Lydia Windell, February – For many uncommon sports, the age-old question of “Is _____ a sport?” continues in spite of a sport’s rich history. Archery is one of these uncommon sports. To some individuals, archery may be a hobby, but to many archery is a sport. This distinction can be applied to a variety of sports, such as swimming. For instance, I do not swim competitively, therefore swimming is only a hobby for me. However, this distinction between hobby and sport does not usually occur with archery. I witness archery being brushed under the rug and regarded not as seriously as other sports.
Sports are simply defined as an activity involving physical exertion. The physical exertion aspect is usually what leaves the majority of the world to see archery as not a sport. However, archery can be physical in many ways. With a Genesis bow, the poundage can be increased to a maximum of twenty pounds. To some, this is a paperweight, but for some people, this may be a lot of weight. With other types of bows, such as Olympic recurves, the poundage could be anywhere from twenty to fifty or more. This weight resting on the fingers over time can lead to calluses and even in some cases nerve damage. So while it may not seem like it, many times archery can require physical effort depending on a few variables.
One reason why archery is sometimes not classified as a sport is because it may appear easy at first glance. The difficult part of archery is not shooting a good shot, but consistently shooting a good shot. So, if you shoot a bow without competition stress it may seem easy. However, unlike many sports, adrenaline hurts the athlete in archery. Furthermore, in a tournament, an archer is trying to complete the same shot cycle every time; meanwhile, their nerves are bubbling in them like a carbonated soft drink. It may not seem like it, but archery can be a difficult sport for many.
Without being known as well as other sports, like basketball, the sport of archery can seem mysterious to people. The scoring can seem confusing and the tournament format can be bewildering. With this problem, people cannot fathom archery as a sport. Although archery is an Olympic sport, the archery event is not as mainstream as the other sports. Archery has a long history of being a sport back to the late 1500s, when archery competitions were occurring in England. It was likely used for competition even before that.
Archery is a competitive sport that has a variety of different tournament formats and equipment used. Nonetheless, archery is a sport for the majority of its competitors. Now, the distinction between a sport and a hobby still remains, as you can participate in a sport and not view it as one. All in all, archery is a sport and it is thriving worldwide, with more and more people being introduced to the sport every year.