One of the greatest things about archery is that it’s a year-round sport. Don’t hang up your bow (sad face!) at the end of the summer; shoot an an indoor archery range instead.
Where do I shoot?
Many stores have an indoor archery range. A typical “range” has targets set 20 yards (18 meters) from the shooting line, and most ranges also have targets set at closer distances for young or beginner archers.
Most indoor archery ranges are considered “walk up” ranges where you’ll stand at a designated shooting line, shoot your arrows, and wait for everyone else on the range to finish shooting their arrows. Once everyone shoots, the person supervising the range will signal that it’s safe to “walk up” to the targets and pull out their arrows.
Other indoor archery ranges are more high-tech. There are automatic ranges at which targets move back and forth on a pulley system, so every archer can shoot at their own pace and from the most comfortable distances.
Some indoor archery ranges are attached to retail stores, while others are part of a sportsmen’s club or public recreation facility. For ranges not attached to a retail store, you might have to join a club or participate in an archery program to gain access to the range.
What are the targets like?
Similar to outdoor archery, the target you’ll shoot depends on the game you’re shooting. Check out the gallery below, which shows each type of target face and lists the organizations and competitions that use that target.
What archery options do I have?
The options indoors are nearly as endless as they are outdoors: you can compete, shoot for practice, try an indoor archery league or shoot as part of a program or club (for example, Explore Archery or JOAD).
Finding a place to practice is as easy as locating the nearest archery retail store. If they don’t have a range, chances are they can point you in the direction of the closest spot to practice. You also can meet with a local archery club for group practices.
Leagues – in which a group of archers meet for friendly competition each week – are normally found at most indoor archery ranges. The rules and format vary. Many offer prizes at the end for archery game winners, and encourage beginning and intermediate-level shooters to join.
Competitions can be found almost anywhere. Indoor archery tournaments are held nearly every weekend (and sometimes more than one on a weekend!), depending on where you live. To get started, find an archery competition near you. Check out USA Archery, the National Field Archery Association and the Archery Shooters Association for tournament listings.