archery-SCA-msg - 1/2/96
Archery in the SCA. Archery rules in the SCA. Archery ranks.
NOTE: See also the file c-archery-msg and archery-msg, arrows-msg,
crossbows-msg, arch-shoots-msg, arch-supplies-msg.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that
I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some
messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with
seperate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes
extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were
removed to save space and remove clutter.
The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I
make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the
Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these
messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this
time. If information is published from these messages, please give
credit to the orignator(s).
Mark S. Harris AKA: Lord Stefan li Rous
Subject: Re: SCA archery
H-: Can anyone give me info on archery in the SCA? I shoot
H-: a 50lb longbow. Thanks.
Yes, a bit.
Archery in the SCA is mostly target archery. What little combat archery
remains is being killed off by the stick jocks who don't like having
several months of training go down the tubes in five seconds when some
skinny archer uses *his* several months of training to put an arrow
where it will do the most good. The main problem seems to be that
defending against archers is nearly impossible given the penetration of
bodkin points. The fact that the superiority of archers is "in period"
don't matter. What counts is the fun of bashing!
The target archery aspects of the SCA are very good. I have
participated in several events (mosty at Pensics, but some locally) and
enjoyed all of them. The main one is the "Royal Round", which is pretty
much a straight target shoot - most points wins. Other events include
William Tell shoots (dummy with an apple - hit the dummy and you are
out, hit the apple and you win, rotate one shot each until somebody wins
or everyone is out), Robin Hood shoots (start at 20 yards, score at
least one point (20 inch target) and you stay in for the next round...at
30 yards. Move back 10 yards per round until only one person is left or
you run out of room (in which case highest point total wins)), Wand
shoot (1x2 about 5 feet long, driven into the ground and standing
vertically. Shoot from 25 to 30 yards) and Clout shoot (75 to 100
yards, drop the arrows into a 20 foot circle, usually hay bales).
50 lb bow is fine for all target shooting, long bow is prefered for
those who can find one. Recurves are OK, but "garage doors" (those
things with the wheels and cables...) are out! Arrows should be wooden
shafted, with feathers. Plastic nocks are fine (though I prefer to at
least get solid colors...those Day-Glo (tm) nocks are the pits!). I
prefer field points, but many shoot target points.
If you are seriously interested, there is an archer's newsletter
available. It is called "Fletch and Point", costs $4.00 for six issues
(one year) and is available from Sir Dafydd ap Gwystl (David Juijt),
2801 Ashmont Terrace, Silver Spring, MD, 20906. Make checks payable to
((( STORMBRINGER )))
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (" This space unintentionally left not-blank. ")
Date: 3 May 90 17:10:29 GMT
Organization: Society for Creative Anachronism
First and foremost, call the airline(s) you plan on using and *ask them*!
They are the ultimate authority in this matter, and by this you may avoid
the problem of following someone's advice just to be denied at the gate.
You should probably look into some type of hard-shell case for it and your
arrows. A suggestion would be to use large diameter PVC piping, glue one
end-cap on, and use riveted straps to hold to other end closed. Duke
Frederik of Holland uses such tubes to contain his pavilion poles for
transport, they are simple and work very well.
Eoin of Fell Hold
From: icarus@UCSCB.UCSC.EDU (60451000)
Date: 4 May 90 01:02:35 GMT
Greetings to the Rialto, from Margrethe von Holbeck!
Dani of the Seven Wells writes of wishing to take a 5 foot long bow on
a plane. As a frequent traveler, perhaps I can help.
1) Wrap it in a garbage bag or a clear plastic bag. Carry it with
you onto the plane. Ask the stewardess if you can store it WITH the
garment bags- I believe it will fit.
2) If it doesn't fit, look pathetic and ask the stewardesses where you
might possibly put it. Trust me, this *will* work; they know that otherwise
it will end up in the aisles and they will be tripping over it.
3) if you are wealthy and desperate, buy it a seat.
4) Do NOT, under any circumstances, try taking the arrows with you on
board. The security check will think you are trying to hijack the plane.
Trust me: I tried to take a celtic fork from last summer's Arts and Sciences
tourney on board with me. Security was convinced that I was going to
murder someone with it. ("That is a historical REPRODUCTION. I use it
to EAT WITH. I am NOT going to kill anyone with it.")
