Handicaps & Classifications

Handicaps & Classifications

The following is a simplified explanation of how the Handcap and Classification schemes work. The full set of rules are listed on the Archery GB website.

Once you have submitted 3 scores during the season your handicap is worked out as an average of those handicap values. At the same time the Records Officer can begin to work out your classification based on the cumulative number of arrows shot.

The grades of classification for outdoor shooting from low to high are:

  • Unclassified, 
  • Archer 3rd Class 
  • Archer 2nd Class 
  • Archer 1st Class 
  • Bowman, 3rd Class
  • Bowman 2nd Class
  • Bowman 1st Class 
  • Master Bowman 
  • Grand Master Bowman 
  • Elite Master Bowman

Note that only Bowman and below are administered by the Club Records Officer, Master Bowman and above are ratified by Archery GB.

When shooting indoors the classification scheme is very similar. All classifications are administered by the Club Records Officer. The grades of classification for indoor shooting from low to high are:

  • Unclassified, 
  • Indoor Archer 3rd Class 
  • Indoor Archer 2nd Class
  • Indoor Archer 1st Class, 
  • Indoor Bowman 3rd Class
  • Indoor Bowman 2nd Class
  • Indoor Bowman 1st Class 
  • Indoor Master Bowman 
  • Indoor Grand Master Bowman 

The process of reducing handicaps is continuous. A handicap may be reduced every time the archer shoots to a better standard than their current handicap. It will be reduced to the average of their current handicap and the handicap rating of the better score, rounding down to the next larger whole number.

Similarly an archers classification is upgraded immediately the necessary scores and number of arrows shot have been made in the calendar year. Normally the classification holds for one year immediately following that in which it is gained. If it is not maintained during that year reclassification shall be on the scores made during the year. In the worst case an archer who previously held a classification but failed to shoot the number of arrows required to acquire a classification during the following year shall be listed as Unclassified. Now there’s an incentive to keep submitting your scores!

The Club Records Officer will re-assess the outdoor handicaps of all archers in the club annually on 1st January and the indoor handicaps annually on 1st July.