Thursday 30 August – Wednesday 5 September 2012
The Royal Artillery Barracks
Number of competitors
140: 88 men and 52 women
Each country is limited to three athletes in each Individual event, and one team of three athletes in each Team event.
ST – standing
W1 and W2 – wheelchair athletes, with W2 athletes’ impairments having less of an impact on their ability to compete.
Read more about Paralympic Archery classification
Number of medal events
Nine – men’s and women’s Individual (ST), (W1) and (W2). There are competitions for both recurve and compound bows, as well as a men’s and women’s Team competition.
Field of play
Athletes line up along a shooting line, 70m from the targets.
History of Archery at the Paralympic Games
No sport has as great a Paralympic history as Archery. It featured at the first Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948, the modern Paralympic Games’ predecessor, and has featured on every Paralympic programme since the inaugural competition in 1960.
The object of the sport is simple: to shoot arrows as close to the centre of a target as possible. As with Olympic Archery, targets are 122cm in diameter, with the gold ring at the centre (worth a maximum 10 points) measuring just 12.2cm. Athletes shoot at the target from a distance of 70 metres.
Similar to their Olympic counterparts, athletes compete with both recurve bows – distinctive as the limbs curve outwards at the top – and compound bows, which feature mechanical pulleys, telescopic sights and release aids to assist in accuracy.
Men and women compete separately, both as individuals and in teams of three, and all matches are conducted as straight knockouts.
For a complete set of rules, please refer to the website of the World Archery Federation (WA), the international governing body for the sport.
At the start of the competition all athletes take part in a ranking round. Athletes must shoot 72 arrows in 12 phases of six arrows each, with each athlete allowed four minutes per phase. The total score of all 72 arrows determines the rankings of each athlete. These are used to make the draw for both the Individual and the Team competitions.
In the Individual event, matches are the best of five sets, with each set consisting of three arrows per athlete.
In the Team event, teams of three compete against each other in a best-of-24-arrows format.
Scoring judges sit in a protected area called a blind. Sitting with them is a spotter, who records each athlete’s score with the aid of a telescope.
Keys to success
Like its Olympic counterpart, Paralympic Archery is a tense and testing sport that requires immense reserves of skill and nerve. The winning archer will remain cool under the enormous pressure that Paralympic competition brings.
The concept of Archery is simple, but performance isn’t. Any athlete unable to keep their nerves in check will struggle to score highly or advance far through the competition.
Boss – the target, usually a square black block made of compacted foam, to which the target face is attached.
Bowman – an athlete.
Draw – the act of pulling back the bow string in preparation for shooting.
Nock – a notch at the end of an arrow that rests against the bow string.
If you want to find out about Archery in your country, including clubs, facilities and coaching schemes, check the website of your National Governing Body for Archery. To find out how you can get involved in Archery in the UK, go to thegamesandbeyond.com
For more information on the Archery competition at London 2012 and the rules of the sport, go to the website of the World Archery Federation, governing body for the sport.