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The Games People Play

We want Bows, Broads & Bullseyes Archery Club to be fun for all the ladies who join us. We want to include various game options - below is a list that we might try at some point. Let us know if you have any other game ideas.

Shoot Your Neighbour

Well, the name should be more like Shoot Your Neighbour('s Target). Full credit goes to our very own Heather Z for suggesting the game and the name. In groups of three or four (everyone needs one arrow per number of people in the group - a group of three needs three arrows each, a group of four needs four arrows each). Each archer takes a lane. You each shoot your first arrow at your own target. For your next shot, move one lane to the right (the person at the far right moves to the far left) and shoot your next arrow, continuing until all your arrows for that round have been shot. For scoring, any arrows on your original target count towards your score. The game lasts for ten ends. The winner is the archer with the highest number of points on their target butt. And no cheating. Just because you aren't always shooting for your own points, you should still try your best at every shot.

Reverse scoring (Option 1)

Inner ring = 1
Outer ring = 10
Do you go for a 10 and risk a miss?

Reverse Scoring (Option 2)

Alternative to the reverse scoring, cut a target face into quarters, then rotate each quarter 180 degrees. You should end up with a square target where the highest scoring spot is now quarter circles in the corners of the square. The lowest scoring ring now takes up a huge area in the centre of the target.


Materials: – Sheets of paper, each gridded with 9 blocks.  As in standard tic-tac-toe, the archer shoots, aiming to create a line across, up and down, or diagonal. This can be either a single person shooting, or a pair on a target.  If an arrow is outside the outer box, it can be re-shot. If it lands in another block, it stays. The size of the tic-tac-toe grid could be made to fit different skill levels of the archers or the distance adjusted to the skill level. For higher-level compound, etc., to increase the challenge, dots could be in each of the blocks and the arrow must hit the dot to score.

"V" shoot

Draw two converging lines on a piece of paper. One closest to bottom of "V", without going outside, wins. Knockout basis.

Chutes and Ladders

image of Chutes and Ladder boardThis is Chutes and Ladders - Archery style! The board is similar to the game you know, but different - our squares are numbered in random order. Each archer shoots three arrows at the target; if they hit a chute, they take the score of the square at the bottom of the chute and if they hit a ladder, they take the score of the square at the top of the ladder. If they hit the target anywhere else, they just take the score of that square. And here is the fun part - if an archer can get all three arrows in one square, she gets 50 bonus points!

A special thanks to Press Room Online, who printed the Chutes and Ladders targets for our November 15, 2013 shoot at no charge.

Pool-like game for 2 people

Blow up 8 small balloons of one color and 8 of another. Tape them to the target randomly mixed. Toss to see who shoots first. Play in order, one arrow at a time. First person to hit a color claims that color and tries to shoot all the balloons of that color. First person who’s balloons are all shot wins. Accidentally shooting your opponents balloons counts in their favor. You can vary the game with pool-inspired rules, such as getting to shoot again if you make your shot; by mixing in some white balloons, which, if hit, count as a scratch, or adding an 8-ball balloon that has to be shot last to win, and scratches if you miss.

Closest Arrow

Players shoot 3 arrows each. Closest individual arrow to the center wins. You can do a rough score using the rings, but an actual measurement to the center must be used if there are multiple arrows are in the highest scoring ring.

Closest Arrow Single Elimination

Single Elimination tournament. One arrow each head to head. Closest to the center wins.


Shoot at a regular 10 ring target. 10 is a strike. If you miss the 10, you can shoot the ring that will make your score add up to ten as a spare. So if you hit a 6 you have to shoot a 4 to pick up the spare.

Save the Prince/Princess

Each individual or group must shoot white, black, blue, red and gold in order. They must get a white before they can move on to shooting a blue. They must not shoot the X, which is the Prince or Princess. Shooting the X is a scratch and the individual or archer loses the game. The game can be played on the same or separate targets for each individual or team. For groups it can be a speed relay round where one team member has to shoot white before the next can shoot black and so on; it can be alternating archers speed relay round, where each archer gets to shoot once and has to hand the bow of to the next team member regardless; or instead of a speed round, it can be alternating turns with each individual or team alternating with the other.


Darts and arrows are related so they make for a natural cross-over.


Shrinking Target

Archers shoot ends of three arrows at the same target or large blank piece of paper. Arrows that miss are eliminated and can’t be shot in the next end. The target is folded in half and archers shoot again, and so on. The last archer with an arrow wins.


