The shooting distance depends on the location of the contest (indoor or outdoor), age and gender. Archers fall in two categories – juniors and seniors; juniors are those below 18 years of age. The shooting distance for juniors is shorter than the distance for adults. 70m (229 feet, 8 inches) is the standard shooting range dictated by the FITA for Olympic archery. With reference to its position above the ground, the distance between the center of the target and surface of the ground should be 4 feet, 3 inches.
The target is a circular diagram. Its diameter is 4 feet. It is made of paper. The circular target has 10 evenly spaced concentric circles. The distance between any two circles is 12.2 centimeters. Every circle is assigned a set number of points in the descending order from the center. The outermost ring carries 1 point while the ring closest to the center carries 10 points. The rings are color coded. Starting from outside, the first two rings are colored white, the next two black, then two blue, two red and finally gold.
An archery competition is divided into segments or an “end”. An end includes 3 or 6 arrows shot in succession. If the arrow strikes the line between two circles, the archer is awarded the higher score. Arrows that bounce off the target are awarded points based on where they end up. An arrow that passes through the target is counted but an arrow that misses the target is discounted. Archers should inform judges about an arrow that bounces back by raising a flag after completing an end. There is a concept of Robin Hood in the game. This is when one arrow gets embedded in another. In this case, the score of the first arrow is counted. Every arrow released from the bow is considered a shot. There is no retry for misfired or prematurely released shots.
On completion of an end, the scores are recorded. Scores are written in descending order. The players cannot touch the arrows or target till then. All scoring disputes are settled by a judge; his decision is final and binding. The final score is the sum of the individual scores of an end.
The competition is divided into rounds – the ranking round, the elimination round, semi-final and the final round. The ranking round has 12 rounds with six shots each. The elimination round has six rounds with 3 shots each. Players have a time limit of 40 seconds for each shot
. The semifinal has 4 rounds with 3 shots each.The winners of the semi-final vie in the final match. If there is a tie, also called sudden death, each player shoots an arrow. The one with the higher score is declared the winner.
There are rules regarding equipment and gear too. Organizers conduct equipment checks before the games. The diameter of the arrow shaft should not exceed 9.3 millimeters. An archer can wear masking tape or gloves as long as they do not influence his performance