An Archers Dictionary

Kindly Compiled by Dick Hilton of Bowbrook archers. Click on a letter to go to that section.


Term Meaning
1206/370 Defines the diameter of an aluminium/carbon arrow eg) 12/64ths of an inch, the thickness of the aluminium core (06 = 0.006”) and the spine deflection measured in thousandths of an inch at 28” (0.370”)
1716 Defines the diameter of an aluminium arrow (17/64ths of an inch) and the thickness of the aluminium tubing (16 thousandths of an inch). The higher the first part of the number, the fatter the arrow. The higher the second part of the number, the stiffer the spine of the arrow. A 1916 is wider than a 1716 but has the same wall thickness. The bigger diameter makes the 1916 slightly stiffer than the 1716. A 1918 is the same diameter as a 1916 but has thicker walls and is therefore stiffer. Arrow specification needs to be matched to the archers bow type, draw length and draw weight.
5 zone scoring A scoring system using the target colours only, also known as the Princes reckoning, used for outdoor imperial rounds (rounds shot in yards). White    1 Black    3 Blue      5 Red       7 Gold      9
10 zone scoring

A scoring system used for outdoor metric rounds (shot in metres). Each colour is divided in to an inner and outer zone. White   outer – 1 inner – 2
Black   outer – 3  inner – 4
Blue     outer – 5 inner – 6
Red      outer – 7 inner – 8
Gold     outer – 9 inner - 10


A.A. Common abbreviation for Archery Association, usually a county organisation
A.A.S. Association for Archery in Schools.
A.C. Common abbreviation for Archery Club
Actual Peak bow weight This is the draw weight measured at the archers draw length. Actual bow weight is best measured at the archers normal draw length using a set of bow scales.
Address To assume a stand straddling the shooting line.
Afterhold The position of the body, head and limbs after the string is released.
Age group

For competition purposes archers are sub-divided into age groups.

GNAS Senior Gents
Senior Ladies
Under 18
Under 16
Under 14
Under 12

Albion An outdoor round consisting of 9 dozen arrows shot at a 122 cm face and using 5-zone scoring 3 doz @ 80, 3 doz @ 60 & 3 doz @ 50 yards.
American An outdoor round consisting of 7ydozen arrows shot at a 122 cm face and using 5-zone scoring. 2.5 doz @ 60, 2.5 doz @ 50 & 2.5 doz @ 40 yards
A.M.O. Archery Manufacturers Organization.
Anchor point The location of the hand drawing the bowstring at full draw. A consistent anchor is possibly the single most important thing required for good shooting.
Arbalist An archer who shoots crossbow
Archery UK Free quarterly magazine issued to GNAS members.
Arm guard See Bracer
Arrow The missile shot by an archer from a bow.
Arrow-head A series of awards that can be won at premium FITA/GNAS field shoots for a range of specified scores.
Arrow Plate Protection, just above the bow handle, where the arrow passes
Arrow Rest The place where the arrow rests during the draw. There is a wide range of different types of arrow rest from simple stick-on plastic rests to sophisticated micro-adjustable magnetic rests. Many rests contain a hole or cut-out to accommodate a button.
Arrow shelf Flat horizontal area cut into the bow just above the bow handle
Arrowsmith A maker of metal arrow heads
Archer’s Paradox Flexing of the arrow on release. An arrow bends round the riser on release because the forces applied to the nock end of the arrow cause that end to accelerate faster than the front. Stiffer spined arrows flex less than those with a softer spine and are less affected by the paradox. The flexing is more pronounced with finger shooters and less so with those archers who use a release aid. It is also more pronounced with aluminium arrows than with carbons which tend to be stiffer spined. For a right handed archer using finger release, the curve of the fingers forces the bow string to the left on loose which in turn forces the arrow to fly slightly to the right. For this reason a pressure button is used to set up the bow with the arrow set slightly to the left of the centre shot position to compensate for this anomaly.
A.S. Common abbreviation for Archery Society, usually at County or Regional level.
Ascham A tall narrow cupboard for storing bows and arrows. Named after Roger Ascham
Ascham, Roger Tutor/Coach to the Royal Family and Author of Toxophilus (1544).


