Archery is a sport that involves a bow and an arrow. Archery first started as a hunting weapon but soon developed into the sport that it is today. A person who participates in Archery is called an archer or bowman.
The equipment used for Archery is a bow and arrow. Bows consist of a long elastic string that is attached to a curved piece of thin plastic. In the middle of the plastic there is usually a thick piece of wood in the middle. On this piece of wood there is a black tab made out of a more flexible plastic, this is where the arrow rests. The arrow is made out of a long thin piece of metal also known as a shaft. At the bottom of the shaft there is an arrow head. An arrow head is the point of the arrow. At the top of the arrow there are three feather ends these are known as fletching's. The fletching's are two different colours. Two fletching's are one colour and the third fletching is another colour. This is to tell you what way your arrow has to be. Also at the top of the arrow is a nock. Once the arrow is resting on the black tab on the bow the nock clicks into the elastic string.
Most archers wear an arm guard this is known as a bracer. This helps protect the archers arm when they release the string in case it hits their arm. Another protection is a finger tab. This is placed onto your three middle fingers to protect them from getting hurt. They are worn on the hand that you shoot with.
Before you shoot you have to position yourself. You have to stand side on towards your target. But you have to have the arm that you hold the bow with in front. Then you lift up and straighten your bow hand. Then with your free hand you pick up the arrow and click it into place and leave it to rest. Then with your free hand you take the elastic string with your three middle fingers and pull it back towards your cheek. Then aim at the target and let go.
To take an arrow out of a target you walk towards the target side on. When you reach the target you should be standing beside it, facing it. Then to get the target out you put one hand on the target above the arrow. Then you slide your hand down the target until the arrow is in between your thumb and your first finger. Then with your free hand you pull the arrow out of the target. The reason for having your hand on the target is so that the target does not rock back and forth when you pull the arrow out. Once one arrow has been pulled out you drop it carefully on the floor then get the rest of your arrows. Then once you have got all of your arrows you pick them up with the pointed side down and carry them back.
The first arrows were invented around 64,000 years ago in South Africa. By 16,000 BCE fletching was being practiced, with feathers glued to shafts. The first bow was fragments was found in Germany and was dated to around 8,000 BCE. Sadly they were destroyed in the Second World War. The words oldest whole piece bow was found in Denmark and dated from around 9'000 BCE.
Older arrows were made out of pine and were 6 - 8 inches. They also had a flint point. Bows were made out of elm. They had flat arms and a D shaped midsection. The bow was about 5 feet long.
Archery first started in the Stone Age. The first bow and arrow came from the Stone Age. The arrow heads in Africa were made of stone. In the Bronze Age Ancient Egyptians started archery. Pharaohs took up Archery for hunting and warfare. In the Iron Age chariot warriors relied on bow weapon heavily. Archery was essential to horse drawn chariot.
Archery was used a lot for hunting. This is known as bow hunting. The hunter has to be close to their prey for a kill. To do this you have to hunt, stalk or wait. This is still legal in the Unites States. Bow hunters now enjoy the longer seasons as they can also hunt with rifle, shotgun or black powder. People also used a bow and arrow for fishing. This was called Bow Fishing.
Now people play archery as a sport. This involves shooting the arrow at a target from a certain distance. This is a worldwide Archery sport. It is called target Archery. Another type of Archery is Field Archery. This is where there are targets out in woodland areas and the targets are set at different distances. This is popular in Europe and America.
Archery is a sport in the Olympics. The first time Archery was in the Olympics was in the year 1900 in Paris, France. It was then dropped after the London 1908 Olympics but made a single appearance in 1920. But then after 52 years Archery was re-introduced to the 1972 Olympics in Munich and has remained as part of the Olympics ever since. Archery is split into four different categories: Men's Individuals, Woman's Individuals, Men's team and Woman's Team. So there are four gold medals for Archery at the Olympics. The archer with most ever Olympic medals for Archery is Hubert Van Innis from Belgium who competed in 1900 and 1920 Olympics. He has won six gold medals and 3 silver medals.
Archery is also a sport in the Paralympics. Archery was featured in the first Paralympics in Rome, Italy in 1960. There are nine different categories: Men's individuals standing, wheelchair athletes and wheelchair athletes (less ability of movement). Woman's individuals standing, wheelchair athletes and wheelchair athletes (less ability of movement). Men's team and Woman's team. There are nine gold medals for Archery in the Paralympics. Paola Fantato has the most medals for Archery in the Paralympics. She has won 8 medals altogether, 5 gold, one silver and 2 bronze medals. Paola Fantato from Italy competed in five Paralympic games.