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Shooting Commands

Range Shooting Commands

Range Shooting Rules – Follow the commands given by the Range Officer. If you are not familiar with the commands ask the Range Officer to give both verbal commands and whistle blasts until you are familiar with them. This video showcases how a NASP range officer controls the shooting…


TWO BLASTS; “Archers to the shooting line.”; Red light is on

Pick up the bow and move into position on the shooting line. Do not nock any arrows.

ONE BLAST; “Begin Shooting”; Green light is on
Archers may take the arrows out of the quivers and begin shooting.

THREE BLASTS; “Clear, walk forward and get your arrows,” or “range is cold”; Red light is on
Archers have completed shooting. All archers have set their bows down and are standing behind the waiting line. They may now go forward to the target line and pull their arrows.

FOUR OR MORE BLASTS (series of blasts); “STOP, STOP, STOP, STOP” or “CEASE FIRE”; Red light is on
There is an emergency on the range. Immediately let down and put arrows back in the quiver, and step tack behind the waiting line.

You might also hear on some ranges “Range is HOT!” meaning okay to shoot, or “Range is COLD!” meaning cease all shooting. These are commands used on gun ranges usually. Also an active range that is open to shooters usually has a red flag raised to signal it is open. Check with each range you visit for their rules – some adhere to everyone straddles the firing line, some enforce that everyone stand behind the firing line. Safety First!

Retrieving/Pulling Your Arrows

By now, you are aware that all archers on a range act as a unit – shoot, wait, and retrieve as one. Typically two archers will use the same target simultaneously in competitions. Following the appropriate range commands described above, the archers may approach the target to score the target, once documented and agreed, they then pull their arrows. Each archer should stand on their side of the target, positioned on either side of arrows in the target. Make sure no one is standing behind the arrows (like a spectator). Pull the arrows out, one at a time, and place them safely in your quiver or on the ground. To pull your arrow, place one hand on the target bale to keep it stable. The other hand pulls the arrow. Position the hand to grab the arrow “overhand”, slide it up the shaft to meet the other hand, then look backwards to see if it is clear, the pull. Grabbing an arrow by the nock end and yanking it out will usually damage the arrow or pull the target bale over.

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