Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Archery for the Blind

Blind Archery is the most recent sport to have official status within the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) and is now under consideration for full Paralympic status. It is accepted that there will only be two divisions to start with, male and female, and with the requirement that all archers wear blackouts or shades.
Visually impaired archers shoot with either recurve and/or compound bows. Recurve bows increase in tension as the arrow is pulled backward, thus making it difficult for users with limited mobility or strength. Compound bows are used by archers who are unable, for whatever reason, to draw a recurve satisfactorily.
Blind archers must have a spotter with them at all times for safety. The spotter tells the archer where the arrow strikes the target. they are not allowed to tell the archer where to aim. A clock face system; 3 o^D>'clock blue 7 o^D>'clock red etc; is used to give arrow location. In addition, changes to the assistive technology such as those listed below can only be made by the archer once they begin.
British Blind Sport, a U.K. non-profit lists some adaptations and accommodations that people who are blind or low-vision use to participate in archery which include tactile locators, foot locators, and the use of "spotters". They also have some Rules for Blind Archery.

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