The history of archery dates back to earliest times when the crude bow and flint arrowhead provided our ancestors with their food. During the middle ages, the bow was supreme on the battlefields of Europe. In our present society, archery is the sport and relaxation for thousands throughout the world.
The urge to shoot bows and arrows is latent in all of us. Every nation used the bow and arrow and, as time progressed, developed their own individual type of tackle. Early Saxon and Norman Archery perfected the famous, English longbow and the clothyard arrow. Germany, France, Spain and Italy seemed temperamentally unsuited to longbow archery and developed the crossbow.
With their composite bows, the Orientals reached perfection in the bowyer’s art. Shredded sinew in specialized glue formed the backs; a very thin strip of wood separated the back from the horn belly.
The Turks, who produced the most beautiful weapons, left the polished horn belly exposed, while the Persians and the men of India covered the whole bow with rawhide, birch bark or thin layers of shark skin. The bows of the American Indian were all shapes and sizes. They were usually quite crude but nevertheless effective. The Indian was a hunter rather than a long distance archer. His knowledge of woodcraft and his ability to stalk game made up for what his weapon lacked in range.
Archery is included in the 2020 Summer Olympic and Summer Paralympic Games. Archery has been a mainstay of both the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games throughout most of the history of both Games. Archery was on the program of the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games and was included in the 2014 & 2018 Youth Olympic Games. World Archery Championships are held every two years, with the next one to be held in June 2019 in the Netherlands, it is always held in odd numbered years. World Youth Archery Championships are also held every two years, odd numbered as well, and 2019 will see Madrid host this championship. Additionally, archery has been a part of the Pan American Games since 1979. Archery was included in the Toronto 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games. In the 2019 Pan American Games, we will now see the inclusion of the Compound bow, competing at this level.