When you take up Archery you enter a world of organisations and terminology that can be confusing – and is often still confusing for those who have been archers for some time.
This page aims to provide an overview of the main organisations and bodies and their activities that make up the archery fraternity, with the hopeful intention of somewhat easing that confusion.
Archery had a very long history before it became a leisure activity and there has been much change in UK in recent years as the highest level of organising and running the sport has moved from being voluntary to paid employees. Despite those moves the majority of activities ‘on the ground’ such as tournaments and coaching, incl. several national activities, are still carried out or supported by unpaid volunteers.
Too many functions to include all here! All organisations have their own websites. Click the organisation's logo to visit it.
The body governing Archery internationally until relatively recently known as FITA – (pronounced feeta), based in Geneva.
Many archers still use the FITA epithet and the term will possibly still be seen on some target faces.
Central Archery body for Olympic Games and other international scale events.
All recognised shooting rounds are Metric!
World Archery recognises only one Governing Body in any one country – for us that is:
N.B. This section covers Great Britain – separate bodies for each Home Nation see end section for England – not a governing body!
The brand and trading name of the company formally constituted as The Grand National Archery Society (GNAS) managed by a Board of Directors, founded in 1861.
Covers all forms of Archery and Bows and is responsible for setting rules and guidance covering shooting, competitions, sizes and registration of shooting facilities, qualifications of officials and administration of child and vulnerable adult policies including DBS checks.
Administers Coaches and Judges formal licence qualifications and renewals (see also comment under regions).
Importantly arranges public liability insurance for all archers, mandatory to shoot at any organised facility
Recognises both Metric and Non-metric (e.g. York, Hereford, Bristol, Warwick, Western etc.) shooting rounds.
AGB covers all disciplines but there are several independently organised Special Interest organisations –e.g. British Longbow Society (BLBS), National Field Archery Society (NFAS), some were set up by members who historically felt under-represented.
Publishes membership magazine and website.Selects and trains archers to send teams to International Competitions, including European and World Championships and Olympics (recurve only).
Runs / administers Awards for high level score achievements at record status tournaments in conjunction with World Archery e.g. - the WA STAR scheme (formerly FITA STARS) as well as some Junior award schemes.
Runs and / or co-ordinates record status tournaments and maintains National Ranking and Records registers. Runs national recognition awards for individual commitment in many fields e.g. Administration, Coaching.
Funded by individual archer membership fees (collected with - and the significantly largest part of - our annual club membership fees!) Also obtains Lottery money via Sport UK/ Sport England with some commercial sponsorships.
All of the following are run by individual volunteers and open to ANY archer who wishes to get involved - that may even be you!
Starting at local levels there are Archery Clubs, run locally by volunteers. Facilities and scale of activities variable.
Collective volunteer organisations of local archery clubs – ours is Nottinghamshire Archery Society (NAS).
Managed by and for clubs via regular meetings by reps. from clubs who make up the committee and fill supporting roles – any archer can attend!
Co-ordinates clubs and communications. Runs competitions, registers and maintains County performance records, organises training for Coaches and Judges and for some years has run winter training for archers with aspirations to progress. Organises and manages (volunteer Team managers!) Junior and senior teams for inter-county competitions.
Arranges Coach initial and some ongoing training programmes.
Liaises with Councils and other appropriate organisations (e.g. Media) as necessary.
Funded by low individual archer fees collected through clubs.
Collective organisations for groups of Counties. There are Five in England, wide variation in sizes – ours is East Midlands Archery Society (EMAS) representing Notts. Leics., Lincs., Derbys. and Northants. Other regions are Northern Counties (NCAS), West Midlands (WMAS) Southern Counties (SCAS) and Grand Western (GWAS).
Functions are overall similar to Counties but at higher levels with some higher level Team inter-county competitions and co-ordination. Provides support (physical, administrative and financial) to Counties as appropriate or requested. Chairs liaise with and attend meetings with AGB Chief. Exec.
Organises training seminars for coaches and a sub-committee checks coaches activity records at renewal times (3 yearly!) to recommend/ substantiate licence renewal by AGB. Co-ordinates Judges for Regional and County tournaments.
Managed via regular meetings of two elected reps. from each County with a committee of Secretary and Treasurer and additional functional roles filled by other volunteers.
Any Regional Affiliated archer can attend the AGM.
Funded by low individual archer fees collected through clubs and paid via County.
Formally constituted as The English Archery Federation (EAF) – owned and run by the English Regions.
Originally set up by the Regional Societies to represent their interests with The Commonwealth Games (CG), a role which cannot be covered by AGB as they represent the Home Nations collectively and within The Commonwealth each Home Nation (+Jersey, Guernsey and The Isle of Man) has a separate identity. Now collectively works on behalf of all five English Regions on all appropriate aspects of archery.
Organises English National competitions and championships, Senior and Junior, for all archery disciplines.
Runs Winter Training Sessions and organises and manages Junior and Senior teams - Archers and volunteer Team Managers - to enter national and CG competitions. Works and liaises with the other Home Nations (Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland) basis to run (on a rota basis) and participate in Home International competitions and CG European Championships.
Runs / administers National Score Achievement Awards for major tournaments– the English Rose scheme - for both Seniors and Juniors.
Independent of - but works with and is supported by - AGB as appropriate. Is formally an associate member organisation of AGB.
Funded by Regional contributions. Managed by committee consisting of elected Chair , Secretary and Treasurer + 2 reps from each English Region supported by other volunteer support roles – e.g. Team Managers, Team Selectors.