Intro to Olympic Archery Competitions

Olympic archery commenced at the 1900 Olympic Games and has been held in 13 Games. Archers from 83 different countries have contested in the Olympic competitions, of whom France has appeared the most often with 11 times. Learn more about Olympic Archery competitions governed by the Federation Internationale de Tir a l'Arc.

Archery made its debut as one of the Olympic sports in the 1900 Olympics in Paris and was featured at the Olympics of 1904, 1908 as well as 1920. Yet, there were no international rules established and each of the host countries used its own rules format. Consequently, Olympic archery events of that time varied extensively. Due to the lack of consistent Olympic archery rules Olympic archery was then dropped out from the Olympic schedule.

FITA, the international body who governs the sport of archery, was established in 1931 and employed uniform rules for archery competitions. It made it possible to launch the first World Championship the same year. After all nations implemented the new rules, Olympic archery was revived at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

Originally, only individual contests were held - team competitions were introduced in 1988. Today, there are four Olympic archery events held at the Games: Women's Individual, Men's Individual, Women's Team and Men's Team. At some stage athletes used to shoot two FITA rounds of 288 arrows in total, with the winner decided by the maximum total score. In order to make Olympic archery more intriguing, the format of competition was altered to head-to-head exclusion for the top 64 archers starting with the 1992 Games.

Individual Archery Competition
-- The format of the individual archery competition is the same for men and women and comprises a ranking round and the FITA Olympics round.
-- In the ranking phase, athletes shoot 72 arrows and the target is 229 feet, 8 inches away. A maximum score is 720.
-- To seed teams in teams competitions the same number of shots is used.
-- The Olympic round consists of the elimination phase and the final round.
-- 64 archers, who were seeded from the ranking phase, move to the elimination phase.
-- Winners of every match advance to the next round.

Team Archery Competition
-- The format of the team archery competition is the same for men and women and comprises a ranking round and the FITA Olympics round.
-- In the ranking phase, athletes shoot 72 arrows and the target is 229 feet, 8 inches away. A maximum score is 720.
-- To seed teams in individual competitions the same number of shots is used.
-- In the women's and men's competitions, the best 16 teams that were seeded in the ranking phase are chosen by the scores from the ranking phase.
-- If the number of teams selected is less than 16, the top teams are given byes.
-- Every Olympic archery team is made up of three archers.
-- In all team events' matches, every team shoots nine arrows with each athlete on the team shooting.
-- Each archer on a team must finish his or her shots within 3 minutes.
-- Only one athlete from one team can shoot at a time.
-- When the first athlete on a team finishes his shots, the second athlete begins. The third archer must follow the second one.
-- The arrows are pulled out after every team finishes shooting of nine arrows.
-- Each match's winners advance to the next stage.
Olympic Archery Scoring
-- The system of Olympic archery scoring is derived from a target with 10 rings.
-- Each target's section has value from 1 to 10 points. 10 is maximum.
-- Arrows struck the dividing lines are evaluated with the higher score.
-- Arrows passed through or bounced off the target are also evaluated.

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