Packing for your first competition can be a little daunting, so we've put some handy tips below.
As well as your bow and stand, make sure you take at least eight arrows, just in case you need spares. They must all be nocked and fletched in the same way, and you should have your initials on the shaft so you can identify them.
It’s always a good idea to take some other things too, such as spare nocks, an extra string and tab, an arrow puller and a towel to wipe your equipment down in case it rains. It’s always handy to have some allen keys, screwdrivers, pliers, spare fletchings, glue and scissors, in case any small repairs are needed.
You will also need a pen for keeping score, a score pad and a calculator. You could also download a scoring app for your smart phone – there is a wide range of apps available for this that can help you score. When you start shooting longer distances, a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope can help you spot your arrows on the target.
For record status events there are dress regulations in place that have to be followed by all competitors. These are set out in the Rules of Shooting, but can be summarised as:
• Tops must cover the front and back of the body (that is, they are not strapless).
• Any colour clothing is permitted, except for blue denim, olive drab, and camouflage patterns.
• Plain or archery-related clothing is recommended.
• Footwear must cover the whole foot (no open-toed sandals or shoes are allowed).
Remember to dress comfortably, in clothes that don’t interfere with your bowstring, and take into account the weather forecast for any outdoor events so you can take extra layers or waterproofs if you need to.
Aim to arrive at least one hour before the start of the event, to give yourself enough time to register, set up your equipment, and meet your fellow competitors. Introduce yourself to your fellow archers and work out who will be scoring for your target. This is usually the archer listed as detail C, but if this is you and you’re not comfortable with the idea of scoring for a whole target at your first competition, simply talk to your target mates and ask for a swap. The archers not scoring share the job of pulling the arrows from the target. Most experienced archers will happily guide you through your first few tournaments. Judges are also there to help, and will be more than happy to answer any questions or queries you might have.