Back of the Bow The side of the bow on the opposite side to the string. It is the back from the archers view point at full draw.
Barb The rearward turned point on an arrow head making it difficult to withdraw the arrow.
Barebow A class of shooting where sights or any mark on the bow that may act as a sight are not permitted
Barrelled An arrow that is thicker in the middle and tapers towards both ends thus combining stiffness with lighter weight.
Belly of the bow The face of the bow on the same side as the string, ie) the side facing the archer at full draw.
Best gold Award given to the archer in a competition whose arrow is nearest the centre of the gold at a nominated time.
BLBS British Longbow Society.
Blunt Flat headed pile used in popinjay shooting and hunting small game
Bodkin A heavy square tapered pile used to pierce armour or chain mail.
Bolt Short arrows used with crossbows.
Boson An arrow that has a head consisting of a rounded knob with a sharp projecting point
Boss Name for the target, see also Butt
Bouncer An arrow that hits the target and rebounds from it usually due to a combination of a hard boss and light bow or blunt pile. In a (GNAS) competition an archer is usually allowed to shoot another arrow to replace the bouncer. The judge will mark the replacement arrow or make a note of its number before it is fired. If the archer claiming the bouncer is then found to have 7 arrows in the target he/she loses their highest scoring arrow. Bouncers are not allowed in BLBS competitions.
Bow arm The arm with which the bow is held
Bow Hand The hand in which the bow is held
Bowhunter A style of shooting (Field). Similar to Barebow but using the Mediterranean release
Bowman Third highest GNAS classification.
Bow scales A device for measuring the draw weight of a bow. The commonest type is a spring balance that attaches to the bow string allowing the weight to be read off  a scale when the archer draws the bow.
Bow Sight A device fitted to the bow to aid aiming. It is normally capable of both horizontal and vertical adjustment.
Bow Sling A strap which stops the bow jumping from the hand on release. The strap attaches to the riser and slips over the wrist of the bow hand. see also finger sling
Bow stave A roughly trimmed length of wood from which a bow is fashioned.
Bow String The string or cord that goes from one bow nock to the other. The common materials used to make bow strings are Fast Flite, Dyneema, Vectran, Kevlar, Dacron etc. Traditional longbow strings may be made of flax.
Bow Stringer A device to assist stringing the bow
Bow tuning Adjusting the set up of the bow to obtain the best grouping of arrows. A bow needs to be tuned for an individuals draw length, bracing height, nocking point, button settings, type and spine of arrow. When tuned for one distance, results are not  necessarily optimal at all distances. The archer needs to tune at each distance and may need to compromise to get the best results at multiple distances. See paper tuning and walk back tuning
Bow Window The recessed area on the riser just above the handle which allows the arrow to rest centre shot.
Bowyer A bow maker
Brace To string the bow.
Bracer an arm guard that protects the forearm of the bow arm.
Bracing Gauge T shaped device that clips on to the bow string and is used for measuring Bracing Height and nocking point position when bow tuning.
Bracing Height The distance between the string and a specified point on the bow, usually but not always the arrow rest. Every bow has its own optimum bracing height that will give it a smooth release. Most manufacturers give a guide to the range of suitable bracing heights for a bow but the archer needs to find the bracing height that works best for their own set up as it is affected by draw length, arrow type and spine.
Bristol A series of outdoor rounds consisting of 12 dozen arrows shot at a 122 cm face using 5 zone scoring. Bristol I – 6 doz @ 80, 4 doz @ 60 & 2 doz @ 50 yards Bristol II – 6 doz @ 60, 4 doz @ 50 & 2 doz @ 40 yards Bristol III – 6 doz @ 50, 4 doz @ 40 & 2 doz @ 30 yards Bristol IV – 6 doz @ 40, 4 doz @ 30 & 2 doz @ 20 yards Bristol V – 6 doz @ 30, 4 doz @ 20 & 2 doz @ 10 yards.
Broadhead A barbed steel arrowhead used on hunting and war arrows.
Butt A permanent Target Boss (originally a mound of earth).
Button An adjustable spring loaded contact for the arrow as it sits on the rest. It is used to push the arrow to the left (for a right handed bow) to compensate for the effects of paradox. Adjusting the button position and spring tension is one of the critical steps when bow tuning.


