Archery is an all inclusive sport and allows a novice archer to compete on a level field with 20 year veterans of the sport. To achieve this archery uses classifications to rate archers and give them personal goals to keep progressing and to push themselves further. There are classification tables for men, women and juniors in each of the disciplines recurve, barebow, compound and longbow. Each table consists of a list of rounds and the scores required to reach each classification.
All archers begin as unclassified. Every time an archer shoots a round, a set number of arrows over a set distance, the scores are sent to the club records officer. Once the archer has three recorded scores in excess of the next classification level, the archer is awarded that classification and will receive their badge. It is a personal achievement to work your way up through the classes beginning at 3rd class, and progressing up to 2nd class, 1st class, bowman, master bowman and grandmaster bowman.
To read a classification table find a round down the left hand side, then read across. The first few columns show the distances and how many dozen arrows must be shot at each distance. The next few columns show the pure score needed to achieve that classification.
The classifications are also used to calculate a handicap for each archer which allows one archer of a certain ability to compete equally with another archer of differing ability.
Have a look through the classification tables for your gender, age and bow type on the Archery GB website.