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How to Score Archery Targets

By Jason Brick

In any sport, knowing how to score is a vital part of knowing how to win. Competitive archery is no different. Although some regions, classes and events have different rule sets, most are governed by one of two bodies: the Federation Internationale de Tir a L'Arc (FITA) and the National Field Archery Association (NFAA). The basic concept is simple. Archers fire arrows at a round target consisting of concentric circles. The closer an arrow is to the center of the target, the more points it scores. Archers compete by comparing the total score for all arrows fired in a round of competition.

Common Conventions

  1. Wait until all arrows for the round are fired before touching or scoring any arrows. In most events, archers shoot several rounds of six arrows each.

  2. Record arrow scores from highest to lowest, regardless of the order in which they hit.

  3. Score zero points for any arrow that misses the target.

  4. Allow competitors to reshoot any arrow that strikes but does not stick in the target. This includes arrows that pass all the way through the target.

  5. Grant the highest-scoring ring for any arrow with part of the head in two different rings.

FITA Scoring

  1. Score 10 points for every arrow in the center ring marked with an “X.”

  2. Score one point less for each ring farther from the center that any other arrows hit. For example, an arrow in a ring four rings from the center would score six points.

  3. Score 10 points for any arrow that hits the central “X.” However, if two archers are tied at the end of a round, the archer with the most arrows touching the "X" wins.

NFAA Scoring

  1. Score five points for each arrow that sticks in the white ring at the center.

  2. Score four points for each arrow in the innermost blue ring.

  3. Score one point less for each blue ring farther out for the center. The outermost blue ring scores one point.

  4. Tip

    Because rules do vary from event to event, read and understand the scoring specifics of any given competition prior to beginning your round.

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