Be prepared to do a lot of patient explaining about why it won't do to put
it in the luggage compartment. If you are still worried, you might also
call the ticketing department of the airline on which you plan to travel
and describe your needs. Since deregulation, they've gotten very good
Lady Margrethe von Holbeck Gail DeCamp
Chief Mommy, College of St. David plain ol' student, UC Santa Cruz
From: email@example.com (Sam Bassett RCD)
Date: 3 May 90 19:19:10 GMT
1) Buy skis.
2) Buy ski travel bag.
3) Tape bow between skis.
4) Ship ski-protected bow as luggage.
P.S. On ski trips, you can use the bow for bagging attractive specimens
of the opposite... (oops, *APPROPRIATE*) sex!
Sam'l Bassett, Sterling Software @ NASA Ames Research Center,
Moffett Field CA 94035 Work: (415) 604-4792; Home: (415) 969-2644
From: a318@mindlink.UUCP (Colin Hart)
Date: 3 May 90 13:54:20 GMT
RIchard DeLacy writes<If you call the airline they might have some <idea-as
might a Travel Agent if you have one.
Speaking as a Travel Agent I can state that my suggestion would be to call the
airline, they are the final authority on such matters and certainly if a
customer were in my office asking about taking something like a bow on the
plane I would phone the airline and take down the persons name who I talked to
and exactly what they said could be done, and then probably enter it into the
reservation file on the computor so that it would be recorded fro all to see
at the airport when they checked you in. Hope that this helps in at least a
Colin Mackay of Balmaghie.
From: pete@nyet.UUCP (Pete Hardie)
Date: 3 May 90 20:24:08 GMT
In article <AaDqZwe00WB80IQl4t@andrew.cmu.edu> firstname.lastname@example.org (Dani
>Does anybody know how to take a bow (5 feet long, not a take-down) on a
>plane? It *won't* fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front
>of me. I don't think I can hide it in my garment bag. And if I check it as
>luggage, I'd expect to get it back in two pieces (ignoring what the ambient
>conditions would do to the bow).
Perhaps packing it between 2 stout boards and carrying it in a ski bag
might work. The airlines seemd to manage skis without terrible damage.
And if the bow is well-wrapped in cloth and plastic, it should avaoid the
worst of the ambient conditions.
Reynard dela Foret
Date: 4 May 90 20:29:08 GMT
I MAIL myself the blade of a [mundane fencing] weapon. $2.40 each way
does it, for up to two pounds [i think]. Just tell the hotel or
whatever what you're doing, so when this funny piece of metal shows up
they know what to do.
Arrows should be no harder.
The bow itself is longer than the [4 foot] limit [mundane fencing gear
just makes it at 110cm = 44 inches], but as has been pointed out they
don't get so ippity pippity about bows. Allow two days, plus one day
per 700 miles, not counting Sundays.
Of course you need to be willing to part with the thing for a while
before and after the trip, and it has to be not worth insuring.
From: email@example.com (Dennis O'Connor)
Subject: Re: archery
Date: 15 Mar 93 15:54:28
Organization: Intel i960(tm) Architecture
firstname.lastname@example.org (Hans W. Gruenig / ska Wolfgang von Favst) writes:
] I am interested in participating in archery competitions, but I'm not
] sure what is considered "fair game" in the way of equipment.
There are three classes : open, longbow and crossbow
Longbows and recurves compete in the open class.
Only longbows of 45lb draw and better compete in the longbow class
Crossbows compete in the crossbow class.
For open and longbow class:
All types of (safe) limb material are allowed (fiberglass, wood, metal)
take-down bows are allowed
No compounds (i.e. bows with pulleys or cams)
No release aids except thumb-rings
Arrows must be wood shafted
Arrows must be fletched with feathers, not vanes
Field or target points only
For the open class:
Bows with sight windows are allowed
No sights except limb marks in open class
For the longbow class:
No sights or limb marks allowed
For the crossbow class:
Any type of (safe) limb material can be used for crossbows
No compounds (i.e. pulleys or cams)
I don't think sights are allowed.
Bolts must be of wood.
Bolts must be fletched with feathers, not vanes
] Any information on the subject would be of great help to this yeoman.
This is maybe just an Atenveldt thing, but "yeoman" is a ranking
for archers, earned by shooting good scores in Royal Rounds.
