Safety & Etiquette

Archery safety is a vitally important area that every new archer must master and every senior adhere to. A good beginners course will cover much of the rules concerning safety on and around a shooting line but over time many novice archers are so busy focusing on their technique that safety, and etiquette, are often forgotten. The term “A good archer” should not be confused with an archer who is technically proficient at archery. A good archer is one who is polite, observes the rules and shoots in a safe and responsible manner. As a polite reminder we list below the rules of safety that we would ask all Herefordshire archers adhere to.

  • Bows and arrows are lethal weapons, never mess around with archery equipment
  • Only put bow and arrow together when standing on the shooting line and permission to shoot has been given
  • Only draw the bow when facing the target
  • Do not shoot an arrow upwards into the air
  • Do not “dry fire” a bow (that is, draw it and let go without an arrow in it) – this can seriously damage the bow and injure the archer
  • Obey all the commands of the Field Captain
  • Wear close-fitting clothing and secure jewellery as it may get caught up in the bowstring.
  • Anyone not actually shooting must stay behind the waiting line.
  • The only people on the shooting line should be archers who are actually shooting and coaches.
  • Only nock an arrow when standing on the shooting line. Arrows must never be pointed anywhere other that at the target.
  • Wait for the command from the person controlling the shooting line before nocking an arrow.
  • Footwear that fully encloses the toes must be worn on the shooting line (ie not sandals or flip flops).
  • NEVER shoot a bow without an arrow in it. Always come down gently and under control.
  • When you have finished shooting, retire behind the waiting line.
  • DO NOT walk towards the targets until all shooting has been completed and the signal to retrieve arrows is given.
  • Always walk, NEVER RUN. Approach the targets to either side, NOT to the centre, being aware that arrows do fall short and may be in your path.

Archery Etiquette

A good archer does not:

  • Talk to another archer who prefers to be silent.
  • Talk in a loud voice or make an exclamation when others are on the shooting line.
  • Offer advice unless asked.
  • Exclaim on the shooting line for themselves or others, either in joy or disgust.
  • Touch another archer’s equipment without their permission.
  • Walk up and down the line comparing scores.
  • Go behind the target to retrieve his arrows before their score has been recorded.
  • Drop any litter.
  • Carry a Mobile phone on the shooting line.

A good archer always:

  • Offers to pay to replace someone’s arrow (or any other piece of equipment) if they break it through their own carelessness. (He / She Pays on the spot)
  • Helps to put out the equipment and put it away
  • Helps to look for someone else’s missing arrows
  • Calls his score in groups of 3, e.g. 7-7-5 pause 5-5-3
  • Pays cash on the spot if he breaks another’s arrow
  • Thanks the target captain (scorer) at the end of the round