Jim Krueger has been teaching young archers how to score arrows for some time, and has made available to us a sample scorecard for outdoor tournaments.  You will need a copy of the Adobe acrobat viewer, which is built in to most modern web browsers.  If your browser doesn't automatically view the file below you can always get a copy of the view for free from Adobe.

    Scoring Arrows (Acrobat File)

    Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer 97 Program for Windows -  2751 KB

    Powerpoint for scoring

    Important Points for Young Archers:

  1. take a sharpened pencil and an arrow puller to the target
  2. don't touch, and don't let anyone else touch, the target nor any arrows in the target till all scoring has been done.
  3. one archer calls the scores while two archers write the score down.  If there is a fourth archer, that one double-checks the caller.
  4. when it is your turn to call arrows, call them clearly and slowly.  Start with the highest number and go to the lower score arrows next.
  5. always score arrows  for each archer in the same order.  If you are not consistent you will make scoring mistakes more easily. verify that everyone is on the same archer's scorecard (and the color of the vanes & nocks for that archer) before calling the score.
  6. You do not score the hole the arrow makes, it is where the arrow shaft itself ends up, that determines the score. If the shaft touches the line it gets a higher ring score - if you can see color between the black line and the arrow, it's not touching the line.  If any archer doubts a call made by the "caller" then you are supposed to call a judge before anyone touches the arrows.  The archers on a target are strongly encouraged to settle line calls in a sportsmanlike, forthright manner rather than call a judge.
  7. Never erase an arrow's score once you mark it down on your scorecard.  If you make a mistake, you can change the arrow's score AS LONG AS each archer on the target agrees and initials the change on the scorecard. You can also call the judge to make the change..  But you CAN change addition mistakes anytime, by drawing a single line through the bad score and writing in the right score and everyone intialling the changed value.
  8. When you have a miss (and all archers have misses from time to time) you mark it down using an  "M".  Do NOT use a zero  "0".
  9. Only Outdoor targets: If you hit the smallest inside ring (yeaaa!) then that is scored as an "X" which has a value of 10, but also has bonus value in case you have a tie with someone.  (In which case, who ever has the most X's might be the winner)
  10. Do the math as you go.   Each of the two archers that writes the scores down must add the scores on their own so that each catches any errors they make.   When you are done with one archer's arrows, speak the score you got so the other scorer can verify you both got the same thing.  The goal is to catch mistakes right away so you have to be sure to speak with your scoring partner each time.
  11. Compound archers have to shoot the smaller 10 ring (what would be called the x ring in an outdoor event). 

Our friend from the Federation of Canadian Archers, Allan R. (Al) Wills, President, sent the following enhancements to the list:

  1. The point I like to make is that if you don't agree with the 'caller' you can ask for the opinion of the others on your butt and as a good sportsman you should agree with the majority (this saves a lot of time), if however you are particularly/disagreeably sure about that particular arrow, then by all means call a judge.
  2. The other point worth stressing is that there is no black line between the 2 and 3 ring, in some targets it sometimes looks like there is one, but there is not, so an arrow touching black with no white between, is a 3. (Field Targets).  On FITA 5 color targets, likewise there is no black line between the black rings and the other colors.
  3. Another myth is that an arrow cannot be called by a judge if the arrow or the target are touched, this is not so, the rule states that the arrows are not to be touched, but does not outline a penalty, therefore, if an arrow (or the target) is inadvertently touched, a judge can still make a call.
  4. We usually teach that it is the 4th archer's duty to mark the arrow holes AFTER the arrows are scored, of course, it is each archer's responsibility to ensure all holes are marked.
  5. The last point is pens or pencils are allowed - Erasers are not!!!

  Their website, by the way, is

THANKS, Al and Jim!

This document updated by A. Ron Carmichael to comply with the latest rules about changing arrow values on the scorecard (now permitted by archers).