Clout Archery

Clout Archery is shot in many countries around the world, although Archery Australia employs a unique style of clout. 

Clout Archery is a traditional archery event, having its roots back to medieval times when archers would lob their arrows onto advancing armies.

Clout archery is shot over long ranges with distances up to 180 metres, depending upon the equipment used. The target is laid flat on the ground and archers shoot their arrows into the air attempting to land the arrows in the target.

Aiming is achieved by using a bow sight or, for Barebow divisions, without a sight.

The 'Clout' is a triangular shaped object placed in the centre of the target circle. The various scoring areas are identified with coloured flags.

A cable is laid out on the ground and is marked with the various scoring areas. To score, an archer is assigned to each scoring area and the cable is slowly walked around the circle. Archers assigned to a scoring area collect any arrows within that area.

When all arrows have been scored, the cable is laid on the ground and the arrows laid out in each colour between the coloured flags.

General Rules

All archers in the one event ideally should shoot at the same target, subject to a maximum of twenty-five (25) archers per target. If more than one (1) target is required, the conditions for each target should be as equal as possible.

Where more than one (1) target is required, the targets should be consecutively numbered. The number is positioned behind the clout so that it will not be hit by archers, but will be of such a size that it is clearly visible from the shooting line. A target number is also to be placed at or near the shooting line.

In the southern hemisphere, the preferred shooting direction is southerly and shooting must be in one direction only, towards the target. Archers shooting at different distances can be staggered so that no archer shoots over another's head and that there is a minimum of 10 metres between the flight path of the arrow of the archer(s) on the longer distances and the archers on the shooting line at the shorter distance(s).

For safety, the field of play is signposted or roped off and only archers taking part in the event, or other authorised people, are allowed to enter. Spectators are expected to remain behind the spectator area.

How is Clout Shot?

Similar to target events the Clout Field Of Play is set up with a Shooting Line, Waiting Line and 3-metre line. 

If it is a championship the event shall be timed and the time to shoot shall be the same as target events.

The usual sound signals are used – 

Two sound signals to occupy the Shooting Line

One sound signals to commence shooting

Three sound signals to stop shooting and proceed forward for scoring

Five or more sound signals to stop shooting immediately due to and emergency. 

All usual equipment rules shall apply although there are some additional pieces of equipment mainly to do with sights allowed for Recurve and Compound, refer to Chapter 12 of the Archery Australia Shooting Rules.

At the beginning of the day all archers are permitted two ends of practice.

Shooting is conducted the same as any target event.

The differences with Clout from target archery can be found with scoring.

  • You must not have any arrows in your quiver when you proceed to the targets for scoring, all spare arrows must be left behind the Waiting Line
  • Always approach the clout targets from the side, never walk straight up to the Clout you could walk into arrows lodged in the ground
  • Archers on each Clout target are assigned to various duties, such as scoring, moving the clout rope or collecting arrows in a given scoring zone
  • To score, the Clout Cord is be pulled taut and slowly traversed over the target area in an anti-clockwise direction being followed by the arrow collectors who shall pick up arrows within the assigned scoring zone
  • Following collection of all scoring arrows they are sorted and laid in the appropriate scoring zone between the flags with the nocks of the arrows being positioned alternating for each scoring zone. This will allow for the easy identification of the score value of each arrow. Any arrows which miss the scoring zones shall be placed outside the white flag
  • Scoring is always double scoring and to speed up the scoring process there are usually two groups of scorers with athletes divided as near as possible equally between the two groups of scorers
  • When an athlete’s name is called out by the scorer/s, the athlete shall clearly call out the value of their arrows in descending value while indicating to each arrow
  • Once scoring for each archer is completed, the archer may collect the arrows just scored and proceed back to the Shooting Line
  • There is an appointed Target Captain who will supervise scoring and shall check that all arrows are correctly called
  • All arrows will remain in or on the ground untouched until removed by the appointed person for that scoring zone as the Clout rope touches the arrow. Should an arrow be moved beforehand it shall not be scored unless specifically so decided by the Target Captain or the Judge responsible for that target
  • Arrows shall score ten for an inner gold successively through to one for an outer white, as in Outdoor Target Archery. A miss shall be recorded with an ‘M’ on the score sheet. There is no X ring in Clout
  • An arrow lodging in the clout flag shall score ten points
  • Arrows lodging in the ground shall score where the arrow enters the ground or pass through the turf at that part of the arrow closest to the point
  • Should that part of the arrow touch any dividing line between score zones, the arrow shall score the higher value of the zones affected
  • Any questions about the value of an arrow shall be directed to a Judge before the arrow is withdrawn from the ground, the Judge’s decision shall be final
  • A mistake on a scorecard discovered before the arrows are picked up may be corrected, but the correction shall be made and initialled by a Judge. Once the arrows have been picked up, no corrections to the arrow values shall be permitted
  • The value of an arrow that does not lodge in the ground shall be determined by the position of its point as it lies. An arrow struck by another arrow shall score as the point lies
  • An arrow hitting:

another arrow in the nock and remaining embedded therein, shall score according to the value of the arrow struck

a clout target other than an athlete’s own shall not score

  • If more than six arrows are shot, only the six lowest in value shall be scored
  • Athletes may delegate authority to score and collect their arrows to another athlete on their own target or other person who shall represent that athlete but the athlete must not advance to the target
  • On completion of a round or event, score sheets shall be tallied including 10s and 9s and signed by the athlete and scorer, by signing the scorecard the athlete agrees with the value of each arrow, the total number of 10s and 9s and the total score
  • If the scorers are participating in the shooting, they shall sign the scorecard as the athlete and the other scorer shall witness the scorecard. Athletes shall be responsible for ensuring that their scores are accurately recorded
  • Scorecards handed in to the Organising Committee and found to be incorrect shall be disregarded, although the Organising Committee may return the scorecards and request the scorecard be corrected before being officially accepted
  • The Target Captain will ensure that, after scoring, no arrows are left in the clout area before returning to the Shooting Line for shooting to recommence. If this inadvertently happens, the shooting shall not be interrupted

Ties shall be decided as follows irrespective of whether the competition is comprised of one or more rounds or only part of round:

1. By the greatest number of tens 2. By the greatest number of nines

Following this if the athletes are still tied, they shall be declared equal.

READ MORE - THE CLOUT BOOK written by Geoff Leader from Epping Foresters in Sydney during the 1980's a good book with a lot of helpful hints




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