The club has members who shoot both recreationally and competitively, but whatever their reason for shooting with a bow, we find that people like to see their scores improving over time so we offer a range of schemes and incentives for progression, such as badges to be earned by shooting at club sessions. We also try to keep members informed via email about upcoming competitions and any other archery opportunities we learn about, so keep an eye on your inbox!
Typically, you’ll want to shoot recognised “rounds” at a club session or at a competition; with a view to improving your technique and stamina. In addition, our coaches are ready to assist you in progressing to achieve your goals; either within the “Next Steps” programme or in 1:1 sessions arranged with one of our coaches. Given our good fortune in having 24/7 access to both an indoor and outdoor shooting range, there is always an opportunity to shoot, practice, and improve. Whether it’s the indoor or outdoor season, you’ll really benefit from setting yourself a goal to work on and keep yourself motivated.
So, try a new bowstyle; aim to improve your handicap; shoot a round that is new to you; enter an external competition. Above all, enjoy your archery and enjoy getting better!
We have an excellent team of coaches within the club who can help you progress in your technique and improve your scores. Between them they cover different areas of specialist knowledge – equipment tuning, mental skills, competition tips, and archery-specific exercises; to name a few! While our coaches are there to help you, they do follow a “Coaching by Consent” policy which means you will need to ask for coaching. Our coaches won’t just approach people on the line at club sessions to offer advice as you could be individually working on a particular aspect of your technique, or just shooting to relax after a hard day; in which case the last thing you want is someone interfering!
So, if you feel you want the assistance of one of our coaches; just ask!
That consent policy cuts both ways. Please remember that our club coaches are volunteers and may themselves be practising for competitions, or trying to achieve a goal that session, or may simply want to do a bit of quiet shooting. However, if you’re struggling and feel a coach could help, then please do ask – it’s likely that they’ll either immediately assist or make arrangements to assist you at another mutually convenient time. Away from the shooting line, you can use the contact form on our People page to send a request to the coaching team so that you can arrange for help on at a mutually convenient time!
For those seeking access to county coaches, our county organisation (SCAA) runs a regular coaching session at our club for senior archers, generally on the last Sunday of each month, and we encourage club members aiming to represent Somerset (and beyond!) to attend those sessions. Fees for attendance are: £30 for five-sessions, or £7.50 per session.
Archery GB Progress Awards
We have signed up for the Archery GB Progress Awards scheme, which allows Juniors and Next Steppers to earn badges in recognition of them achieving specific skills and scores – awards take account of age, gender and bowstyle.
There are five badges available – in order of achievement these are White, Black, Blue, Red and Gold. All Junior members of the club are automatically registered with our Badge Scheme Coordinator and if they intend to shoot for a badge during a particular session then they will need to let the Field Captain (generally the coach leading the session) know at the beginning of the session and ask a senior member (not a relative!) to record their score on one of the club score sheets. An official score sheet is used because the scheme is a national programme and we need to keep a record in order for Archery GB to produce the Roll of Honour for people achieving the Gold badge and work out which club has won the trophy for achieving the greatest number of badges each year.
We present the badges on payment of a nominal fee and they look great on quivers so it’s well worth taking part and literally Going for Gold!
The "252" Badge Scheme
The 252 scheme involves achieving a score of 252, or better, with 3-dozen arrows (following 6 “sighters”) on a 122cm face at a specific distance. The target distances are 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80 or 100 yards, with differently coloured badges awarded for achieving the required score at each distance. You have to score 252 or better at a specific distance. You have to do that twice, on different days, so we know you’re not just having a lucky day!
Although it’s called the 252, achievement scores differ for those shooting compound, longbow or barebow – 252 is the recurve score.
Ask at the club for a copy of the full rules, and to see what you need to score for your bowstyle to achieve the award.
Archery GB Classifications
Archery GB have both an indoor and outdoor classification scheme where the better your score, the higher your classification. To determine your current classification (and handicap), enter scores on the form in the clubhouse. Once you have entered at least three scores for a recognised round, our Records Officer will determine your classification which will be updated as you provide more scores.
Outdoor classifications are, in ascending order: Third Class, Second Class, First Class, and Bowman. Master Bowman and Grand Master Bowman classifications can be achieved but cannot be awarded at club level, these are awarded by Archery GB following competition at qualifying record status shoots.
Indoor classifications range from “H” (lowest) to “A”, and can all be awarded through the club.
While most competitions are won by the archer shooting the highest score, some competitions are handicapped, to level the playing-field. Our Records Officer will also calculate your handicap when determining your classification, so if you enter any competitions where there is a Handicap Trophy up for grabs you might have a chance of bringing it home!
If you’re up for a challenge, why not go for a Club Record?
You’ll need to shoot a record-beating score for a recognised round, shot at either an external competition or during a club shooting session. Our Records Officer holds the current list of record-holders, together with the scores you need to beat!
If you shoot a new record-beating score, just send a suitably signed/authorised scoresheet to our Records Officer to claim the record for yourself!
There’s no trophies on offer, but the glory of holding a club record – and getting your name in the book – is achievement enough.
Competitions, County Records and County Team Places
Beyond club-level, you are limited only by your ambition and skill!
If you want to get into competitions but aren’t quite sure how it all works, talk to any of our coaches. At various times during the year, the club will organise Club Competitions so that you can experience shooting in a competition (scoring, medals and all) but in a familiar club environment. We try to ensure there’s an experienced, supportive club member on each target to look after novices and juniors in particular and to answer any questions of tournament etiquette you may have. Competition can be fun, and very fulfilling; there’s no pressure to put in an Olympic performance, just do your best and enjoy trying to better your own scores!
If you want to take part in competitions outside of the club, we’ll note those occurring within our region on our News page along with entry forms for the events as they become available. Regardless of your own level of skill, you should consider shooting at external tournaments for the experience In a tournament you’re bound to feel nervous, as everyone is nervous, but nobody is going to watch you, as they’re all far more interested in their own shooting! All tournament organisers will make you feel welcome, and you’ll soon settle down to shoot.
Try it! – You might find yourself hooked on competition!