January 24, 2023

Outdoor Classifications & Handicaps Update

Our sport is always developing and as part of this progression, we have re-visited and updated the classifications and handicap scheme to both modernise and create more awards to give all archers a roadmap to progress along, no matter their skill level.

Why update the scheme?

Inclusivity is important in our sport and that is why the new update includes brand new Archer tiers to give beginners more incremental progress along the way. New archers should typically be able to achieve a classification within their first 1-2 years. Previously, Outdoor Classifications have been much tougher for novice archers to achieve with distances of 50m needed to begin on the ladder. Now Archer 3rd Class begins from a more achievable 30yds or 30m.

Additionally for the most ambitious in our sport, we've added an Elite Master Bowman classification which will be no easy task to achieve in an outdoor season. These updates have been part of hundreds of volunteer hours and a peer reviewed process by coaches, clubs and archers of all levels.

  Sub Levels Award Requirements
From rounds totalling Rounds Type of event Administered by
Archery Tier Archery 3rd Class 12 dozen arrows all rounds of an appropriate distance Any Event Clubs
Archer 2nd Class
Archer 1st Class
Bowman Tier Bowman 3rd Class 18 dozen arrows Any competitive event
Bowman 2nd Class
Bowman 1st Class
Master Bowman Tier Master Bowman 36 dozen arrows Age appropriate rounds in York, Hereford, Bristol, WA1440 & WA720 rounds families Any Record Status competition Archery GB
Grand Master Bowman
Elite Master Bowman

To help you understand the new system, please watch the following video:

Calculating your Outdoor Handicap & Classification in 2023

To make the process easier, we have now developed options for calculating your classification and handicap. The Archery GB website contains the official handicap and classification tables, and also a tool to calculate handicap and classifications for a given score.

Many people also make use of third-party online tables, calculators, or score tracking apps for calculating their handicaps and classifications. Whilst it may take some time for all of these to become up-to-date with the new schemes you can find two options that already support the new tables here www.archerycalculator.co.uk and www.archerygeekery.co.uk

Additionally, you can use score tracking apps and handicap calculators who are working with the new updated criteria. Confirmed so far are Expert Archer by Steve Allam and Golden Records. As further platforms move over to the new system, we will be updating our Classifications page to highlight this.

Click Here To View The Official Handicap & Classification Tables and Tools

Changeover schedule

Due to the update, old scores and classifications are incompatible with new ones.

All archers will now have their outdoor classifications archived. All archers will be treated as new to the scheme, initially being Unclassified. Archers receive an initial outdoor classification after shooting the requisite scores defined by the new system, as detailed in SAP 7.

Classifications will be re-assessed on 1 January 2024 (and subsequent years) using an archer’s best three rounds from the previous season. Archers then hold this classification for the subsequent season or until improved upon.

Archers who have not shot three eligible rounds during the previous season will be re-assessed as Unclassified. The only exception is archers who achieved Master Bowman or Grand Master Bowman status during 2022. This status will apply only for 2023 for the purposes of invitation to the Archery GB Masters Tournament 2023. After which, archers who have not shot three eligible rounds during the previous season will be re-assessed as Unclassified.

This is all detailed in SAP 9

Do you have questions regarding Outdoor Classifications and Handicaps?

As part of the update process, we are producing materials to thoroughly explain the changes to all levels from archers right through to Records Officers. If after reading through this webpage and the articles attached still have any questions, please submit them here.

Thank you volunteers!

We would like to take a moment to say a special thank you to the volunteers who have made this update possible. From the initial working group to the three wonderful volunteers who have put hundreds of hours in to build everything from the algorithm to the assets and scripts for our videos. Thank you to Mark Roberts, Marc Tamlyn and Jack Atkinson.

Read the complete Outdoor Classifications and Handicaps page

While we’ve conducted this review to improve the inclusivity of the classification system, we recognise more work is needed around inclusive language throughout our sport. This forms part of our wider strategic ambitions.

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