The best game for two or four is called "shooting thirty-one." It is something like horseshoe pitching in scoring and general plan. There are two goals, their distance set apart by making it 10 yards less than the range of the weakest bow to be used. For 66-inch bows, this will ordinarily be about 135 yards. Each goal is a circle 20 feet in diameter on the ground, with a clout of white straw or white cardboard 2 feet in diameter, marking the center.
Shoot three arrows from one mark to the other, and an opponent shoots after (or before, if he has the "honor"). A hit on the clout counts five, unless the opponent also hits the clout; then neither counts. Other arrows in the circle count one each, just as in horseshoes, if they are nearer to the clout than the nearest arrow of the opponent. But no arrow scores if it is outside the big circle.
Repeat this shooting as often as necessary to give one of the shooters (or one team, if four are playing) the 31 points necessary to victory. In case of a team match, one man on each side shoots from each end, so that it's not necessary to go back and forth as in two-man "thirty-one."
There is this catch in scoring: One cannot pass 10, 20, or 30 without making two points at one time; that is, if his score is either 9, 19, or 29 he must make at least two points in one "inning" before he can continue to count up his score. One point at 9, 19, or 29 doesn't mean a thing, except that it's his honor in the next inning. When one is made at such a time, it is called "one for an egg shell," because the score remains unchanged.
If more than four are to play, an elimination tournament is practical. This may be run off by having two-man matches, each man shooting 15 "ends" and the loser dropping out while the winner goes on to the advanced rounds.
SHOOTING TOY BALLOONS
Shooting toy balloons for competition is a real sport. Divide the group into two teams, then stretch a clothesline between two stakes or trees. On this line, tie the inflated toy balloons—about two balloons to each boy on the team. Space the balloons about 3 feet apart along the line, and tie a white handkerchief at the center of the line. Each team must shoot only on its side of the handkerchief, which marks the center of the line. The toy balloons usually have about a 2-foot string attached which will allow the balloons to bob around, thus making no easy target to shoot at. Both teams start shooting at a given signal from a distance of 35 or 40 yards. When the team shoots down all of its balloons, it wins—or the team having the largest number of balloons down after each member has shot six arrows.