Safety and etiquette are an important part of the rules of shooting. The full document from Archery GB is available here (89 pages) and includes other useful information such as bow styles, other forms of archery, scoring systems and range layouts.

Here are some of the basic rules to follow:

Etiquette (page 7):

A Good Archer:

  1. Does not talk in a loud voice whilst others are shooting.
  2. Does not talk to another competitor who obviously prefers to be silent.
  3. Does not make any exclamation on the shooting line that might disconcert a neighbour in the act of shooting.
  4. Does not go behind the target to retrieve his arrows before his score has been recorded.
  5. Does not walk up and down the shooting line comparing scores.
  6. Does not touch anyone else’s equipment without permission.
  7. Does not leave litter.
  8. When calling scores does so in groups of three, for example ‘7 – 7 – 5’ pause ‘5 – 5 – 3’
  9. If he breaks another’s arrow through his own carelessness, pays for it in cash on the spot.
  10. Thanks the Target Captain at the end of each round for work on his behalf.


Bow Safety (page 9):

  1. No archer may draw his bow, with or without an arrow, except when standing at the shooting line or peg. If an arrow is used, the archer shall aim toward the targets but only after being satisfied that the field is clear both in front of and behind the targets.
  2. When drawing back the string of the bow an archer shall not use any technique which, in the opinion of the judges, could, if accidentally loosed, allow the arrow to fly beyond a safety zone or safety arrangements (overshoot area, net, wall, etc). If an archer persists in using such a technique, he will, in the interest of safety, be immediately asked by the Judge to stop shooting and to leave the area.
  3. If anyone present where archery is taking place becomes aware that shooting should be halted for safety reasons, that person must call “FAST”. On hearing this call, all archers must immediately stop shooting, returning all unshot arrows to the quiver. If necessary, the call of “FAST” should be repeated by other archers to ensure that everyone has heard and stopped shooting. Shooting will recommence only on the instruction of the Judge.
  4. The Judge, in consultation with the appointed tournament organiser is empowered to require any individual who is considered to be jeopardising the safety of the tournament to immediately leave the shooting ground.