Archery Clothing: Preparing For Your First Tournament

By Andy Ryan


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Archery is a sport that holds a lot of interest even today. In fact, between 2007 and 2017, there was an increase of over one million participants in the sport, with 7.77 million people in the United States participating in archery 2017. While some might enjoy archery as a hobby during their free time, others work hard to improve their aim and have larger goals in mind – such as joining the ranks of the world’s top players.

Being invited to your very first tournament can be both exciting and stressful. You are given an opportunity to advance in the sport, but this also comes with a lot of pressure. In addition to ensuring you get enough practice, there are a few rules that need to be followed – and wearing the right archery clothing is definitely one thing you want to get right.

The Basics Of Archery Clothing

Different codes and rules need to be followed when you are preparing for your first archery tournament. This can make things a little more confusing since these codes tend to differ depending on the specific association behind the tournament.

There are, however, a couple of basics that you do need to keep in mind, even while adhering to the specific archery clothing dress code by the association in charge of the tournament you will be attending. 

Make Sure You Are Comfortable

One of the very first things that you need to consider is how comfortable you are in your archery clothes. The majority of codes will give you an opportunity to wear clothing that will not make you uncomfortable.

Take into account the fact that you are going to be in these clothes for quite some time on the day of the tournament. Thus, there is a risk that the weather could be very hot or perhaps cooler. The clothes you wear should keep you feeling comfortable even when exposed to these weather conditions.

If the weather is warm, then you need to be able to avoid overheating and sweating significantly in the clothes. At the same time, if it gets cold, you need to ensure that adding a jacket after your turn is quick and easy – and that getting the jacket off is just as simple. 

The shoes you wear should also be a comfortable fit. You will likely be standing for a significant period of time, so if you do not fit properly, then you will find yourself with tired and aching feet – something that will definitely make you less comfortable. 

Make sure your face is also protected from the sun – this is crucial if the tournament falls on a warm day. Wear sunglasses to help protect your eyes against the glare of the sun. A hat can also help to protect your face and reduce the risk of sunburn.

Dont Be Afraid To Show Off Your Style

While making sure that you’re comfortable in your archery clothing you should also note that you are allowed to show off your own personal style. In many cases, tournaments have specific clothing regulations that you need to adhere to, but these rules often do not apply to items such as your bow and arrows.

 Archery gear comes in a great variety – whether shopping online or at a physical store. This is your opportunity to show off your personal style during an archery tournament. 

In addition to the bow and arrows that you will be using, don’t be afraid to try out different chest guards, bucket hats, and other accessories until you find something that really fits your own unique style.

Archery Clothing Dress Codes To Follow

There are multiple associations that arrange archery tournaments in the United States. When it comes to following archery dress codes, it is always important to take note of the association behind the tournament that you have been invited to. 

Some of these associations cater only to specific archers – such as those who are just starting out. There are also some archery associations that tend to focus on providing opportunities to professional players who have already made a name for themselves. 

The most common associations involved in the arrangement of archery tournaments within the United States include:

  • USA Archery
  • Archery Shooters Association
  • National Field Archery Association

You shouldn’t have a significant issue figuring out which of these dress codes you will need to follow. Even if you are new to the sport, you will need to be registered with one of these associations – that’s most likely how you got into the sport in the first place, and how you were able to secure a spot in a tournament.

Since these associations each have their own archery tournament dress code, you should take a closer look at the association that is behind your own membership. 

We will take a look at the four main US-based archery associations and specific tournament dress codes that they require players to follow. 

USA Archery

The dress code that has been implemented by USA Archery is quite vague in comparison with the other associations in the country. In fact, many players find the dress code required by the official USA Archery Association to be quite confusing, but in reality, the association focuses on keeping things simple for each player.

Their guidelines are similar to those presented by the World Archery Association. The main requirement set by the association is for all members of the team to wear uniforms that match. The association also demands that the entire team represents the sport and their own team in a professional, athletic manner.

There are no specific guidelines about what colors the clothing of the team should be. It is, however, crucial to note that USA Archery specifies that no jeans or camo pants are allowed to be worn by competitors in a tournament. In some cases, such as field events, denim is permitted.  It is always a good idea to check the type of event before deciding to wear jeans for a tournament. 

Archery Shooters Association

The dress code of the Archery Shooters Association is stricter and more specific than that of USA Archery. 

Shorts are allowed to be worn by both amateurs and professionals that are participating in a tournament backed by the Archery Shooters Association. It should be noted, however, that the association specifies that no “short-shorts” or cut-off jeans are allowed.

Additionally, the association’s dress code specifies that participants at the tournament are not allowed to wear tank tops or regular t-shirts.

All participants are expected to wear collared shirts. 

When a player has been sponsored, then a factory-issued competition archery clothing set is expected. The sponsor should also be officially registered with the Archery Shooters Association for the outfit to be considered appropriate for the competition. Sponsored competition clothing most often involves mock turtleneck shirts, or Henley collared shirts.

National Field Archery Association

The National Field Archery Association only provides guidance on archery clothing to be worn by professional archers. There are, however, some amateur groups and teams that follow these rules as well. When this is the case, it is always important to ensure these dress codes do not conflict with those set by another association involved in the organization of a tournament.

The National Field Archery Association specifies that every player needs to present themselves in a professional matter. No denim is allowed to be worn by participants. When shorts or skirts are worn, they should not be shorter than a total of two inches above the player’s knee. Furthermore, all shirts should have a collar.

Participants are not allowed to compete in a tournament where the National Field Archery Association is involved while wearing sandals, flip flops, or open-toed shoes. 

Sponsored uniforms are allowed to be worn by professional players who belong to the National Field Archery Association, as long as they comply with these clothing guidelines.


Practicing archery with the goal of reaching for placements in tournaments is something pursued by many, but when you are planning to attend your first competition, things might feel stressful. 

Getting your archery clothing right is one of many ways to ensure you impress – following the code of conduct regarding archery clothing will tell the judges and scouts that you are serious about earning your place in the ranks of the best archers.