You've obviously already heard of what combat archery and archery games are in general at this point or you wouldn't be on this page. Because of that I will forgo the introduction to the sport and get straight into how Archery Battle Tag is played Action Archery Style.
There are several different types of archery games and everyone seems to have their own take on the way that the game is played. Some like to use foam targets, some like to make it more of a free for all. At Action Archery we play a version of battle tag archery that incorporates the rules of dodgeball with the added aspect of a little capture the flag thrown in for a little extra fun!
Battle Tag Archery Field Setup:
Let's start with how to set up your battle tag archery field. First and foremost, the only real rule here is the size of your field. We have intentionally designed our bunkers with the ability to change up your field by being able to attach the bunkers together from their anchor points. For the sake of argument though let's go through the traditional style and you can adapt and change it how you like from there. Remember, Battle Tag Archery's main goal is to be insane fun so all of this is really just a set of guidelines.
To play battle tag archery you will need an area that is about 35 feet wide by 80 feet long. It just so happens that a standard tennis court is 36' x 78', close enough in our book since most tennis courts are also going to have a cage around them to keep your arrows from flying too far. If you have access to a tennis court, GREAT! If not, a set of field cones works great for laying everything out. Start by setting 2 cones 35' apart making sure that you have ample room to either side. Then measure 40 feet from the line those cones make to each side and that will give you the end lines for your field. After that, come back to the center line and repeat the process but this time at 10 feet. These lines will box in your safe zone. At this point, your field should look something like the diagram to the left.
All that's left is to layout your bunkers now. The standard layout is shown in the diagram with both of our bunker packages in mind. But don't make this a concrete rule. Playing with your bunker positions can have huge impacts on how your games are played. Just make sure that all bunkers stay out of the safe zone.
Finally, place 1 bow and 2 arrows on the center line for each player on the field.
Playing Battle Tag Archery:
After you have your field setup it's time to get your players ready. Split your players up into 2 teams. Generally, this will be 2 equal teams. But, if you would like to give a little bit of an advantage to less skilled players you can always make one team a little bigger than the other. Safety is always one of the biggest concerns on the field and because of that, you should not allow players to step onto the field without having a facemask on. This rule goes is to be in effect from the time a player enters the battle tag field until the time they walk off. Any player that removes their mask during a game is automatically disqualified, NO EXCEPTIONS. (Hey, we have to have at least one concrete rule right?) Take each team and have them line up at opposing ends of the field.
Before you start the game decide which game format that you would like to use:
- Points - each time a player is hit the opposing team scores a point. The game ends when one team reaches an agreed upon amount of points
- Time - Most commonly this will be between the 7-10 min range. The winner is whoever has either the most players still on the field or the most points when the buzzer/whistle sounds
- Elimination - This is by far the simplest format. When one team is eliminated the other team win
Or, and this is our favorite:
- Action Archery - In this format we add in 3 flags that are placed on the centerline. At the 3 minute mark, the ref blows a send whistle signaling that the flags are now active. At this point, the game can be won by being the first team to get 2 out of the 3 flags back to their backline without getting hit. As a safety precaution, any player making a run for a flag must drop their bow and any arrows before entering the safe zone. Failure to do so is an automatic disqualification.
*** A lot of people have asked why we like to add the flags in instead of using the foam knockout targets. Our answer is simple, once you get good at aiming your shots the knockout targets can be easily hit from a cover position. This promotes players staying in hiding and drastically slows the pace of the game. That, and if one team manages to end up with all of the arrows, the other team has no way of ending the game. Giving your players the option to win by collecting the flags will keep your players moving and not hiding behind their bunkers.
Once you've decided on your game format it's time to blow the whistle and let the arrows fly!