Scoring: How does it work in archery?


Are you a beginner archer and wondering how the archery scoring systems work in tournaments—you have arrived at the right place to find out? When it comes to archery competitions involving archers aiming an arrow at a target, you can find various forms and points allocated. However, all aim to shoot their arrow as close to the center ring of the target.

When taking part in the Olympic Games, members shoot at a mark from 70 meters away. The rounds include ranking rounds by taking the overall count to determine the archer ranking before the head-to-head elimination format. Here we will discuss the basics of scoring, which is an important topic for beginners in archery to know.

Target Face Size in USA Archery

The target archery size of competition varies, and the ones used in the Olympic events measure 122cm in diameter. But all targets contain 10 center scoring rings that represent different scoring zones. The one ring and two circles(outermost two circles) are white. In contrast, the three and four rings are black. The five and six rings are blue, while the seven and eight are red. The nine and ten, which are the innermost rings, are gold. You get another inner circle on the tenth ring known as inner 10 or the X ring, sometimes used to decide ties.

archery target scoring

How are points awarded in archery?

Scoring is simple as you add up the total points based on where the arrow hits the target. The archer with the highest points for a single arrow is ten for hitting the inner gold circle. While the least hitting the outer white circle is only one point.

When your arrow missed the target, there is no score. Archers must shoot 72 arrows during Olympic archery in 12 phases; the total score decides their ranking? Once this is completed, archers go into a head-to-head knockout competition. Here they need to score more than their competitor. There are tournament variations found, and the number of arrows shot with the distances diversifies as well.

As mentioned, it depends on the tournament details in which you compete to win the game. Therefore, the winner usually is the person with the highest cumulative score after taking part in a set number of arrows. Or it can be the person who successfully overcomes all their opponents in the knockout results.

If there is a tied score, the person with the highest number of tens, including the inner ring, is declared the victor. Furthermore, if the numbers equal the one with the significant number of inner tens is the winner. Or they use a shoot-off to separate the competitors with a tie-breaking.

Scoring System Rules

These are the basic methods used to keep score for an archery competition, but there are some set rules as seen here:

  • You must adhere to the official rules related to the equipment you use.
  • The time limit is two minutes to shoot and end three arrows, while four minutes is for an end of six arrows.
  • You may not raise your bow arm until they signal to start, or you may be penalized.
  • Neither is you permitted to re-shoot. The only reconsideration is if it falls from the bow or off the target. However, the scorers do give you added times in these circumstances.
  • Your arrow will score if it rebounds or lands from the face target, and if the arrow sticks Robin Hood-style, the other arrows nock shall score the same points as the arrow it is embedded. Missing the target is no point.

I hope you found this article helpful. Remember to check out the rest of my blog here at


I'm Isaac Murphy and at the moment I am a student. I took up archery as a hobby about 3 years ago and built this blog to share some of the things I have learned and to help those starting out in this sport. Check out my bio here

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