Essay, Research Paper: Archery


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The National Archery Association of the United States had its origin as a result
of our own country's history. After the Civil War, Confederate soldiers were not
allowed to own firearms. Two brothers, J. Maurice and William H. Thompson,
learned to hunt with the bow and arrow and became accomplished archers. They
were both founding members of the N.A.A. in 1879 at Crawfordsville, Indiana.
Archery tournaments, as we know them today, can also be traced back to England.
Competitions were held as part of community festivals as early as the 17th
century. Archery became an official event in the modern Olympic Games in 1900
and was also featured in 1904, 1908 and 1920. International rules had not yet
been developed, though, and each host country used its own rules and format.
Because of the confusion, the sport was eliminated from the Olympic program
until 1972. Target archery competition centers around specific distances,
usually from 20 to 90 meters or yards, with target faces of various sizes and
center-scoring rings marked off in centimeters. A game in archery is called a
round. Examples in target archery are the 600 Round and the 900 Round, named for
potential perfect scores. Up to four archers may shoot at the same target in a
given round, each using his/her own distinguishable arrows. An end makes up the
number of arrows shot in a row before a score is recorded and the arrows are
pulled. In target shooting an end may be from three to six arrows, depending
upon the size target and the distance involved. One archery game that is growing
in popularity is a spin-off of the rifle and handgun game silhouette. In archery
silhouette, however, foam plastic targets replace the metallic version used with
firearms. The silhouette target shapes are the same as those used in the
original game chicken, pig, turkey and ram, but the actual contest has an
additional challenge that makes it even more attractive to archers. Targets are
placed at various distances in-groups of three. The first target in each group
is positioned at a known distance, from 25 meters for the chicken, out to 70
meters for the ram. The remaining two targets in each group may be put at
varying distances up to but not beyond the next set, forcing the shooter to
estimate the distance to the target. To score a hit, a target must be completely
toppled. While this game is ideal for the bow hunter armed with a high tech
compound bow, the bare bow archer is also equipped to handle the course of fire.
In some archery silhouette events, an added challenge is a timed match, whereby
the shooter may have just two minutes to get off 36 arrows. This type game all
but eliminates the use of fancy or sophisticated sighting devices. Most shooters
use a bow with a draw weight of at least 40 pounds and draw weights in excess of
70 pounds, capable of dropping the ram target at 75 yards, are not uncommon. In
standard FAA events, equipment is divided into four categories: bare bow,
freestyle, competitive bow hunter and competitive freestyle bow hunter. In bare
bow there are no sights or sight-marking devices of any kind or mechanical
release devices. In freestyle, practically any sighting or release device,
stabilizer or arrow rest is allowed. There is a variety of archery equipment
available today from ancient wooden bows and arrows to sophisticated compound
bows and carbon-graphite arrows. Most archers take advantage of technical
advances in equipment. This includes the latest in compound bows in various
arrangements and components of glues, carbon and graphite. Steel cables are
fixed in different ways over off-center wheels to permit easy holding at full
draw. Better string material, sighting aids, draw stops, vibration dampeners,
overdraws, arrow rests and stabilizers are some of the improvements added to the
bow to make them more effective for those who can use their advantages. Arrows
are available in wood, plastic, aluminum alloys and carbon-graphites. The points
of the arrow have evolved from the famous flint arrowheads of the Indians to the
modern screw-on replaceable heads used today. There are other popular games in
archery such as the Clout, where arrows are lobbed long distances (150 yards and
more) at a single target. The Wand shoot is where a thin vertical stick of wood
or reed serves as a target, which is a carryover from ancient times. Both the
National Archery Association (NAA) and Field Archery Association (FAA) shoot
similar games. The first, however, is more closely concerned with excellence on
the target line and is the sponsoring organization for Olympic Shooting in the
United States. National Field Archery Association deals with the hunting scene,
with targets simulating actual field shooting situations. The NAA, in addition
to its role as Olympic governing body, also implements a youth archery-training
program, Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD), which exposes thousands to
the sport. Internationally, Federation Internationale de Tir A L'arc (FITA) sets
the rules for target archery for member nations, including the United States;
The World Archery Center teaches various levels of learners and instructors from
many nations.

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