Beginners Guide to Combat Archery

Person playing combat archery with archery equipment

Image Credit to Archers Arena

Beginners Guide to Combat Archery

Archery has been in existence for thousands of years. It was purely for combat and hunting in older days, but today it’s one of the most enthralling recreational activities.

The advent of guns and other sophisticated weaponry caused archery to be obsolete in various practices. Many devoted archery-powered personnel and armies adopted rifles and guns for mobility and accuracy, avoiding the musculature and skills needed for drawing bows.

But the benefits and fun coming with archery are just too hard to ignore. So if you intend to get started with this activity here is a complete guide to combat archery. We’ll give you insight into why it’s a great hobby and help you become a pro archer.

What is Combat Archery?

Combat archery refers to a group game mostly played in an open field, indoor arena, park, or backyard. It combines different sports, including paintball, archery, and dodgeball, and often goes by archery tag or battle archery.

The game is usually played with bow and arrows padded with rubber/foam tips. Players team up in small groups and play games on fields with obstacles, trying to hit their opponents with arrows to eliminate them.

Essential tools needed for this activity are arrows, a bow, and a face/eye shield. Combat archery includes a wide range of games, some requiring only two players, but most need teams of 4-5 players.

What are the Benefits of Combat Archery?

Besides being a great hobby, combat archery can offer numerous benefits you can’t get from other activities. Some of these advantages are:

1. Keeps the mind sharp

Archery is a great activity to keep your mind sharp and alert. It requires archers to be more focused in order to take excellent and accurate shots. The brainpower and attention needed for combat archery are great for your mind and overall health.

2. Fun and entertaining

Hobbies are meant to be fun and enjoyable to their partakers, and combat archery combines all that. Playing with other people also promotes camaraderie and can help you network with people sharing the same interests and ideas.

There are many games you can practice in combat archery, making it an even more dynamic hobby. You can play it with your spouse or colleague, participate in archery tournaments, or go hunting outdoors. This game will always provide you with the fun and socialization you need.

3. Great for upper-body strength

Although archery doesn’t involve running on different courts or racing opponents to win, it requires strength. You’ll need to train your back, shoulders, chest, and arm muscles well to draw the bow and make accurate shots.

4. Cheap and easy to start

The effort and expense needed to participate in a sport are often the primary reasons people give up on their hobbies. Many will require specific or expensive gear, sufficient training, more energy, or dedicated time. But this isn’t the case with combat archery.

You only need a bow, arrows, a face/eye shield, your free time, and you’re good to go. You can also rent or use archery shops or club equipment to practice and play.

5. Good for self-fulfillment and confidence

Making accurate shots and watching your skills improve can make you feel self-fulfilled and boost your confidence as an archer. It makes you believe in yourself more and offers a sense of self-accomplishment

6. Promotes socialization

Combat archery provides the best opportunity to interact with people and learn more about them. The game usually involves more than two players and has numerous participants worldwide. Mingling with other players can teach you more about the game and how to relate to others.

Where Can I Play Combat Archery?

You can play combat archery in any area of your choosing so long as it’s safe. It may be an indoor arena, backyard, or open field.

The arena is an excellent choice for starters and people playing it regularly.

However, if you plan to venture deeply into combat archery and make it your hobby, it’s best to get your own equipment. It will save you money and enhance your convenience of practicing any time you want.

Since you can play this game in a backyard, it can be an excellent activity during holidays, birthdays, cookouts, and other group gatherings with people willing to partake in it. Unlike airsoft and paintball, this game is safe enough to be played almost anywhere, including rec areas and parks.

However, it’s recommended to play it in an area with several natural obstacles for the game to be more captivating. Playing while moving through the obstacles as you take cover will make your experience even more fun and memorable.

Is Combat Archery Safe?

Yes. Combat archery is a safe game to play in almost any setting. However, you need to ensure you do it correctly and use the appropriate gear, bow, and arrow for enhanced safety. The arrow tips should be padded with foam or rubber, and the bow shouldn’t have a draw weight of more than 30 pounds.

