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Family Time: 4 Archery Games for the Whole Family

With the family getting together this holiday season here are a few archery games you can play as a family.

[caption id="attachment_5837" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Spouses of sailors with 2nd Dental Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force shoot archery at the McIntyre Shooting Complex aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 21, 2014. The battalion hosted the skeet shooting and archery event to help build connections among its service member's families. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Shawn Valosin) Photo Via Wikicommons[/caption] Some families watch TV, other play football. Some play cards, and still others talk politics. Every family has their traditions of family activities around the holidays. If you come from a family of archers, it can be challenging to figure out a way to incorporate it into your family gatherings. Truth be told there are many different ways for families to enjoy the sport of archery together. Here are a few fun archery games families can play together at your next family get together.

The Ball Game

One archery game my wife and I have enjoyed over the years we call "the ball game." All you need to play is two or more players, a dense ball of some sort, and a few arrows with blunt tips or judo points. With all the participating archers standing in a line, toss the ball out in front of you. Once it finds a resting place one shooter takes a shot at the ball. If they hit it, they stay in the round, if they miss they are out. After the first archer has taken a shot it is the second shooter's turn. Progressively the ball should get farther and father away and more difficult to hit. Each round starts with a new shooter. The rounds can be fairly short, so having a few balls handy will speed things up.

The Moving Ball Game

If you and your family are a little more advanced than the average group you can play the ball game with a twist. This time each shooter must hit the ball in turn as the ball is continuously moving. If the ball stops or you miss you are out. This archery game requires a smooth surface to play on and great concentration!


Casting is a fun way to test your skills in a non-target way. Casting is an old skill that has fallen by the wayside in recent years. Simply put, casting is seeing which archer can shoot their arrow the farthest. You will need a very wide open space to have a casting competition. Depending on the equipment you have you'll need a minimum of 600 yards of open field to stay safe and find your arrows. Casting is a low stress way to shoot bows together as a family.


Recently, possibly in response to the efforts of hunters like Cameron Hanes, archery has become more and more entwined with exercise. If you come from a fit family a "X-Comp" style archery game might be the ticket. In these competitions archers blend trail running with target archery. To play, create a running course of the length you desire. Along the way set several targets away from "shooting boxes." To level the playing field come up with a system that combines the total time spent to complete the course and the accuracy of the shooters. Although it requires the most setup and planning, it could be a great way to spend a few hours if you have the room and ambition. There you have it, 4 Archery games the whole family can enjoy. NEXT: 3 GREAT YOUTH BOWS
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