Each individual or group shoots its own target. Archers (or teams) shoot ends of 4 arrows at a target. A tailor’s measuring tape is used to measure the circumference of the groups and the number written down as the score. After six ends the archer or team with the lowest score wins.

Split Target

image of a split targetTwo archers are assigned to each target. Each archer is assigned a side of the target - targets are divided in half. Each archer shoots 3 arrows per end. Ends are shot normally; first the archer on the left, then the archer on the right. Arrows, including opponent’s arrows, count for the owner of the side. Arrows landing on a dividing line will count for archer who shot them. Arrows landing outside the target area will count as one point each for the benefit of whoever owns that side of the target, including the entire target butt area. We will try to match skill levels of archers shooting at the same target.

Find It

This one is especially good for younger kids since it gives them all a chance to win. Take 16 or so blank 3×5, 4×6 or 5×7 cards and write, draw or place a sticker on the face of one of them. Affix the cards spread out over the target, face down. Archers have to hit a card to turn it over and see if they’ve won. You can make a story about the lost item to make the game more immersive. Or the card can be specifically for a prize.

Split the Arrow

Attach a cardboard tube a foot or so long to the center of an archery target so it sticks out of the center gold of a standard archery target kind of like an like an arrow would. (You can dress up the tube to look like an arrow, including adding fake fletchings.) Archers have to shoot down the center of the tube to win. Part of the challenge is that archers have to shoot from just the right height and angle to be able to shoot down the center of the tube. Be sure to put the tube at a height and angle that is low enough that all archers have a chance to shoot down the center. Only one archer can shoot at a time, taller archers may have to duck down a bit—all part of the challenge.

5-Spot Race

Use a 5-spot NFAA target pinned in diamond orientation. Starting with the right hand spot archers each have six arrows to shoot each spot in counter clockwise order, ending with the center spot. First to hit all 5 spots in order wins. If no one makes it to the fifth spot, the archer who progressed the most spots wins. In the event of a tie, the archer with the highest scoring ring on the final spot wins, if is still even, the highest scoring arrow on the previous spot and so on. As a variation you can make it so that the last three spots are all one ring smaller than the last.



Score the targets normally, 1 - 10 from the outer ring in. If you land on an X, it counts as an ace (that is 1 or 11, archer’s choice). Arrows that land outside the rings (on the paper or even on the target butt) count as 3. If your score is over 21, you get zero.

Penalty Shoot-out

Good for a novice/experienced team paring. Novice shoots 5 arrows, anywhere on target. Experienced has to match scores to "save" the penalty. The experienced archer had to get the inner colour to save the penalty. i.e. Novice scores 1, 3, 6, 9, 10 advanced must get 2, 4, 6, 10, 10. Knockout basis

Lucky Dip

Each archer will draw a playing card to determine the order of their “lucky dip”. Lowest number draws first (Ace is high).

Each archer shoots rounds of three arrows. Before scoring each round, a piece of paper with scoring instructions is drawn out of the bag containing the different scoring options. This means that an archer has no idea what their score will be when they are shooting, making the game totally random. Once scores have been tallied, return the scoring instructions to the bag. After shooting each round, a new scoring instruction sheet is drawn.

All arrows that do not hit the actual target will all count as one point, with the exception being when an archer draws the “missing the target scores 10”.

Here are some of the scoring options below:

Treasure hunt

Stick a map of some islands on a butt, pick an island and make a note of it in an envelope. One arrow each. nearest wins. Or lots of arrows each but use some cheap ones, it can get crowded in there.

Balloon shoot

Break archers into two teams. Put several balloons along a route on the butt, leading towards the middle of the nine lanes from each side. Put a single balloon in the middle. Teams must each shoot their respective balloons from the outside in, towards that single middle balloon in order. If another balloon is shot out of order, it must be replaced. First team to get all their balloons plus that one in the middle wins.

Black & White

Get some B&W cards (3" squares is good) and set up on target like a chessboard. Two teams, 10 arrows per team member. Simply count the total of whites vs blacks.

Hanging prize

Get some strips of paper and hang some chocolates at the end. When there's enough holes in the paper, the chocolate will fall. You may want to give the paper some tears to start with. What woman doesn't like chocolate?

Archery Poker

Shuffle a playing card deck and tack the 52 cards to a target (4 rows of 13 or any pattern you like as long as the cards are in random order) about one inch apart. Shooters draw straws or something to establish the order of shoot; one arrow each repeated until 5 arrows shot for each. First to hit a card gets it. Best hand wins.

Do you have any other suggestions of games you've played or heard about? Let us know so we can incorporate those great ideas into one of our shoots.