Sports Summary

Para-archery has featured at every Paralympic Games since the first in Rome, Italy in 1960. The sport has three different classifications and is comprised of individual and team events in both standing and wheelchair competitions. Athletes shoot from a distance at a target marked with 10 scoring zones.

The object of the sport is to shoot arrows as close to the centre of a target as possible. Targets are 122 centimetres in diameter, with the gold ring at the centre (worth a maximum 10 points) measuring just 12.2 centimetres. Athletes shoot at the target from a distance of 70 metres.

Athletes compete with both recurve bows – distinctive as the limbs curve outwards at the top – and compound bows, which feature mechanical pulleys, telescopic sights and release aids to assist in accuracy.

Men and women compete separately, both as individuals and in teams of three, and all matches are conducted as knockouts.



Events & Disciplines

Men’s and women’s individual and mixed pair events for compound and recurve bows are contested at the Paralympic Games.


Who is eligible to compete in Para-archery?
Athletes with a physical impairment, including spinal or nerve injury, limb loss or deficiency and cerebral palsy, are eligible to compete in Para-archery at the Paralympic Games.

What are the classes?
In Para-archery, athletes are grouped into three classes for competition – Standing (ST), Wheelchair 1 (W1) and Wheelchair 2 (W2).

ST Athletes compete from a standing position
W1 Athletes compete from a seated position and have an impairment that affects their arms, legs and trunk
W2 Athletes compete from a seated position and have an impairment that affects their legs and trunk

How do I get classified?
Currently the Paralympics Australia and Archery Australia are working towards developing an Australian Para-archery classification system. To register your interest, please complete the Get Involved and Get Classified form.

Para-Archery Classification Information Sheet (updated Nov 2019)

Rules & Equipment

To start the competition, athletes take part in a ranking round. They must shoot 72 arrows in 12 phases of six arrows each, with four minutes allocated to each phase. Their combined score from the 72 arrows determines their ranking which, in turn, determines the draw for the individual and team events.

In the individual events, matches are decided over the best-of-five sets, with three arrows per athlete per set.

In the team events, teams of three compete against each other in a best-of-24-arrows format.

Medal History

Year Gold Silver Bronze total
1960 1 1 0 2
1964 0 2 1 3
1968 2 2 0 4
1972 0 1 1 2
1980 0 1 0 1
1984 0 2 1 3
2016 0 0 1 1