Glossary of Archery Terms

Actual arrow length   The personal arrow length of the archer, measured from the bottom slot of the nock to the end of the shaft (this measurement does not include the pile.

Actual draw length   The personal draw length of the archer measured at full draw, from the bottom of the slot of the nock to the pivot point of the grip plus 1¾ inches.

Actual draw weight   The energy required to draw the bow to the actual draw length, measured in pounds using a bow scale.

Aim   The concentrated effort to direct an arrow to its target.

All Back”   A verbal command that may be called by any archer who sees that all archers have safely returned from the target bosses, crossed the shooting line, are waiting to shoot, and that it is safe for the Field Captain to blow 1 whistle as the signal to recommence shooting.

All Shot”   A verbal command that may be called by any archer who sees that all archers have completed shooting and that it is safe for the Field Captain to blow 3 whistles as the signal for all archers to approach the target bosses to score and collect their arrows.

AMO   Archery Manufacturers and Merchants Organization, now known as the ATA.

AMO length   A standardised length for measuring bow strings.

Anchor point   A location on the archer's face at which the string hand comes to rest at full draw, to give consistency to shooting. Also known as “reference point”.

Archer   One who practices archery. Also known as bowman.

Archer’s paradox   The effect produced by an arrow flexing as it leaves the bow during the initial stages of flight.

Archery England   The new name of the English Archery Federation. They have a new website still under development.

Archery GB (AGB)   The trading name of the Grand National Archery Society (GNAS), the national governing body for archery in the UK. Established in 1861, it is responsible for all levels of archery in the UK and is the umbrella organisation for the English Archery Association, Archery Northern Ireland, Scottish Archery and the Welsh Archery Association.

Arm guard   A strap which protects the arm from the bow string; usually leather or plastic and worn on the inside of the forearm. Also known as a bracer.

AroJac   Trade name for the arrow pulling tool made by Hamskea. A mechanical device used to extract arrows from timber target frames. This tool requires a short lesson on how to safely extract arrows; incorrect operation of the AroJac may result in arrow damage or personal injury.

Arrow   A projectile shot from a bow.

Arrow puller   A handheld device (usually made of soft plastic) used to aid the pulling of arrows from the target boss. Highly recommended for archers who shoot with carbon arrows.

Arrow rest   A device on the bow to provide support for the arrow.

Arrow shelf   The horizontal ledge beneath the cut out on a recurve bow or barebow.

Arrow straightener   A mechanical device used to detect and eliminate bends in aluminium arrows.

Associate member   An archer who is a member of another AGB club but who wants to shoot with friends at RCA. Associate members are:

  • welcome in the clubhouse and at all club functions,
  • are insured to shoot,
  • eligible for a fob for access in and out of the clubhouse,
  • eligible for a key,
  • eligible to vote at General Meetings.

ATA   The Archery Trade Association, formerly known as the AMO.

Back (of bow)   The side of the bow facing away from the archer, when holding up the bow. This may at first seem counterintuitive, but this is the universally accepted notation.

Bare shaft   An arrow shaft without fletchings.

Barebow   A class of shooting where the bow has a single string and the bow is held with one hand and the string is drawn and released with the fingers of the other hand. Unlike recurve, sight aids and protruding stabilisers are not permitted.

Barrelled arrow   An arrow that has a greater cross section in the middle and tapers down at both ends.

Basic technique   The fundamental technique of shooting a bow and arrow. The style taught during the Beginners Course, forming the basis for consistent shooting.

Belly   The surface of the bow facing the archer during shooting. Also known as the face or front of the bow.

Bodkin point   A sharp, pointed arrowhead.

Body alignment   The relationship of the archer’s legs, hips, trunk, and shoulders to be lined consistently towards the target.

Boss   A device onto which the target face is placed, and which stops the arrow, so that the arrow value can be scored. Bosses can be made from a coil of twisted straw or from foam.

Bouncer   An arrow that hits the target scoring zone and bounces back off instead of remaining in the target.

Bow   A long object being bent with a string placed from one end to the other holding the object under tension which projects an arrow on release.

