At the sound of a whistle, two teams of five rush out into a battlefield dotted with inflatable barriers, each player armed with a bow and a single foam-tipped arrow. The teams take cover and quickly begin launching volley after volley of arrows at one another, hoping to tag opponents or knock out the five discs of a small target on the opposite end of the field.
Is this something you would be interested in? If so, you may want to think about signing up for archery tag, a sport that is touted as a cross between archery, dodgeball, and paintball. The activity is loosely managed by the company of the same name, Archery Tag, which has licensed the game out to individual businesses across the globe—and business seems to be booming. Archery Tag currently has over 350 licensees in 34 countries, the majority of those being in the United States. Finding a location to play a game is as easy as looking it up on the company’s website.
What really sets the sport apart is its potential to get kids involved in archery.
“We’re hoping it will open the sport of archery up to a whole new group of people who wouldn’t know about it otherwise,” Sam Humphreys, who recently became the first person to open up a permanent archery tag location in New Zealand, told the Taranaki Daily News.
You can watch footage from a game below:
Humphreys says the activity is a great introduction for kids into more traditional archery and bowhunting, two categories that he plans on expanding his business in. Already there are talks of a national league in New Zealand, and that is not too surprising considering regional leagues popping up in the area. Archery tag is easy to pick up and does not require much to play, which means that businesses can host it on a moment’s notice.
The object of the game is much like dodgeball. Each team has five players and the first team with all players eliminated loses. A player can be eliminated if they are hit with an arrow, or if an arrow they shot is caught in mid-flight. A player can be called back into the game if someone on their team scores a hit on the opponent’s five-disc target, or if an opponent’s arrow is caught. Best of all, it’s extremely safe and family friendly.
“Paintball really hurts, but getting hit by one of the arrows is the equivalent to being hit by a tennis ball,” said Humphreys.
What do you think? Does this pique your interest or would you rather shoot a few 3D targets instead? Let us know your thoughts below.