How to Score

World Archery require that all World Ranking tournaments have the scores submitted to the International Federation in a specific format, with the result that SANAA has adopted the Ianseo scoring program as their official means of capturing and presenting scores.


Ianseo program

The Ianseo program, recommended by the World Archery Federation is a platform-independent program written by members of the Italian Archery Federation. Ianseo is used by World Archery for all their score capturing and presentations and handles the smallest tournament through to large international events. The program is available at no cost and may be used without royalty payments.

The program can be found on this link.

The program covers all tournament functions, including the generation of reports, scorecards and results. There are certain features in the program which handle South African specifics, for example, it generates our National Championships awards lists as well as the file that is imported into the National Rankings database.

SANAA makes Ianseo easy for our tournament organisers to use. All provincial bodies have been provided a laptop that includes a fully functional Ianseo scoring program. Organisers have the ability to use an online registration system where members can register for local tournaments on our website and where the registration information is loaded into Ianseo. This process ensures minimal capturing of participant information and at the same time ensures that the registration information is correct. Once the scores have been captured in Ianseo, the scores can then be loaded into the National Ranking register for administrative release, saving the organisers the effort of having to capture the scores twice. It takes only a few seconds to update the National Ranking database with the results captured into Ianseo.


Target Faces

There are a variety of target faces, styles and sizes; outdoor target archery uses coloured targets which are either 122cm or 80cm in diameter while indoor target archery uses three-spot target faces.

The target face is attached to the target butts usually with the centre 130cm above the ground. For outdoor archery, the target butt is also angled back about 10 to 15 degrees off vertical.

Outdoor target faces are divided into 5 colours; Gold, Red, B1ue, Black and White. Each colour is divided in half by a thin line to give ten scoring zones. The scoring values for each colour from the centre out are – 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1.


The Zones

In fact, there are eleven scoring zones; with the 10 ring being divided into 2 zones, the inner zone is called the X ring. The X ring still scores 10 points, but any arrow scored in this area is indicated on the scorecard using an X. The Xs are later added and used as tie-breakers in all competitions except for Match Play.

It should be noted that the X Ring is used in all competitions except for Indoor for Compound. In this competition the X ring is used as the 10 ring only and the remainder of the yellow scoring zone scores 9 points. For recurve and standard bow archers shooting indoors, the normal ten ring scores is 10. The indoor three-spot target is also limited to the inner blue zone. For all events, if you have a miss, this is indicated on the scorecard with an M.

Outdoor rounds consist of a number of ends at either the same or different distances, with either 6 or 3 arrows shot in an end. Indoor rounds consist of 20-ends with three arrows shot in an end. A break is usually allowed after the first 30 arrows.

For outdoor rounds, there are a specific number of ends shot for each distance. There can be up to 4 distances shot for a round. A round may also see different target face sizes used at different distances.

To score, the archer calls out the value of their arrows in descending order of score for that end. They should be called in two groups of three arrows, such as X, 10, 9, (pause) 8, 8, 6. These scores are then written by the scorer onto the scorecard in the area provided. The score total for that end is then added up (i.e. 51) and written in the area provided. Usually a running progressive total is being used so the end score is then added to the progressive score.

This process is continued until all arrows for the archers on the target are scored. The arrows can then be removed from the target butt. Prior to all arrows being scored, the target face and arrows must not be touched or moved in any way.

  • Call the scores for one set of arrows at a time.
  • Be consistent by calling each archer’s scores in order to prevent mistakes.
  • Begin with the highest numbered arrow down to the lowest numbered arrow.
  • If one arrow is not on the target, check for an unmarked hole to see if an arrow passed through the target.

Under no circumstances should another archer’s arrows be withdrawn without their prior consent. During tournaments, scoring is usually done by “Double Scoring“, this is where two scorecards are used and two archers on the target score all the arrows.

The two scorers should compare the end total for each archer and resolve any discrepancies before any arrows are removed from the target butt. If arrows have been removed from the target butt and an error is found it cannot be corrected. The lowest arrow value will stand.

At the completion of the competition, the archer must sign the scorecard to confirm the value of the arrows. When double scoring the archer should check to confirm that both of the scorecards match; if they don’t the lower score will be used. You would need to sign your scorecard, and witness your fellow archers’ scorecard.


