The game of Archery Tag is challenging. Not only are you perhaps using a bow for the first time but someone is shooting at you while you do it! Many ask, "Why do I keep missing?" There may be lots of reasons including minimal experience with the equipment, the fact that you may be running or ducking while you are shooting, wearing a mask or simply you have not been taught to shoot a bow properly. Shooting a bow well takes some good guidance and lots of practice. What "TAG TIP" can you take into the game when you don't have time for a crash course in archery?
I know that when certain things do not happen in my shooting technique my accuracy goes WAY down. As a result my effectiveness on the field and ability to help my team suffers as well. Easy shots to eliminate members of the opposite team are poorly executed and I more than often miss my target.
The key for me is my "anchor point". What is that? Generally, it is the point to where the end of the arrow that is attached to the string comes back to every time you shoot.. If it comes back to a good location each and every time you shoot then your aim will be better and your ability to make positive changes to your shot will be easier.
Take a look at these two players.
These two players were new to the game and the sport of archery when they came out to play. Let's take a look at their "anchor points". The player in left's anchor point is along side of her face. She is able to look down the shaft of the arrow and this helps her to line up her target. The player on the right's anchor point is in her chest. She has less ability to line up her shot and her accuracy suffers.
There are lots of things that need to happen to shoot a bow consistently. A consistent location to bring the arrow to each and every time will help you a lot when it comes to getting the most of your game. Pay attention to it and your game will be better for it.
The battle rages on and your team is "peppering" the 5-spot target. Each spot knocked out brings a teammate back in and brings your team closer to victory.. Over and over again the THUD of arrows on the targets sound but nothing is happening. Frustration sets in. The problem may not be the target but HOW one goes about hitting the targets.
The 5-spot targets are essentially a circular foam block inside a foam board. They have a shape and a thickness to them. The best way to get them out of the target board is to knock them straight out. We often see what one would consider a direct hit and the circular target does not budge. Why? Imagine a brick wall with no mortar or cement. To remove one single brick from the wall the best way to do that is to push it straight back so it does not twist or try to turn. Push the brick at any kind of angle and it won't go anywhere.
This applies not only from side to side but up and down as well. In order to have the best chance to knock one of these targets out you need to be square to the target but also be down at the level of the target. Get LOW and SQUARE to have the best chance of knocking out the targets. This way the targets will be pushed straight back, prevent twisting and you will help bring your teammates back in to help press the attack.
It is a natural instinct. The instinct to be safe or be protected. For many, protection comes in numbers, in a pack or a "herd". When an Archery Tag game begins players often flock toward the protection of the bunkers and amongst some of their teammates. New players may be nervous about being exposed out in the open. Others just may want a safe spot while they load their bow. The forming of a "herd" is something we see all the time and definitely something to to look for during a game as it will provide an opportunity to easily eliminate some of the competition.
Take a look at the photo above. Even an unexperienced archer would be able to just send an arrow into this group without much skill and send one of these players to the sideline.. A player who has some experience, has the proper touch or angle could even send an arrow into this pack from the back of the playing field without putting themselves at risk for being hit. Like shooting fish in a barrel.
So, during the game, our advice is to avoid clustering or "herding' up since it provides your opponents a larger and easier target that is hard to miss. If you look around you and most of your team is right next to you then consider finding a new place to find some safety. As an attacker, keep an eye out for groups like this and give your team the advantage as you send opponents to the sideline like a "boss".
An Archery Tag game is about moving. A player has to move to avoid getting hit, a player needs to move to retrieve arrows, a player needs to move to get a better view or angle to see an opponent. There will be times when the opposite team is reloading, reorganizing or scrambling around and this is a great time to consider moving to attack! Often we see arrows sent toward the opposing team from the back of the team section. A player does not want to expose themselves and come out from behind the safety of the bunker and this is understandable but this will rarely be successful to knock out another opponent. By the time the arrow gets to it's target it will be moving slower or have been spotted so that an opposing player can just step aside and dodge the missile. Nice try but usually a wasted shot. When the opportunity presents itself MOVE TO ATTACK! Advance all the way to the neutral zone, aim and then let loose your arrow. In the photo above you can see two shooters who are ready to shoot. One player has advanced as far as he could and the other has stopped short. The difference is just a few feet but it's those few feet that makes the difference. Your shot will connect with your opponent quicker the closer you are to them and giving them less time to avoid your attack. Scan the situation, advance, fire, retreat and reload. Hitting a player close up is easier in addition to the fact that your shot will be traveling faster. Little hints like this result in more kills for you and can help your team win the game. Have you played the game?
