I Finished The Beginners' Course ... Now What?

First of all, congratulations on completing the course. We hope you enjoyed it, and hope that it's inspired you to join the club and continue with archery. Here are some notes on the next steps! These are also emailed to everyone who has completed the course.

Joining

As we said on the course, to continue shooting you need to join a club - mostly to be covered by insurance. If you need another copy of the form, please come back to me and I'll send you one. The treasurer does prefer you to set up the SO with your own bank and just inform him that it has been done. Please send the membership form to the address provided.

Once you've signed up, our Treasurer will notify your joining to Archery GB and shortly afterwards you should get a nice membership card of that august body, often referred to as a "GNAS Card" This has a club and archer number on which can help get discounts at some shops, as well as allowing you to register for tournaments in the fullness of time. NB - you don't need to wait for it to arrive to come and shoot at the club!

After one month (subject to committee approval of enough attendance), you can apply to have your own key. Until then you'll need to try and come down when other people are around.

Facebook

For those of you who use it, we have a Facebook page which hosts lively discussion, banter, occasional strangeness and (most important) discussion as to when people are going to be going shooting. For new members without keys, this is quite useful as it means you'll be able to get in. Search FB for "North Cheshire Bowmen". There are two pages, a public one and the internal club one and you want the latter. It's here https://www.facebook.com/groups/195849227092235/

If you don't have FB you can start by emailing me and I'll post there until you get to know people who seem to show up when you do.

Shopping for your First Bow

Although there are a load of archery stores on the internet, much as with buying shoes it's far more advisable to go to in person and try the feel of the bows available. There are several shops within a day-trip, Archery World, Bow Plus and Aardvark Archery are about the closest. There's a list on the website here.

Your First Session, and Setup Assistance

So you have a new bow in a bag, and have joined, and you want to come back and shoot. When to come?

First of all, welcome! Come down and shoot. It may look like a room of people who all know what they're doing where you don't - but actually half of them are trying to remember how to put their equipment together, and the other half will gladly give you some help if you ask (see Etiquette below!) - and all of them are glad to see you.

Indoor

We have access to the indoor range all the time - which increases the times we can come and shoot, but also increases the chance you may guess wrong and arrive when there's no-one here. Facebook or an email to me are a good start, and once you establish a favourite day or days you can buddy up with other archers who shoot then to make sure there's someone there when you come down.

Outdoor

Outdoor shooting requires a little more in the way of safety and numbers. Two adult archers are the absolute minimum for safety and insurance reasons. To begin with, in the outdoor season it's best to come to one of the club evenings and/or fixtures (see below)

Outdoor we have to share with Cricket, and at the moment the split is as shown on this page

For setting up the field, see the Members' Info section for documents, or ask an experienced archer.

Fixtures and Rounds

A "round" is a set number of arrows at a set target and one or more distances. A bit like Nine holes or 18 holes in golf. The most common indoor round is a Portsmouth - 5 dozen arrows indoors at 20 yards. A common outdoor one is a Western - 4 dozen at 60, 4 dozen at 50 yards. There are also metric rounds. A complete list can be found on the range noticeboard near the field door.

Our Summer and Winter Fixtures lists shows what we have planned for each Sunday and some weekdays; but if you don't want to shoot the round listed you can shoot something shorter (or closer if we're outside). Most outdoor rounds have a junior/novice variant; same number of arrows, less distance. The Fixtures Sec sends out an email each month with a list of the fixtures; if you don't get this email contact him on fixtures@northcheshirebowmen.co.uk

Coaching and Assistance Etiquette

An important part of archery convention is that it's generally not "done" for experienced archers to approach novices or new archers and proffer help. The archer may not actually want help - they may be happier concentrating on on improving a specific point that they have been told about, or want to just enjoy shooting arrows. People develop their own techniques, and as long as they're shooting safely the coaches are there to advise when asked for advice!!

If you are having difficulties, or can't remember something, or don't know what you should or shouldn't do - ask. Any senior archer will be happy to help if they can (longbowmen may not be able to help tune a recurve for example!). May be glib, but the only dumb question is the one you don't ask!

See you on the line! :)