Bow arm   The arm that supports the bow.

Bow efficiency   The ratio of kinetic energy received by the arrow to that stored by the limbs.

Bow hand   The hand that supports the bow.

Bow length   The length of a bow, commonly measured from nock to nock, along the back of the bow.

Bow scale   A device that measures the draw weight of a bow.

Bow sight   A device attached to the bow which assists the archer in aiming.

Bow sling   A strap attached to the bow through which the archer slips the bow hand, thereby preventing the bow from being dropped upon release.

Bow square   A measuring device that can be attached to the bowstring which lies on the arrow rest, to measure the bracing height and nocking point location. Also known as string gauge, bow gauge or bracing gauge.

Bow string   The string of a bow usually made of synthetic material with two looped ends.

Bow stringer   A device an archer uses to assist in stringing the bow.

Bow window   The cut-out section on the arrow side of the bow which allows the arrow to pass through or near the centre line of the bow.

Bowman   One who practices archery. Also known as archer.

Bowyer   A person who makes or repairs bows.

Brace (or bracing) height   The distance between the string and pressure point when the bow is strung.

Braced   A bow that has had a string fitted ready for shooting.

Bracer   A strap which protects the arm from the bow string; usually leather or plastic and worn on the inside of the forearm. Also known as an arm guard.

Bracing gauge   A measuring device that can be attached to the bowstring which lies on the arrow rest, to measure the bracing height and nocking point location. Also known as string gauge, bow gauge or bow square.

British Long Bow Society (BLBS)   The governing body of traditional long bow archery in Great Britain; separate from Archery GB.

Broadhead   A sharp-bladed hunting arrowhead, not suitable for target archery.

Button   A device that fits to the recurve bow and protrudes just above the arrow rest which can be adjusted to assist in obtaining true arrow flight. Also known as pressure button or plunger.

Cam   Wheel-like devices mounted on the limb tips of a compound bow, used to decrease the amount of weight held on the bow string at full draw.

Cant   To hold the bow tilted off vertical while shooting.

Cast   The ability of the bow to propel an arrow and the degree of efficiency with which this is achieved. Denotes the speed of the limbs in discharging the arrow.

Centre serving   The serving on the central area of the bow string which protects the bow string from wear.

Centreshot   A design where the sight window is cut at or past the centreline of the bow. This design reduces the effects of the archer’s paradox.

Chest guard   A protective device that covers the side of the archer’s chest that is nearest to the bow and keeps clothes out of the path of the string during shooting.

Classification   A system for grading an archer’s ability and achievements as described in Archery GB Rules of Shooting.

Clicker   A device attached to the bow which gives an audible indication when the arrow has been drawn to the desired draw length.

Cliniband     A piece of elastic used for warm up and to practise good shooting technique without the bow’s draw weight to help speed up learning, also known as an exercise band.

Closed stance   A shooting stance where the line of the shoulders is more than 180 degrees taking a line from the shooting position to the centre of the target. A clockwise turn of the feet position for RH archer, and vice versa.

Clout archery   A form of archery in which archers shoot arrows toward a flag (known as the clout) from a relatively long distance and are scored based on how close each arrow lands to the flag.

Coach   A tutor or teacher of sporting activities.

“Come Down”   A verbal instruction used by a coach when giving one-to-one coaching. If when an archer is at full draw the coach sees that the archer’s technique is putting the archer at risk of personal injury, you must stop your shot, gently let off the tension on the string, lower your bow and await further instruction.

Composite bow   A bow that consists of different laminated parts or materials.

Compound bow   A bow where the string is attached to pulleys, wheels, or cams to increase the kinetic energy when the bow is drawn.

Creep   Letting the drawing hand edge forward before release.

Cresting   Painted rings just in front of the fletchings for decoration or identification.

Cross hair   A sight which has two fine lines that cross at right angles; the intersection of the lines is used for lining up on the aiming point.

Crossbow   A bow that is fitted with a stock and is shot like a rifle. Not permitted by RCA, AGB or WA.

