Glossary of Archery Terms

Archery GB : The body recognised by FITA as governing archery throughout Great Britain (formally known as GNAS).

Arrow Rest : A shelf on which the arrow rests during the draw, located just above the bow handle.

Arm Guard : See Bracer.

Back of Bow : The face of the bow which is on the opposite side from the string.

Barebow : A class in field archery which does not allow the use of shooting aids on the bow such as sights, buttons and stabilisers.

Basic Technique : The systematic method of shooting used in teaching and coaching.

Belly of Bow The face of the bow which is on the same side as the string.

Boss Target, usually made from compressed straw.

Bouncer : An arrow that hits the target and rebounds from it.

Bow Arm : The arm that corresponds to the bow hand.

Bow Hand : The hand which supports the bow.

Bow Sight : A devise fitted to the bow to aid aiming, usually adjustable.

Bow String : The cord or string which is stretched between the bow nocks when the bow is braced, and on which the arrow is placed for shooting.

Bow Stringer : A cord with loops or cups for holding the bow limbs to assist with bracing the bow.

Bowyer : A maker of bows.

Brace : To string the bow.

Bracer : A shield or guard worn on the inside of the bow arm above the wrist.

Cast : A term used to describe the measured ability of a bow to project an arrow.

Cock Fletching : The fletching or feather at right angles to the arrow nock, usually a different colour to the others on the arrow.

Compound Bow : A bow whose efficiency is enhanced by use of eccentric wheels (cams) over which the cables attached to the either end of the string are drawn.

Controlling or Dominant Eye : The eye used by the archer for sighting.

Creeping : Allowing the arm to move forwards from full draw before being loosed.

Cresting : Bands of colour painted around an arrow for decoration or identification.

End (FITA rules) : Three arrows shot during one visit to the shooting line. Arrows are scored and collected after two ends of three for distances in excess of 50 metres, and single ends at 50 metres or less.

End (GNAS rules) : Six arrows shot alternately, in two lots of three, with other archers on the same target. Arrows are scored and collected after each end.

Fast! : Warning cry used to stop shooting in an emergency.

Face Position : A constant point on the archers face to which the loosing hand and string is drawn.

Field Captain : The person controlling the shooting along all or part of the shooting range, responsible to the judge.

Finger Tab : A shield worn on the loosing fingers for protection of the fingers and to facilitate a smooth release.

FITA : (Federation Internationale de Tir a L ‘arc) The international governing body for archery.

Fletch : A feather, vane or some other material usually plastic which is shaped and fitted to the arrow to stabilise it in flight.

Fletchings : A collective word to describe the feathers or vanes on an arrow.

Fletching Jig : A device to assist in fletching arrows.

Follow Through : The movements which take place in the archer and his equipment as a result of the loose.

GMB : Grand Master Bowman.

GNAS : See Archery GB.

Gold : The central zone of the target face coloured yellow.

Ground Quiver : A frame for holding bows and/or arrows.

Group : A cluster of arrows close together in the target.

Handicap : A system of allowances for scores to be adjusted, theoretically bringing archers of various standings to an equal result.

Handle : The part of the bow that is held in the hand.

Holding : Keeping the bow on aim at full draw.

Loose : The result of releasing the drawn string.

Mark : Any target at which the bow is intentionally aimed.

MB : Master Bowman – the second highest classification in archery.

Nock : (1) The slot at the end of an arrow which is used to locate it on the string. (2) The grooves at the ends of the bow limbs onto which the string is fitted. (3) To locate the arrow nock onto the string.

Nocking Point : The point on the sting where the nock of the arrow is located each time.

Overbowed : To use a bow with a draw weight which is too heavy for the archer.

Overdraw : To draw the pile of the arrow beyond the arrow rest (VERY DANGEROUS).

Perfect End : To obtain a maximum score for an end of six arrows.

Pinching : Gripping the nock of the arrow between the fingers of the string hand.

Pinhole : The exact centre of the target. (DRINKS ALL ROUND IF YOU PUT AN ARROW ON THE CROSS).

Point of Aim : An aiming point other than the centre of the target.

Practice Bow : A bow of simple design and light draw weight, usually fibreglass or wood, used for teaching beginners.

Prep Line (preparation line) : the balanced pre draw position of the archer, sometimes related specifically to the relative positions of the bow hand, string arm and arrow.

Pile : The opposite end of the arrow from the nock, i.e the point.

Quiver : Receptacle for holding arrows, usually worn on the belt for target archery.

Recurve : The curvature of the bow limbs away from the archer at the tips.

Riser : The centre section of a modern bow onto which the limbs are joined.

Round : A combination of a set number of arrows at set distances.

Serving: The thread which is wound around the bow string to prevent it from fraying.

String Arm : The arm that corresponds to the string hand.

String Hand : The hand which is holding the string during the draw.

Shooting Line : The line which the archer stands astride when shooting.

Sighters : Arrows which are allowed to be shot at the start of the competition for the benefit of sight adjustment, before the commencement of scoring.

Skirt : The outer edge of the target to which there is no score.

Sling : Used to restrain the bow movement when shooting with an open bow hand.

Spranton : poorly executed shot that ends up in the gold

Spectators line : A line 15 metres behind the shooting line, and parallel to it.

Spine : The measured ability of an arrow to bend.

Stabilisers : Weights which are used to add mass to the bow to slow bow movement during the time taken for the arrow to become free from the string.

Tab : See Finger tab.

Tackle : Collective word used to describe an archers equipment.

Target Captain : The person in charge of the conduct of archers at the target, particularly when recording scores.

Target Face : A cover marked with scoring zones, placed over or on the target boss; usually made of paper.

Target Lieutenant : Assistant to the Target Captain.

Target Stand : A wooden stand on which the boss is placed (also known as frame).

Terrible Shot : A shot that is terrible.

Toxophilite : A student of Archery.

Trajectory : The curved flight path of the arrow caused by the effect of gravity.

Underbowed : To use a bow of too light a draw weight.

Underdraw : to draw insufficient arrow length.

Waiting line : A line 5 metres behind the shooting line, where archers wait whilst others are shooting.

Wax : Beeswax is normally used to seal a bowstring, thus retaining the correct level of moisture within the threads. It also binds the strands together.