Para Archery

Archers compete during the ranking round for men's individual of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/Getty Images)

What's it all about?

Legolas and Lara Croft are very familiar with this skill. It’s about blocking out distractions, totally concentrating on what you're doing and aiming pointy stuff at targets. It’s para archery and here’s the deal on this cool sport!

How it's played

Things to watch for

an athlete uses his foot to hold the bow and pulls the bow back using an assistive device
The USA's Matt Stutzman competes in the ⅛ elimination round of the archery's men individual compound open during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, 2016. (Thomas Lovelock/Getty Images)
Mechanical bow
  • Athletes compete with both recurve bows, which are also used in able-bodied competition, and compound bows. 
  • Compound bows feature a magnifying sight and release aids to help with accuracy.
close-up of a target showing all the different coloured rings
A target is displayed at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field in Tokyo, Japan, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Getty Images)
The target
  • The distance and size of the target are different depending on the event. 
  • The scoring rings give you more points in the middle and fewer points moving towards the outer ring. 
  • The compound event only has points from 10 down to five.
close-up of an athlete pulling the arrow back using their mouth
Larry Townes of the USA in action during the Men's Team Archery competition at the Sydney Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia, 2000. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Assistive equipment
  • Depending on the athlete's impairment, you will see them using different assistive equipment. 
  • Mechanical release aids mean they don't have to use their hands to release the arrow. 
  • Peep sights and magnifying scopes improve their vision.