Crown   The nock end of an arrow where cresting and paints are applied.

Detail   A group of archers shooting together on the shooting line at the same time and the same ‘end’. If more than two archers are shooting on the same boss, it is usual to shoot in two pairs.

Director of shooting   The judge in charge during a tournament.

Dominant eye   The eye which is dominant while aiming with both eyes open. This is physiologically determined. Most people are right eyed dominant.

Draw   The act of pulling back the bow string thus storing energy in the bow.

Draw (Barebow)   The use of the first three fingers to draw the bow, with all three fingers below the arrow.

Draw (Flemish)   The use of only the index and second fingers to draw the bow, the index finger above the arrow and the other beneath the arrow.

Draw (Freestyle or Mediterranean or Recurve)   The use of the first three fingers to draw the bow, with the index finger above the arrow and two below the arrow.

Draw (Thumb)   The use of the thumb only positioned just below the arrow to draw the bow.

Draw force curve   The curve as charted of the draw weight against the draw length.

Draw force line (DFL)   This is the line between the pressure point of the hand on the bow, the string fingers, and the drawing elbow.

Draw length   At full draw the distance in inches from nock point on bow string to pivot-point (deepest spot on the grip) plus 1¾ inches (44 mm) (ATA/AMO standard).

Draw weight   The force required to draw the bow to the anchor point, measured in pounds using bow scales.

Drift   Caused by a slight breeze where the arrow flight path wanders slightly left or right during its travel to the target.

Drop away rest   An arrow rest/launcher used on compound bows that drops away clearing the path for the arrow as the bow string is released.

Dry fire   A release of the string without an arrow. This can cause damage to the bow and must be avoided. Also known as dry loose.

Easton ACC   A model of arrow (Alloy Carbon Competition) by Easton of aluminium-carbon construction, typically £150-165 per dozen fully built arrows.

Easton ACE   A model of arrow (Alloy Carbon Extreme) by Easton of aluminium-carbon construction with a barrelled design, typically £320-340 per dozen fully built arrows.

Easton Jazz   A model of arrow by Easton of aluminium construction, popular with beginners, typically £65 per dozen fully built arrows.

Easton X10   A model of arrow by Easton of aluminium-carbon construction, commonly used by Olympic archers, typically £420-600 per dozen fully built arrows.

Eccentric pulley   A cam-like wheel mounted on the limb tips of a compound bow, used to decrease the amount of weight held on the bow string at full draw.

End   A specific number of arrows shot before the archers go to the target to score and collect their arrows; usually three or six arrows per end.

English Archery Federation (EAF)   The English Archery Federation is a body set up by the five English Regions within The Grand National Archery Society (GNAS) to select and manage teams for International events where it is appropriate for England (as opposed to Great Britain) to participate. The five regions are: East Midlands, Grand Western, Northern Counties, Southern Counties, and West Midlands.

English longbow   A powerful medieval longbow. Also known as the Welsh longbow.

Face (of bow)     The side of the bow facing the archer when holding up the bow. This may at first seem counterintuitive, but this is the universally accepted notation. Also known as the front.

Fadeout   The point where the non-working part of the limb that connects to the riser fades out to the working part of the limb.

FAST”   An emergency warning cry (derived from 'Hold Fast') that may be called by anyone in the range and used to stop all shooting when any potential hazard is observed.

Field archery   A type of archery round shot outdoors in an undulating wooded area with targets of varying sizes and of varying predetermined distances. The archers walk from target to target.

Field Captain   A person controlling the shooting along all or part of the shooting line, and responsible to the judge. Where there is no judge, the Field Captain has sole responsibility, and their decision is final.

Finger pinch   A condition where the fingers of the string hand are pinched when the bow is nearing full draw. This is caused by too short a bow length: the shorter the bow, the more probable the archer will feel finger pinch.

Finger sling   A piece of leather, plastic or rope looped at each end through which the archer slips the thumb and finger after taking hold of the bow, permitting a loose grip on the bow and preventing the bow from being dropped upon release.

Finger tab   A piece of leather worn on the drawing hand to protect the fingers and give a smoother release to the string.

