Target and Combat Archery

Target and Combat Archery


Archery in the SCA takes two forms: target and combat. Target archery consists of target shoots with longbow, recurve or crossbow (not compound) at a series of standard ranges. Arrows must be wooden with feather fletching. The Barony participates in Inter-Kingdom Archery Competitions from time to time, and archery practices are held regularly (see the Events Calendar).

Combat archery usually mixes “heavy” fighters, armed with traditional SCA weaponry such as sword and shield, with archers, who are armed with bow and arrows or possibly siege weapons. Combat is typically held at camping events, such as Canterbury Faire, where different scenarios are used to mix the two fighting forms. There are important safety rules governing this sort of combat.

All fighters in combat involving archers must have legal mesh on their helm so that arrows cannot get through the bars. Bows for combat archery are permitted to pull no more than 30lbs at 28 inches for longbows and recurves; crossbows no more than 600 inch-pounds. Compound bows are not permitted, and you should not plan on travelling with a crossbow to Australian events as they are considered firearms and banned.

Blunts on arrows must be the approved Kingdom standard, which is “Riverhaven Mk II” blunts. These must be securely taped to the arrow shaft – gluing is discouraged and taping across the striking surface of the blunt is not permitted. Shafts must be wooden, no more than 8mm (5/16″) diameter and bound in fibre tape.

For further detailed information, check out the materials available from the links below.

See the Calendar for information about Archery Practices (day/location).

An equipment usage fee applies for the Barony Archery Practices held in Christchurch. This fee contributes towards the cost of replacing equipment, including targets, target frames, bows, arrows, strings, etc. We do not handle cash at the practice, so this is managed by paying $20 for a concession card. You can pay for a card by processing a payment direct to the Barony’s bank account (Account Number 03 0855 0256124 00). Please put your surname in one of the reference fields, and “ARCHERY” in another. At practice you just need to show the target archery marshal in charge proof of your payment and they will issue you a card. The card has 10 slots. At each practice, if you are using your own bow and arrows, 1 slot will be crossed off. If you are using the loaner bows/arrows then 2 slots will be crossed off.

Children under 12 are not required to pay for the equipment usage. Also everyone’s first visit is free. Equipment usage fees do not apply to tournaments, only practices.

If you are bringing your own bow and arrows, please note that there may be limits imposed on bow power. Also broadheads on arrows are not permitted, so please limit your arrows to those with field tips or bodkin points to reduce the damage to our targets. If in doubt, please contact the Captain of Archers by email.

Resources for Archers