Extreme Archery: Clout-y
with a Chance of Raining
Arrows Extreme Archery: Clout-y with a Chance of Raining Arrows

Clout archery is a fun, extreme form of archery that differs from typical target archery in many ways. It’s a throw-back to medieval warriors who lobbed arrows at their enemies. Think: a sky raining arrows like in the movie “300.”

It’s raining arrows in this epic scene from “300.”

It’s raining arrows in this epic scene from “300.”

It’s a dramatic sport to watch, and much safer than it first looks. World Archery’s clout guidelines require archers to shoot a round of three arrows within two minutes, or six arrows within four minutes. Up to 20 archers shoot from the line at once, and in the United States, all archers shoot in one direction.

USA Archery captioned this photo from July 2013, "Clout round about to start, and Vic Wunderle seems to know something nobody else does ... #‎archery‬ ‪#‎Olympian‬ ‪#‎madscientist‬"

USA Archery captioned this photo from July 2013, “Clout round about to start, and Vic Wunderle seems to know something nobody else does … #‎archery‬ ‪#‎Olympian‬ ‪#‎madscientist‬”

Clout is typically offered in the United States as a fun shoot between rounds at major tournaments like the National Field Archery Association Outdoor Nationals/U.S. Open. Rules require significant overshoot space to avoid damaging property. Clout archery is more popular in England and Australia, but if it continues gaining popularity, you could get to try this extreme – and extremely fun – archery sport soon. Bonus: airbrushed abs are not required.

Though it harkens back to medieval war practices, clout archery is much safer for participants. Photo: 300 Spartan Warriors

Though it harkens back to medieval war practices, clout archery is much safer for participants. Photo: 300 Spartan Warriors

Clout Archery: The Basics

Form

The most noticeable difference between clout rounds and tournament archery is that archers lob arrows at the sky while aiming for targets on the ground. For most types of archery, a fundamental rule is to avoid a “sky draw,” which is typically needed by archers trying to draw a bow of too much draw weight.

Distance

Typically, competitive archers shoot targets from about 70 meters. Clout archers aim and shoot at targets up to twice that distance. Clout archers shoot from:

185 meters – compound men

165 meters – recurve men and compound women

125 meters – recurve women, all juniors and cadets

110 meters – cubs

Archers collect their arrows after their scores are determined. Photo: Bournemoth Archery Club

Archers collect their arrows after their scores are determined. Photo: Bournemoth Archery Club

Target

In clout archery, archers aim at a flag on the ground known as “the clout.” Each flag consists of a piece of colored fabric not exceeding 80 centimeters high and 30 centimeters wide on a wooden pole. The flag is 50 centimeters or less from the ground. Targets are circles positioned on the ground, surrounding a marker flag.

Scoring

Clout archers shoot six arrows six times for 36 arrows total. A rope with a loop is placed on the end of the flag pole. The rope is divided into scoring zones:
Gold: 5 points
Red: 4 points
Blue: 3 points
Black: 2 points
White: 1 point

The place where the arrow enters the ground is taken as its score.

The place where the arrow enters the ground is taken as its score.

The place where the arrow enters the ground is taken as its score. A judge walks the rope around the target area. Any arrows falling in a scoring zone marked on the rope are removed and, when the full circle is complete, laid out on the rope on the corresponding scoring colors. All archers in turn point to their arrows and call out the scores in descending order.

Interested in archery? Check out Archery for Beginners and 5 Fun Ways to Get Started in Archery Right Now.

Sources: World Archery, WikiPedia

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