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What next?

You’ve done your beginners course and started shooting at the club, but what are your next steps in archery?  This really depends on how serious you want to be – and how competitive you are.  You don’t need to compete against others however, it’s perfectly ok to just continue competing with yourself.

Here are some suggested next steps:

Outdoor 252s          

A ‘252’ round entails shooting 36 arrows at a full size face at distances 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80 and 100yards using imperial scoring.  252 is 7 x 36, meaning that on average, your arrow groups are within the red ring.  In practice, different bow styles score different totals.  
See the Badge Schemes
 page for more information.  These are an excellent way to measure your own progress for your own personal satisfaction but, it will take time to achieve 252 at the longer distances and that 20yard jump from 60 to 80 yards is quite significant, as is the 80 to 100 yard jump. Be aware, not many will achieve 252 at 80yards and very few will achieve 252 at 100yards.

Indoor Portsmouth

During the indoor season club members generally shoot Portsmouth rounds; 60 arrows onto a 60cm target at 20 yards using metric scoring.  Record all your scores and see how you improve over time.  Remember it's not about achieving similar scores shot by long standing members at the club.  It's more about being able to see how your own progression is coming along.  But, if you are nearing the scores of the long standing members at the club, it's always fun to let them know you're hot on their heels.

Get a scoring app

It’s a great idea to record your scores and see how they change over time.  All archers improve for a period, then plateau and then hopefully improve again – but if you don’t record your scores you’ll never know! There are a few apps listed on our Links page. 


The club tries to hold regular ‘progress’ coaching sessions – make sure you book a space on one!  Or you can ask for some one-to-one coaching as well.  It is important to work on one/two things at a time in a consistent manner – and remember that new equipment will not magically improve your archery!  If you want a occasional help you as and when you have a question, please feel free to talk to any of the OvBA coaches to get some help.  If you want coaching on a semi regular basis to help you improve, please talk to the coach you would like to help you and see if they have the time to help you and work with just that one coach.


Different types of archery        

You can try a different bow style, the club have a few and often members are willing to lend equipment to others.  Also, why not try field, 3D, clout or simply change the distance/round that you normally shoot.

WA Awards             

The white arrow you (hopefully) earned during your beginners course is the first in a series of awards that you can earn through a combination of knowledge and shooting ability – see below for more details.


The club holds regular friendly competitions, and club members compete in many postal competitions and challenges throughout the year at all levels (county, region, national, international).  Many club members travel to competitions around the country.  You probably think you aren’t good enough to compete and will embarrass yourself – this is never true – even coming last you will have fun, meet new people and get a load of advice from other competitors.


To give you some examples of competitions that club members are involved in:   

  • AGB January and summer challenges (metric rounds)

  • BA postal leagues (Portsmouth & Frostbites)

  • SCAS Portsmouth league

  • WA international online/postal competitions

  • Local, County and national target tournaments (Portsmouth, WA18m, WA15m, Windsor, 1440)

  • National field tournaments

If you think you want to compete, talk to any club member that does, or the committee, and we can advise you on steps you’d need to take, competition rules and get you signed up for a nice friendly competition to start you off!


WA Arrow Awards

The WA Arrows scheme requires archers to attend practice sessions between each award level, followed by an assessment to test both the archers shooting ability and their knowledge of the sport.  Full details of each award can be found through the links below, briefly:


Black Arrow Award

Full details here:  Black Arrow award

In essence, this award requires the archer to have completed:

  • Attended 7 practise sessions, since the previous award assessment

  • Can demonstrate:

    • Body and equipment stability at full draw

    • Consistent finger positioning

    • Alignment between arrow and forearm

    • Ability to name and describe 5 different components of a bow

    • Arrow inspection for safety purposes; knowledge of what to do if an arrow hangs from target

    • Can shoot 115 from 15 arrows at 14m onto a 80cm target

Blue Arrow Award

Full details here: Blue Arrow award

In essence, this award requires the archer to have completed:

  • Attended 7 practise sessions, since the previous award assessment

  • Can demonstrate:

    • Correct draw hand position during draw

    • Alignment between arrow and forearm

    • Describe how to replace an arrow nock

    • Describe 3 different forms of bow

  • Can shoot 115 from 15 arrows at 18m onto a 80cm target

Red Arrow Award

Full details here: Red Arrow award

In essence, this award requires the archer to have completed:

  • Attended 7 practise sessions, since the previous award assessment

  • Can demonstrate:

    • A release that demonstrated follow through on back muscles

    • Consistent and relaxed bow hand

    • Correct bow arm elbow orientation

    • Describe 3 different archery disciplines

    • Can fit a point and fletch an arrow

    • Can shoot 115 from 15 arrows at 22m onto a 80cm target

Gold Arrow Award

Full details here: Gold Arrow award

In essence, this award requires the archer to have completed:

  • Attended 7 practise sessions, since the previous award assessment

  • Can demonstrate:

    • Good string clearance

    • Good follow through

    • Consistent shooting sequence

    • Knowledge of how to enter a tournament

    • Can fix a nocking point and arrow rest

  • Can shoot 115 from 15 arrows at 26m onto a 80cm target


Scoresheets for the awards



Archery recognises two classification schemes; one for indoors, one for outdoors.  Both schemes use the best three scores achieved within the season.  The indoor scheme can use scores from club target days and competitions, whereas the outdoor scheme can only use scores from recognised competitions.  Full details can be found in the Archery GB shooting procedure document: here

Indoor classifications (1st July -> 30th June)

  • Grades A – H,

  • Three rounds shot in a year at Archery GB shoots or club target day

  • Portsmouth:

    • Recurve Ladies:A;582, B;569, C;534, D;479, E;380, F;255, G;139, H;93

    • Recurve Gents:A;592, B;582, C;554, D;505, E;432, F;315, G;195, H;139

    • Compound Ladies:A;570, B;562, C;544, D;509, E;449, F;347, G;206, H;160

    • Compound Gents:A;581, B;570, C;554, D;529, E;484, F;396, G;279, H;206

Outdoor classifications

  • Grand master Bowman, Master Bowman, Junior Master bowman, Bowman, Junior Bowman, 1st class -> 3rd class

  • 3 rounds shot in a year at UK record status tournaments

  • A Windsor round can be used to achieve classifications for the following.Higher classifications can be achieved at longer rounds (e.g. York, WA1440) or at field archery competitions.

    • Ladies; 1st class:713, 2nd class: 584, 3rd class: 402

    • Gents; 2nd class: 713, 3rd class: 563

    • Juniors can shoot Junior and short Windsor rounds



Competition awards

The following awards can be claimed at official competitions when the correct score is achieved. Full details can be found in the Shooting Admin Procedures document, as detailed above.

WA target

Target awards are available when shooting at WA rounds at world record status tournaments.  Different colour awards are available for different scores in various rounds.  The lowest scores (white award) are as follows:

  • WA 70m:500

  • WA 900:750

  • 25m indoor:500

  • 18m indoor: 500

  • WA50 compound:500

WA Arrowhead

Arrowhead awards are available when shooting at field target competitions.  Our annual competition has Arrowhead status.

English crosses

Obtained in WA1440 record status competitions shot in England, details here

Six gold end

At Archery GB tournaments or club target days

  • 6 golds (x,10,9 in metric scoring) or 3 golds for longbow

  • shortest distance claimable is:

    • Gents: 80yds/70m

    • Ladies: 60yds/60m

    • Junior gents:U18 60yds/60m; U16 50yds/50m; U14 40yds/40m

    • Junior ladies:U18 50yds/50m; U16 40yds/40m; U14 30yds/30m

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