Archery is an ancient sport that has evolved a number of variations in format. While target archery is the most popular and recognisable modern archery discipline thanks to its inclusion in the Olympic Games, World Archery also recognises a number of other archery disciplines.
Target archery takes place both indoors and outdoors, at distances of up to 90 metres, using the well-known gold, red, blue, black and white target faces. The sport of target archery combines skills of strength, precision and consistency and features in the Olympic Games and the World Games. The World Archery Championships, World Archery Indoor Championships and World Archery Youth Championships are held every two years.
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Para archery competitions, both indoor and outdoor, are target archery events for athletes with impairments that classify them for one of World Archery’s para athlete categories: open, W1 and visually impaired. Archery was featured in the first Paralympic Games in 1960 and has been at every one since. The World Archery Para Championships is held every two years.
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Field archery is often compared to golf as athletes shoot a course of targets laid around an open area, often in the countryside, in woods or around mountains and usually at target faces of black and gold. The discipline requires some additional skills, such as the ability to shoot up- and downhill, across slopes and judge distances. Field archery is included in the World Games. The World Archery Field Championships are held every two years.
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Like field archery, 3D archery courses are laid out in open areas, with athletes shooting at different-sized and -shaped foam targets. The World Archery 3D Championships are held every two years.
Flight and clout archery are both competed over long distances. In clout archery, athletes shoot at a flag and concentric circles placed in the ground of distances of over 150 metres. Athletes compete in flight archery events to see who can shoot an arrow the furthest. Both disciplines are subject to carefully-applied safety rules.
Both ski and run archery combine basic archery with endurance races. Ski archery takes place in similar venues to cross-country skiing while run archery events are held on long-distance running tracks or courses. Athletes stop at stations to shoot at targets, usually at short distance, with basic bows.