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 in the Archery GB Target Archery Handicap Scheme, a copy of which is held by the Records Officer.

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 will also be able to work out your classification.

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

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

(for Juniors the highest classification is Junior Master Bowman instead of Grand 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 only applies to archers shooting recurve or compound bows and the grades of classification for indoor shooting from highest to lowest are A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H.

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 up to the next larger whole number.

Similarly an archers classification is upgraded immediately the necessary 3 scores 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 3 rounds 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.