Archery was introduced for the first time at the Games of the II Olympiad in Paris in 1900. It was then included on the programme of the 1904, 1908 and 1920 Games before disappearing for over 50 years. The Games of the XX Olympiad in Munich in 1972, saw the re-introduction of archery on the Olympic programme. Women were able to compete in archery events at the 1904 and 1908 Games, then again, like the men, in 1972.

Evolution in the number of events

1900: 7 events (men’s)
1904: 5 events (3 men’s and 2 women’s)
1908: 3 events (2 men’s and 1 women’s)
1920: 10 (men’s)
1972-1984: 2 events (1 men’s and 1 women’s)
1988-2016: 4 events (2 men’s and 2 women’s)


Armguard - A guard that, when an arrow is shot, protects the arm from being hit by the bowstring.

Arrow - Arrows have a maximum diameter of 9.3 millimetres, although, for faster flight and less wind drift, most are as small as 5.5 millimetres. Each arrow must be marked with the competitor's name or initials, while archers use distinctive colours for the nocks and vanes to distinguish their arrows.

Bow - The bow’s draw weight is around 22 kilograms (48 pounds) for men, and over 17 kg (38 lbs.) for women. The bow consists of a riser and two limbs.

Bowstring - The string of a bow.Most strings are made of high-tech polyethylene fibres, which are stronger than steel.

Chestguard - Plastic or leather, to keep clothing out of the way and to protect against a bowstring at release from injuring the body.

Finger tab or shooting glove - A flat piece of leather worn as a guard to protect the finger when the arrow releases.

Fletching - The real or artificial feathers at the back of an arrow designed to make it fly straight.

Hand grip or handle - The handle of the bow.

Quiver - A container for holding arrows, usually worn around the waist.

Nock - The attachment on the rear end of an arrow that holds it in place on the bowstring.

Sight - A mechanical device placed on the bow to help the archer aim; also called a "bowsight".

Stabiliser - A weight mounted on the bow to stabilise it during and after a shot.

Target - The target is 1.22 metres (48 inches) in diameter, but, to the archer, standing those 70 metres (86.4 yards) away, it appears about the size of a thumbtack held at arm's length. The centre of the target stands 1.3 metres above the ground. The centre ring is 12.2 centimetres (4.8 in.) in diameter. There is also a smaller X10-ring, which is 6.1 centimetres (2.4 in.) in diameter. It does not give extra point, but it serves as tie-breaker for the archers during qualifications or for world record.

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Archery Games History