The Scorecard

Scorecards are divided into a number of areas that must be completed to ensure the scorecards are correct before being submitted. When you receive your scorecard, your target designation will be entered, along with your name. Check to see if your name is spelled correctly. All you need to do is to enter the distance you are shooting. In major tournaments, this information may be already entered.

  • Be consistent by scoring each archer in the same order to prevent mistakes.
  • Write down the arrow values from highest to lowest, each in its own box.
  • Mark arrows in the X-ring as “X” and arrows off the paper target as “M” for missed.
  • Never erase an arrow’s score. Instead draw a diagonal line through the mistake and have all archers on the butt initial the change. You are allowed to correct mistakes that you make during addition.
  • Do your own math as you go. Never copy the other scorer’s math, because it can lead to mistakes.
  • Before pulling arrows, verify your results with the other scorer.
  • Check your math at the end of the round, tally all 10’s and X’s, and be sure to sign your name legibly.

Using a Score Sheet

Scores are recorded on a score sheet with the highest scoring arrow recorded first, for example “9-7-1”. An arrow that does not score is called a miss and is marked ‘M’ on the score sheet.

Outdoor arrows are shot in ‘ends’ of six or three arrows (depending on the round or distance being shot). Once all arrows have been scored they can be removed from the target face. Once the arrows have been removed, no alterations to the score sheet may be made
Indoor arrows are generally shot in groups of three with every six arrows shot being called an end.

During a tournament sanctioned by SANAA or the World Archery Federation, each archer has two scorecards and all archers score and pull their arrows together in pairs or groups. This helps make sure the scoring is fair for all competitors and reduces the chances of mistakes.

The duties of each archer are different depending on how many archers are on each target. Typically, one will call the scores and the other two will write them down. In another situation where fewer archers are competing on the same target, they might share these duties. Sometimes you may be in a group that has to score arrows from two different target butts.

  • Wait until you hear three whistles before crossing the shooting line.
  • Walk to your target carefully to avoid stepping on any arrows that might be in the ground.
  • Look but do not touch the arrows until all scoring is done.
  • Decide who will call arrows and who will write down the scores.
  • After scoring, mark all arrows with two 3mm line at 90 and 0 degrees (L shaped).
  • Glance over your shoulder to make sure nobody is standing behind you, then pull your arrows.
  • Always ask permission before pulling another archer’s arrows.

Who can use an archer’s agent to score for them?

Sometimes an archer may want help in drawing their arrows. In target archery, any competitor can designate an “archer’s agent” to draw and score their arrows for them. The agent can be a friend, family member, or tournament volunteer capable of staying at the tournament as long as the archer is competing. The agent may call, score, mark, and pull arrows, and may also request a judge for assistance. Otherwise he or she does not have the same authority as the archer and is simply there to help.

Usually an archer designates an agent because he or she does not feel physically able to walk back and forth to the target. This can be because of a disability, injury, or mild illness. However, an archer does not need to prove a physical difficulty to ask for an agent. He or she may choose one at their own discretion for any number of reasons.

Some disabled archers are capable of going to the target, but chose not to during a tournament for a variety of reasons. A disabled archer might run the risk of tiring faster than able-bodied archers, because crutching or pushing a wheelchair over rough terrain can be tricky. Also, it might be difficult for an archer to safely reorient their wheelchair every end when there are many tripods on the shooting line.

Parents often wish to help young archers with scoring. This can increase accuracy in scoring and keep the tournament moving in a timely fashion. However, it is best for the parents to help only when needed so that archers may learn how to score their own arrows. Keep in mind that it is the judge’s prerogative as to whether or not a parent may help. If a problem arises, tournament officials may seek a compromise or an alternative arrangement.


The Scoring Area

This area is used to record the values of the arrows as well as to add up the end score and progressive score. To score the archer calls out the value of the arrows in descending order of score for that end. They should be called in two groups of three arrows, such as X, 10, 9, (pause) 8, 8, 6. These scores are then written by the scorer onto the scorecard in the area provided.

The score total for that end (6 or 3 Arrow Score) is then added up (i.e. 51 written in the area provided. Usually a running progressive total is used, after the second end the 1st and 2nd end scores are added to give a progressive score, after each subsequent end the end score is added to the progressive score.

