Individual and Dual Sport

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ARCHERYArchery is a precision sport where competitors aim to hit targets using a bow

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History Archery is one of the oldest arts of ancient times and is still being

practiced today. It has played a very important role in many of the world’s civilizations. The earliest people known to have used the bow and arrow were the ancient Egyptians, who adopted the weapon at least 5000 years ago. From its first development until the 1500s, the bow was man's constant companion and has been the most widely used of all weapons in recorded history. The bow was an important tool in allowing prehistoric humans to become the most efficient hunter on earth, providing him safety, food and raw materials such as bone, sinew and hide.

The bow and arrow was England’s principal weapon of national defense for several centuries. It was also used by Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes to conqueror many nations. Native Americans used the bow and arrow as a means of subsistence and existence during the days of English and later American colonization. Since its replacement by firearms as a weapon of war, archery has become a favored sport enjoyed by millions.

Archery tournaments, as we know them today, can be traced back to England. Competitions were held as part of community festivals as early as the 17th century. By about 1600, three kinds of shooting were practiced in England, and they still are practice in some form.

In “butt shooting,” the ancestor of Olympic target archery, bowmen aimed at targets mounted on earthen butts at ranges of 100 to 140 yards. In “clout shooting,” the target was a piece of canvas, about 18 inches across, with a wooden peg in its center. Arrows are shot high into the air to descend on the target, which lies on the ground rather than being upright. “Roving,” the predecessor of modern field archery, grew out of casual hunting with bow and arrow. Archers are presented with targets of various shapes and sizes, simulating small animals, and they shoot at unknown ranges over rough ground, not a prepared course.

Archery competition was on the program of the second modern Olympic Games in 1900. However, International rules had not yet been developed, and each host country used its own rules and format. This resulted in great confusion and the sport was eliminated from the Olympic program in 1929. Founded in 1931, the Federation International de Tir a l’Arc (FITA) became the governing body for the sport of archery. The organization implemented standardized, international rules for competition. After enough countries had adopted the FITA’s rules, archery was re-admitted to the Olympic games in 1972.

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Today, technology has greatly advanced the equipment and some competitive formats have become obsolete while others have been added. Archery has been combined with skiing in the sport of “ski-archery,” and with running in “Arcathlon.”


STANCE - Place one foot on each side of the shooting line. Find a comfortable balanced stance with your feet shoulder-width apart. Stand

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straight and tall, with your head up and your shoulders down and relaxed.

NOCK - Place the arrow on the arrow rest, holding the arrow close to the nock. Keep the index fletching pointing away from the bow. Snap the nock of the arrow onto the bowstring under the nock locator.

SET - Set your bow hand on the grip using only the web and meaty part of your thumb. Your bow hand should be relaxed throughout the entire shot. Set the first groove of your first 3 fingers around the bowstring creating a hook. Keep the back of your drawing hand relaxed.

PRE-DRAW - Raise your bow arm toward the target, without raising your shoulder. Look at the target through the sight ring, and line up the bowstring with the center of the bow. Rotate your bow arm elbow under. The elbow of your drawing arms should be near the level of your nose.

DRAW - Draw the bow back by rotating your draw arm shoulder around until your elbow is directly behind the arrow. Continue looking at the target through the sight ring, and keep the string lined up with the center of the bow as you draw. Maintain a continuous drawing motion throughout the shot.

ANCHOR - Draw the string to the front of your chin, placing the knuckle of your index finger directly under the side of your jaw (first finger to the point of your smile). The string and string hand should be felt firmly against your jawbone. Lightly touch the string to the center of your nose. Continue to draw the bow smoothly, without stopping.

AIM - Focus your eyes and your concentration on the center of the target, looking through the sight ring. Keep the string lined up with the center of the bow. Continue your gradual draw.

RELEASE - Simply release all the tension in your fingers and drawing hand, all at once, while you continue to draw the bow without stopping. Continue extending the bow arm towards the target as you release. Continue focusing on the target.

FOLLOW-THROUGH - Drawing hand continues back beside neck with fingers relaxed, ending up near shoulder. Bow arm continues extension towards the target. Continue focusing on the target. Keep your follow-through until the arrow hits the target.


