Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Handicap Archery

Like golf, the handicapping system for archery allows less skilled archers to compete meaningfully with more skilled archers. A handicap, once established for a certain types of bow, the handicap can be used in all types of competitions with that bow type. The handicap number is simply added to shooter's raw score. If you compete with more than one bow type, you'll need to establish a separate handicap for each type.

Acquiring a Handicap

For a bowman to obtain a handicap, he must shoot and score a minimum of three recognized standard archery rounds. Once he provides all three score sheets, signed by a witnessing archer to his archery club or society's recording officer or secretary, the recording officer will calculate a handicap rating for each score with special archery handicapping software or by hand using official handicapping tables. The average handicap value of all three is totaled and averaged and then rounded up to the nearest whole number. This number will be your first handicap.

Improving Your Handicap

Your handicap will change over time as you submit new scores for rounds you have shot. Submit the new signed score sheets to the recording officer of your club and he will calculate your new handicap by adding the new score, if it's better than the old one, to the old handicap and averaging the two. The average of the two is then rounded up to the nearest whole number and that's your new handicap. If the new handicap is worse, your official handicap remains the same. The only way for your handicap to get worse is if your club does an annual review in which the official handicap is recalculated based on the average of your entire year's scores.

Calculating the Score

To actually calculate your handicap, you will need either archery handicapping software or a set of appropriate handicapping tables from your region's or country's archery authority. On the tables, look up your total score. Find your score in the score column of the handicapping tables . If you can't find your exact score, just select the next lower score. The handicap value for that score will be found at the side of the table. Your working handicap will then be the average of the first three scores' handicaps. Your score is reviewed annually by your archery club's recording officer, but you must shoot at least 3 standard rounds that year for your handicap to be changed. The average of those three scores will be averaged with the old handicap to calculate the new handicap.

Keeping Score

There are a variety of on-line score sheet generators available through local and national archery associations like the National Field Archery Association, the National. Archery Association, FITA and the National Crossbowmen of the USA. Each of these has local and state chapters you can join. Every country has its own national association which may or may not be affiliated with the International Archery Federation (FITA), the governing body which regulates Olympic archery competition. It is important to use a compatible score sheet when shooting handicapping rounds and to belong to a club that supports handicapping by maintaining proper records.

References and Resources
Double G Archery: Archery Clubs and Associations Links
Archery Handicap Calculator
Gentlemen and Lady Archers of Darlington: Competitions
Supermarine Bowmen: Information
Fuzilogic: Archery Associations
Frome Valley Archers: Competitions
FITA: International Archery Federation
USA Archery: National Archery Association
The National Crossbowmen of the USA, Inc.: USA Crossbow

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