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Archery

Archery is one of the oldest arts still practiced today. Although its history probably dates back much further, the ancient Egyptians are the first people known to have used bows and arrows for hunting and warfare at least 5000 years ago. The modern history of the sport goes back to 16th century England when King Henry VIII founded the country’s first club and the first known organized competition was held.

Archery was first included on the Olympic program at Paris 1900 and again at St. Louis 1904, London 1908 and Antwerp 1920. The events varied from Games to Games as international rules had not yet been developed. This disorganization led to archery being kept off future Olympic programs. It wasn’t until the international governing body was founded in 1931 that standardized rules were implemented. By 1972 enough countries had adopted the international rules and archery was reintroduced to the Olympic Games in Munich with individual events for men and women. The team events were added at Seoul 1988. Archery was first included at the Pan American Games in 1979.

Marie-Pier Beaudet

Archers at the Pan American Games shoot recurve bows, a type of bow that must have a single string. It may have a mechanical sight (but no optical enhancements) and a variety of stabilizers and/or weights attached to it which help balance the bow in the archer’s hand and absorb vibration when the string is released. Arrows are customized to each archer and made of carbon or carbon aluminum. Modern bows are made of state-of-the-art materials such as aircraft aluminum and/or carbon composites.

The paper target, 122cm in diameter, is attached to an Ethafoam buttress and placed 70m from the shooting line. Targets are divided into five coloured rings (gold, red, blue, black, white) of equal widths (12.2cm) with each ring further divided in half to create 10 scoring zones. Shots landing in the inner gold ring are worth 10 points, with values decreasing by one point for each zone away from the centre, leaving the outer white ring worth one point.

Events

Individual - Men and Women

Competition begins with a ranking round of 72 arrows to determine the seeding. That is followed by the Olympic Round in which competitors face off in a single-elimination bracket tournament, based on the seeding. The winners of each match move on to the next round. The semifinal winners will play in a gold medal match while the semifinal losers play in the bronze medal match.

Each individual match is best-of-five sets of three arrows. After each set of three arrows, the archer with the highest score earns two points. If a set is scored as a tie, each archer receives one point. The first archer to reach six points wins the match. A match is tied when each archer has five points. In the tiebreaker each archer shoots one arrow. The owner of the arrow closest to the centre wins the match.

Team - Men and Women

One team per NOC per gender, each composed of three archers, compete in the team events. Competition begins with a ranking round of 72 arrows to determine the seeding. That is followed by the Olympic Round in which teams face off in a single-elimination bracket tournament, based on the seeding. The winners of each match move on to the next round. The semifinal winners will play in a gold medal match while the semifinal losers play in the bronze medal match.

Each team match consists of four ends in which each archer on each team shoots two arrows. There is a time limit of two minutes for all six arrows to be shot by a team. Only one archer can shoot at a time. The team with the highest total score after an end earns two points. The first team to reach five points wins the match. A match is tied when each team has four points. In the tiebreaker each archer on each team shoots one arrow and the team with the highest total score for those three arrows wins the match. If that score is also tied, then the team with the arrow closest to the centre wins the match.

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