A rule which some beginners find strange is that an arrow that passes through the target or rebounds from any part of it scores a hit and counts 5. Why such a hit is given so favorable a score is hard to explain; but there is good reason back of it just the same. If the arrow passes through the target in the gold the archer is penalized 4 points; never mind why. If it passes through the target at the white ring, he is favored to the extent of 4 points. If it strikes the target and bounds off, leaving a question as to where the point struck, it counts 5. And the long and short of it is, the seemingly queer rule is to give credit for an average shot. However, I never have been able to understand why a premium is placed upon shooting through the target, nor yet for penalizing it. The softer the target the more likely it is to occur, and then the accurate man is up against it, while the fellow who just manages to get on the target is in clover.
While I am on this subject, it is well to point out that the target face should in all cases be made amply large so that the white ring will not bend around the outer edge of the straw. The entire counting surface should be flat and directly presented to the shooter. Otherwise some counts of 1 surely will be lost. And although this may be as fair for one archer as for another, it is discouraging when it comes to comparing scores against other archers' scores made on properly made targets. All tournament targets have an additional hitting surface ring outside the white ring. These are called the petticoats, and have no counting value.
The National Round is a competition for women and girls, and calls for shooting 72 arrows as follows: 48 arrows at 60 yards and 24 arrows at 50 yards.
The Columbia Round calls for 72 arrows as follows: 24 each at 50, 40 and 30 yards respectively.
For shooting at the American Round, where 60 yards is the limit, a bow of 45 pounds draw is about the heaviest that should be used. With this comparatively light bow, the archer can reduce the weight of his arrows to 4/6. Incidentally, this is the lightest arrow that should be used at any range.
Although there are many different rounds having short ranges, there is no reason why adults of the fair sex should not shoot at 60 and 50 yards. The latter is well within steady reach of any woman or big girl.
Among the large variety of competitions, one which must not be overlooked is the Metropolitan Round. This is used for the championships of the Metropolitan Archery Association, which confines its membership to archers and clubs residing and located within a radius of fifty miles around New York City. It calls for shooting 150 arrows at the standard target as follows: 30 at 100 yards, 30 at 80 yards, 30 at 60 yards, 30 at 50 yards, 30 at 40 yards. The particular advantage of this round appears to be that the archer is not put to the test of a long grind at 100 yards, yet is given opportunity to show what he can do at this extreme range. Another point worthy of mention is the fact that the last three distances make a complete American Round.
Organized archery so far has not recognized the junior archer. However in this country, as in Great Britain, we have the Boy Scouts organization, taking an interest in archery. It has been my pleasure time and again to address Boy Scout troops, also meetings of Boy Scout officials. I believe the Boy Scout movement is capable of doing a very great deal to inculcate interest in archery, and for this reason I hope to see the national organization of the Boy Scouts revise the rules which at the time this is written still govern the award of its merit badge for proficiency in archery.