How to be an Archery Club Records Officer: Part 2 – Club Records

One of the most fundamental duties of a Club Records Officer is to maintain a list of the Club Records. We need to be clear on terminology here though as the word “records” has two different meanings here –

  1. “Records” meaning a a historical log. As in “we maintain records of all the scores shot”
  2. “Records” meaning the best, as in “the club record for the Women’s 1440 round is 1393 points set by Ann Archer on the 4th May 2022″

This article is all about the second of these, maintaining a list of the clubs best scores for particular rounds.

On the surface all we need to do is keep a list of the best scores for each round in each category. If a newly submitted score is better than the old one, we replace it with the new one.

Category Complexity

The complexity comes though in which categories you allow records to claimed in. Category here refers to who is shooting and what they are shooting.

According to the current rules of competitive archery in the UK, there are –

  • 8 possible age groups (U12, U14, U15, U16, U18, U21, Senior/Adult/Open, 50+)
  • 2 recognised genders (Male/Female)
  • Typically 4 bowstyles (Recurve, Compound, Barebow, Longbow)

That gives at least 64 possible category combinations, for each of the approximately 90 official rounds which would give almost 6000 possible records to track if you want to maintain records for every round in every category. This is perfectly possible to do if you use a software system for managing records (this is what my club does, and it works just fine), but would be very difficult to maintain if you were doing it manually.

So, this is the first important decision a club needs to make – what categories will you award club records in? The typical options are

  • Award records in all possible combinations, regardless of the age or gender restrictions that you might get in more formal competitions. So, for example, a senior man could claim a record for a Metric V round normally shot by U12s, and a 10 year old longbow archer could claim a record on a 50m Compound round. This is actually an easier system to administer because anything goes – you don’t need to study the rules each time to figure out if a score is eligible. However, there are more records to keep track of, so wouldn’t be ideal if you’re doing it manually
  • Restrict record claims to only age and bowstyle appropriate rounds. This is a much more limited set of awards, and is described in the table here. This is the approach followed by World Archery for World Records, ArcheryGB for National Records, and most Regions and Counties. The more restricted set of records is easier to manage as it is smaller, but requires a good understanding of the eligibility requirements. This method is also less accessible – novice adults may take several years before they are even shooting at a distance they could claim a record at.

Record Criteria

The other decision a club needs to make is about what rules and criteria should apply for club record claims. Records are only meaningful if everyone is shooting to the same rules, so it is good to give members clarity on what the requirements are.

Specifically, you should consider what type of events will you accept record claims from, which could be anywhere along this scale.

  1. Club practice sessions
  2. Club target days
  3. Recognised league matches
  4. Open competitions
  5. UK Record Status competitions
  6. World Record Status competitions.

The majority of clubs that I know will allow everything from number 2-6 on this list. Many clubs also allow club record claims from level 1 – Club practice sessions, but with extra criteria. For example, maybe the score needs to have been witnessed by a another member or club committee member. Ultimately, it is entirely up to the club to decide what rules they want to impose about record eligibility in order to strike the right balance between rigour and accessibility.

You should also consider what evidence you want to see for club record claims. Is a simple notification of the score enough, or do you require a copy of the scoresheet too? Does that scoresheet need to be counter-signed by a scorer as well as the archer?

Other issues

There are a few miscellaneous issues you need to think about too.

  • Manual or automatic – In county, regional, national and world records, there is normally a specific claims process, where the archer has to fill in a form with details of their record claim and submit to the relevant authority. Whilst this is probably the correct way to deal with those more significant records, it is probably too much hassle for club level, and would create a lot of work for everyone involved. At club level, this is often handled more automatically, especially in clubs using record management software. In this case, there’s no need for the archer to do anything other than submit their score, and if it qualifies as a record then it will be automatically dealt with.
  • Time period for claims – If you are following a manual approach, you need to decide what the time window is for submitting claims. Many organisations allow either 30 or 60 days after the score was shot before a claim has to be made. This reduces the problem of disruptive, retrospective claims, and ensures that the records are ratified before important relevant details are lost into history.
  • Ties – You need to consider how you will handle ties. If someone shoots the same exact score as the current record, what will you do? Ideally, you will have kept full and detailed records including tie-breaking values such as golds, 10s, Xs etc. which will allow you to decide if the new score beats the old one or not. If the scores are still the same after considering those other factors, you need to define a club policy about who will be shown as the record holder – for example, you could list only the first person to achieve it, or list all the people who have achieved it. Either way, you will clearly need to keep detailed records in order to properly deal with these situations.
  • Certificates or other awards – some clubs like to award certificates for new club records. The practicality of this depends on how many categories you want to award records in. In busy clubs where you are recognising all combinations of categories and rounds, this could easily lead to you creating hundreds of certificates per year, which would not be affordable or practical. Alternatively, you could consider giving one certificate per archer per year, which lists all records they have broken.

There is no right or wrong way to manage club records. There are no rules that say how it should be done. Ultimately, your club needs to decide what records they want to recognise and what rules they want to impose around the process of claiming them. Choices here will incentivise or disincentivise different activities in the club, may make different groups feel included or excluded, and may create varying amounts of work for both archers and records officers.



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