How Archery Is Scored (With Examples and explanation)

It can be difficult to understand the scoring system in archery but don't worry. This article will explain to you how archery is scored in a simple manner.

Andy Ryan
Updated at

The modern target is a mixture of the English target and the french target. In the 1930s the English target was five targets, whereas the french were 10 rings. They could not decide which one to use. So they combined both and made our modern target. I will in this article go more in-depth on the scoring of both casual, competition, and 3d archery scoring. They are all are a little different, but you will understand everything clearly soon.

This article will show you how archery is scored in archery works, the target has ten circles. The score is one on the outer ring and ten on the inner circle. Your score depends on the circle you hit, if you hit circle number 6 you get 6 points. If you hit the line between two circles, the score will be the highest one.

White outer and inner1 & 2
Black outer and inner3 & 4

Blue outer and inner
5 & 6

Red outer and inner
7 & 8

Yellow outer and inner
9 & 10
Picture showing a target and its different scores and colors. This will make it easier for you to understand the socring system in archery.

On the left side, you can see the scores compared to the colors. This will hopefully give you a good understanding of the point system.

A standard target in the Olympics, designed for a 70-meter distance each color circle is 12.2 centimeters.

Each color has two scoring zones, the inner and the outer circle. They are equal in width, but as you see the points are 1 point apart.


There are different targets depending on the accuracy and the level of the shooter. They all are basically the same 10 ring target, but they are adjusted to the distance and shooting accuracy of the person. There are 122 cm, 80 cm, and 50 cm. They are all used for different circumstances. Professional archers typically don’t have any outer circles on the target and will be a lot smaller.

Now I have just mentioned a few of the basics on the target and different types. Let me tell you more in-depth how tournaments, casual archery, and 3d archery is scored and practiced.


There are single and team competitions in archery.

In single archery tournaments, they compete against each other 1 versus 1. They will shoot 1 arrow each at a time until they both have shot 3 or 6 arrows. When this is done it is called an end. The points will be counted by a judge and the result will be announced.

In team archery tournaments, they compete 3 archers against 3 archers. The first team will shoot one arrow each into the target. Then the opposite team does the same until both teams have shot 2 arrows each.

If both teams have the same score; in the end, the result is a draw. In some competitions where a winner has to be declared a system named tiebreaker is used. This is when a team or individual goes in a duel and the person who shoots the most tens wins. Or they can shoot one arrow and the person who shoots closest to the middle win.

The set system both single and team archery can use the set system. When either a team or an individual has shot their arrows as I mentioned above it’s called an end. The winner of the end earns 2 points and if it’s a draw it’s 1 point for each player.

To win the whole contest you need 6 points for an individual contest and 5 setpoints for team competitions to win.

Shooting order

The team or the person with a lesser score than the opposite team starts shooting, always. If; the last set was a draw, the shooting order is the same as the previous one. Shooting last can be an advantage. So the team or person with the most points in the first round gains an additional advantage next round because of their points.

A typical 3D round is 40 targets. The targets are animals such as bears, deer, antelopes, etc. They are 3D making them look more realistic and giving the archery tournament a more feeling of hunting than just shooting on a plain target.

The shooters will be taken from target to target. They are all at different distances and settings. This will make it harder and adjustments just like in real life are necessary. It was not surprising to me to hear that 3D archery started for archery hunters to practice in a similar setting as they would when they went out to hunt.

You can participate in these tournaments all over the world. They are arranged by organizations, individuals, and clubs. Some of these are arranged only for practice. If you find one of those I recommend you to follow along. Because first of all they are good practice, but they will give you a feel of how the 3D archery tournaments work as well.

The scoring rings are in the killing zones of the animal. This is the hearth-lunge. If you can not see the circles, aiming for the zones mentioned will help you out. I will post a picture down below so you can see the different types of scores.

As you see under the picture I am mentioned ASA and IBO. These are the two biggest organizations in the 3D archery arrangements and they have two different scoring systems that they use.

Only one of these will be used in each tournament. And they will be set on the vital zones as I mentioned earlier.

I will explain the picture down below if you understand these circles feel free to skip to the bottom of the page. I will only explain IBO and ASA as these are the target system mostly used. At least of my knowledge.

ASA Rules

Shooting outside of the circle will give you 5 points. Shooting inside the big circle will gain you 8 points. shooting in the circle inside the big circle will gain you 10 points. and there are additional 3 circles. There are two inside the small circle and shooting in either of these will give you 12 points. The last circle is placed on top of the big circle. This will give you 14 points. 14 points can be great, but you have to be 100% sure if you go for the big shot, if not you can risk getting 8 or 5 instead.

IBO Scoring Rules

The scoring ring for IBO is placed at the same location as the ASA. The position varies from which animal it is, but the kill zone is the target. The IBO scoring circle is a bit simpler than the ASA. It contains three circles. One big, medium and a small one. The big one will give you 8 points, the medium 10 and the small one will give you 11. If you hit outside of these circles the scoring system is the same as usual, 5.

How to score a point in archery

All you have to do is to hit the line of the circle you want to hit and you will be given the point. If you are not sure it was a point or not a judge will be called on and you will be given your result.

Related questions

How many points is a bullseye in archery? Bullseye is shooting in the inner gold circle of the target and will give you 10 points if you hit. 10 points or “Bullseye” is the highest score you can earn in one shot.

How many yards do they shoot in Olympic archery? In Olympic archery, both men and women shoot at targets 77 yards away, which is equal to 70,4 meters. 

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