Currently being Revised as of 11/22/17


Standard Operating Procedures for OAC Archery Range
OAC Archery Range Motto: Safety First
Rules may be updated and subject to change without notice.  Please check here, posters and archery range officers for most current rules.

Rules and Regulations

Before shooting

  • An OAC approved range officer must be present during all open shooting times.
  • Know and obey all range and whistle commands that are included in this document.
  • Always walk in the archery range (no running).
  • All shooters under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older.  Children under age six require close adult supervision to shoot at the OAC.
  • Always carry arrows with points down or in a quiver and never pointed toward people.
  • For safety, secure all loose clothing, tie back long hair, and remove any of these items: bracelets, necklaces, loose hoot strings, headphones (ear buds), facial piercing jewelry especially lip, nose, or eyebrow.
  • Wear only closed toe shoes to protect feet from arrows (no sandals or flip flops).
  • Store bow cases in bow racks, tables, or other designated areas to avoid tripping hazards and leave space for spectators.

While shooting

  • Keep arrows in a quiver until you are directed to shoot.
  • Only commence firing when shooters are on the shooting line, everyone else is behind the waiting line, and after the range officer directs to begin shooting.
  • Shoot only the target directly in front of you.
  • Use only target or field points; never use broad heads, barbed or judo points.
    • Fiberglass shafts are not allowed.  Wood shafts are only allowed when shooting a longbow or recurve.
    • Avoid “outserts” (inserts or points with a diameter that is larger than arrow shaft) because these frequently detach and remain inside targets, or damage targets when pulled out.
  • When drawing the bow, always keep arrow pointed below the top of the target (no sky draw, never higher than arrow curtain).
  • Only shoot at archery backstops; use only approved archery targets on backstops.
  • Crossbow may only shoot at the target backstops designated for crossbows.
  • Once loaded onto crossbow, bolts must always be pointed below top of target backstop.
  • Only release the bow string at full draw and with an arrow nocked on the string.  “Dry firing damages bows and is dangerous to you and those around you.
  • If an arrow drops past the shooting line, leave it on the floor until the range safety officer directors you to retrieve the arrow.
  • Only retrieve arrows during an agreed cease fire of the entire shooting line.
  • If you cannot reach an arrow then ask for assistance; jumping or climbing on targets is not permitted.
  • Treat all archery equipment with respect.  Using damaged equipment can injure you and people around you.
  • Treat your fellow archers with respect.
  • Please keep talking to a minimum while archers are on line. Set cell phones on vibrate mode or turned off.  No audible sound from music is permitted other than background music provided by the OAC.  Everyone must be able to hear the range safety officers.

After shooting

  • Remove used targets from backstop when finished shooting
  • Please put trash into waste/recycle containers, to be considerate of the next archery group.
  • Collect all you equipment when leaving the range; OAC is not responsible for any equipment left at the range.
  • The only animals allowed in the range during public shooting times, are clean, quiet, and well-behaved service animals.  Please pick up anything left behind.

Whistle Commands

Two Blasts: Come onto the shooting line prepared with all equipment, straddle the shooting line.

One Blast: Keep your arrows in your quiver until you hear one whistle or “Begin Shooting.”

Three Blasts: Walk forward to retrieve your arrows.

Four or more Blasts: Cease Fire – STOP SHOOTING IMMEDIATELY.  If at a full draw, let down arrow and put into quiver.

Cease Fire: Anyone may call a cease fire when they see an unsafe action or condition occurring.

Range Procedures

Remain behind the waiting line until you hear two whistles.  Archers should be prepared to step onto and straddle the shooting line ready to shoot.

While waiting on the shooting line:

  • Place your bow tip on your shoe to protect the tip and/or cam.
  • Keep arrows in your quiver until you hear the one whistle blast to begin shooting.

After shooting all you arrows:

  • Step back from the shooting line.
  • Set your bow on the rack.
  • Wait behind the waiting line.

Once everyone is done shooting and all archers are completely behind the waiting line, the range safety officer will blow the whistle three times to retrieve arrows.  At that point, walk forward to the target line and score arrows (do not touch arrows before or during scoring.  Note: one archer at a time per target will then pull arrows.

Important Terms to Know

Anchor: consistent placement of the drawing hand to a position on the face, mouth, or jaw.

Draw: to pull the bow string back.

Dry Fire: shooting the bow without a nocked arrow.

End: a set number of arrows that are shot before going to the target to score and retrieve them.

Follow Through: maintaining the motion of the upper body muscles after releasing the string.

Let Down: returning from full draw to the un-drawn position with control and not releasing the string.

Range Safety Officer: person who is responsible for managing shooting on the archer range.  This person must be approved by the OAC after successfully completing NFAA or USA Archery Level 1 Instructor Certification.

Shooting Line: line that is parallel to target face which archers straddle while shooting arrows at a target.

Sky Draw: drawing back a bow while arrow is pointed higher than the top of the archery backstop.

Target Line: line approximately five feet before target at which archers stand while viewing arrows until the arrows are scored and pulled.

Waiting Line: line approximately ten feet behind target line at which archer stand both before they are called to the shooting line, and after they have finished shooting.

Additional Information

Range Safety Officer standard operating procedures for opening and closing the OAC Archery Range are available upon request.