diary or Logbook.
Write down all your equipments details and measurements of your bow setup after tuning.
Record your practice sessions and keep a running score log to check how much you are improving. If you are having a problem � talk it over with the Club Coach or ask a Club Member. There are Club Members with many years of experience and are happy to pass on knowledge to help others.
When you think you are ready to tackle a Club competition ( 90 arrows ), check the Club�s Shooting Calendar for the rounds to be shot that day. Get together with at least 3 other people to shoot the same round. At least one person should be recording the scores. Try a Newcastle round to start with � 20 metres at a 122cm face � 90 arrows.
Learn to fill out a scoresheet correctly and how to score arrows properly.
Step 6. Classification Awards – How do I qualify?
Check Schedule 4 B Classification Table in the Archery Australia Rule Book for your rating index value required for a 3rd class classification. The Club has a copy of the rule book available � just ask to be shown how to look up your correct rating.
Next check Schedule 4 C Rating Tables for the round you want to shoot and find what the required score is for your rating.
You have to equal or exceed the score to qualify.
To qualify for a 3rd class badge, you must shoot 3 qualifying scores within a calendar year, (or in 3 weeks if you are really keen).
Once you have 3 qualifying scores, please pass them on to the Club Recorder, so that application for a badge from SQAS can be made.
Next challenge, is to try for your 2nd class badge, but this will probably be a lot harder, as there is a minimum distance to be shot in a competition. ( This could be 30 metres or up to 50 meters depending on your age division ).
Back to the Archery Australia Rule Book again to check for your required minimum distance.
(Note: copies of The Archery Australia Rulebook are available from the Archery Australia Website)
Step 7. Next Challenge?
Try different rounds at Club shoots to slowly increase the distances that you shoot.
(30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 metres can all be tried).
Make sure you are comfortable shooting a distance before moving to a longer one. Write down your bow sight settings for each distance. As your shooting improves with practice, you may also need to recheck your bow tuning setup, particularly if you have changed something, to keep your bow performing at its best. I recommend at least one tuning check per month in the first 3 to 6 months of shooting.
Take some time to read the Archery Australia Rule Book – Competition Rules and Equipment Rules. You will need to know these rules before going to any Inter-Club, SQAS and Ranking Competitions.
Step 8. Progress – How am I Going?
From time to time have other Club Members watch your shooting style; they can spot a problem you may not be aware of. Have the Club Coach watch your shooting for about 1 hour per month to check progress and to check for any bad habits that may have developed. If corrections are recommended note these down in your Archery Diary “things to improve on” list.
Step 9. Inter-Club and SQAS Competitions?
Check the SQAS Tournament Calendar for competitions you would like to enter. Check the Club Noticeboard for entry forms and entry fees. Note the closing date for entries and make sure your entry is in by the due date.
Practice the same round as the competition at the Club to make sure your ready.
One week before the competition, thoroughly check all your archery equipment and spares.
Make sure it’s ready and it complies with all the competition rules.
SQAS championships in particular, will have judges at the competition to check all your equipment before the shooting starts and to make sure all the rules are followed during the competition. If you don�t have spare parts, such as a spare bowstring or arrow rest, e.t.c. then you will need them one day and they always seem to break during those important competitions.
Make sure you know how to fill out a score-sheet correctly, as you may be nominated for the job on your target.
Step 10. Ranking FITA competitions?
These competitions are shot under FITA rules and your scores are counted towards qualifying for State Team selection. You will have to equal or exceed the qualifying score to be eligible for selection. The selected State Team will then compete at the next Archery Australia National Championships.
Step 11. National Championships?
These championships consist of 5 days of competition � day 1 and 2 are FITA target rounds, day 3 is for flight & clout, day 4 & 5 are for the FITA field events.
State Team members will usually compete in the target, clout and field events.
Individuals can enter a choice of events to compete in.
Step 12. World Championships?
National Teams are selected from archers who have shot qualifying scores at events, such as ranking rounds, state championships and national events.
World Championships allow the entry of all types of bows.
Teams usually consist of about 4 archers, 1 coach and 1 manager to each event.
Funding may be available from Archery Australia to cover some of the expense of competing overseas.
Step 13. Olympic Games?
Currently, only recurve bows are allowed in the Olympic Games.
National Teams are selected from archers who have shot qualifying scores.
If you are eligible for National Team selection, then you will be invited to training camps at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra or in Sydney.
Further Reading: Archers Reference ( 68 page PDF file download from internet or ask Club Coach for a copy ).
Author : Graeme Jeffrey
Copyright © Centenary Archers Club Inc. 1999-2012
This page last revised : 22 June, 2008