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Archery, sport involving shooting arrows with a boweither at an inanimate target or in hunting. History From prehistoric times, the bow was a principal weapon of war and of the hunt throughout the world, except in Australia.
Recreational archery also was practiced, along with military, among the ancient Egyptians and Greeksone instance of the latter being the competition in which Odysseus won the hand of Penelope.
The Huns, Seljuq Turks, Mongols, and other nomadic horse archers dominated large parts of Asia for about 15 centuries from the 1st century ce. In Europe the bow and arrow were displaced by firearms as a military weapon in the 16th century.
The bow was retained as a hunting weapon, and archery continued to be practiced as a sport in England by both royalty and the general public.
The earliest English archery societies dated from the 16th and 17th centuries. These recreational activities with the bow evolved into the modern sport of archery.
The first American archery organization was the United Bowmen of Philadelphia, founded in In the early days the sport was, as in England, a popular upper- and middle-class recreation.
In the s many archery clubs sprang up, and in eight of them formed the National Archery Association of the United States. In the National Field Archery Association of the United States was established to promote hunting, rovingand field archery.
The number of archers around the world increased phenomenally afterled by remarkable growth in the United States.
By the late 20th century there were probably more than 10 million American participants in all forms of the sport. The bow The bow was almost certainly the earliest mechanical device to achieve greater speed in a projectile than could be attained by throwing it.
It does this by accumulating energy in the bow limbs while drawing pulling the bowstring backstoring it temporarily while holding and aiming, and releasing the stored energy by converting it to energy of flight in the arrow.
Initially, and probably for millennia, bows were made of a single material, usually wood self bowsincluding those in which two pieces were fastened together to make the equivalent of a single long stave. Later, some bows were made of several materials, such as wood and horn glued together in layers composite bows and reinforced with bands of sinew.
The short self bows used in Europe until the late Middle Ages were weak weapons that gave way to the technically superior longbow beginning in the 11th century.
Composite bows made of wood, horn, and sinew were used throughout much of Asia during the same period. A selection of bows that were used by different groups throughout history. Up to about the history of Western archery as a sport was the history of the longbow.
This bow had disadvantages, however. It was subject to differing conditions of temperature and humidity, it needed to be left unstrung when not in use, and using it was an art.
The bow that replaced it in the midth century was a composite design made of laminated wood, plastic, and fibreglass that was little affected by changes of temperature and humidity.
The limbs of the composite bow are laminated, with a thin strip of wood serving as a core for facing and backing strips of fibreglass that are secured to it with epoxy glue.
The composite bow gives superior accuracy, velocity, and distance in comparison to the longbow. Using a modern bow, target archers of equal skill can score an average 30 to 40 percent higher than they can with the longbow.
The modern composite bow shoots farther than the longbow: The efficiency the percentage of energy in a fully drawn bow that is transferred to the arrow at the moment of loose of the modern bow doubles that of the longbow, the velocity of the arrow with the new bow reaching 65 metres feet per second as opposed to 45 metres feet per second.
The wooden arrows used by archers for millennia have been replaced by ones made from aluminum-alloy or fibreglass tubing, and plastic fins have replaced feathers. A more recent innovation is the compound bow, which uses a system of cables and pulleys to make the bow easier to draw.
Compound bows have achieved increasing popularity since a two-pulley design was introduced in the s. They are used in field archery, in hunting, and in international target archery competition. See also bow and arrow. Equipment The modern target bow varies in length according to the height of the archer but averages cm 68 inches.
Similarly, arrows vary, but an average arrow is 56 cm 22 inches. The drawing force of a bow—that is, the energy required to draw back an arrow to the fullest—varies from 14 to 23 kg 30 to 50 pounds for men and from 9 to 18 kg 20 to 40 pounds for women.
The archer usually carries arrows in a quiver, a container hung over the shoulder or slung from the belt. A glove or finger protector shields the fingers used to draw the bowstring back, and a bracer is fitted to the inside forearm of the bow arm to protect against the released bowstring.
In Western nations, the so-called Mediterranean draw is used to draw and loose the arrow; this is executed by pulling the string back with three fingers, the first being above and the second and third below the nocked arrow.
In right-handed shooting, the arrow is shot from the left side of the bow.
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