Classifications are important to all archers because they are the best indication of where you are in terms of scoring ability and provide a benchmark for levels of improvement.

There are six classification levels: the lowest is third class, then second class, first class, Bowman, Master Bowman, and Grand Master Bowman at the highest classification level.

To gain a classification you need to shoot three scores that meet that classification level. The highest two classifications, Master Bowman and Grand Master Bowman, can only be achieved with scores achieved at record status competitions. Once you achieve a classification you cannot go back and claim a lower one.

You can hold different classifications for different bow types, but you can only hold your classification for the calendar year in which you shot your qualifying scores. You must re-qualify each year to maintain it.

Collect the correct classification sheet at the club.


All classifications and awards must be scored as in a competition. Details appear later under Bowmen classifications.

Archer classifications and other awards can be achieved at any club session.

Bowmen classifications can only be achieved at Competitions, Club Target Days, friendly matches or any other event in line with rule 304 [to read go to DOCUMENTS]. It does not need to be too formal, but as a guideline it should be an event organised in advance, with multiple people taking part and with rules around practice and scoring being followed as if it were a competition.

Club Target Days

For the reasons above during the summer season Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoon sessions at BCCB are to be designated as Club target days. During the winter season Friday and Sunday afternoons are to be designated as Club Target Days. This does not change the sessions for anyone not wishing to do a classification score. This is the advanced notice required for a Club Target Day.


You need at least 3 people scoring for a Bowmen classification .

You must NOT write down your own score. This covers the rule about multiple people taking part and it being competitive. Any award that you go for must never be scored by you, the archer, going for the award.

You need to follow competition rules on starting and progressing through the scoring.

These are as follows:
> You can only have six sighter arrows before you start scoring and only at the longest distance. (You can’t shoot several ends until you are scoring well and then start to score)

> You must continue to shoot all ends of the round without taking a break or not scoring a poor end.

> As above, you must not score your own arrows and you must get the score sheet signed by the scorer.

> The target distance must be accurate. It is not good enough to sight the position from one measuring line in the centre of the range, you need to check the distance with the measuring tape kept in the competition cupboard and measure from your position on the shooting line.

> You can’t stop shooting a round and then complete the score at another session, if you can’t complete a score you must start from the beginning again at the next session.


As of 2023 the system is quite straight forward and is now much simpler to achieve a higher classification.

In the previous system the requirements three qualifying rounds shot within the calendar year gains you a specific classification.

The new system is done on arrow quantity:-

Archer Class 3.2.1 requires 12 dozen arrows. This could be achieved by, example – 1 York round for Gents or 1 Hereford round for ladies or

2 National rounds or 3 Warick rounds or a mix of rounds totalling 12 dozen arrows.

For Bowman class 3.2.1. requires 18 dozen arrows. Example -2 Albion rounds 3 National rounds and so on or a mix of rounds totalling 18 dozen arrows.

To indicate how the scores have also been adjusted, here is an example.

Previous classification, National 3rd class for Gents a score of 319 was required now its 276 or 207 for 50+ Gents a whole 102 points less.

Hope you are still following.

Don’t be confused by the full page of numbers, only consider the top row containing the rounds you want to shoot and the row containing your age band.

It’s as simple as that.

With kindest regards,


For further explanation click here.

     Official Outdoor Classifications

    and Handicap Tables  Archery GB

For further explanation click here.

     Official Indoor Classifications

    and Handicap Tables  Archery GB

For further explanation click here.

       Outdoor Classifications and

      Handicap Video   Archery GB