17 Types of Archery Practiced Today

17 Types of Archery Practiced Today

Archery is a sport that has been around for thousands of years. It started in the Stone Age and has been used in hunting, warfare, and recreational activities.

Today, it is still enjoyed by people young and old for its competitive nature and recreation. One goal of archery in today’s world is to mimic one’s realistic self-defense techniques in case someone were to attack them during the game.

This article goes through all the different kinds of archery on offer today. We will then talk about who each is good for and what type of bow they most commonly use.

After reading this, you would be able to differentiate between a target archer, a 3D archer, a clout archer, a ski archer, and a flight archer! Knowing which type of archery is best for you will help you choose your weapon of choice.

What are the different types of archery?

There are many different types of archery that people can enjoy today. For
example, there is target archery, field archery, 3D archery, bowhunting, etc. Let us
elaborate on them for you.

Target Archery

target archery

Target archery is a type of archery that is both recreational and competitive. It is the main type of archery practiced today because it allows people to enjoy the sport while still competing at the same time. 

Similar to the international target competition, there are several different types of targets used by those who practice this sport. Basically, it’s an activity where you shoot an arrow at a stationary object with a bullseye in the center that is usually gold or silver.

This type requires less setup time than anything, else-probably because it can easily be set up indoors as well as outdoors and probably because its popularity makes demand go through the roof! The WA target (World Archery) has been renamed from “FITA” to “WA.”

Target archery can be done with a bow and arrow or crossbow.

Different sizes of targets are available that are used for shooting at different distances. Some target sizes have larger outer ring diameters, while others don’t – they all vary depending on the type of shooting that is undertaken. Some

common target sizes and their respective shooting distances have been listed below:

  1. 18m (40cm Indoor Archery)
  2. 25m(60cm Indoor Archery)
  3. 30m and 50m(80cm Outdoor Archery)​
  4. 70m and 90m (122cm Outdoor Archery)

A bullseye is worth 10 points. The further a ring is from 10 points, the lower your score. A crossbow would be good for all skill levels because it can shoot vertically or horizontally. Apart from that, Recurve, compound, barebow are ideal for target archery.

3D Archery

Types of Archery

3D archery is an outdoor sport that combines a hike with judging the distance and elevation of target, winds, and shooting your bow. Different types of bows are used in 3D archery, including compound bows or crossbows, depending on the skill level.

3D tournaments usually consist of 40 targets shot over two days while you compete against other shooters as well as competing to see who has done better at scoring more accurately than others.

3D archery combines the skill of field shooting with a hike and is perfect for hiking with bowhunting. It has different types of targets, where you must judge distances, elevations, and wind conditions to shoot your 3D objects with your arrows accordingly.

Fencing Archery

Types of Archery

This type of archery is used while wearing a protective mask and fencing outfit. This is usually done with a longbow because it is the most accurate weapon in this style of archery.

The bow moves up and down, making it harder to hit one’s target, so the use of a mask allows for better vision and accuracy.

Recreational Archery

Types of Archery

Recreational archery is the most common type of archery. This type of archery has a light bow that is used for recreational activities such as hunting, target shooting, games, and competitions.

There are a lot of people in today’s society that enjoy this form of archery because anyone can do it with a basic understanding of how to use bows.

The bowstring is usually made from fber-reinforced composite materials which makes it easy to adjust the weight and draw power needed for each individual. There are also many different types of arrows used for recreational purposes, so you’re able to pick which one you want to play with.

These can include the following: metal arrowheads, plastic arrowheads, wooden arrowheads, and rubber-tipped arrows.

Self-Defense Archery

Types of Archery

Self-defense archery is the type of archery that is meant for those who want to protect themselves in a self-defense situation.

In this type of archery, you are required to hit a target from 20 meters away with arrows. You must also be able to draw the bow back and release it in an instant. This type of archery is done with either a recurve bow or longbow.

Olympic Archery

Target archery is the official sport of the Olympics, with a range of events for both men and women. Teams can compete in either individual or team tournaments, all using recurve bows.

The most common types of bows used by Olympians include recurves only because other types like longbows and compound bows can’t be used during competition, so they don’t qualify as Olympic targets!

Field Archery

Field archery is a kind of target archery that takes place through uneven terrain in the woods. It’s very different from plain target archery because it has more variables and distractions due to wind, elevation changes, and unmarked distances.

The course typically consists of 48 targets with 24 marked with distance markers; an additional 24 un-marked targets require three shots each on them.

Flight Archery

Flight Archery

In flight archery, the aim is to shoot your arrow from the most distance possible. This usually requires a large flat open area.

In order to achieve this objective, special equipment and arrows are used with tapered ends that reduce air resistance and weight.

Clout Archery

Types of Archery Practiced Today

You can call it golf for archers! That’s the best way to think about this game.

It’s similar to target archery, except that it uses a larger flat surface as its target.

The object of this discipline is to shoot an arrow upwards in an arc and drop it close by the flag (the bullseye).

Ski Archery

Types of Archery Practiced Today

Ski archery works in much the same way as biathlon, but the target is with a bow and arrow instead of a rifle. The typical course is 12 kilometers and 8 kilometers long for

men and women, respectively. A shot can be either a hit or miss – if you don’t get it, you must ski 350 meters before leaving the target site! The first one to cross the line gets to win!

Traditional Archery


Traditional archery is the most ‘authentic’ and closest to what archery was like in days of yore. You would hear trad- or traditional archers call themselves “trad” as well.

When using a longbow without equipment such as fitments for stabilizers or sights, you’d just refer to it being traditionally used with no modern additions – but when a modern bow is downgraded, and all the aids are removed (like sight), you would refer to this type of bow being referred to as barebow instead!

Crossbow Archery


A crossbow can be used for any of the styles we discussed above. A crossbow is a type of weapon that can be used in many different kinds of competitions.

Crossbows are typically utilized in target shooting, where competitors have to shoot at targets with varying distances and elevations over 10m or 30m.

Match competitions are archery events that use similar forms as field darts.

Bow Hunting/ Bow Fishing


In places where hunting is popular, getting out into the wild or down to the lake can be a fun way of catching your food.

Some people use bows and arrows to catch fish, which is an enjoyable experience in itself.

A bow fisher uses special gear that allows them to reel their catch when they have shot it with an arrow from a compound bow made for hunting purposes.

Para Archery


Archery is a sport that is open to anyone. There are different archery competitions, such as the Olympic and World Games.

This includes classification levels for varying levels of competitor impairment similar to other sports.

Mounted Archery

Mounted Archery

Mounted archers were once used as a crucial part of many armies, but today it is still practiced by professionals.

You can find places to practice mounted archery at shorter ranges than most other archery disciplines, typically between 45-65 meters from the rider.

Archery Tag

archery tag

Archery Tag is a modern take on the traditional archery game like paintball with a twist.

Participants wear protective headgear, arm guards, inflatable bunkers, and other obstacles to shoot each other safely without causing serious injury!

It uses special arrows having large foam heads designed specifically for this sport.



Kyudo is a Japanese martial art that has been practiced for centuries with bows. Kyyudo centers around physical and spiritual development through archery techniques.

It’s based on kyujutsu, which originated in Japan over 700 years ago when samurai warriors learned to shoot their bows and arrows more accurately by using various techniques unchanged since then.

As with many traditional martial arts, there are different schools of thought about what skills should be focused on; some lean towards marksmanship while others focus on technique or spirituality.

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