The Lowdown on Archery Tag:
Safe or Scary? The Lowdown on Archery Tag: Safe or Scary?

You loved “The Hunger Games,” but you know shooting at moving targets isn’t really safe. Or is it? Archery Tag is super hot, according to the New York Times, and people worldwide are unleashing their inner Katniss with the fun new game.

Journalist Stacey Anderson, who tried the game at Indoor Extreme Sports in Queens, N.Y., described her experience: “I cowered behind an inflated yellow fort, foam-tipped arrows whizzing past my scalp, and shrill battle cries echoing in the humid air. My three teammates circled this makeshift base, drawing their bows with swift hands and pegging our opponents in the torsos and arms.”


What’s Archery Tag? Think of it as dodgeball meets archery – with huge marshmallow-shaped foam points on your arrows. Cringing about safety? Archery Tag features game-specific, low-poundage bows that shoot arrows tipped with giant foam points.

“I’m happy to say the pain factor of Archery Tag proved minimal,” Anderson writes. “My forearm stung for a few moments when hit squarely by an arrow, but it did not leave a mark. In contrast, when I volunteered to be shot with a paintball, that left a garish bruise on my thigh that lasted two weeks.”


John Jackson invented Archery Tag before archery caught fire in pop culture, but his timing couldn’t have been better. With “The Hunger Games,” “Brave,” “The Avengers” and the 2012 Olympic Games appearing in rapid succession, the sport’s popularity has skyrocketed. Jackson reaped the benefits.

According to the Times, Archery Tag is licensed in 170 locations, including Peru, Russia and Saudi Arabia. The United States offers the most Archery Tag opportunities, but overseas tournaments are being organized. In fact, a recent Archery Tag competition in Singapore drew 1,200 participants.

Anderson’s verdict? “Two days after my Archery Tag initiation, I remained extremely sore and quite giddy about the experience,” she notes. If you’re thinking about trying Archery Tag, visit

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