Everything you need to know about some archery rules at the Olympics. Archery is not a complex sport to understand as the end result depends squarely on the highest cumulative total score in the event. However, there are some formats that need to be kept in mind with recurve archery for the upcoming Olympics. We take a look at the notable rules and regulations to watch out for during the tournament.

Recurve archery rules

Number of events

A total of 5 events are programmed. The men’s individual event and the women’s event, the men’s team event and the women’s team event and the mixed team event.

Individual events

There are a total of 64 competitors each in the male and female categories. Ranking for the event will take place with each archer shooting a total of 72 arrows in order to be assigned a rank from 1 to 64. This will then lead to an individual face-off based on the rank that is assigned to the archers. Elimination will be a single elimination for each round starting with the round of 64. Archers will face opponents who have corresponding high ranks. For example. Rank 1 will face Rank 64, Rank 2 will face Rank 63, etc.

Team events

There are a total of 12 teams of which 4 are considered seeded and therefore receive a pass to the quarter-finals. The remaining teams placed of 5e at 12e must fight for the next 4 positions which are up for grabs.


The basic scoring rules are the same for the individual and team events. Each round will have a number of sets, each with archers expected to win the most sets.

In the individual event, three arrows will be shot per set by each archer with the highest cumulative score giving the respective archer 2 points in total. In the event of a tie, each archer gets 1 point. If after 5 sets the archers have the same number of points, then there will be only one arrow shot to determine the winner based on the arrow closest to the center.

There are 5 noticeable and visible colors which are marked on the target placed on a large board. Each color is assigned two circles and each circle is 12.2cm wide. The points by color in order of the distance to the center are:

1) White scores 1-2 points

2) Black scores 3-4 points

3) Blue scores 5-6 points

4) Red scores 7-8 points

5) Yellow scores 9-10 points

Other rules and regulations during the events

Each archer in all events has a total time of 20 seconds to shoot the arrow. Failure to do so within the allotted time makes the score 0 for that particular shot.

For team matches, each team has a total of two minutes to shoot 6 arrows per set. The second team can only shoot after the first team has shot all arrows in that set in no particular order. The team that reaches 6 set points first wins.

In order to qualify for the team event with a maximum of 12 teams per gender, a country must be in the top 8 according to the World Archery Championships to occupy 8 places. A place is reserved for the host country while 3 other places can be claimed by the 3 best teams of the World Qualifying Tournament.