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.


The handicap system is a way of adjusting scores to a baseline so that archers with different levels of experience can compete on an equal footing. A novice usually starts out with a high handicap, which reduces as they post better scores. To achieve a handicap an archer must shoot at least three rounds. These need to be shot with at least one other archer and the results need to be recorded, witnessed, signed and submitted to the club records officer, who is responsible for listing club members’ handicaps.

Read more about classifications and handicaps at the Archery GB website.


Archers achieving certain classifications and scores over time can apply for awards from Archery GB, details of how these awards work, how to achieve them and how to claim are available here.