Fishtailing   An undesirable, erratic, horizontal left/right motion of an arrow during its flight to the target.

Flatbow   A non-recurved bow with a rectangular cross section.

Flemish twist   A method of assembling bow string end loops by twisting the material similarly to that of making a rope. It eliminates the use of serving the string loops.

Fletching jig   A mechanical device that is used for accurate and consistent fletching of arrows.

Fletchings   The feathers or plastic vanes fitted to the arrow.

Flex   The amount of bend an arrow shaft provides; contrasted with spine.

Flight archery   Shooting for maximum distance for the type and weight of bow being used.

Flinch   To move either the bow or release arm just prior to the release, usually caused by anticipating the clicker or fear of hitting the arm.

Follow through   The backward movement of the drawing hand after the release has been executed and the maintaining of the bow arm.

Foot markers   Marks or small objects placed in the ground to show the place where the archer places their feet to assist with consistency of stance.

Freestyle   A class of shooting where the bow has a single string and the bow is held with one hand and the string is drawn and released with the fingers of the other hand. Unlike barebow, sight aids and protruding stabilisers are permitted. Also known as an Olympic, recurve or take-down bow.

Freeze   A shooting flaw where the archer aims outside of the gold and cannot move the sight aperture into the centre, or an inability to release an arrow. A psychological shooting problem.

Front (of bow)     The side of the bow facing the archer when holding up the bow. This may at first seem counterintuitive, but this is the universally accepted notation. Also known as the face.

Full draw   The position reached when the string has been pulled back to the anchor point (reference point) prior to the release.

General Meeting   A meeting open to all members.

Gold   The first (centre) colour of a target face. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as the bull or bull’s eye.

Grain   A very small measure of weight for arrow components (1 gram = 15.4323583 grains).

Grand National Archery Society (GNAS)   The governing body of archery in the UK, now trading as Archery GB.

Grip   The middle part of the bow handle for the positioning of the archers bow hand. Not to be confused for the action of gripping the bow, which must be avoided.

Ground quiver   An arrow holder that sits on or sticks into the ground; may also hold a bow.

Group   The pattern of an archer’s arrows as they appear on the target.

Handle   The centre section of a bow. Also known as the riser.

Hanger   An arrow that does not penetrate the target and hangs down the face.

Heeling   A term used when the archer puts most of the pressure on the lower part of the palm (with the heel of the hand) when at full draw.

Hen fletchings   Fletching other than the index fletch. Also known as the shaft fletchings.

High Draw   A draw technique where at any point during the draw the archer’s bow hand rises excessively higher than the draw hand allowing the arrow to point upwards. For barebow, recurve and compound archers who may use aluminium or alloy-carbon arrows this technique is deemed unsafe and must be avoided since should an accidental release occur, the arrow could travel outside the range i.e. beyond the overshoot line. Longbow archers who use wooden arrows may raise their bow hand higher which is necessary to compensate for their much heavier arrows. The determination of an unsafe High Draw technique must not be determined by an individual but only by a consensus of judges, field captain or coaches.

High Setup   A draw technique where the archer’s bow hand and draw hand are raised together during setup to between chin and eye height resulting in the arrow remaining parallel to the ground throughout the draw. This technique is deemed to be safe since should an accidental release occur; the arrow will remain within the range i.e. not exceed the overshoot line.

Holding   Maintaining a steady bow position at full draw during aiming.

Honorary Member   A class of membership nominated by the members to individuals who have given exceptional service to the club and is voted by the members at an AGM. Honorary Archers are:

  • welcome in the clubhouse and at all club functions,
  • insured to shoot,
  • eligible for a fob for access in and out of the clubhouse,
  • eligible for a key,
  • welcome to attend General Meetings and may offer their opinion,
  • eligible to vote at General Meetings.

Index fletching (Compound)   The arrow fletching positioned in-line to the slot in the nock. This fletching is usually a different colour to the other fletchings. Formerly known as the cock fletching.

