Types of Archery

There are two main types of archery you will encounter in the Trojan Archery Club:
Target Archery and Field Archery.

Target Archery

2017-west-regional-outdoor.jpgIn Target Archery, archers shoot at round targets set at specific distances in both indoor and outdoor settings. Practices in the PED and, eventually, the Rancho locations are examples of Target Archery. The collegiate competitions we participate in are typically Target Archery competitions.

Field Archery

Image courtesy of World Archery

In Field Archery, archers shoot at various types of targets, usually pinned on bales, in challenging outdoor settings. The terrain varies by target and archers tend to shoot in larger groups. The team practices at the Pasadena Roving Archers (PRA) Range reflect Field Archery conditions. There are Field Archery competitions offered through the PRA that take place on Sundays.

Styles of Archery

There are three main styles of archery that club members use:
Olympic Recurve, Barebow, and Compound.

Olympic Recurve

Olympic Recurve got its name from its use in the Olympic Games. This style uses a recurve bow, comprised of a riser and detachable limbs, with additional accessories like sights and stabilizers to increase precision. Olympic Recurve form follows the National Training System (NTS) guidelines.


DSC_0077Barebow is exactly as it sounds, a bare recurve bow without the accessories associated with Olympic Recurve. Some counter weights may be added, but this style primarily relies on consistent form and a trained eye, rather than on precision instruments. The NTS guidelines are useful for Barebow, but this style allows for a much more flexible form that “feels right” to the individual archer.

Barebow archers may also consider Traditional style archery, which uses the longbow, but is not typically considered in collegiate competitions and is not a focus in the club. Traditional archery is named for its long use throughout history, mainly with bows made from single pieces of wood.  It is the least precise of the styles.



Compound is the most modern and most precise of the three styles. It involves a different bow type that uses a cam and pulley system to give a unique “let-off.” The cam and pulley system reduces the weight of the draw at the let-off point, enabling the archer to spend more time and less physical effort to aim.

Stabilizers, sights, scopes, and other accessories are used to improve precision. The Compound form also follows NTS guidelines with some slight differences.

You can read more about these and other styles on the Easton Foundation website.