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The Recurve Bow - Many contemporary bow handles (risers) are made of aluminum alloys and are machined for a combination of strength and lightness. Some have wood risers and there are some that are made of a magnesium and aluminum mixture, which is heated to liquid form and poured into a mold. Once cooled, it is cleaned, final machined and painted.

Bow limbs are generally constructed of man-made materials, such as fiberglass, carbon and syntactic foam. The limbs store the energy of the draw and release it to the arrow. The string and the limbs are commonly removed from the riser when the bow is not in use, allowing for easy storage of the "knocked-down" bow.

Many bows have stabilizers to reduce torque (twisting) in the arrows upon release. They also have sights to aid in aiming and arrow rests to help align the shot.

Most bowstrings today are made of "Fast Flight,” a hydrocarbon product that also has medical and other uses, or "Kevlar,” the material used to make bulletproof vests. The important point to be made about the string is that it must not stretch under normal environmental conditions, as that would change the bows pull weight and make consistency impossible. A layer of string material called the “serving” is placed where the arrow is knocked, and serves to snugly match the nock on the arrow, and a small ring is permanently placed on the serving to mark where the arrow rests when knocked. A small button, called the “kisser button,” is often used to assure that the back end of the arrow is always pulled back to the proper, repeatable anchor point. When properly drawn, the kisser button rests right between the lips.

An arrow is typically pulled back to the anchor point using the middle three fingers of the draw hand. These fingers are often covered with a glove or a leather "tab" which protects them. The tab may have a metal shelf built in so that the two fingers on either side of the arrow do not squeeze it.

On Olympic bows a “clicker” is a small, spring-loaded lever that is held out away from its resting point by the arrow. When the arrow is drawn back to exactly the same point each time, the clicker slips past the tip of the arrow, producing an audible "click,” which tells the archer he has the arrow

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at the same, repeatable release point. This causes very close to the same amount of tension to be used on every shot, so the arrow flight is the same.

A sight allows the archer, when the arrow is properly drawn, to line the bow up with the center of the target. The sight generally has adjustments in up-down and left-right dimensions with caliper-style read outs so that aging equipment, weather, temperature and distance to the target may be accommodated. Olympic archery allows for sights that do not have lenses or electronics associated with them.

Arm guards and chest protectors protect the skin from string burn, as well as provide a low-resistance surface that the string may skim over easily upon release. A pair of binoculars or a spotting scope allows the archer to see the arrows in the target, and thereby make corrections to the sight as required. A quiver to hold arrows and other paraphernalia completes the archer's accessories. The NAA, in accordance with FITA rules, has established a dress code that is used at all NAA tournaments; this accounts for the "whites" look of the competitors.

The Compound Bow - A Compound bow, unlike the Olympic bow, is never knocked-down between uses. The great tension preset into the limbs can only safely be countered when the bow is couched in a piece of equipment called a bow press. The cams are synchronized when this is done, and are held in place by the tension. Compound bow cases must be able to accommodate the entire bow. Because the compound bow's forte is accuracy, equipment that increases the accuracy is deemed fair for most all compound uses while it is not for Olympic archery. The site may include electronics and/or lenses to increase accuracy, and a release, rather than fingers, may be used. A release is a mechanical "finger" that grips the string and releases it when the trigger is pressed by the draw hand.

The Arrow - Arrows in the recurve (Olympic) bow events can travel in excess of 150 miles per hour, while compound arrows can fly in excess of 225 miles per hour. The shafts are made of either aluminum or aluminum with carbon fibers. Aluminum arrows are more uniform in weight and shape, while carbon arrows fly faster and provide less crosswind resistance, and are therefore more useful in long distance outdoor archery.

The business end of a target arrow is weighted and tipped with a target point, designed to penetrate but a short distance in the target “butt” (any material backing, bales, or dirt designed to stop and hold arrows). Hunting arrows, of course, use a different, extremely sharp cutting point called a broad head or field point. All NAA sanctioned events use only target points, except for certain Flight archery events.

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The other end features a “knocking point,” a plastic cap glued or otherwise attached to the end of the arrow. Its fingers grip the string until flung loose, and it provides a protection for the shaft by deflecting hits from later incoming arrows. This generally destroys the nock, but leaves the arrow reusable. Sometimes, of course, the aim is too perfect to deflect; the resulting "Robin-Hood" is both spectacular and expensive, as both arrows are usually destroyed.

On the shaft itself “fletching” are glued to stabilize the arrow's flight. Sometimes they are glued in such a way as to cause the shaft to spin around its long dimension, further stabilizing its flight at a cost to its flat trajectory. The fletching is generally three in number, one of which (the index feather) is a different color than the other two. The nock is put into place by gripping the string perpendicular to the odd fletch, so that the other two fletches or feathers both brush the riser equally, minimally disturbing the arrow's flight.

Fletching may be plastic "feathers" or solid vanes, in a variety of shapes, lengths and, of course, colors.

Markings, called crests, may be drawn on the arrows at the owner's discretion. However, the NAA requires at all certified matches that all arrows be marked with the owner's initials so that they can be unequivocally identified while embedded in the target.

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The origins of the game are traced to a handball game called jeu de paume, literally meaning "game of the palm." This game was played in France during the 12th and 13th centuries. In 1873 Major Walter Clopton Wingfield published the first book of rules for a game he called lawntennis.

The first championships were held four years later at the All-England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon. Tennis reached the United States in the 1870s. The first U.S. championship was held in 1880 at the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club. The U.S. National Lawn TennisAssociation was formed in 1881 and was renamed the U.S. Tennis Association in 1975.

Tennis is also played in France and Australia. The first French National Championships were held in 1891. The first Australian Championships were played in 1905. Great Britain, Australia, France, and the United States each hold tournaments that have become the major international tournaments for the sport. They are known as the Grand Slam events. Wimbledon in Britain is the oldest, having been played since 1877. The French Open championships are played at the Roland Garros stadium near Paris. The U.S. Open championships are played at U.S. TennisAssociation's National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow Park, New York. Lastly, the Australian championships are played at the National TennisCenter in Melbourne, Australia. The Davis Cup is a major team championship. In 1988 tennis became an Olympic sport.


Tennis Forehand: The tennis forehand is the 'meat and potatoes', or the 'money shot' for the majority of tennis athletes. It is not necessarily the easiest stroke to learn, but it is the most natural. To visualize a tennis forehand, picture this for a moment.

Lets assume you are left-handed. If you are playing tennis and an opponent returns a tennis ball directly to your body, your natural instincts would be to step to your right and hit it back from the left side of your body.

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However, if you are right-handed and an opponent returns a tennis ball directly to your body, your natural instincts would be to step to your left and hit it back from the right side of your body.

The majority of tennis players prefer to execute a forehand more than any other fundamental tennis stroke. In fact, the majority of tennis strokes executed in a game, set, or match are forehands.

Tennis Backhand: The tennis backhand is executed from the side opposite of the forehand side. So if you are right-handed, your backhand is executed from the left side of your body and if you are left-handed, your backhand is executed from the right side of your body.

In order to execute a tennis backhand, you must bring your natural hitting hand around your body before hitting the tennis ball. The tennis backhand may seem awkward at first, but as you practice and familiarize yourself with this stroke it will become a welcomed alternative to the foundation of your tennis techniques and skills.

Tennis Serve: The tennis serve initiates every point. The tennis player that is serving is termed the server and the other tennis player is termed the receiver. By rule, you can opt to serve anyway you see fit, it is your choice.

Technically though, competitive tennis players achieve and maintain the most effective results by tossing the ball straight up high above the head while rotating the tennis racquet with a full motion swing aiming to strike the ball to the diagonal service area on the opposite end of the tennis court.

Tennis Lob: Uniquely termed in tennis, the lob is mainly used as a defensive technique to turn the momentum of a point into an offensive play. Did that make sense? Let me attempt to clarify.

What is a lob? A lob is a high arching shot with additional hang time that is initiated by a forehand, backhand, or at times a volley. With the lob technique, a tennis competitor has the ability to change the course of a point and keep an opponent off balance during game play.