Index fletching (Recurve)   The arrow fletching positioned at right angle to the slot in the nock. This fletching is usually a different colour to the other fletchings. Formerly known as the cock fletching.

Judge   The person responsible for the application of the rules of shooting during a tournament.

Junior Member   Someone who is between the ages of 8 and 18 who has joined RCA for archery activities. Junior Archers are:

  • welcome in the clubhouse and at all club functions,
  • insured to shoot,
  • eligible for a fob for access in and out of the clubhouse,
  • not eligible for a key,
  • welcome to attend General Meetings and may offer their opinion,
  • not eligible to vote at General Meetings.

Kisser button   A small disc, or similar, which is fitted to the bow string and is drawn to the lips, or other reference point, before loosing (releasing).

Kyudo   The traditional Japanese form of archery.

Launcher   An arrow rest on top of a pronged extension just under and in line with the arrow. Can be spring loaded or drop away.

Left hand archer   An archer who draws with the left hand and aims with the left eye. The bow is held in the right hand.

Left hand bow   A bow with the window cut out on the right-hand side when viewed from bow's string side.

Let down   When drawing the bow to return to the pre-draw position without releasing the bowstring.

Let-off   The weight reduction of between 65% and 80% from the peak weight to the holding weight on a compound bow.

Level   A bubble device attached to the sight to help the archer maintain a vertical bow position. Very common on compound bows, not permitted on recurve bows.

Limb twist   A fault of recurve limbs which casts the limb tips off the centreline of the bow. Can also be caused by using the push-pull method of stringing the bow, or from abuse of the bow while stored.

Limbs   The parts of a bow that bend when the bow is drawn and give the propelling force to the arrow.

Longbow   A traditional bow popular in England in the Middle Ages, usually 6 feet or more in length and made of Yew wood or similar.

Longrod   Rod attached to the bow to dampen vibrations.

Loop   The woven or served eyes at the ends of a bow string that fit into the notches at the tip of the limbs when the bow is strung.

Loose/Loosing   The action of the draw hand at the point of release.

Low wrist   A bow hand position where the hand is flat against the bow grip and the pressure during the draw is in line through the forearm bone.

Mass weight   The weight of any piece of equipment placed on a weighing scale; usually used in reference to the bow.

Member (AGB)   An archer who has paid their membership fee to the governing body, Archery GB, and is therefore covered by the AGB third party liability insurance.

Member (RCA)   An archer who has paid their membership fees to Rochdale 

Company of Archers - the Club - and is therefore eligible to shoot at RCA 24/7 and attend RCA General Meetings and Committee Meetings.

Monofilament   A single strand material which is used for the centre serving on the string.

National Field Archery Society (NFAS)   Controlling body of Field Archery in Great Britain. Unlike Target Archery, Field Archery involves simulated hunting in woods or other rough terrain by shooting at pictures or models of animals.

Nock   A device fitted to the back of the arrow that has a groove in it which fits onto the string. It is the grooves at the extreme ends of the limbs in which the loop ends of the bow string fit.

Nock locator   A locator on the bowstring against which the arrow nock is placed.

Nocking point   The marked place on the bowstring where the arrow nock is placed before drawing and releasing; usually in pairs, one for each side of the nock.

Northern Counties Archery Society (NCAS)   When GNAS (now Archery GB) was created, the British Isles and Northern Ireland was split into Regions. NCAS was set up to serve the Northern Counties of England, Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Northumberland and Durham, plus the Isle of Man.

Olympic bow   A class of shooting where the bow has a single string and the bow is held with one hand and the string is drawn and released with the fingers of the other hand. Unlike barebow, sight aids and protruding stabilisers are permitted. Also known as a freestyle, recurve or take-down bow.

Open stance   A shooting stance where the line of the shoulders is less than 180 degrees taking a line from the shooting position to the centre of the target. An anti-clockwise turn of the feet for RH archer & vice versa.

Over braced   A bow that has a bracing height greater than the manufacturers’ recommendation, or a bow that is fitted with a string too short for optimum and safe performance.

Over spine   An arrow that is too stiff for the bow, as opposed to under spine, where the arrow is too weak.

