Archery featured in the first Paralympic Games
in Rome in 1960 and has remained on the programme ever since.
Athletes use two types of bows: the recurve and the compound.
The recurve features limbs that curve away from the athlete to increase power
whilst the compound bow uses pulleys to reduce the force required at full draw,
making it easier to aim mechanical release aids and magnifying sights.
They shoot their arrows at the centre of a target from a distance of 70m for recurve
archers, and 50m for compound and W1 archers.
Each of the 10 rings on the target is a scoring zone.
One point for hitting the outer ring and ten points for the centre. There are two Paralympic archery classes:
Open and W1. W1 athletes have arm and leg impairments and
may therefore use either bow limited to 45lbs in draw weight
and without magnifying sights. In the Open class, archers compete standing
or in a wheelchair and will position themselves at a 90 degree
angle to the target and may use body support. The recurve target measures 1.22 m, with a
centre of 12.2cm, in diameter. The compound and W1 target is smaller and
measures 80 cm, with a centre of 8cm, in diameter. On release, arrows can reach speeds in excess
of 150mph The competition is a knock -out format until
the last two athletes go head to head in the gold medal match.
There are both individual and mixed team events, featuring one male and one female athlete.
Recurve matches use the set system: The winner of each set receives two set points
and in the event of a tie, one point each is awarded.
Individual sets consist of three arrows and mixed team of four arrows, two per athlete.
Individual matches are the best of five sets, with athletes needing six set points to win.
Mixed team matches are the best of four sets, with pairs needing five set points to win.
Compound and W1 matches are decided on cumulative score.
Individual matches last 15 arrows. Mixed team matches last 16 arrows, eight per athlete.
In all events, if the match is tied there is a shoot off where the closest arrow to
the middle wins.