It could be argued that all types of archery (with the singular exception of Flight Archery) could be described as target archery. The archer is aiming to hit a target of some sort.
But Target Archery is the term used nowadays to describe the discipline whereby archers shoot a 'round' of arrows - a number of dozen depending on the round - at targets over known distances measured in yards (Imperial rounds) or metres (Metric rounds) over a flat field when outdoors (we don't call it Field Archery though) or over a level indoor surface during the cold of winter. These distances range from 20yds/18m to 100yds/90m for men, 80yds/70m for women.
There are scores of different rounds that can be shot. Some are shot at one distance - the FITA 70m consists of 6 dozen arrows over 70 metres - and some are shot at different distances. The Imperial York round, for instance, is composed of 6 dozen arrows over 100yds, 4 dozen over 80yds and 2 dozen over 60yds. Imperial rounds are always shot over multiple distances and reflect longbow archery from medieval times, where archers would practice shooting at reducing distances as they would at an advancing army. This tradition has been carried through to multiple distance Metric rounds. The longest distance is always shot first. The smaller distances are shot indoors.
For each of these rounds there are different classifications relating to gender, age and type of bow used. This means that in tournaments, competitors of any age and ability can compete alongside one another. It is the only type of archery that has been represented at the Olympic Games - and even then it is restricted to recurve bows. A paraplegic archer won the Gold Medal at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, and paraplegic archers competed at the 1984 and 1986 Olympic Games alongside able-bodied archers. There is also an association for the visually impaired called British Blind Sport Archery (www.bbsarchery.org.uk).
The target consists of ten evenly-spaced concentric rings of five different colours - Gold, Red, Blue, Black and White - and they can be either 122cm, 80cm, 60cm or 40cm in diameter.
There are two scoring systems used in Target archery, Metric and Imperial.
The two innermost rings of gold score 10 and 9, then the red rings score 8 and 7, blue 6 and 5, black 4 and 3 and white 2 and 1.
There is an inner ring within the 10 zone that, if hit, is marked as 'X' on the scorecard (counting as 10) and is used as a tiebreaker in competition. If scores are equal, the archer with the most X's wins.
Any arrow in the Gold circles scores 9, the Red 7, the Blue 5, the Black 3 and White1.