When a group comes to play Archery Tag for the first time and the whistle blows there is always a frantic scramble to find cover behind one of the inflatable bunkers provided on the field during a game. Players will try to tuck every part of themselves behind the protection of these giants balloons. This is totally understandable since it is not everyday that someone, only feet away, is firing arrows at you. Questions that run through player's minds are "will it hurt if I get hit?" or "will I let my team down if I get sent to the sideline"? Take a look at the above photo. This a very typical "safe" location for a new player. The problem is that she cannot see where her opponents are and has effectively taken her self out of the game since she cannot even use her bow at this point.
The two girls in this photo are using the bunker in a different way. They are effectively using the bunker for protection, making it VERY difficult for the other team to get a good shot at them. Yet, they are still able to scan the field seeing where the attack is coming from. Most importantly they are ready to move out from behind it's protection to attack their opponents and help their team to victory.
So, as a new player or one who needs to change up the way they play, use the bunker for protection since that is what they are there for. Just don't become so glued or dependent on them that you effectively remove yourself from the game and fail to help your team win the round.
As I referee games here in Mexico I see a lot of tendencies for new players. One of them is that most of the game ends up being played in the middle third of the field. "Between the hashmarks" to steal an American Football reference. Very rarely do players realize early on just how far they can play from side to side. A few games into an event I will go out and draw a box next to the sideline, about 2' x 2' in size, have players stand in it and just look. Their eyes open wide and suddenly they get it. From this spot he amount of the field they can see and the opportunities for making their opponent "uncomfortable" in their own team zone suddenly becomes clear. The potential for creating chaos for the other team gets them salivating and a whole new game presents itself. The use of angles in a game can create good teamwork as well. Using another teammate coordinated on the opposite side of the field can really pin down opposing players making it virtually impossible for them to hide easily, attack or get a clear shot at the "knock out" target. Best of all it may give your sharp shooters a chance to get a clear, uncontested shot to knock out a target as well. So, next time you are on the field, use the width of the field to your advantage and make your opponent "uncomfortable". Your team will benefit and your game will improve.
Good archery shooting technique on the Archery Tag field is important. Whenever our regulars are having problems during gameplay they always remember what they learned from their traditional target archery lessons they had with us. (Yes, an archery lesson or two will improve your Archery Tag game.) Below is a video from Archery Tag Corporate " jefe", John Jackson. He provides some good advice as far as how to shoot an Archery Tag bow in general and during game situations. Pay attention. He doesn't miss much..
The arrows are there sitting in the neutral zone just waiting to be picked up. The desire to go grab a few and give your team a new supply of arrows may be too much to resist or may be absolutely necessary depending on the game situation. In our game, and in many others, there is a time limit on the amount of time a player may spend in the neutral zone. Ours is 5 seconds. That is plenty of time to enter the zone, grab a few arrows and cross back over into their own team area. But not so fast.. An experienced player knows that once a player enters the neutral zone they will have to leave...in just a few seconds. I've watched and experienced it over and over again. A player enters the zone and the opposing players see it, nock and arrow and advance, usually in numbers, to take out that player. So, as an aware Archery Tag player, watch for players entering the neutral zone. It may be a great opportunity to easily pick off a member of the opposing team as they try to return to their own team area with a new batch of ammunition.
My experience with the game has me thinking. It is easy as a team to say "Let's take Susie out first. She is their best player". On the surface it makes sense. Take out their "quarterback" and the other team may not function as well...for a while.
The problem is that this is a "Team" sport and there is most likely someone or several teammates who will step up and do what it takes to recall that player back into the game. When a team has met the challenge and now their best player comes charging back to join them the game's momentum can turn so quickly. It is amazing how this happens in a game that may last only a handful of minutes. Reinforcements have arrived!
So my thought to consider is perhaps taking out the other team's "weakest" player first. It may be a better strategy depending on the opponent. If you take out this "weaker" player then remember that they will be the first one back in and stronger players will be waiting to rejoin the team behind them. A "weaker" player will have less impact on the game if recalled back into the action.. As a team you must decide who to target first and how you want to benefit from putting a player on the sideline. Your path to victory may depend on it.
Hey! We made the list! We are one of Sayulita Life's Top 7 Ways to Stay Fit In Sayulita. We absolutely agree! Archery Tag is sure to keep you moving and on your toes each and every game. Even the fittest players can be challenged when the battle begins. But like all forms of exercise, you only get out of it what you put into it. Come out to see us for some good old healthy activity! If you prefer exercise with no one firing arrows at you then try us for some traditional target archery at Archery Experience Mexico. A lot less impact but a fantastic healthy activity for everyone.