In archery you can aim for a classification in the various disciplines, i.e. target, field, clout etc. A classification is an award to recognise the standard or level you have achieved. All you need to do is to shoot and score your rounds and submit them to the club Records Officer.
There are nine different classification levels available to all archers, which are grouped into three tiers.
Archer – 3rd Class, 2nd Class and 1st Class
Bowman – 3rd Class, 2nd Class and 1st Class
Master Bowman– Master Bowman (MB), Grand Master Bowman (GMB) and Elite Master Bowman (EMB)
These levels cover the full range of experience for the vast majority of archers, with Archer 3rd Class achievable by many new archers within their first year or two in the sport, whereas Elite Master Bowman will be a challenge for even the very best in the country to maintain. The Archer and Bowman tiers can be achieved in a club setting under certain conditions, which the Records Officer can advise on. To gain a classification in the Master Bowman tier you must shoot these in a Record Status competition & these classifications are awarded by Archery GB.
You need to shoot rounds totalling a certain number of arrows in the same season to gain a classification. The number of arrows required increases as you progress through the tiers and can be made up of different rounds. For example, in the Archer tier you need rounds totalling 12 dozen arrows. This could be a single 12 dozen round, or two 6 dozen rounds.
Archer – 12 dozen arrows
Bowman – 18 dozen arrows
Master Bowman – 36 dozen arrows
The tables below give you all the archery rounds and the score needed for each age category.
Similar to the system for outdoor classifications, but with 8 levels across the 3 tiers. There is no Elite Master Bowman classification for indoors.
All levels are administered by the club, so make sure to submit your scores to the club Records Officer, particularly if you shoot at any competitions away from club.
You need to shoot rounds totalling a certain number of arrows in the same season to gain a classification. The number of arrows required increases as you progress through the tiers and can be made up of different rounds.
Archer – (3rd, 2nd & 1st class) 10 dozen arrows.
Bowman – (3rd, 2nd & 1st class) 15 dozen arrows. Shot at any competitive event.
Master Bowman – (MB & GMB) 15 dozen arrows. You must shoot these at a record status event.
Indoor Classification Tables for all bow styles can be found here.
A handicap is an indication of the ability of an archer. The lower the number of the handicap (100 – 0) the better the archer. An archer will have two handicaps: one outdoor and one indoor. You will have a different handicap for different bow styles. Handicap tables are available on the ArcheryGB website, or your records officer may hold a copy. There are also apps on the marketplace which will work out your handicap from your score should you wish to purchase or download one of these for personal use. Scoring apps usually give a handicap level for each round, but this may differ to your personal handicap calculated over a series of rounds and may not yet be using the new system. Archery GB has a handicap and classification tool to download from the resources section of this page.
When your scores are added to Golden Records your handicap is automatically calculated.
A handicap system: –
• Helps you keep track of your progress.
• Compares scores between different rounds, i.e. Imperial and Metric.
• Allows competition between different abilities on equal terms.
Calculating a handicap.
If you do not have a handicap you need to obtain an initial handicap. Your initial handicap is an average of your first three rounds. If the average is not a whole number, then round down to the nearest whole number. E.g. Round 1 = handicap of 70, Round 2 = handicap of 67 and Round 3 = handicap of 69, then your handicap will be 68. (68.66 rounded down to the nearest whole number).
You now have the basis to continue improving your scores. Round 4 = handicap of 65 will give you an improved handicap of 66 and so on.
Please note: Previously the handicap system worked by rounding UP to the next whole number. This has been changed under the 2023 revision of handicaps and classifications and numbers are now rounded DOWN to the next whole number.