Mark : First Competition Norwich Stafford Part 2

If you missed my last post, let me bring you up to speed… We’re in Norwich shooting a Stafford; this is my first competitive shoot and all’s going well. 

I found out about the tournament in the directory at the back of the Archery GB magazine, which brings me to a very important point : if you want to shoot competitively you must be a member of Archery GB (often still referred to as GNAS). If you aren’t a member then you won’t get past the stage of filling in the tournament entry form. It doesn’t cost much to join and you can do it through the club (just send an email in to the office). As well as enabling you to shoot at competitions it also means you can shoot at other clubs, assuming they allow guests (and you ask nicely!). Perfect if you ever spend lengths of time away from home and want to keep up your practice.

The tournament directory lists all the UKRS and WRS shoots that are going on around the country, along with some other open club competitions. If you shoot regularly at 2020 you are probably familiar with the Portsmouth round, but there are other indoor rounds you can shoot too. Don’t let this phase you; they are all similarly structured and of similar difficulty. 

The Stafford round is 6dz arrows shot in ends of three arrows at a distance of 30m at an 80cm target. It feels very similar to a Portsmouth, as the increased distance is countered by a larger target face. It is not a particularly common round as it’s difficult to find a large enough indoor space to comfortably shoot it, so many of the competitors were using their sighter ends to coarsely set their sights rather than fine tuning a sight mark worked out previously. I didn’t want to take that chance, so I had been practicing shooting at 30m for a few weeks beforehand at (often in sub-zero temperatures – how’s that for dedication/idiocy!) and had worked out my sight marks.

There are a few pieces of etiquette that you should be familiar with before shooting at a tournament and although we shoot safely and respectfully at 2020 we don’t always follow rules that are standard at many clubs. A couple rules you’d be wise to be aware of:

  • Do not step up to or back from the line if the archer in front or behind of you is at full draw, it’s distracting.
  • If you are the penultimate archer to finish shooting your arrows, stay on the line until the last archer has finished shooting. You don’t leave someone up there by themselves. Even if you have to stand there looking like a plum for 30 seconds.

Other points of etiquette are relaxed. For example, we frown a little bit if you stand on the line at 2020 adjusting your sight as it slows the session down, but in a competitive shoot each end is timed. You generally have two minutes to shoot your three arrows, so if you want to spend some of that time adjusting your sight that’s up to you.

Although the experience was new and there were a few things to learn I’m pleased to report that I had a good shoot. I scored 623/720, a little lower than my practice average, but still placing me 6th out of 15 in the Gents Recurve and leaving me with an itch to scratch… that evening I entered another four tournaments!

Full results can be found here: