SCA Archery involves both target (live weapons) and combat (heavy fighting) archery.
Combat Archery involves strapping on protective armor and going to War. Pretty much all combat archery takes place in melee-style battles involving large numbers of fighters. Your objective is to shoot targets of interest (aka "the enemy") before they come and kill you.
Here in Meridies, Archers involved in combat archery are know as "Combat Archers," meaning that they are armored as a Heavy Fighter is armored. In the past there WERE "Light Archers," meaning that their armor was lighter and less protective. This also meant that archers could not be hit by anything other than another arrow. However, an archer was technically killed when an opponent was within 10 ft of the archer and the archer did not have an armored protector. This is no longer the case. If you take the field, know that you may be hit. Typically, the gesture of surrender of placing your weapon over your head and yelling "yield" will prevent a heavy fighter from striking you. However, in the noise of battle, you can not count on the fighter hearing your submission. In general, if you do not have a close-combat melee weapon, the opposing fighters will not hit you too hard.
Before you can take the field, though, you must get armored, then go through training and become authorized in combat archery. This is to protect you, other fighters, and spectators. Just because the battlefield ends, your arrows do not stop traveling. Therefore, you must learn not only what to do and not do, but also how to build and maintain your equipment so all can play safely.
Target archery involves using a period style bow on a target range, mostly for the joy of learning and honing your archery skills. There are, however, Kingdom and inter-Kingdom competitions in which you may compete. While not requiring the armor and specialized equipment of Combat Archery, you will still need a bow and arrows and safety instruction.
Practice is typically held once a month on a Saturday morning at 10:00 AM, though not on a regular schedule. To inquire about the date of the next target archery practice, please contact the Live Weapons Marshal. Practice is located at the Stones River Hunter Education Center (off of Hobson Pike) on the target archery range.
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