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Learn to compete

Once you start hitting the target with consistency – the target, not just the bullseye, you might want to start shooting in a competition, you might want to start out at a club competition, don’t be worried, no one is there to laugh at you, they’ll happily help! You will always be welcome at any tournament, so don’t be shy!  whether it be at your local club or at a larger competition.

Competing at your first competition in any sport may feel intimidating, but with a little preparation you will be prepared and be able to better enjoy the experience and focus on what you are doing. Pack your equipment the night before, plan to arrive early the day of the tournament and plan at least half a day or more and enjoy the experience. Talk to people in your club beforehand, get a feel for what will be happening. The tournament will last at least 3 hours, perhaps more depending on the type of competition and how many people are competing.  When you arrive, find out what your target assignment is and check that you know where it is.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the judges or tournament organizers, they are there to help you and to ensure a fair and safe competition takes place. No one wants you to fail, they want you to come back!

What to bring to your Tournament

Bring what you bring to your practice range – it’s what you know and what you use, and it won’t be different in competition.

You may see that some archers arrive with lots of equipment, supplies and you may feel this means your unprepared. Don’t worry. As you develop your skills and get more involved you may find yourself with more equipment, but to start you need only the basics. Focus on what you need now and worry later about what you might want to add to your gear. Make mental notes as the day progresses and ask yourself, would I really need that? Know how to score and how to add a running total, it’s required you might as well learn how now!

Most importantly, you will need your bow and it is good to have stand, as this may not be available at the tournament. Bring at least eight arrows, just in case you need spares, and a quiver. Just remember, the rules require that all the arrows you use be nocked and fletched in the same way normally your name or initials must be on your arrows (not your fletching).

You may want to consider some additional items, such as:

  • spare nocks, 
  • an extra string 
  • a towel to wipe your equipment down in case it rains. 
  • some basic tools and repair kit if you know how to make the repairs yourself
  • a pen for keeping score and perhaps a calculator
  • a pair of binoculars or scope may be something you will want when shooting longer distances

If you’re competing outdoors, don’t forget bug spray and suncsreen and some comfortable fitting rainwear. Hats are permitted.

If you’re competing outdoors, don’t forget bug spray and sunscreen and some comfortable fitting rainwear. Hats are permitted.

For local shoots, dress code may be fairly relaxed, but refer to the rules or ask if a dress code is in effect. For example in Target competitions camouflage clothing or denim may be restricted. Foot wear is often overlooked, in most tournaments, sandals, ‘flip flops’ etc are not allowed, the foot must be covered.

Find a Tournament

There are many tournaments held across Canada throughout the year that will suit your skills and abilities. First decide on the style of archery you want to compete in (Target, Field, 3D) and be sure to know the basics for the rules. Speak to a local club representative to learn more about the competitions that your club will be hosting or use our Find a Tournament feature on our website. 

Tournaments

Archery Age Categories

The following are the general Age Categories used in Canadian archery tournaments. Note that if there are not enough competitors in your age and or equipment category, you may be asked to compete in a similar category.

CATEGORY NAME AGE (AS OF DECEMBER 31ST OF THE CURRENT YEAR)
Master Men & Master Women 50+ years old
Senior Men [also called “Men”] Anyone can compete as a Senior regardless of age.

If you are 21 or older you must compete as a Senior and may not compete in younger categories.

Senior Women [also called “Women”]
Junior Men & Junior Women 20 or younger
Cadet Men & Cadet Women 17 or younger
Cub Men & Cub Women 14 or younger
Pre-Cub Men & Pre-Cub Women 12 or younger
Peewee Men & Peewee Women 9 or younger
Remember your Etiquette

While any shooting is in progress the individual archer should always try to be aware of the rights and feelings of the rest of the group of archers he/she is shooting with. Following some simple rules of etiquette will allow for an enjoyable competition for all that is line with the principles of True Sport.

  • Do not talk loudly on the shooting line or distract other archers in any way during the shooting of the end. Respect that other archers may prefer to be silent when they shoot
  • When practicing do not shoot more arrows in an end than you would shoot in competition. It is unfair to hold up the line while you shot a dozen arrows. Try not to ‘hold up the line’, if you have 6 arrows left to shoot and no one else is shooting, yield the line so they can collect their arrows and then you can shoot with them.
  • When you have shot your end of required arrows, step back from the line several paces to give the other archers a chance to complete their end. This also lets the Director of shooting see that the line is clear
  • Do not remark on someone else’s shooting during the end.
  • Have an encouraging remark to pass rather than a sarcastic one.
  • Show self-control. Do not abuse your own shooting as this may upset or distract others.
  • Should you have problems, step back and signal the tournament archery judge. Do not bother the other archers on the line.
  • Leave other archers’ arrows in the target unless asked to remove them.
  • Respect the other arrows in the target while you are drawing your own.
  • Should you be asked for advice, do not take it upon yourself to do the job of an official who has been elected to do this work.
  • Pay attention, be respectful and cooperate with judges, volunteers or club officials carrying out their duties.
  • Above all, be a good sport and remember, it’s not the winning the counts but the participation.

Find a Club near you!

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