Overbowed   A situation where the archer is using a bow that is too strong. Can be noticed by the archer shaking and will result in poor shooting habits, inaccuracy and can result in physical damage to the archer.

Overdraw   To pull the string further back than optimum at full draw which may cause limb failure or may cause personal injury.

Overshoot Line   A safety line defined by the Rules of Shooting clause 302 as:

(i) Overshoot Line. The overshoot line is a line parallel to the shooting line positioned at the required distance behind the targets and extending to the width of the side safety areas.

(ii) Bows shot off the fingers.

a. At target distances up to 60 yards/metres the overshoot line shall be at least 110yds from the shooting line.

b. At target distances over 60 yards/metres the overshoot line shall be at least 50 yards from the target line.

(iii) Bows shot with Mechanical Release Aids. At all target distances the overshoot line shall be at least 150 yards from the shooting line.

Pass through   An arrow that hits the target but passes right through the boss.

Peak weight   The highest weight achieved during the drawing of a compound bow.

Peeking   A shooting flaw wherein the archer moves the head at release to watch the flight of the arrow.

Peep-sight   A plastic or metal device attached to the string of a compound bow and has a small hole which the archer looks through to line up the front sight with the target. Also required to give clarity to a magnifying front sight.

Perfect end   An end in which all arrows land in the highest scoring zone.

Petticoat   An outer, non-scoring area, on some target faces where the target pins are placed to hold the face on the target mat. Also known as the skirt.

Pile (or Pyle)   The metal tip attached to the head of the arrow shaft. Also known as the point.

Pinching   Squeezing the arrow nock with the fingers whilst at full draw.

Plucking   A shooting flaw in which the string hand is pulled out sideways away from the anchor point (reference point) at the moment of loose.

Plunger   A device that fits to the recurve bow and protrudes just above the arrow rest which can be adjusted to assist in obtaining true arrow flight. Also known as a pressure button.

Point   The metal tip attached to the head of the arrow shaft. Also known as the pyle or pile.

Point of aim   A sighting method where the archer uses the tip of the arrow by placing it on a certain object to attain accuracy when shooting.

Porpoising   An undesirable, erratic, up/down motion of an arrow during its flight to the target, usually caused by a wrongly positioned nocking point.

Practise   A period of 45 minutes before a metric round during which archers can shoot as many arrows as they wish, but still observing the safety whistle commands.

Practise bow   A bow with a light draw weight, usually used when teaching beginners.

Pressure button   A device that fits to the bow. Also known as the button or plunger.

Pressure point   The place on the bow grip where the hand pressure is located when at full draw.

Quiver   A holder for arrows that may be worn by the archer or placed on the ground.

Range   The place where shooting takes place, whether indoors or outdoors.

Recurve bow   A class of shooting where the bow has a single string and the bow is held with one hand and the string is drawn and released with the fingers of the other hand. Unlike barebow, sight aids and protruding stabilisers are permitted. Also known as a freestyle, Olympic or take-down bow.

Reference point   A location on the archer's face to where the string hand comes at full draw to give consistency to shooting. Also known as the anchor point.

Release   The act of releasing the bowstring at full draw. Also known as loose.

Release aid   A mechanical hand-held device that attaches to the bowstring and used to draw and release the string minimising the string deflection on release.

Rest   A device mounted to the riser to support the arrow until it is released.

Right hand archer   An archer who draws with the right hand and aims with the right eye. The bow is held in the left hand.

Right hand bow   A bow with the window cut out on the left-hand side when viewed from bow's string side.

Riser   The rigid centre section of a bow onto which the limbs are attached.

Round   The number of ends shot at designated distances and sizes of targets to obtain a standard score.

Rules of Shooting   An Archery GB document which provides the approved rules for all shooting and etiquette in the UK.

Serving   Thread wrapped around the bowstring at its centre and on the loops to protect the string and reduce wear.

Serving tool   A mechanical device to assist in winding serving material onto the bow string.

Shaft   The main body of the arrow, un-fletched arrow tube or solid wood.