For Atenveldt (tho I'm not an official):
The permanent rankings ( once you attain one you never lose it ) are
Novice - Bowman - Yeoman - Forrester - Bowmaster. There are two higher
rankings that must be re-earned every year : Bowmaster Elite and
another that I've forgot. You earn rank indepedantly in each of
the three classes.
Royal Rounds, BTW, are shot at 60cm 5-color targets, with the inner
(gold) area worth 5 points and each succesivelt outward ring worth
one less. You shoot 6 arrows at 40yds, 6 at 30yds, 6 at 20yds, taking
as much time as you wish; then you shoot as many arrows as you can
in 20 seconds at 20 yds.
You average your top three Royal Rounds over a 4-week period to
see what rank you've earned :
Novice : 1-24 Bowman : 25-44
Yeoman : 45-64 Forrester : 65-84
Bowmaster : 85+
Dennis O'Connor email@example.com
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ellen Kranzer)
Subject: Re: Target Archery Scoring
Date: 11 Jun 1993 04:53:49 GMT
Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
email@example.com (]ke Eldberg) writes:
>Greetings from William de Corbie.
>Each Kingdom has its own system for archery skill ranks,
>and the point requirements differ somewhat. Based on a
>Royal Round, an average might be something like
>51-80 Bowman, Journeyman Archer or whatever
>81-100 Master archer
>100- Grand Master, Great Poobah or whatever
The East Kingdom Archery rankings are based on the average of the top
three Royal Round scores that a person has shot in the past year. The
three scores must be from three different days. Unless there has been
achange recently, the ranks are:
80-99 Master Bowman
100+ Grand Master Bowman
Recognition as a grand master bowman is for life, for the other ranks
you must maintain your score to maintain your rank.
>There are many other ways to shoot. I believe that Carolingia
>has a system of their own where FITA targets are not used
>because they are not period. Instead they shoot at small
>white pieces of paper or some such thing.
The Carolingian ranking system was established before the East Kingdom
system. The shoots consist of an accuracy component (square target),
a speed component (advancing soldier, usually with standard pistol
torso and head silhouette target, but sometimes whatever human figures
we have at hand), and an endurance component (number of arrows shot in
a day). There also used to be a flight requirement (you must be able
to send an arrow at least xx yards, but nobody every failed that and
it was somewhat dangerous to have people doing flight shooting on a
relatively short range so requirement was dropped. The advancing
soldier is a timed shoot, as many arrows as you can get off, with
targets at 40, 30 & 20 yards. You have 5 seconds to shoot at each
target starting at 40 yards and moving in.
The Carolingian ranks are:
At both 15 & 20 yards, 3 of 6 arrows in an 18" square
At both 25 & 30 yards, 2 of 6 arrows in an 18" square
At both 35 & 40 yards, 1 of 6 arrows in an 18" square
1 wound in the advancing soldier shoot
shoot at least 100 arrows in a day
At both 20 & 30 yards, 3 of 6 arrows in a 12" square
At both 40 & 50 yards, 2 of 6 arrows in a 18" square
At both 60 & 80 yards, 1 of 6 arrows in a 24: square
1 kill or 2 wounds in the advancing soldier shoot
shoot at least 150 arrows in a day
At both 20 & 30 yards, 5 of 6 arrows in a 12" square
At both 40 & 50 yards, 3 of 6 arrows in a 18" square
At both 60 & 80 yards, 2 of 6 arrows in a 24" square
At 100 yards, 1 arrow in a 30" square
2 kills or 3 wounds in the advancing soldier shoot
shoot at least 200 arrows in a day
The shoot can be done in any order, but if you miss at one distance,
it's all over. If memory serves me correctly has only been one
Carolingian Master Bowman and only about 7 Companion Bowmen.
Lady Avelina Perceval
Lieutenant, Carolingian Company of Bowmen
Not yet a Companion Bowman, but trying real hard :-)
(Ellen Kranzer, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Sean L. Johnston)
Subject: Re: archery rankings in kingoms?
Date: 24 Sep 1993 18:29:29 GMT
Organization: Mayo Foundation
email@example.com (Douglas Zimmerman) wrote:
> I am curious as to how different kingdoms rank archers by skill,
> or otherwise recognize archers.
> 1. What kingdoms have this sort of ranking system?