At the end of the distance usually, the 5th or 6th end (depending upon the round being shot) the score for the distance is then placed into the Distance Total area.

With the first distance this is the same as the Progressive Score but subsequent distances have a separate area. This allows the score for that end to be recorded. Organisers and recorders may wish to record end scores separately as a final check for totals.

When shooting in major tournaments, such as the SA Nationals, there may be two different types of scorecards used on each target.

The first is the complete scorecard, one for each archer, which allows for the recording of all arrows shot that day. This scorecard must be completed as detailed above.

The second may be a distance or end scorecard. This usually contains provision for recording the scores for the archers allocated to the target and could be collected either after each end (if it’s an end scoresheet) or after each distance.

Principally the same scorecard but listing the archers allocated to the target on the one sheet and designed for the scores of only one end or distance. There will be a separate sheet for each end or distance.
In major events the organisers should publish results after each distance, this is achieved by using these scorecards.

After each distance the completed and signed scorecards should be submitted to allow scores to be entered into the results system. This allows a double checking of the final scores with the full scorecard.

For all scorecards, you also need to list the number of Xs and 10s shot during the distance. For indoor tournaments, the 9’s must be recorded.

Once everyone has shot their end, there will be 3 blasts on the whistle to indicate that the archers can go forward to score and collect their arrows.

  • Only archers are able to walk to the targets. If someone else wants to walk to the targets they must ask the Judge’s permission first.
  • Make sure you do not touch the target face until all the scoring has been completed, otherwise any line cutters will be scored at the lowest value.
  • All the archers should gather in front of their target first before going to look for missing arrows yet. The person who is doing the scoring will then call the name of the first archer on the score sheet.
  • Scores should be called out in groups of three, starting with the highest score, so for example 9, 9, 7 pause 5, 5, 3. The scorer should call back what you have said to confirm it.
  • When you call your arrows, make sure you indicate to them, but do not touch them. If the shaft of the arrow is touching a dividing line between two scores (a line cutter), then it scores the highest score. If you don’t agree on a line cutter, the say so, no one will mind. A Judge is called who will look at it with a magnifying glass and give a final decision.
  • If you make a mistake when calling out your arrows or they are written down incorrectly, and all archers at the target agree, draw a horizontal line through the mistake, write the new score and have all the archers at the butt initial the change.
  • You can alter the adding up yourself, just not the actual arrow values.

You may also want to record your score in your own score book for future reference and also to help you double check the scorers adding up.

The score sheet will probably be passed between a couple of archers, as the scorer is not allowed to record their own scores. Alternatively, there may be two identical score sheets with two people doing the scoring (double scoring). Once everyone on the target has scored then the arrows can be pulled and any missed arrows can be picked up from behind the target.
Help your target companions pull the arrows and look for any lost arrows.


Made a Mistake?

If there is an error in writing down arrow values, these can be changed by mutual consent of all the archers on the butt by crossing out the score, writing the correct score and all archer signing the score sheet. Make sure the “old” score is still visible. If there is a discrepancy, call the judge.

If arrows have been removed from the target butt and an error is found it can not be corrected. The lowest arrow value will stand.



All scorecards must be signed by the archer and a scorer prior to being submitted. The archer signs to confirm that they agree with the value of the arrows. The scorecard is then witnessed by another archer usually the scorer.

If the archer and the scorer is the same person then another archer on the target should sign the scorecard as the witness. If you wish to claim a record the scorecard must be signed by a third person who must be a tournament official preferably the DOS.


Final Results

Prior to submitting the scorecard, ensure the final details are completed. Make sure you have completed the competitor details such as gender, division and equipment division.

Any award claims you wish to make, indicate in this section, but remember, by indicating in the boxes you have ordered these awards and have agreed to purchase these awards.

The last area you must complete is the total number of X’s and 10s as well as the final score for the round. For indoor competitions, record and total the number of nines.

Write clearly and in block letters. The scorecard is the most important document in archery and should be given as much attention as your equipment.

The South African National Archery Association (SANAA) makes available a number of awards that can be earned. In all cases, the original score sheet that is witnessed by a SANAA accredited judge must be presented when a claim is made.

Dave Wallace : World Archery Judge Emeritus

Source: World Archery Federation: