What is Adaptive Archery?
Adaptive archery is a modified version of the sport of archery that allows individuals with disabilities or special needs to participate. It involves the use of equipment adaptations and modifications to accommodate for physical or cognitive impairments, making the sport accessible to a wider range of individuals. Adaptive archers may choose to stand, use a braced position, or sit while shooting their bow, and can use equipment adaptations such as finger tabs, bow stands, mouth tabs, or mechanical releases to assist with nocking the arrow, drawing and releasing the bowstring, and arrow retrieval. Adaptive archers can participate in local, regional, or national competitions, and can rent equipment before deciding to purchase their own. USA Archery, the national governing body for the sport in the United States, offers resources for adaptive archers, including information on coaches, clubs, and competitions. The most important thing to remember in adaptive archery is to have fun and remember that the sport is inclusive for all abilities.
When trying adaptive archery, there are several things to consider:
- Position: You'll want to decide whether to stand, use a braced position, or sit while shooting your bow.
- Range of motion: If you have any concerns about your range of motion, speak with your instructor about possible adaptations.
- Nocking the arrow: Archers with limited hand movement may need assistance with placing the arrow onto the bowstring.
- Drawing and releasing the bowstring: If you have difficulty drawing back the bowstring, you can request help from a coach or volunteer or use equipment adaptations such as finger tabs, bow stands, mouth tabs, or mechanical releases.
- Arrow retrieval: If you have difficulties walking, a volunteer or agent can be assigned to assist with arrow retrieval.
- Scoring: The total score is the sum of the scores of each arrow, with the center of the target being the highest score.
- Competition: You can participate in local, regional, or national competitions.
- Rental equipment: If you're not sure about committing to archery, you can rent equipment before deciding to purchase your own.
- USA Archery: This organization offers resources for adaptive archers, including information on coaches, clubs, and competitions.
- Enjoyment: Don't forget to have fun and remember that archery is an inclusive sport for all abilities.
Looking to take your shot in adaptive archery?
You can find a local Move United Member Organization that provides adaptive archery instruction, or visit the USA Archery Coach Locator or Club Locator to find a coach or club near you. USA Archery coaches are trained to work with individuals with disabilities, and can help you participate in any USA Archery program. You can also check out the Paralympic Club Directory for additional resources. Keep in mind that adaptive archery equipment is often customized for the individual archer, and can be adapted with common materials. The USA Archery Adaptive Video Series provides tips and tricks for adapting equipment.