Calculated peak bow weight This is the draw weight measured at the archers draw length, adjusted to take into account a number of variables such as arrow type, type of release etc
Cast The efficiency and power of the bow that is passed into the arrow. A term used to describe the ability of a bow to project an arrow
Centre Shot The position of the arrow on the arrow rest, perpendicular to the string and the centre line of the bow. Carbon arrows are aligned centre shot while aluminium arrows tend to be aligned to the left (for a right handed bow) to compensate for the effects of paradox. Alignment adjustments are made using a pressure button.
Chrysal Transverse cracks in the belly of a wooden bow caused by crushing when the bow is drawn.
Classification A measure of the level of an archer’s competence. The senior classes are :- Unclassified, 3rd class, 2nd class, 1st class, Bowman, Master Bowman (MB) and Grand Master Bowman (GMB). The qualifying scores for each round, bow type and age group are set out in the GNAS Classification tables. Classifications are awarded for 3 scores above the qualifying level shot at recognised shoots eg) competitions. The classification is only held for a year and archers have to requalify each year. Qualification serves no purpose but archers who qualify as MB are invited by GNAS to shoot in the Masters.
Clicker An audible indicator fixed to the bow to help an archer achieve a consistent draw length. The arrow is drawn until the pile is almost at the clicker, the shot is lined up and released as the arrow is pulled back through the clicker.
Cloth yard arrow Medieval longbow men used arrows that were measured at a cloth yard in length. This is the distance between the finger tips when the arm is held out horizontally at shoulder height and the tip of the nose.
Clout Competition where archers shoot at a flag (Clout) at distances of up to 180 yards. Distances and scoring are different for Fita, GNAS & BLBS clouts. 180 yards - gents (GNAS & BLBS) 140 yards - ladies and boys under 18 (GNAS) 120 yards - ladies (BLBS), girls under 18 and boys under 16 (GNAS) 100 yards - girls under 16 and boys under 14 (GNAS) 80 yards   - girls under 13 and boys under 12 (GNAS) see also Roving Clout
CoA Abbreviation for Company of Archers
Cock Feather The fletching fixed on the arrow at right angles to the nock slot. This is usually of different colour from the other fletchings to help distinguish it.
Composite Bow A bow with limbs laminated from several materials
Compound bow A bow with eccentric wheels/cams on the ends of the limbs connected by cables. The cams have the effect of reducing the weight of the bow at full draw. A 50 lb bow with 60% let off would only have a holding weight of 20 lb. The bow reaches its peak weight of 60 lb as it is being drawn but the weight held on the fingers at full draw is only 20 lb. This reduces the strain on the bow arm and enables the bow to be held steadier thus improving the aim. On release the weight rapidly increases from 20 lb to 50 lb accelerating the arrow.
Creeping Allowing the arrow to move forward from full draw prior to loose usually because of moving the anchor point or relaxing the bow arm. As the draw length decreases so does the draw weight, resulting in the arrow going lower than intended. This is one of the commonest causes of poor grouping.
Crest Bands of colour painted on arrows or decals for decoration and identification. In a competition all arrows must be numbered and have either crests or the archers name or initials to enable individual arrows to be identified.
Crush Break, usually associated with bowstrings


Dacron Used for making bowstrings. See also fastflight.
Detail Where there are more archers than can safely shoot at the target at the same time, the archers shoot in details. The first detail shoot 3 arrows then step back from the line, the second detail then shoot 3 arrows, the first detail shoot their remaining 3 arrows then the second detail shoot their remaining arrows. At the next end, the order is reversed with the second detail shooting first.
Doinker A weight attached to end of a longrod by a flexible rubber coupling to dampen vibration.
Dominant Eye The stronger eye, usually the aiming eye
Draw To pull the bow string
Draw force line An imaginary line through the bow arm to the elbow of the drawing arm. The bow arm, shoulders and drawing arm should all be in a straight line.
Draw Length The distance measured from the nocking point on the string to the arrow rest at full draw. The length of arrow required by an archer is usually taken as the draw lenght + 1 inch. Draw length and draw weight are the main considerations taken into account when determining the type and spine of arrow required.
Draw Weight The force required to pull a bow to full draw length, measured in pounds. Bow manufacturers normally display draw weight measured at a standard draw length of 28 inches for comparison purposes but the draw weight changes as the draw length changes. As a rule of thumb, for every inch of draw length over 28”, add 2 lb to the draw weight and for every inch less than 28” subtract 2 lb. Draw weight may be measured using a set of bow scales. See Actual Peak Bow Weight and Calculated Peak Bow Weight


