So How Do I Measure Progress?
You measure your progress by keeping track of how well you score. The goal is to get as tight of a grouping of shots as possible and to be able to do it consistently over time. Of course if you are into archery because you are a hunter, success is measured with successful hunting. Again being able to put the arrow on target time after time, whether that target is alive or man made. With target archery, you can practice over and over until you can put the arrow on target virtually every time. If you are a hunter, practice is particularly important, because out in the field, you usually only get one or maybe two shots if you are really lucky.
The most common targets used for Archery have ten concentric circles as shown below. Each arrow is scored based upon where it hits the target. Arrows that do not penetrate and stick in the target count zero. The highest score, a ten, is achieved by shooting an arrow into the two inner most circles, which includes the center or bulls eye. Even though the center or bulls eye ring is only scored as a ten, it has slightly more weight, because it is usually used to break tie scores that result at the conclusion of a match. So for example, if you and your opponent end up with a tie score and one of your shots had landed in the bulls eye, and your opponent had no bulls eyes, you would win. Scores go down from nine for the next circle out to one for the outermost circle. Missing the rings on the target results in a score of zero for that arrow. Scores are tallied at the end of each round or volley of arrows. Arrows that hit on the line of any circle are generally scored at the higher numbered circle. This may vary depending on the organization that is sanctioning the tournament.
Target archery competitions may be held indoors or outdoors. Indoor distances are 18 meters and 25 meters. Outdoor distances range from 30 meters to 90 meters. Competition is divided into ends of 3 or 6 arrows. After each end, the competitors walk to the target to score and retrieve their arrows. Archers have a set time limit in which to shoot their arrows.
Field archery is a competition where archers shoot at targets placed at different distances in a real life type scenario where the terrain simulates actual hunting conditions. 3D Tournaments, where life size 3D target animals are placed at unspecified yardage and scored based upon either the IBO (11, 10, 8, 5, 0 scoring areas) or ASA (14-12-10-8-5-0 scoring areas), have gained in popularity in recent years.
They are called field, hunter, and animal.
A round is made up of 28 targets in two units of 14. Field rounds are set up at 'even' distances up to 80 yards (some of the shortest are measured in feet instead), using targets with a black bulls eye (5 points), a white center (4) ring, and black outer (3) ring. Hunter rounds are set up with 'uneven' distances up to 70 yards (64 m). Scoring is identical to a field round, the target has an all-black face with a white bulls eye. Children and youth positions for these two rounds are closer, no more than 30 and 50 yards (46 m), respectively. Animal rounds have life-size 2D animal targets with 'uneven' distances reminiscent of the hunter round. Some clubs prefer to use 3D targets. The rules and scoring are very different. The archer begins at the first station of the target and shoots his first arrow. If it hits, he does not have to shoot again. If it misses, he advances to station two and shoots a second arrow, then to station three for a third shot if needed. Scoring areas are vital (20, 16, or 12) and non-vital (18, 14, or 10) with points awarded depending on which arrow scored first. For example, if an archer struck a vital area on the first shot, the arrow would score 20. If however, the archer did not hit the vital area until his third shot, it would only score 12. So if an archer hit a non-vital area on his first shot that yielded a score of 18, it would make no sense to take a second shot in an attempt to hit a vital area, because a second shot into a vital area could only score 16. Again, children and youth shoot from a reduced range.