Outdoor Rounds

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One of the biggest differences between indoor and outdoor archery rounds (other than being at the mercy of the elements) is the huge variety of rounds that can be shot. Indoors we are quite restricted but outdoors there are few limitations and the difference between Imperial and FITA rounds becomes much more evident with variance in number of arrows to be shot, face size and distance. Here are a few of the most common rounds and some thoughts on shooting them.

Imperial Rounds

Imperial rounds are measured in yards and only use 122cm faces. The faces are scored by colour with gold = 9, red=7, blue=5, black=3 and white=1. The rounds have proper names, quite often place names like York or Bristol. This is because many of the rounds were formalized in 1861 when GNAS was formed (and remains unchanged to this day).  The rounds are named after the Clubs or Counties who created them. Several require you to shoot the longest target distance of 100yards (91.44m).

York: This is the top of the range round for Imperial rounds. 6doz arrows at 100yards, 4dozen at 80yrds and 2dozen at 60yrds starting with the longest distance. A gruelling all day affair but necessary if you want to progress past 1st class or have your scores ranked by the SAA. You get sighters only at the furthest distance and have 4 minutes to shoot 6 arrows. The Hereford and Bristol rounds are similar in structure but the distances are shorter as they are intended for ladies and juniors.

Albion: The Albion round (3dozen arrows at 80, 60 and 50yrds) is less gruelling and a little more accessible than the York. Several are available during the summer including the early in the season Clyde Arrows Albion + BBQ. A good introduction to the “big boy rounds”.

American: The American is something of an oddity in the Imperial rounds. While its 60/50/40 yard ranges are fairly conventional, each range is shot with 2.5 dozen arrows rather than in increments of 1 dozen. This is a good introduction to the outdoor round for the newbie in that the distances and 122cm face make it ‘comparatively’ easy. GA run an American round on the Sunday closest to the 4th of July with a BBQ and the competitors encouraged to wear Americana fancy dress.
GA Club History: The American in 2010 had to be called off at the halfway point due to storm level winds that blew over a boss and soaked the shooters with torrential rain. A large amount of BBQ food was incinerated after the wind whipped up 3 foot high flames on the barbeque! Less of a shoot and more of a battle honour for those that participated.

These rounds are customizable for the distance available or to the age of your archers. While the original root family name of the round (ie Western, National or Warwick) is always shot at 2 ranges (60 and 50 yards), there have been 5 other rounds created for each family. When one of these 3 rounds is shot, it is usually possible for you to pick the specific distances you wish to shoot.
The permutations are:
New:- 100 and 80yrds,           Long:- 80 and 60yrds,              No Prefix:- 60 and 50yrds.
Short:- 50 and 40yrds,           Junior: 40 and 30yrds               Short Junior:- 30 and 20yrds.
The number of arrows varies depending on the ‘family’ name:
Western: 8 dozen arrows are shot in this round. 4 dozen at each range.
6 dozen arrows are shot in this round. 3 dozen at each range.
: 4 dozen arrows are shot in this round. 2 dozen at each range.

So just to sum up … a New National is a ‘National’ (6 dozen arrows, 3 doz shot at each range) with ‘New’ ranges of 100 and 80 yards. And a Short Warwick is a ‘Warwick’ (4 dozen arrows, 2 doz shot at each range) with ‘Short’ ranges of 50 and 40yrds. Simples!

World Archery Rounds (FITA - Fédération Internationale de Tir à l'Arc)

International Archery Federation rounds are measured in meters and are named in a much more standardized if less historically fun way. Arrows are scored normally in that there are 10 rings scored 1 throu 10. This is probably what you are used to rather than the Imperial scoring method. 80 and 122cm faces are used depending on the range (over 50m = 122cm face, 50m or less 80cm face). 6 arrow/4 minute ends are shot at the longer distances reverting to 3 arrow/2 minute ends when the range shortens. Key distances for WA rounds are 90m, 70m, 50m and 30m although some of the ladies/junior rounds (often called Metrics I thro V) make use of the distances in between.

1440: The gold standard for the WA rounds is the imaginatively named 1440 round or as it was called the FITA. 4 distances are shot - 90m & 70m using a 122cm face and 50m & 30m using an 80cm face. 3 Dozen arrows are shot at each range for a total possible score of ... any guesses? Yup, its 1440. The Metric I is also the Ladies FITA with distances of 70,60,50 and 30m. The 1440 is another meat grinder of a round taking all day. FITA’s are increasingly becoming the standard summer round supplanting the York.
Bizarre fact: People often prefer shooting the 70m distance to the 50m. This is because the face changes from a 122cm at 70m to an 80cm at 50m. Archers expecting their scores to jump find their 50m score ends up roughly the same as the more distant 70m. This because the face reduction cancels out the decrease in range.

70m: 6 dozen arrows are shot here at 70m. This round is often used to rank shooters before a head to head knock out round. Actually much easier than it appears as it’s possible to get into a comfortable groove since there are no target moves. This is the distance shot at the Olympics and in the World Cup.

Long Metric: This is in effect the 2 longer ranges of a 1440 (90 and 70m) shot with 3 dozen arrows at each range. Just like the 1440, there are shorter range versions for juniors with a Ladies Long Metric (or Long Metric I) of 70 and 60m.

Short Metric I: This is in effect the 2 shorter ranges of a 1440 (50 and 30m) shot with 3 dozen arrows at each range. There is no ladies short metric but there are shorter versions of the Short Metric for juniors.

There are many many more rounds (a complete list can be found here) that can be shot but the above are the key rounds that you will see quite a bit on the Summer events calendar. To book your place on the shooting line this summer, take a trip to the SAA website event calendars.