Shooting rounds, handicaps and classifications

From 2023 Archery GB have introduced new classification and handicap schemes that replace the existing handicap and classification schemes schemes for outdoor shooting effective 01/01/2023. The two schemes are not compatible therefore all previous scores, handicaps and records achieved up to 31/12/2022 will be archived. It is expected that a similar exercise will be completed for indoor rounds in time for the 2023/24 season, indoor scores for the current season will continue to be assessed as per the current scheme.

Gaining a handicap – Updated

Each archer has two handicaps for each bowsytle that they shoot, one for the indoor season and one for the outdoor season. Once an archer has an initial handicap, this is reassessed each time a new score is submitted.

A new outdoor handicap scheme was introduced by Archery GB in 2023, the new handicap scheme has a range starting at 150 to 0, all HEA members will be assigned a new initial handicap based on the assessment of their scores for outdoor rounds submitted after 01/01/2023. To gain a new handicap members need to submit scores for three eligible rounds, after which a new handicap will be calculated. Each time a new score is submitted the handicap will be reassessed and if there is an improvement the new handicap will be calculated.

Handicaps will be reassessed each subsequent year on the 1st January using the best three rounds from the previous year.

There are many reasons why an archer may not shoot to their handicap so don’t be worried if you have a bad score. If you are experiencing any difficulties with your handicap please speak to one of the club’s coaches.

The handicap scheme is administered by the club’s records officer.

High Elm Archers presents awards for the most improved handicaps at the end of each season. In addition, the most improved archer during the summer season wins the GNAS (Archery GB) improvement award.

Handicaps are only applied when shooting in a handicap tournament.

Club handicap tables are generally updated on a monthly basis and can be checked in the Scores and handicaps section of the members pages.

Classifications – Updated

Commencing 2023 a new outdoor classification scheme has been introduced with new classifications and new age groups for gaining classifications.

New Classifications

Under the new scheme classifications are divided into 3 levels; Archer, Bowman and Elite. The Archer and Bowman level classifications are administered at club level, the Elite level classifications are administered by Archery GB. Anyone without a classification is deemed “Unclassified”. Archers may hold multiple classifications for multiple bow types.

  • At the Archer level 3rd, 2nd, and 1st class remain, although the scores required to achieve a classification have been revised. Members shooting at this level may submit scores for any rounds shot for the purposes of attaining a classification, including rounds shot during practice sessions.
  • At the Bowman level classifications have been divided in to 3 sub categories Bowman 3rd, 2nd and 1st class. Members shooting at this level may only submit scores for classifications that have been shot at a pre arranged competitive shoot, This may be a club target day where a shoot has been pre scheduled.
  • The Elite level classifications of Master Bowman, Grand Master Bowman and Elite Master Bowman are the highest classifications and are only attainable by shooting at record status tournaments and claims for elite level classifications are administered by Archery GB

New Age Groups

There has also been a change in how age groups are calculated. In the old system age groups changed based upon an archers date of birth, the new scheme uses the year of birth as the trigger to change age groups. e.g. A member who is 21 years of age in January 2023 will compete in the senior category, whilst a member who is 21 years of age in 2024 will compete in the U21 category. The exception being that a member whose 50th birthday falls within the current year may compete in the 50+ category. The following table shows the new age groups:

Age GroupDescription
50+All Archers whose 50th birthday falls within the current year
SeniorAll Archers aged 21 to 49
U21All archers aged 18 to 20 whose 21st birthday falls in the following year
U18All Archers aged 16 to 17 whose 18th birthday falls in the following year
U16All archers aged 15 whose 16th birthday falls in the following year
U15All archers aged 14 whose 15th birthday falls in the following year
U14All archers aged 12 to 13 whose 14th birthday falls in the following year
U12All archers who are 11 or younger

Shooting for Classifications at HEA – New

To ensure all members have an opportunity to shoot for club level classifications (Archer and Bowman) and to have the opportunity to practice for tournaments all club outdoor target shooting sessions will be deemed target days and a predetermined round will be scheduled for each session, except club sessions which have been scheduled as clout days, 252 challenge events or coaching sessions. Typically members shooting for Archer level classifications will shoot shorter distances and rounds of fewer dozen arrows.

For members shooting to attain a Bowman level classifications the round will be shot under Archery GB Rules of shooting and will commence at a predetermined start time, All archers shooting for a Bowman level classification will start the round at the designated start time.

Members shooting for Archer level classifications should shoot their rounds under Archery GB Rules of shooting, with at least on other member shooting the same round on the same target(s), but are not constrained by the same start time as those shooting for Bowman level classifications, however, if shooting on the same target as a member shooting for a Bowman classification, the Bowman level restrictions will apply.

Members who wish to use the session as a practice session may shoot on any appropriate target alongside members shooting a round, but should acknowledge that the scheduled round will take precedence, when considering the positioning of targets.

Any members who do not wish to shoot the scheduled rounds are welcome to join the shoot at the published start time and use the round as a practice session. Members arriving after the published start time are welcome to join in shooting but will not be able to submit a score for that round for a Bowman level classification, scores maybe submitted if shooting for an Archer level classification.

Once a round has started the field shall not be altered except for the relocation of targets at the appropriate change of distance. Where possible additional “practice” boss(s) may be placed on the field, but should not interfere with an ongoing round.

On completion of the scheduled round the field will be free for members to practice or to shoot a second round using the same or a different bow type and scores should be submitted as usual. Where a second round is shot with a view to attaining a Bowman level classification at least two members must shoot the round on the same target, and the rules of shooting shall be observed.

252 Challenge days will commence with the 252 Challenge starting at the scheduled time and will be shot under Archery GB rules of shooting. Once the 252 Challenge round has been completed members may shoot a round. Any rounds shot by members attempting to attain an Archer level classification may be submitted for classification. Members shooting at Bowman level may use this time as a practice session and any scores attained should not be submitted for classification assessment.

Classifications up to the level of Bowman or Junior Bowman can be achieved at club level. To progress to Master Bowman level and beyond, three scores must be obtained whilst shooting at Record Status Tournaments and submitted to Archery GB (GNAS) to claim the classification.

Qualifying scores to achieve a classification can be found in the Archery GB Shooting Administration Procedures documentation or by asking the Club Records Officer or Club Coach.

Please note: There is a small charge for Classification badges.

Shooting Rounds

A round is a target-shooting competitive event in which a specified number of arrows are shot at specified distances, and scored. There are many rounds varying in distance and numbers of arrows shot, for example the Warwick rounds shoot 4 dozen arrows over 2 distances while the York round requires the archer to shoot 12 dozen arrows over 3 distances. Click the button below to see a list of available rounds. If you’re not sure which rounds are suitable for you to shoot, have a chat with a club coach who will be able to help you.

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