Para-archery is a sport of precision, concentration and strength open to athletes with a physical disability.
Competitors shoot arrows at a target marked with ten scoring zones, from a set distance. Para-archery is very similar to able-bodied archery. Athletes shoot the same rounds, distances and events. The difference is para-athletes are divided into three functional classes (Standing, Wheelchair 1 and Wheelchair 2).
Para-archery was introduced as a Paralympic sport in the 1960 Paralympic Games in Rome. The sport is now governed by the World Archery Federation. They run the Para-Archery World Championships and the Paralympic Games.
How to do Archery
The archer fires a series of arrows at a stationery target, 122 cm in diameter. The target consists of 10 concentric scoring rings, with the central ring worth 10 points and the outside ring worth 1. The winner is the archer who accrues the most points by consistently firing shots in the central rings.
At the Paralympic Games archers shoot from a standard distance of 70m.
There are two types of bows in para-archery: the recurve bow and the compound bow. The recurve bow has limbs that curve away from the archer to increase power. The compound bow uses wheels or pullies to reduce the force required to hold the string at full draw, allowing the archer more time to aim with less muscular stress.
Men and women compete separately, both as individuals and in teams of three, and all matches are conducted as straight knockouts.
Basic Rules of Archery
Who Can do Archery
To be eligible for Archery athletes must have a physical disability that impairs their upper and/or lower limb functions.
Athletes are classified into three functional classes (Standing, Wheelchair 1 and Wheelchair 2).
Standing class (ST1)
The standing class (ST1) is for athletes with no loss of function in their arms, but with some degree of loss of muscle strength, co-ordination and/or joint mobility in their legs. This includes athletes who are amputees, athletes with cerebral palsy and athletes classified as les autres. Archers in this class may choose to compete sitting on a stool or chair with their feet on the ground or standing.
Wheelchair 1 (W1)
The W1 class is for athletes who have tetraplegia or a comparable impairment. These athletes have only a limited range of movement, strength and control in their arms and legs. They compete in a wheelchair.
Wheelchair 2 (W2)
Archers in the W2 class have paraplegia or a comparable impairment. Athletes have limited mobility in the lower limbs. W2 athletes have full arm function. These athletes usually require a wheelchair for everyday use and compete in a wheelchair.
How Do I Get Classified?
To become classified as an international level archer athletes must complete the World Archery Federation request for classification form.
Archery is an adrenaline-pinching, all inclusive sport. It is great for developing mental focus and boosting self-esteem. Think you could win the Hunger Games? Or more realistically, the Paralympic Games? Join competitive archery and take your shot at glory!
Where Is it Played
Recreational archery can be done at any local archery club. Specialized clubs offer professional coaching and competitions to athletes with a physical disability. To find the nearest club, please contact your state affiliation listed in “Who Runs The Sport?”.
Beginners should join their local archery club to start competing in club tournaments. Archery Australia provides a pathway for club champions to progress to state, national and even international competitions including the Paralympics and World Championships.
Find your nearest archery club by contacting the state office listed below under “Who Runs the Sport?”.
Become an Official
The main official in competitive archery is the judge. The officials committee at Archery Australia is responsible for training and accrediting national para-archery judges.
There are five prerequisites to becoming a National judge candidate:
- Active in archery for a minimum of 12 months. Under certain
- Attain a minimum age of 17 years.
- Attend a Judge Seminar.
- Pass the National Judges Examination, which consists of three sections (The pass mark is 80% in each section)
- Closed Book
- Open Book
- Practical (including case studies)
- Be a current financial member (Individual Affiliate) of Archery Australia
If you meet all prerequisites, please complete this application form to become a National judge candidate
Become a Classifier
There are two types of classifiers, medical and technical. The following prerequisites are required to be eligible for classifier training:
Medical classifiers: Currently registered medical professional (physiotherapist or medical doctor); with minimum 5 years clinical experience with people with physical disabilities. It is an advantage to have a background in archery or classifying para-sports.
Technical classifiers: Must hold a Bachelor or Master degree in sport science/ kinesiology / human movement science or other equivalent; and archery experience.
It is crucial that classifiers have a strong understanding of archery. To ensure this, candidates must have experience in archery either as a participant, volunteer, coach or administrator.
To find out more about the classifier pathway contact the Australian Paralympic Committee via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +61 2 9704 0500.
Become a Volunteer
Volunteers are the cornerstone of para-sport. Archery Australia is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help with events and general administration. Volunteering is fun, easy and flexible. Every hour you give brings a valiant athlete closer to their dream!
Please contact your state office (listed in “Who Runs The Sport” section below) for details about up-coming state and local competitions.
Parapan American Games
World Archery Para Championships
Asian Para Archery Championships
Who Runs the Sport?
State / Territories
New South Wales
Wheelchair Sports NSW
Contact: Mark Wilson
P: +61 2 9809 5260
Get in Contact
Archery Australia is the peak national body for para-archery. For further information please contact the organization: