Facts About Archery You Should Know

Archery goes back a long, long way in history. It’s said to have first started in 2800 BC as a means to hunt for food. Nowadays, of course, it’s not only used for hunting, but also as a demonstration of skill in leagues and sports contests. It first started with a wooden bow and arrow tipped with animal horn, but now, we have all sorts of best compound bows available in retailers. With its long history, archery has its share of several fascinating facts, like how the visually impaired can now participate in the sport.

Let’s look at some information regarding this sport which you may or may not know. This way, you’ll see yourself  more acquainted with it.

1. Toxophilus, The Archer’s Book

Human archery on the riverPhoto source: http://www.jerrygowins.com

At around 1545, Roger Ascham wrote the first ever book about archery. This is entitled Toxophilus, which means lover of bow in Greek. Toxophily is then used to refer to the science of archery and archers can be called toxophilite. A person rarely meets these words as they are more used to the layman’s terms “archery” and “archer”.

2. Archery Before All Sports

There has been records at several different times in the history of Britain when all other sports besides archery is banned. This includes bowling, football, and golf. In fact, Henry VIII has written a law in 1515, The Longbow Statute of King Henry VIII, where people are required to practice playing archery “at the butts” on Sundays after church. He was a firm believer that every man’s ancestors, except the Aborigine’s, used bows to hunt. Hence, it is in their blood and bones, and must be honored.

When cricket became popular in 1470s, Edward IV had to ban it as it had become a hindrance of people honing their archery skills.

3. Archery and Olympics

Archery was first accepted into Olympics in the summer of 1990, where each disciplines are classified according to the distance of the target. The target was usually a pigeon. Today, some rules has been changed. From the year it started until now, it has been observed that South Korea won mostly with its 19 gold medals.

4. Archery as the National Sport

Traditional Bow ArcheryPhoto source: http://www.hotelnorbuling.com

In Bhutan, archery is considered as the most popular sport; thus, gaining the title of being the country’s National Sport. Traditional archery in the country is slightly different from the standards set by Olympic. This includes the target and the distance of the archer to the target. A bullseye is called a ‘karay’. Bows and arrows are made from bamboo and tipped with metal. Archery teams are composed of 13 members, each one taking turn shooting two arrows in two different directions. The first team to get 25 points gets to win. Contests between towns are usually held and during the event, people would also enjoy lots of drinking, eating, dancing, and singing.

5. Recurve Bow Design

You may take a look at a recurve bow and decide that it has a chic and high-tech design. However, it actually goes back thousands of years ago. Unlike the other bows, such as the best compound bows, recurve bows dated back to the time of our ancestors at around 1500 BC.

6. Hunger Games 

The famous Young Adult movie, along with The Avengers and Game of Thrones, has stirred up interest in archery. With its promotion of the sport, more and more children are signing up to join archery classes. Jennifer Lawrence, the star of the movie, is actually trained by the US Olympic champion, Khatuna Lorig, who has already garnered 5 gold medals in the games.

7. Women in Archery

Women ArchersPhoto source: http://wesharepics.info

In the 1990s, when archery was accepted in the Olympic games, archery is the only sport in which women could join. Women have previously been winning competitions in this field, too. Interestingly, most of them are 50 years old or above. Sybil Newall, a great archer from Britain, won a gold medal in the Olympic and said to be the oldest female to do so.

8.  Archery and a Song

Barwick Green is the theme song of a long-running radio show, The Archer. This song is composed by Arthur Wood and is said to have been played more than 70,000 times. When heard, it is often associated with the sport.

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