E.F.A.A English Field Archery Association
End Number of arrows shot before scoring and retrieving, usually 3 or 6.
Equipment line A line 10 yards behind the shooting line indicating the area where equipment may be left during a shoot.


F & RA Common abbreviation for Field and Rough Archers
FA Common abbreviation for Field Archers
FAC Common abbreviation for Field Archery Club
FB Common abbreviation for Field Bowmen
Fast  Warning shout to stop shooting in an emergency, derived from ‘Hold fast the string and come down’
Fastflight Material used for making bow strings. It stretches less and gives more power than Dacron but is not recommended for wooden bows.
Field Captain Person or official in charge controlling the shoot during a tournament.
Field Shooting A type of archery derived from hunting. Targets are scattered around a wooded area and archers walk and shoot from one target to the other.
Finger tab A piece of leather or plastic worn on the hand to protect the fingers from the string.
Finger sling A piece of rope or leather with loops that fit on the thumb and index finger of an archers bowhand to prevent the bow from leaving the hand.
Fishtailing Where the arrow can be seen to weave from side to side while in flight. This indicates the bow requires tuning, the button requires adjustment or the arrow is the wrong spine (stiffness) for the bow.
Fistmele An old term used to define bracing height still used by longbow archers, measured by placing the fist on the grip with the extended thumb just touching the bowstring.
F.I.T.A. Federation Internationale de Tir a l'Arc, Archery's international governing body. The name is also used for a number of specific shooting Rounds
FITA Star A tournament where archers can gain awards (stars) for specified scores
Flat bow  Wooden or fibreglass bow with a flat cross-section.
Flemish loose Gripping the bowstring with 2 fingers only, see also Mediteranean loose
Flemish twist A bowstring made in such a way that the loops are plaited from the string material rather than reinforced with serving. Used on traditional longbows where the string has a single loop only.
Fletcher A person who fletches arrows
Fletching The flights fixed to the arrow, usually made from feather or from various types of plastic. The purpose of these fletchings is to stabilise the arrow in flight.
Fletching Jig A device use to position fletchings on arrows in the correct positions
Flight Shooting Shooting for the longest distance
Flu flu An arrow with large feathers used for shooting targets thrown in the air. The large feathers make the arrow fly more slowly.
Follow Through The movement which take place in the archer and equipment immediately following the loose
Footed arrow An arrow reinforced with a spliced hardwood fore shaft.
Foot Markers  Small discs to mark the archers foot positions on the shooting line
Fore shaft A hard wood shaft jointed to the fore end of a shaft when making footed arrows.
Freestyle A style of shooting using a Recurve or compound bow with sight/draw length check,  button and stabilisers as opposed to instinctive.


GMB Grand Master Bowman, the highest GNAS classification.
GNAM Grand National Archery Meeting, a premier tournament since 1844
G.N.A.S. Grand National Archery Society, the governing body for archery in the UK
Gonfalon The banner of a club, county or group of archers
Grand Master Bowman See GMB.
Grip The part of the bow held in the bow hand
Group A "Group" is a cluster of arrows in the target.


Handicap A system to bring archers to an equal standard based on their scores in a competition.
Hanger Arrow that does not penetrate the boss, but hangs down the face of the target.
Heeling The practice of applying pressure low on the grip with the bow hand.
Hereford An outdoor round consisting of 6 dozen arrows at 80 yards, 4 dozen at 60 yards and 2 dozen at 50 yards
Herse (1)  A defence work of sharpened wooden stakes driven into the ground at an angle to protect archers from cavalry. Derived from hedge.
Herse (2) A wedge formation of archers supported on the flanks by men at arms
Holding Keeping the bow at full draw. Do it too long and you will end up creeping .


