Many visually impaired archers enjoy competing in tournaments and competitions outside of their club. You do not have to be a British Blind Sport (BBS) member or have a valid sight classification to take part in club or non-UK Record status tournaments. Archers may self-declare their disability and use any variation from the Archery GB Rules of Shooting (RoS) (opens in new window) provided it is related to their needs, and safe. See Part 11. However, if the archer wishes to compete in a competition for records or with specific VI categories then there may be restrictions on the equipment they can use depending on their sight classification. Often this will be tactile sights only for archers with sight classifications of B1, B2 or B3 and bow-sights for archers with sight classifications of B4 and B5. The requirements should be detailed on the entry form. Please see our equipment discussion for new archers for more information on these options.
At UK Record Status Tournaments, archers may self-declare their disability but, in order for UK Records to be claimed, archers will need a valid BBS or IBSA sight classification of B1, B2 or B3 and shoot with equipment as laid down in World Archery's rules (opens in new window) in Book 3, Chapter 21. For more information on VI Archery records in general please see our records page.
You do need to be a British Blind Sport member (opens in new window) and have a valid up to date sight classification if you want your score to be recognised for BBS Archery Section (BBS-AS) record purposes or take part in the BBS-AS Championships, Indoor or Outdoor. For more information on BBS-AS VI Archery records please see our records page and the Championships Section below.
It will help the tournament organiser immensely if you advise them of any extra requirements, for example if you use a tactile sight; or if you have a guide dog and need a 'tent space' adjacent to your position on the shooting line so that the dog does not get distressed at being too far from you.
BBS-AS have a written guide for spotters which gives guidance on the role and responsibilities of the spotter at a tournament.
A "Round" is an archery term for a specified number of arrows to be shot at a specified target face size at a specified distance. There may be multiple combinations of number of arrows, face sizes and distances within a "Round".
A VI archer may shoot any round recognised by Archery GB (which includes "local" rounds). There are also a series of rounds known as the "Burntwood Rounds" which were created specifically, but not exclusively, for VI archers. What makes these rounds different is that rather than the target physically moving closer to the archer throughout the round, the target face becomes larger instead. This means that the point being aimed at doesn't physically move so that VI archers using tactile sights do not have to realign the tactile sights at every change of distance/face.
The Archery GB (AGB) recognised rounds are contained in the AGB Rules of Shooting (opens in new window) in Parts 3, 4 and 11. Please note that currently the rounds listed in Part 11 (rounds aimed specifically at VI archers) do not count towards classifications or handicaps. The World Archery (WA) recognised rounds are contained in the WA Rules (opens in new window) in Book 3, Chapter 21.
BBS-AS National Championships
In addition to competitions run by local clubs, counties and other archery bodies, the BBS Archery Section holds its own National Indoor Championships in April and Outdoor Championships in September each year. These events are held at Lilleshall National Sports and Conferencing Centre (opens in new window) near Newport in Shropshire.
Archers must be a BBS member to receive subsidised accommodation at the Indoor and Outdoor Championships. A valid and up to date sight classification is necessary so that archers are entered in the correct shooting category for BBS-AS tournaments. Entry and accommodation forms are sent to all BBS-AS members by email and must be returned by the stated closing date and remittance paid via bank transfer to BBS. The accommodation and meals are on site, so it is very important that our Tournament Secretary (link to Tournament Secretary on Committee Contacts page) receives all entries and makes the booking by the deadline date as Lilleshall gets booked up very quickly.
As well as shooting in tournaments for "position", medals and trophies, archers can shoot to achieve a "Record Score" for a particular round.