How To Score Archery Targets? (Rules and Best Practices)

Archery is a fun sport that requires skill, focus, and patience. And scoring archery targets is about figuring out how many points you get for each arrow based on where it hits the target.

By learning how to score archery targets, you can see how well you’re doing and work on improving your skills.

In this article, you’ll learn about various scoring systems, how points are assigned, different types of archery targets, and much more.

Table of Contents

What are the rules for archery target scoring?

First things first. What are the rules of scoring in archery?

Well, scoring rules vary. Normal archery matches, for example, will not follow the same rules as Olympic matches.

So, how is the archery target scored? Archery scoring is pretty straightforward. The bullseye is surrounded by ten circles. The farther outward you go, the fewer points you will get. The innermost ring has 10 points, while the outermost ring has 1 point.

That means if you hit the bullseye, you will earn 10 points, while if you hit the outermost circle, you will score 1 point only. And guess what? For missed shots, you won’t receive any points.

Depending on the sport’s format, shooting distances vary. In indoor archery, the distance is shorter than in outdoor target shooting or Olympic archery.

Target ring nameTarget ring point value
Inner Yellow10
Outer Yellow9
Inner Red8
Outer Red7
Inner Blue6
Outer Blue5
Inner Black4
Outer Black3
Inner White2
Outer White1
Archery scoring rules

However, there are scoring rules. For example- set system scoring and Olympic archery scoring.

Here’s How To Score Archery And Never Miss The Bullseye

Scoring archery target

Before you get into scoring an archery target, you must learn how to hit the target in archery. Now, that involves focusing on your form, aim, body posture, and breathing control. Otherwise, if you can’t hit correctly, you won’t be able to hit the scoring zone.

Now, let’s get to scoring the archery target —

  • Retrieve your arrows from the target. If you’re shooting at an indoor range, you may have electronic scoring systems that do the work for you. If you’re shooting at an outdoor range, you’ll need to use a paper scoring chart or app to keep track of your scores.
  • Find the value of the bullseye, which is the center of the target. For example, in a 5-spot archery target scoring the center worth 5 points, whereas in the Olympic the center target is 10 points. 
  • Calculate the value of the ring in which your arrow is located. Each ring outside the center is worth one point less than the rings surrounding the bullseye.
  • If an arrow touches a line between two rings, a scoring judge will determine its value. They will decide which ring the shot should be scored in.

Practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t hit the bullseye right away.

How to score 3D archery targets?

In 3D archery, your score is determined by where your arrow hits the 3d target. Two main organizations set the rules for archery scoring: the IBO and the ASA.

  1. IBO Scoring

The IBO scoring system is easy to follow! If you hit the center of the target, you get 11 points. The next best ring is worth 10 points, and the next largest ring is worth 8 points.

If you hit the target outside of these rings, you’ll still get some points – 5 points to be exact. 

But if you miss the target altogether, you’ll score zero points. So, aim carefully and rack up those points!

  1. ASA Scoring

ASA targets have all the same scoring rings as the IBO target, with a few extras thrown in. In addition to the 5, 8, and 10 rings, ASA targets also have two 12 rings on the top and bottom edges of the 10 rings. You can aim for the upper 12 rings if you let your group know before shooting. 

ASA targets also have a 14-ring in the upper corner of the 8-ring, but you’ll need to ask the organizer if it’s in play before you can score those extra points. 

Rules are also set by the World Archery Federation for the international tournament and world archery championships. For domestic tournaments, however, domestic boards and federations can set additional rules. The USA archery can, for example, set minor rules for tournaments to ensure that they are conducted properly.

How to score a Vegas archery target?

To score a Vegas archery round, follow these steps:

  • Shoot at a three-spot target with three faces and concentric circles worth different points.
  • You’ll shoot three arrows at a time (called an “end”), and do this ten times for a total of 30 arrows.
  • The innermost circle is worth 10 points, and the outer circles are worth 9, 8, 7, and 6 points respectively.
  • As you shoot, be sure to keep track of your score. You can do this by using a scorecard or by using a scoring app on your phone.
  • Remember, when you shoot, if your arrow touches a line between two circles, you would always count the higher number of points.
  • Add up your total score to see how you did.

What can I use for an archery target?

If you’re an archer looking for a new target to practice on, there are a few options you can consider. 

  • Straw Target
Archery scoring using a straw target

One option is a straw target, which is a popular choice for many archers. Straw is widely available and relatively inexpensive, making it a convenient choice for a target. 

  • Hay Target

If you do decide to use hay as a target, it can be a good choice because it can stop arrows traveling at up to 300 fps and is easy to set up. Just be sure to use a ratchet strap to hold the bale in place and make the fibers tighter.

  • Wood Pallet

To turn a wood pallet into a target, you can cut it into a square frame and fill it with old clothes to give the arrows something to stick into. You can also cover the outside of the frame with carpet to give it a more realistic look. 

  • Cardboard Box

This target is easy to make and lasts for a good while. Just be sure to bring the cardboard box inside when you’re not using it to protect it from the elements. It’d be best not to use it unless you have a strong backstop set up.

  • Carpet 

If you have some old carpet lying around, you can easily turn it into a target. Simply stack the carpet into a frame either vertically or horizontally to create the target. 

  • Wood Box 

This option is a bit more involved but can be a fun project to tackle. To make a wood box target, you’ll need to create a 20-ish cm frame out of wood and cover it with small, checkered plastic straps. Fill the frame with old clothes to create a target that will hold up well to your arrows. 

  • Old Foam Mattress 

Are you still on the fence thinking about what to use as an archery target? Just cut up an old mattress into quarters, place 2 of the quarters between 2 thin cardboard boxes, and that’s it. Use duct tape to hold the layers together.

Pro Tip: You can even fill a big bag with old clothes for an archery target. Make sure you hang it for proper balance instead of standing on the ground. 

What to put behind an archery target?

Archery safety is essential, and a backstop is a crucial element to catch and stop any missed arrows. There are various options for backstops depending on your needs.

  • Straw or Hay

One option is to use hay or straw as a backstop. This is a good choice if you’re practicing outdoors, as it is easily replaceable when it becomes too worn. 

  • Wood 

You can also use wood as a backstop, as long as it’s thick enough to stop the arrows. 

  • Horse stall mat

Another option is to use a horse stall mat which you’ll need to hang from a stand. Pretty much any arrow that misses the target and strikes will be stopped by this kind of backstop.

  • Cardboard layers

You could use layers of cardboard. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace, making them a convenient choice. 

  • Hot Tub Lid

An old hot tub lid can also work well as a backstop. You can often find these for free if you look in the right places. 

  • Foam

Foam is another option for a backstop. It’s soft and can help to slow down the arrows, but it’s best to use two or three layers of foam for added security. 

Where to buy archery target?

You can find archery targets at sporting goods stores, outdoor stores, and online marketplaces. Some popular online options include Amazon and eBay.

You can even get Morrel youth Target costs around $30 to $40 from an academy sporting goods store. That being said, the Block Classic Archery target from field logic is pretty durable, lightweight, and has incredible stopping power. Try it out.


Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced archer, scoring your shots is an important part of the sport and can help you become a better, more consistent shooter. 

I hope you got adequate knowledge on how to score archery targets that’ll help you track your progress and identify areas of your technique that may need improvement.

So next time you’re at the range, take the time to target practice and see how you’re doing!


Is the target distance shorter in indoor archery?

It is true that indoor archery has a shorter shooting distance than outdoor archery.

How many points can you earn per shot in indoor archery?

You can earn anywhere between 5 to 10 points per shot in indoor archery. Due to the smaller radius of indoor archery targets, this is the case.

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