Index Feather Another name for cock feather
Instinctive Shooting without the aid of sights, particularly used in field archery


Junior Bowman The Junior (under 18) equivalent of Bowman
JMB Junior Master Bowman, The Junior (under 18) equivalent Master Bowman
Judge Person responsible for the operation of the rules of shooting at a tournament. In the absence of a judge, the field captain has responsibility.


Kisser A small disc or button fitted to the string and drawn to the lips as a draw length check


Lady Paramount Traditionally appointed to preside at tournaments and to present awards. If there are any disputes that can't be resolved by the judges, the Lady Paramount has the final say
Let off Refers to the weight reduction from peak weight to holding weight on a compound bow. A 40# bow with 50% let-off would hold only 20# at full draw.
Limbs The upper and lower arms of a bow.
Line cutter An arrow that cuts the line between two colours on a target scores the higher value.
Longbow A wooden bow with a ‘D’ shaped cross-section approximately the same height as the archer. The best longbows are made of yew.
Longrod Rod attached to bow to dampen vibration usually used with doinker, v-bar, TFC’s and short rods.
Loose The action of releasing the bow string when shooting. See Flemish, Mediterranean & Mongolian


Mark any target at which the bow is intentionally aimed.
Master Bowman See MB.
MB Master Bowman, second highest GNAS Classification
Mediterranean release Three fingered loose with one finger above and two fingers below the arrow, favoured by western archers. See also Flemish & Mongolian
Metric A series of outdoor rounds consisting of 6 dozen arrows shot at a 128 cm face using 10 zone scoring.
Mongolian release The loose used by eastern archers where the thumb is hooked round the string. See also Flemish & Mediterranean
Mono Filament Single strand or thread, normally used for serving on bow strings
Musquet arrow An arrow shot from an early form of musket


National A series of outdoor rounds consisting of 6 dozen arrows shot at a 128 cm face using 5 zone scoring. New National               4 doz @ 100 & 2 doz @ 80 yards Long National               4 doz @ 80 & 2 doz @ 60 yards National                       4 doz @ 60 & 2 doz @ 50 yards Short National              4 doz @ 50 & 2 doz @ 40 yards Junior National 4 doz @ 40 & 2 doz @ 30 yards Short Junior National    4 doz @ 30 & 2 doz @ 20 yards
N.F.A.S. National Field Archery Association
Nock (1) The slot on the fletched end of the arrow used to position the arrow on the bow string
Nock (2) The grooves at the end of the bow limbs into which the string sits
Nock (3) The act of fitting an arrow to the string
Nocking Point The place on the bow string where the arrow is placed. The position of the nocking point is measured using a bracing height gauge.


Over Bowed Term used to indicate the draw weight is too great for the archer 
Overdraw To draw the pile of the arrow beyond the arrow rest


Paper tuning A system of tuning the bow by shooting arrows through a sheet of paper and using the pattern made by the arrows to adjust the nocking point or pressure button settings.
Paradox The way in which an arrow clears the bow on release by bending round the riser. The flexing of the arrow is more pronounced with finger shooters and less so with those archers who use a release aid. It is also more pronounced with aluminium arrows than with carbons. For a right handed archer using finger release, the curve of the fingers forces the bow string to the left on loose forcing the arrow to fly slightly to the right. For this reason the bow is set up with the arrow set slightly to the left of the centre shot position to compensate for this anomaly.
Pavis A large shield with a prop used to protect (crossbow) archers during battles
Paviser A person who carried and supported a pavis
Peacock arrow Arrows fletched with peacock feathers
Peep A device used on compound bows attached to the string at eye level so that the archer can peep through the hole and use it as a second sight.
Perfect end Maximum score for consecutively shot arrows according to the rules prevailing. Eg) 6 gold end – 6 tens or 6 9’s depending on the round being shot.
Petticoat The outer edge of the target for which there is no score. Petticoats may be counted in a longbow competition and a prize awarded for the most petticoats.
Pile The metal point of an arrow
Pinching Gripping the nock of the arrow between the fingers.
Pin-Hole The exact centre of the target face, usually marked with a cross
Platform tab A finger tab with a shelf like platform to assist anchoring under the chin.
POC Port Orford Cedar, a type of wood used for making arrows. POC is a dense wood that has a tight grain and resists warping.
Popinjay Shooting at artificial birds on perches on top of a 90 foot mast
Porpoising When the flight of the arrow can be seen to have an up and down wave motion. This indicates the bow requires tuning or the nocking point requires adjustment.
Portsmouth An indoor round consisting of 5 dozen arrows shot at 20 yards at a 60 cm face. 10 zone scoring.
Pressure Button See Button
Princes colours The modern target colour scheme of white, black, blue, red & gold.
Princes reckoning The modern imperial scoring system 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9. also known as 5 zone scoring