Shaft size   An identification code given to a particular arrow size and properties to allow matching with the bow weight in use.

Shelf   The ledge, usually radiused, at the base of the sight window on the riser that forms a platform for the arrow rest.

Shooting Administrative Procedures (SAP)   An Archery GB document which provides the approved guidance to organisers and to archers about matters related to the practise of archery within Archery GB.

Shooting glove   A partial glove with three fingers to protect the drawing hand fingers and to ensure a smooth release of the bow string. Usually for longbow archers.

Shooting line   A line marked parallel to the targets from which the archers shoot.

Shooting zone   The area between the Shooting Line and the Waiting Line. The Field Captain and/or Judges are allowed in the Shooting Zone, but archers must leave the Shooting Zone immediately they have finished shooting and wait behind the Waiting Line. Coaches or Instructors are allowed in the Shooting Zone only while they are instructing archers.

Sight   Any device mounted on the bow that allows the archer to aim directly at the target or mark.

Sight bar   The vertical bar of the bow sight to which the sight block or aperture assembly is attached.

Sight block   The moveable portion of the bow sight which holds the sight pin.

Sight extension   The horizontal bar of the bow sight to extend the sight pin away from the bow toward the target.

Sight marks   Recurve and compound archers are permitted to use sight aids. The sight mechanisms are adjusted for different target distances and have graduated scales. It is good practise to record your settings for various distances for ease of setting up for future shoots.

Sight pin   The part of the bow sight that is superimposed on the centre of the target during the act of aiming.

Sight window   The recessed area on the riser just above the grip.

Sighters   One end of six arrows or two ends of three arrows shot on an imperial round to ‘get your eye in’ prior to the scoring round.

Six gold end   A perfect end of six arrows all in the gold.

Skirt   An outer, non-scoring area on some target faces where the target pins are placed to hold the face on the target mat. Also known as the petticoat.

Sling   A strap attached to the bow through which the archer slips the bow hand, thereby preventing the bow from being dropped upon release.

Snap shooting   Shooting without pausing to aim carefully.

Social Member   Someone who has joined RCA for social activities only. Social Members are:

  • welcome in the clubhouse and at all club functions,
  • not insured to shoot,
  • eligible for a fob for access in and out of the clubhouse,
  • not eligible for a key,
  • eligible to vote at General Meetings.

Spine   The measured deflection of an arrow shaft established by hanging a specified weight (880 grams) from its centre whilst being supported at both ends (28” apart). A measure of the stiffness of arrows.

Stabiliser   A rod and weight assembly mounted on either the face or back of the riser to help eliminate torque of the bow around its axis upon release.

Stacking   A rapid disproportionate increase in draw weight in the last few inches when drawing some (usually older) recurve bows.

Stance   The physical standing alignment of the body in relation to the target in preparation for shooting.

String   The string of a bow usually made of synthetic material.

String alignment   The relationship between the bowstring and the sight aperture. Also known as string window.

String fingers   The fingers that hold the bowstring when shooting a bow.

String hand   The hand that pulls the string.

String height   The distance between the string and pressure point when the bow is strung. Also known as bracing height.

String jig   A mechanical device on which bow strings are made.

String loop   The parts of the string that fit over the limb nocks.

String walking   A technique where the longbow or barebow archer moves the position of the string fingers on the string to adjust the vertical displacement of the arrow.

Tab   A piece of leather worn on the drawing hand to protect the fingers and give a smoother release to the string.

Takedown bow   A class of shooting where the bow has a single string and the bow is held with one hand and the string is drawn and released with the fingers of the other hand. Unlike barebow, sight aids and protruding stabilisers are permitted. Also known as a freestyle, Olympic or recurve bow.

Target archery   A competitive round shot at fixed distances in an open field.

Target Captain   The person at each target during a tournament designated to record all arrows on that target onto the scoresheet. The Target Captain is the archer assigned to position ‘C’. Note, the Target Captain cannot score their own arrow values which must be recorded by the Target Lieutenant.

Target face   The paper face (or other material) printed with scoring area and mounted on the target boss.

