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.

Image screenshot of video by Archery Sports on YouTube

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  • Cheif

    This is stupid, shooting at each other. Someone will go out there without any protective gear and any kind of bodily harm might happen.

    • MJT

      Cheif, Your an idiot. This is safer than paintball or airsoft. So if there’s any chance of bodily harm people shouldn’t do it? Chances of bodily harm is all around us in life. This is a chance for fun and to learn a skill like archery. Get over it.

      • kitty

        Sorry but your the idiot, if the sponge came off even if there’s no tip it could still go through you and kill you. This is very dangerous. Take it from an archery instructor who’s been shooting for 9 years

  • Nice article. If you would like more information for a more in-depth article, please feel free to contact me at 260-235-0100.
    Thanks,
    John Jackson, Founder
    Archery Tag

  • Christopher

    I assume you have to use low draw weight bows provided by the course. Doubt even with the foam tips that anything fired from my recurve would be considered safe…

  • Barry

    I’ll pass, all it would take is one damaged/cracked arrow that breaks or splits when shot, then you have a leathal projectile headed downrange without the padded end. That to me inevitably spells disaster.

  • chase

    It could be fun but I agree there is alot of room for dangerous injuries what kind of regulations are in place concerning maintenance of equipment? How often are arrows replaced what are they made of?I find too few answers in this article to recomend this sport

  • Christine M Rivers

    We are opening Hot Shots Archery Games, LLC in Lexington, SC 109 b Fabrister Lane, inside Intense Volleyball Gym. We are a mobile business so we can travel for corporate events, parties, fundraisers and birthdays. Come check us out !!

  • Gordon

    Since there are comments condemning the sport here, and I don’t know the first thing about out, I thought I would do a little research. First let me say, that I too, am an archery instructor, so safety is my first priority.
    The bows are set to only 28 pounds. Yes, this is certainly enough to throw a “lethal” projectile, but its not a very powerful bow.
    http://www.archery360.com/2014/06/lowdown-archery-tag-safe-scary/

    Second, if you look at how the bow is constructed, you will see that if the foam “falls off” you are the head of the arrow is still a broad, flat disk, so the chance of penetration is nil.
    http://www.pursuitzone.com/amusement-park-ride-product/used-archery-tag-for-sale/

    Now, if the arrow snaps behind the head, and the head, then you have the chance of penetration. But the danger seems extremely remote to me, as in maybe you shouldn’t play baseball or football either.