Quiver A receptacle or container for holding arrows. A quiver can either be worn on a belt, slung around the shoulder or stuck in the ground.


Rankling arrow An arrow with a detachable head that stayed in the wound when the arrow was withdrawn.
Recurve A type of bow with a double curve so that the limbs curve away from the archer at nock ends of the bow. The double curve acts as an extra spring and gives more power.
Release Aid Device used with a compound bow acting as a trigger to release the string
Riser Rigid centre section of a bow to which the limbs are attached, (The handle)
Robin Hood When one arrow hits and splits another arrow. Expensive and not recommended.
Rose award A series of awards given at record status FITA/GNAS shoots for specified scores in York & Hereford rounds.
Round Formal number of arrows shot at one or more distances in competitions
Roving clout A competition for longbows only, shot at a series of marks at unknown distances.


Self bow A bow made of one piece of wood
Serving Thread wound around the bow string at the nocking point and end loops. The serving extends the life of the string as you only wear out the serving with normal use. It also helps stop premature crushing of strings
Serving Tool Device used to apply serving to the bow string
Shaft The body of an arrow
Sheath A bundle of 24 arrows
Shooting distance The distance between the archer and the boss or target
Shooting glove Glove designed to offer protection for the shooting fingers, often worn by longbow archers instead using a tab
Shooting Line  The line which archers stand astride whilst shooting
Short bow A bow approximately half the height of the archer
Sight mark The sight setting for a specific distance.
Sight window The cut out portion of riser that enables an archer to see clearly.
Sighters Arrows allowed at the start of a shoot to enable sight adjustments
Spin Wings A curved type of plastic fletching that cause an arrow to spin thus increasing its stability.
Spine The measure of an arrows stiffness. The arrow must be spined according to the archers draw length and the weight of the bow.
St George An outdoor round consisting of  9 dozen arrows shot at a 128 cm face using 5 zone scoring 3 doz @ 100 yards, 3 doz @ 80 yards & 3 doz @ 60 yards.
St Nicholas An outdoor round for juniors consisting of 7 dozen arrows shot at a 128 cm face using 5 zone scoring 4 doz @ 40 & 3 doz @ 30 yards
Stabilisers Rods and weights fitted to a bow to reduce bow movement. An archer usually finds that arrow groups tighten when stabilisers are first added. This is the result of the stabiliser minimizing the torque of the bow in the archer's hand on arrow release.
Stacking A steep increase in bow draw weight at or near the end of the draw. A good bow should be smooth when drawn and not stacked. ie. the poundage of the bow should increase smoothly as it is drawn back.
Stave A piece of wood destined to be shaped into a bow
Stele The wooden shaft of an arrow usually of Ash although modern bows use Port Orford Cedar (POC)
Stone bow A type of bow that was used to shoot stones or pellets
String (1) Bow string
String (2) To fit a string to a bow.
String alignment Using the bow string as a back sight to align the shot better.
Stringer An aid to stringing a bow
Swage The ‘solid’ tapered conical end of an arrow where the nock is fitted. As opposed to the open cut end of the tube where the pile is fitted. Arrows intended for use with insert nocks are open at both ends.