> 2. What are the titles/ranks?
> 3. What are the qualifications to receive these ranks?
> 4. What sort of badge/etc is given fo these ranks?
> 5. Is any of this official at the Kingdom levels, or is it strictly
> unofficial among the archers?
> 6. What has the been the general reaction to such rankings among archers?
> -- Galen Woodwalker, of Atlantia
I have been working on an archery training manual for the Crown
Principality of Northshield, entitled "The Training of the Archer", for
almost a year. (The manual has been done for 8 months but the approval
process here is VERY slow). In an appendix, I list the various ranking
schemes of the kingdoms. I do not have Drachenwald's, as they weren't a
kingdom when I started compiling. However, here are the rest for your
perusal. Any updates would be appreciated.
Kingdoms with no ranking system based on Royal Rounds:
Ansteorra, Atlantia, Calontir, Meridies
An Tir: Apprentice 0-39 Atenveldt: Novice 0-24
Archer 40-59 Bowman 25-44
Bowman 60-79 Yeoman 45-64
Master Bowman 80-99 Forester 65-84
Grand Master Bowman 100+ Bowmaster 85+
Caid: Novice 0-24 East: Archer 0-39
Bowman 25-44 Marksman 40-59
Yeoman 45-64 Bowman 60-79
Forester 65-84 Master Bowman 80-99
Bowmaster 85+ Grand Master Bowman 100+
Middle: Bowman 20-39 Outlands: Novice 0-24
Yeoman 40-59 Bowman 25-44
Marksman 60-79 Yeoman 45-64
Forester 80-94 Forester 65-84
Bowmaster 95-104 Bowmaster 85-104
Dragon Archer 105+ Grand Bowmaster 105+
Trimaris: Novice 1-29 West: Novice 0-29
Archer 30-59 Archer 30-49
Bowman 60-79 Yeoman 50-69
Master Bowman 80-99 Master Bowman 70+
Grand Master Bowman 100+
The Outlands requires Arts and Sciences participation at every level
(from fletching up to bowyery), while the West has additional IKAC scores
and teaching requirements. The actual rank represents the average of the
archer's top three scores during a season. Some kingdoms have additional
rules for advancement, so contact your local Archer General if you have
As to the comment regarding "to determine the best archer, set up a
mark and see who hits it", the Royal Round essentially does just that. The
two primary characteristics of a good archer are aim and consistency. The
"mark" in the Royal Round is the little crosshairs in the center, with the
other rings demonstrating how close the archer came to hitting the mark.
The consistency is measured in how often the archer hits or approaches the
For those of you out there who do not know what a Royal Round is, here
is a brief summary:
-1 static round (6 untimed arrows) at each of the following distances: 20
yards, 30 yards, and 40 yards from the target
-1 speed round (30 seconds with as many arrows as possible released) at 20
The maximum number of points in each static round is 30 (yellow=5
points), while an archer shooting 10 arrows in a speed round can score an
extra 50 points. Therefore, a very fast archer who never misses can score
170 points. The highest I have ever heard recorded was 117, out in Caid.
Ranks are official at the Kingdom level, but no Order of Precedence is
conveyed by these rankings. Badges are being used by several kingdoms,
which generally correspond to the rank.
While the individual systems are open to criticism, I believe the
system in general is a good one. It encourages the archer to do better, as
a reward system (in terms of prestige) is in place. In addition, it allows
those who wish to better themselves at the sport to have a tangible goal in
terms of a particular score.
Balin of Canterbury, Dragon Archer,
Crown Principality of the Northshield, Middle Kingdom
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Douglas Zimmerman)
Subject: Re: Archery Rankings in Kingdoms?
Organization: Template Software
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1993 19:22:51 GMT
I, too, dislike the idea of gaining ranks like 'Grandmaster Bowman' based
on shooting nothing more than Royal Rounds. In the mundane British GNAS
(Grand National Archery Society). they have the same title, which they say
is *extremely* difficult to gain. If nothing else, gaining ranks using just
royal rounds or IKACs discourages archers from trying harder shoots.
However, I also dislike the idea of using 'realistic' shoots as a way
of ranking. Most medieval archers never shot a bow in wartime
(at least in England, where most of the archery tradition comes from).