As a competitor, your goal is to win each an every point. From time to time tennis athletes find themselves out of position or vulnerable during game play. This is when the lob technique comes in handy and can change the direction of that point.

By launching a lob with precision and excellence, a competitor can now gain and take control of that point. The presence of the lob keeps an opponent guessing instead anticipating the predictable forehand or backhand ground strokes.

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Master the lob as a defensive and offensive tennis technique to gain an advantage. In other words, lob at will to win a point.

Tennis Overhead: Similar to a serve, the overhead tennis technique is designed to earn points by striking the tennis ball as it floats in the air over the head to the forehand or backhand side of a tennis athlete's body. Generally, this is the response to an unsuccessful lob attempt where the tennis competitor that initiated the lob pays dearly.

Think of this performance as a slam dunk in basketball or a spike in volleyball where tennis athletes have deliberately term this action as an overhead smash or smash for short.

A great overhead smash technique generates an intimidating dominating effect as it can demoralize and grant you an advantage over a frustrated opponent.

Tennis Volley: Simply put, the volley is a short punch technique with little or no back swing from a tennis athlete's forehand or backhand side. If you are the type of player who enjoys going on the attack to instigate fast-paced action, the volley is probably one if not your favorite tennis skill that intensifies your game.

Other than a serve or an overhead, every shot a player executes before the ball bounces on the court is considered a volley. This skill is frequently attempted as a reaction to an out-of-position jam where a tennis athlete is unable to play the bounce.

Most of the time though, the volley is habitually played as an attack approach near the net where a skilled tennis athlete has considerable options to win points due to the ease of angling shots and clearing the net.

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In the game of tennis, players stand at the two opposite ends of the court and use rackets to hit a ball over a net. It can be played by two people in a singles match or by four in a doubles match.Court and equipment

A tennis court is rectangular in shape. A court where singles matches are played measures 78 feet (23.8 meters) in length and 27 feet (8.2 meters) in width. A court where doubles matches are played measures the same length, but it is 36 feet (11 meters) wide. The surface of the court may be made of grass, clay, concrete, asphalt, synthetic turf, or wood. The surface of a court can decide a winner or a loser. Depending upon the surface, a ball can bounce and travel at different heights and speed. A player must consider this factor while playing.

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The equipment for tennis consists of a racquet and a ball. During the 1970s the traditional wood frames for tennis rackets were replaced with graphite or fiberglass material. Tennis balls are either white or yellow. They measure about 2 12 inches (6.4 centimeters) in diameter and weigh about 2 ounces (58 grams).Rules

The game begins when one of the players, called the server, stands behind the baseline, and throws the ball into the air. The player then hits the ball with the tennis racket across the net into the other player's court. This is called the first serve. The ball must land in a boxed area of the court. If the ball misses landing in the box, it is called a fault. A foot fault happens when the server steps on the baseline or on to the court before hitting the ball. If a second serve fails to fall within the box the server makes a double fault and loses the point.

Four points are needed to win a game in tennis. Scores are counted in four stages: 15 for the first point, 30 for the second, 40 for the third, and game. A zero score is called love. It comes from the French word l'oeuf, meaning egg (or goose egg). If the score is 30-love, for example, the server (whose score is always given first) has scored two points and the opponent none.

If each player has won three points, the game is tied at deuce. The player who scores the first point after deuce has advantage, but must take the next point to win the game. When the second game begins, the player who served during the first game becomes the receiver of the serve.

A set in tennis is a series of six games. The player who is ahead of the other player by at least two games wins the set. A tiebreaker or a game to select a winner from among two players with the same score was introduced in 1970 to stop a set from going on indefinitely.Strokes

The serve is the most important stroke in tennis. A good player can serve the ball to any spot on the court. A perfect serve is called an ace. It happens when a serve is so well placed in the box on the court that it is impossible for the other player to return the ball. A let is a serve that hits the top of the net before landing in the other player's court.There are many ways of hitting the ball after a serve. Ground strokes that are the most common way to return the ball after it has struck the ground.