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Archery 101: Equipment

Archery 101: Equipment
Posted at 11:48 AM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 13:41:35-04

Bow: In Olympic archery, competitors use recurve bows that draw an average of around 48.5 pounds for the men and 33 pounds for the women. The bow may have a mechanical sight, but no optical enhancements. It also may feature stabilizers on the bow. 

Main stabilizer: From 29 to 36 inches long, it balances and stabilizes the bow when raised. 

Top/Bottom stabilizers: From 12 to 15 inches long, these also balance and stabilize the bow when raised. 

Grip: Wrapped in tennis grip material to prevent slipping. 

Riser: The handle of the bow, and the foundation that supports all other elements. The side facing the target is the back. The side near the string is the belly. 

Counter-balance weight: Absorbs vibration and shock. Also helps balance bow. 

Vibration dampener: Helps reduce the vibration of the bow when the arrow is released. 

Torque compensator: Absorbs vibration of the bow. 

Limb: The part of the bow from the handle to the tip. A typical limb can tolerate a draw weight of 48 to 51 pounds. 

Clicker: Helps an archer release at the same spot during the draw process. 

Arrow Pile: The tip of the arrow. Shaped like a bullet, it penetrates the target. 

Nock: The attachment on the rear end of an arrow that holds it in place on the bow string (also, to "nock" is to place the arrow on the string). 

Fletching: The feathers (real or fake) attached to the arrow which helps stabilize it during flight.  The same color pattern must be used throughout an end. 

Shaft: The long, narrow middle of the arrow, connecting the pile to the nock. Any substance (wood, aluminum, carbon) is allowed, but the shaft may not exceed 9.3 mm (about 1/3 of an inch) in diameter. It is marked with the archer's name or initials for identification.

The Target
Archers stand 70 meters (plus or minus 30 cm) away from a target that is on an incline of 75-80 degrees -- regardless what the target is set at, that is the incline to be used for all targets.

The target used has a diameter of 122 cm. The target is divided into 10 equal rings, each measuring 12.2 cm. The colors of white (1, 2), black (3, 4), light blue (5, 6), red (7, 8) and yellow (9, 10) are used to differentiate the 10 scoring rings.

In Olympic team events, there is a line marked one meter behind the shooting line. Behind the line is where teammates and coaches stand and where equipment is kept during the match. 

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