If you’re considering competing in archery, a classic saying rings true: You must dress for success. Dressing for archery tournaments means wearing clothes that meet specific guidelines and remain comfortable for hours in extreme heat or cold. An added bonus is showing your personality through your clothing and accessories.
Dress for Comfort
Even on hot days, many archers wear lightweight, long-sleeve shirts to avoid sunburn. A hat to protect your head, glasses to prevent glare, and shoes to keep you comfortable while standing a long time are good ideas, too.
Show Your Unique Style
Your bow, arrows, chest guard and other accessories offer plenty of ways to look stylish in competition. Even items – like the bucket hats many archers favor – designed for warmth or sun protection can add flair to your competition clothing.
Stick to the Archery Dress Code
Most archery organizations prohibit jeans, short shorts, sleeveless shirts and open-toed shoes. So leave your tank tops and flip-flops at home, and read and follow the dress code for tournaments you enter. USA Archery, U.S. Archery Association, Archery Shooters Association and National Field Archery Association all have their own dress codes. Check the rules before each tournament.
- All competitive shooters must wear collared shirts, or compete in an ASA sponsor’s factory-issued competition clothing, which might include Henley collars or mock turtlenecks.
- Professionals and amateurs can wear shorts while competing.
- All participants in competitive shooting classes cannot wear T-shirts, tank tops, cut-off jeans or short-shorts.
National Field Archery Association rules apply to professional archers, but if you go to a competition and notice archers wearing only khaki, tan, black, white or navy pants, shorts or skirts, you’ll know NFAA official rules set the fashion standards.
NFAA rules also say:
- Professional archer shall present himself in clean, neat attire, acceptable to public view.
- Jeans or denim of any color are not allowed during competition.
- Shorts and skirts can be no shorter than 2 inches above the knee.
- Shirts/tops shall be of a collared design.
- Archers can also wear uniforms provided by sponsors. Shirts must have a standard collar, Henley collar or mock collar.
- Open-toed shoes/flip flops/sandals are unacceptable while competing.
Without dictating too many specifics, the governing body for Olympic archery created sanctioned competition guidelines for archers’dress to ensure athletes present themselves and their sport professionally. USA Archery’s dress code is identical to World Archery’s rules for dress, except that teams must wear matching uniforms in international competition such as World Cups.
- All athletes and coaches must present a professional, athletic appearance while on the field.
- Clothing can be any color.
- No camo or blue denim (jeans) can be worn at target events. Camo is permitted on accessories such as trim on shirts, caps, quivers, armguards, footwear, etc. At field events, denim can be worn but not camo.
- Men and women are required to wear upper garments covering the front and back of the body, and the midriff when at full draw. Women’s upper garments shall have a minimum strap of 3 inches or sleeves. Men’s upper garments shall have short or long sleeves.
- Sport/athletic shoes are recommended for all athletes and coaches during target events. Shoes must cover the entire foot.
- At no time will athletes or coaches wear any article bearing an image or language that’s offensive to others.