Tackle Collective word used to describe an archers equipment
Take Down A type of bow which has removable limbs
Target Captain Person in charge of archers on a target, especially when scoring.
Target day A club shoot organised in accordance with GNAS rules. Shooting specific round(s) rather than simply practicing.
Target Face Paper or fabric coloured target with scoring areas, fixed to a the front of a boss
Target Lieutenant Target Captain’s assistant
Target Stand The support for the boss or target
Tassel award A series of awards given at record status GNAS clout competitions for specified scores.
Tent Line A line behind the shooting line (usually 10m) where archers may set up their chairs & tents, see Waiting line & Equipment line.
TD Short for Take Down, a bow that can be disassembled for easy storage.
T.F.C. Torque Flight Compensators are flexible couplings for stabilisers normally used with twin rods (the shorter stabilisers at 8 to 12 inches). This allows the shorter rods to absorb the vibration better. When the rods are allowed to move, it uses the kinetic energy in the bow instead of sending it back to the hand.
Thumb ring Ring used to protect the thumb when using the Mongolian loose, ie) pulling the string with the thumb.
Tiller (1) Bowyers process to balance forces applied to limbs when the bow is strung by adjusting the shape, strength or size of a bow
Tiller (2) The difference in the measurements between the string and the limbs just above and just below the riser
Torque A turning force applied to the bow at full draw
Toxa Greek for bow, generally associated with use of poisoned arrows
Toxophilite A student of archery or an archer
Toxophilus Greek: "Toxon" = bow, "Philos" = loving. It is also the title of the first book to teach archery written by Roger Ascham and published in 1544.
Trajectory The flight path of an arrow


Under-Bowed Term used to indicate the draw weight is too light for the archer
Underdraw Not to draw sufficient arrow length. Common in beginners
Unit Aiming Maintaining the relative position of the arms, head and shoulders by aiming using movements at the waist


Vane Another name for plastic fletchings
v-bar A coupling attached to the bow to take a longrod , short rods or other stabilisers. May be fixed or utilise TFC’s.
W back_to_top
Waiting Line A line behind the shooting line (usually 5m) where archers wait to shoot and retire behind after shooting an end
Walk back tuning A system of bow tuning shooting fletched and unfletched arrows at a target at progressively greater distances and using the pattern made by the arrows to adjust the nocking point or pressure button settings.
Wand shoot An archery contest where the target is a 6’ wand usually of willow
War bow Longbow usually with a draw weight in excess of 100 lbs.
Warwick A series of outdoor rounds consisting of 4 dozen arrows shot at a 128 cm face using 5 zone scoring. New Warwick              2 doz @ 100 & 2 doz @ 80 yards Long Warwick 2 doz @ 80 & 2 doz @ 60 yards Warwick                      2 doz @ 60 & 2 doz @ 50 yards Short Warwick 2 doz @ 50 & 2 doz @ 40 yards Junior Warwick            2 doz @ 40 & 2 doz @ 30 yards Short Junior Warwick   2 doz @ 30 & 2 doz @ 20 yards
Wax Used to seal a bow string and bind the strands together
Western A series of outdoor rounds consisting of 8 dozen arrows shot at a 128 cm face using 5 zone scoring. New Western                4 doz @ 100 & 4 doz @ 80 yards Long Western                4 doz @ 80 & 4 doz @ 60 yards Western                        4 doz @ 60 & 4 doz @ 50 yards Short Western               4 doz @ 50 & 4 doz @ 40 yards Junior Western              4 doz @ 40 & 4 doz @ 30 yards Short Junior Western     4 doz @ 30 & 4 doz @ 20 yards
Windsor A series of outdoor rounds consisting of 9 dozen arrows shot at a 128 cm face using 5 zone scoring. Windsor                        3 doz @ 60, 3 doz @ 50 & 3 doz @ 40 yards. Short Windsor  3 doz @ 50, 3 doz @ 40 & 3 doz @ 30 yards. Junior Windsor              3 doz @ 40, 3 doz @ 30 & 3 doz @ 20 yards.
Worst White Award given to the archer whose arrow hits the outermost scoring area of the target, ie) the one who is nearest to missing




Yaw The erratic motion of an arrow during its flight to the target
York An outdoor round consisting of 12 dozen arrows shot at a 128 cm face using 5 zone scoring. 6 doz @ 100, 4 doz @ 80 & 2 doz @ 60 yards.



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