It’s safer to use bows specifically designed for combat archery. Bows that are ideal have the right draw weight (less than 30 pounds).

Arms guard and face shield are also other essential equipment for archery tag. These tools will prevent you from getting injured or distracted while playing. The game is suitable for almost everyone, including kids and adults, and it’s also a popular and fun family game.

What Are the Rules of Combat Archery?

Combat archery rules strongly resemble those of dodgeball. The games include two teams, each with 5 players who go to a head-to-head archery fight. The teams should ensure they remain on their safety zone side, and every zone has targets that opposing players should strike to get points.

Every player will have an initial arrow, which they can only replace after their first shot. However, they should always remain in the safety zone to be not tagged.

Players can also retrieve arrows they shoot outside the field boundary, and they can’t be tagged in the process.

You can tag a player out by hitting them on any part of their body, equipment, or clothing. Headshots can also serve the same purpose, but they’re mostly discouraged. If you’re eliminated, your teammate can tag you back into the game if they catch a flying arrow. However, your other team members will have to re-enter first if they were eliminated before you.

The game starts with the referee blowing a whistle. Every player that hits a target with their rubber/foamed-tipped arrow earns their team two points. You can also get two points for hitting a target and one point for striking an opponent with your arrow.

There are three ways to determine the winning team:

  • The first team to hit every center of their opponent’s targets
  • The team with the least missing centers from their targets in a given period
  • The first team to eliminate all their opponents 

Is Combat Archery a Sport or Hobby?

Archery tag is a fun sport you can take up to be your hobby. It was first started in 2011 by John Jackson and became popular after being featured in a film called The Hunger Games.

Combat archery is considered a sport when played for competition or tournament and a hobby when played only for fun and leisure. The main difference is how you practice and train in archery.

One of the most common forms of archery considered a sport is target archery. It involves more than two players competing against each other to make the most precise shots from different distances.  

Another good example is field archery, where archers shoot targets in a setting with obstacles. Practicing combat archery as a sport will require you to use more sophisticated techniques than when playing it as a hobbyist.

This sport is also an excellent hobby to enhance physical fitness and confidence. Practicing it will boost your strength, focus, and patience.

You can play archery tag as a hobby in your home’s backyard, a park, or an open field. If you need to practice it as a sport, you can consider several archery organizations and groups near you. There are also many archery competitions and events, which you can join at a specific fee.   

Other Important Tips to Remember During Combat Archery

Archery tag is a lot of fun if you understand the rules and how to play it well. Some essential information to keep in mind includes:

1. Avoid dry firing

Dry firing is when archers start drawing their bows without nocking arrows. Most people do this because of curiosity and enthusiasm to try out the equipment. However, this act is discouraged since you can easily hurt yourself or damage the bows.

2. Know your weapon

Knowing how to use archery weapons (bow and arrow) can significantly boost your combat archery game. Before most games, the facilitators will explain how each tool works as you practice. It’s good to be more attentive to know how to use them well.

3. Always put on your safety gear

Although archery tag arrows are padded with foam, it’s still best to wear your mask to avoid possible injuries.

4. Avoid playing when unwell

Facilitators will often ask you if you feel sick and/or are healthy before the game starts to determine whether you’re fit to play. It’s advisable to take a break during the game when necessary to prevent any unhealthy feelings.

Get Started with Combat Archery

Combat archery is an enjoyable and beneficial sport and hobby. It’s inexpensive to start, helps build upper-body strength, promotes socialization, self-confidence, self-accomplishment, improves focus, and keeps the mind sharp.

For more fun and a better experience, it’s best to use the right bows and arrows, know how to utilize your weapons, and the combat archery rules. You can play archery tag with your family and friends or compete with more experienced archers in archery tournaments.

However, as an archery tag hobbyist, it’s good to have your own equipment to practice and enjoy often. Enjoy this dynamic game.

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