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Archery tag: A classic game with a twist

Shooting people with a bow and arrow is generally frowned upon. However, thanks to a few safety modifications to regular arrows, BYU-Idaho students had the opportunity to do just that.

On Saturday, March 6, RecSports hosted an archery tag tournament for students in the BYU-Idaho Center courts.

According to Archery Tag, the CEO of Global Archery Products came up with the sport while working on a new invention. He had the idea to place a rubber tip on an arrow. From there, the company made official equipment and the new sport was born.

Donning protective face masks, bows and arrows with rubber tips, students engaged in a game resembling dodgeball but with certain twists.

The court is dotted with various blocks of different shapes and sizes so participants can take cover. Teams get one point every time someone from the opposing team gets hit, and if they catch an arrow they get an extra three points.

“Each game was 10 minutes long,” said Shelby Barkdull, a senior studying recreation management. “But it was kind of like dodgeball where once everybody gets out, they all get back in and play again until time runs out.”

The game starts with bows and arrows lined up on the middle court line, with a “safety zone” consisting of space a few feet on each side of the line. People cannot be hit while in this safety zone, as it’s where more arrows are deposited by staff members throughout the game. However, players can only spend 10 seconds in the zone.

This tournament was a bit different since only three teams registered initially. The number of people allowed to play at a time depended on how many participants each team had.

“When we had three teams we were doing four people (on the court) per team,” Barkdull said. “Then it split into two teams and we had five people per team.”

Ryan Wren, a junior studying mechanical engineering, was a member of the winning team, the Scottie P’s — named after the team’s captain. Wren compared archery tag to laser tag.

“This is equally exciting, a lot less happenstance to reflection of lasers across the walls of the room, and you’re having to apply your arm muscles a lot more than you would in laser tag,” Wren said. “Like right now, my thighs feel like jelly because of bending down and collecting arrows.”

Archery tag provides students a chance to get exercise in a different way than games like dodgeball or laser tag.

“I loved it because I was able to run, exercise and practice hand-eye coordination firing an arrow,” Wren said. “It’s also fun because there’s competition, but you don’t have to be competitive.”

This was one of the first times that RecSports held an archery tag tournament, but hopefully, it won’t be the last.

Players race to collect bows and arrows at the beginning of the game.
Players race to collect bows and arrows at the beginning of the game. Photo credit: Thomas Gordon
Players are thoughtful in how they go about attacking the opposing team.
Players are thoughtful in how they go about attacking the opposing team. Photo credit: Thomas Gordon
Bows and arrows start in the middle of the court before being collected by the teams.
Bows and arrows start in the middle of the court before being collected by the teams. Photo credit: Thomas Gordon

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