Target Lieutenant   The person at each target during a tournament designated to record the arrow values shot by the Target Captain. The Target Lieutenant is the archer assigned to position ‘D’.

Target panic   The inability to hold the sight on the gold long enough to steady the bow sight and aim before release.

Target stand   A prefabricated structure which holds the target boss in the designated correct position.

Tassel   A tassel of yarn worn at the archer’s belt for cleaning arrows.

T-draw   A draw technique where the archer’s bow hand and draw hand are raised together during setup to chin height resulting in the arrow remaining parallel to the ground throughout the draw. This technique is deemed to be safe since should an accidental release occur; the arrow will remain within the range i.e. not exceed the overshoot line.

Tent line   A line behind which archers and spectators may erect a tent. No-one is permitted to cross the tent line towards the shooting line unless they are a participating archer and it is their turn to shoot, or the field party who may approach the targets to look for lost arrows or to move target bosses.

Throat   The narrowest part of the grip where the thumb and index finger encircle the grip.

Tiller   The difference between the measurements at a given point on the top & bottom bow limbs and the bow string. Most bows now have adjustable limb bolts that assist in adjusting the tiller measurements. Usually 4-9mm more at the top limb measurement.

Tip   The extreme end of the narrow part of the limbs.

Torque   A rotation of the bow about its axis upon release of the bow string.

Toxophile/toxophilite   One who takes part in the sport of archery.

Toxophilus   The title of the first book to teach the art of archery, written in 1545 by Roger Ascham who was the archery coach to Queen Elizabeth I of England.

Toxophily   The sport of archery.

Trajectory   The curved path of an arrow during its flight to the target.

Tune   Adjustments made to the bow and arrow set-up, to achieve the truest arrow flight possible.

Under spine   An arrow that is too weak for the bow, as opposed to over spine, where the arrow is too stiff.

Under-bowed   An archer shooting a bow that is too weak for the task being undertaken.

Under-draw   An archer who does not draw the bow to its full potential.

Under-strung   A bow with a string too long resulting in a low bracing height and reduced efficiency.

Unit aiming   Maintaining the relationship of the body’s shooting line while adjusting the elevation needed from the waist or hips.

Unshot arrow   If an arrow is dropped or mis-shot (excluding bouncers) and the archer can reach it without leaving the shooting position, the arrow is considered to be unshot, retrieved and re-shot.

Valley   The point of the lowest holding weight reached at full draw on a compound bow.

Vane   A feather or plastic fletching fitted to the arrow.

WA (World Archery)   Formerly FITA - Fédération Internationale de Tir à l’Arc. The international governing body of archery.

WA standard arrow   An arrow not exceeding the diameter of 25/64 of an inch (9.4mm) with a specification of the XX75 alloy or its equivalent.

WA standard bow   A basic one piece or take down bow with wood and or glass fibre limbs. It can have a simple sight and a non-adjustable arrow rest. The tab or finger protection must exclude any form of stiffening or locating platform. The un-braced bow complete with its accessories must be capable of passing through a hole of 12.2cm diameter.

WA Star   A special tournament run under WA (formerly FITA) rules at which an archer may win a FITA Star award. These are awarded to archers achieving a score for the first time in the following category – 1000 (star), 1100 (star on black shield), 1200 (Star on blue shield), 1300 (star on red shield), 1350 (star on gold shield) and 1400 (star on purple shield).

Waiting line   A line parallel to the shooting line, at least five yards behind the shooting line, which the archers about to go to the shooting line must not cross until given the signal to do so.

Wax   Beeswax or synthetic wax used to seal the bowstring preventing excessive moisture being absorbed. It also binds the string fibres together and lubricates the loop ends.

Weight   The force, measured in pounds, required to draw the bow to the specified draw length.

Windage   Horizontal correction of the bow-sight adjustment to compensate for wind drift.

Wobble   An erratic motion of an arrow in flight.

Wrist sling   A strap that wraps around the archer’s wrist and the bow, thereby preventing the bow falling to the ground during release.

Yew   A type of wood traditionally used to make bows.