Arrow Pair

In archery, a "pair" refers to two arrows that are shot consecutively during a single end or round of competition. The archer typically shoots both arrows at the same target face from the same position, although they may choose to shoot the second arrow from a different position.

How are Arrow Pairs Shot in Archery?

When shooting in pairs, the archer will shoot two arrows in succession, usually at the same target face. The archer must complete the shooting process for the first arrow before moving on to the second arrow.

Shooting Process

The shooting process involves several steps, including:

  • Nocking the Arrow: The archer attaches the arrow to the bowstring by placing the arrow nock onto the bowstring.
  • Drawing the Bow: The archer pulls the bowstring back to their anchor point, which is a consistent point on their face or body where they hold the bowstring before releasing the arrow.
  • Aiming: The archer aims at the target by aligning the bow and their line of sight with the center of the target.
  • Releasing the Arrow: The archer releases the arrow by letting go of the bowstring, allowing the energy stored in the bow to propel the arrow toward the target.

The archer must repeat this process for the second arrow as quickly as possible without compromising the accuracy of the shot.

Adjusting Aim or Technique Between Shots

Shooting in pairs allows an archer to make adjustments to their aim or technique between shots based on the result of the first arrow. For example, if an archer's first arrow falls short of the target, they may adjust their aim or release technique for the second arrow to compensate for this. Similarly, if the first arrow strikes the target but is off-center, the archer may make adjustments to their aim for the second arrow to achieve a higher score.

Reducing the Impact of External Factors

In addition, shooting in pairs can help to reduce the impact of external factors on the outcome of the competition, such as changes in wind or lighting conditions. By shooting two arrows in quick succession, the archer can minimize the effect of any external factors that may have changed between shots.

Why are Pairs Used in Archery?

Shooting in pairs is a fundamental aspect of archery competition that allows archers to refine their aim and technique and helps to ensure fair and accurate results in the face of external factors.


In archery, scoring is based on where the arrow hits the target face. The target face is divided into a number of scoring rings, with the center ring being worth the most points and the outer rings being worth progressively fewer points. When shooting in pairs, the archer's score for each arrow is recorded separately, and the total score for the pair is calculated by adding the scores for both arrows together.

Use of Pairs to Break Ties

In some forms of competition, pairs may be used to break ties between two competitors who have achieved the same score. In this case, the two archers will shoot a set of arrows in pairs until a winner is determined. This process can continue until the tie is broken or until a predetermined number of pairs have been shot.

Use of Pairs in Training

Shooting in pairs is also commonly used in archery training as a way to develop consistency and accuracy. By shooting multiple arrows in succession, archers can train themselves to maintain their aim and technique over multiple shots, which can be challenging given the physical demands of drawing and releasing a bowstring.

Additionally, shooting in pairs can help archers develop their mental focus and concentration, as they must be able to quickly and accurately adjust their aim and technique between shots in order to achieve the best possible score.