Archery for the vision impaired began in Europe in the early 1970s and has grown steadily. The International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) recently recognised it as an official sport for the vision impaired and athletes may soon be able to compete in vision impaired archery at the Paralympics.

All sanctioned international competitions are conducted under the same rules established by World Archery for regular tournaments except for adaptive devices for aiming and safety rules.

Vision impaired archers compete in four classes ranging from B1 (entirely blind) to VI Open (including people with impaired field of vision).

Rules & Equipment 

Adaptive Aids

The Adaptive Aid is generally a wooden device that is adjustable to the Archers needs, this includes with lining up their feet and body to be set in the right direction to shoot at the target. 

Tripod

A basic camera or music telescopic tripod (so that it can be carried around) can be simply adapted to hold the tactile sighting device.

Tactile Device 

A tactile device attaches to the tripod and acts as a reference point, using the sense of touch on the back of the hand or arm below the elbow.

The device can be a simple device or a standard bow sight fitted with a rod with a spring loaded end or a soft rubber button attached that provides a springy feeling on the back of the hand. The sprung nature is to prevent any bruising on the back of the bow hand.

Spotter / Guide

The spotter may report to the archer where the arrow has hit the target after each shot. Except for safety warnings, no other assistance may be given and no conversation is allowed until the end (6 arrows or 3 arrows for Matchplay) round is complete.

Following each shot, the archer may adjust the tactile aiming device based on the spotter’s report by changing the position of the tactile sight end on the hand or contact point. However, other than stating the result of the shot, the spotter cannot assist in these adjustments.

Classification 

Who is Eligible to Compete in Blind Archery? 

Anyone that can prove that they are Legally Blind or have a Vision Impairment are able to compete in Blind Archery. 

Classification Form

A classification form for Para-Archery is available on the bottom of this page - http://www.archery.org.au/About-Archery/Events-and-Activities/Vision-Impaired-Archery

Pathways

There are multiple ways of getting involved with Blind Archery, these can initially include finding out if your local archery club is accessible for Blind or Vision Impaired people. 

Contact Information 

Archery Australia - [email protected] 

Website Link - www.archery.org.au