Irish Field Archery Federation

The home of Field Archery in Ireland

At your First Shoot

Packing for your first competition can be a little daunting, so we’ve put some handy tips below.

Preparing for your Shoot

As well as your bow and stand, make sure you take your arrows.

Arrows must all be be of the same type (spine (strength), length and point weight) but do not have to match in terms of colour (nocks and fletched). They must also be named and marked with rings, near the fletches, to help identify arrows during scoring. Arrows with 1, 2 and 3 rings are required for ‘animal’ rounds whilst arrows with 1 up to 5 rings are required for ‘target’ rounds.

All adult archers are required to carry a whistle for safety reasons. Clip one onto your quiver so you never forget it!

It’s always a good idea to take some other things too, such as spare nocks, an extra string and tab, an arrow puller. It’s always handy to have some allen keys, screwdrivers, pliers, spare fletchings, glue and scissors, in case any small repairs are needed.

You will also need a pen for keeping score. When you start shooting longer distances, a pair of binoculars can help you spot your arrows on the target.


Remember to dress comfortably, in clothes that don’t interfere with your bowstring, and take into account the weather forecast for any outdoor events so you can take extra layers or waterproofs if you need to. A pair of boots is recommended.

At The Shoot

Aim to arrive one hour before the start of the event, to give yourself enough time to register, set up your equipment, and meet your fellow competitors. Introduce yourself to your fellow archers. Most experienced archers will happily guide you through your first few shoots and will be more than happy to answer any questions or queries you might have.