For centuries, the kings required the peasants to practice archery,
yet battles were relative uncommon, and had relatively few archers in them
(compared to everyone who shot a bow). This was especially true by the
Renaissance, when archery become almost purely a sport.
Any sort of ranking system requires that people be able to shoot the *same*
competition at widely different times and places. Colored bullseye targets
are the simplest way to do this, being standardized. Clout and wand rounds
are also standardized, and period, but are more difficult to set up.
One-of-a-kind targets, or roving shoots, or the like, are great fun for
one-time tournaments, but I see no way of comparing scores from
The 5-color circular face (or something close to it) is indeed period.
The Luttrel Psalter (~ 1300) clearly shows target archers shooting at a
circular face about 4' diameter, with concentric rings and a clear bullseye.
But shooting at targets like this was only one of many ways medieval
archers competed. And when they did compete, you can believe they
shot at ranges at lot greater than 40 yards, most of the time.
The whole reason I am asking about this, is that Atlantia has no form of
ranking system at present, and we archers are looking to start one.
I want as much input as possible from other kingdoms that have archery ranks.
Personally, I think that while it should be possible to gain lower ranks
from just IKAC's or Royal Rounds, the higher ranks should require more
difficult shoots in addition. I would think that a Master Bowman should
have a good score at 60 yards, and a Grandmaster should be able to hit
reliably at 100 yards. I also think that few, if any, SCA archers should
currently be ranked as Grandmasters - it should be something to strive for.
Douglas Zimmerman email@example.com uunet!template!kdz 703-318-1218
Template Software 13100 Worldgate Dr, Ste 340 Herndon, VA 22070-4382
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matthew J. Stum)
Subject: Re: Archery Rankings in Kingdoms?
Date: 27 Sep 93 16:58:12 GMT
email@example.com (Douglas Zimmerman) writes:
> Any sort of ranking system requires that people be able to shoot the *same*
> competition at widely different times and places. Colored bullseye targets
> are the simplest way to do this, being standardized. Clout and wand rounds
> are also standardized, and period, but are more difficult to set up.
Huh? Maybe I'm missing something... how is it hard to set up a wand shoot?
Or a spot?
> One-of-a-kind targets, or roving shoots, or the like, are great fun for
> one-time tournaments, but I see no way of comparing scores from
> different competitions.
I agree. I was thinking more along the lines of using an agreed-upon size
of spot or wand target, either of which are _very_ easy to make.
> The 5-color circular face (or something close to it) is indeed period.
> The Luttrel Psalter (~ 1300) clearly shows target archers shooting at a
> circular face about 4' diameter, with concentric rings and a clear bullseye.
Hmm... I've seen this picture, but unless there's more than one drawing, the
target has only one ring (reddish) and a large bull's-eye (white/light)...
(I'll have to go back and take a good look though to be sure I didn't miss any
fine detail in the reddish area)
I believe late-period crossbow targets were square variations of the 5-ring
bull's-eye target... not sure since I tend to keep my research to earlier
> But shooting at targets like this was only one of many ways medieval
> archers competed. And when they did compete, you can believe they
> shot at ranges at lot greater than 40 yards, most of the time.
Yup... which is what I try to do at my events. I keep a 20 yd target for
those that want to plink all day, but most of the serious shooting is at
> Personally, I think that while it should be possible to gain lower ranks
> from just IKAC's or Royal Rounds, the higher ranks should require more
> difficult shoots in addition. I would think that a Master Bowman should
> have a good score at 60 yards, and a Grandmaster should be able to hit
> reliably at 100 yards. I also think that few, if any, SCA archers should
> currently be ranked as Grandmasters - it should be something to strive for.
Shooting at different ranges is slightly analagous to my idea of shooting at
different sized spots to gain a certain ranking. This would allow indoor
winter shoots at 20 yds. Although, personally I'd prefer the changes in
distance since there are more factors that get involved (arc, wind, etc.).
I'm also sensitive to the fact that changing the types of targets is usually
easier for a group than trying to find a site with 100+ yds of shooting room.
Matt Stum Gwydion ap Myrddin Ball State University
firstname.lastname@example.org Shire of Afonlyn, MK Muncie, IN USA
Copyright © Mark S. Harris (Lord Stefan li Rous)
All Rights Reserved
Comments to author: email@example.com
Generated: Fri Nov 24 2000