"I'm a writer living in the Perth Hills with my relentlessly fun seeking children.
Published February 10th 2017
The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fun
Bows and arrows. Ever since Robin Hood put on his first pair of tights, kids have been tying string to random pieces of wood and twanging missiles at each other. It's almost a rite of passage. Archery is one of those sports that seems like a great idea at the time, but then usually dissolves into a frustrating reality of trying to ensure no one loses an eye. The smaller kids can't muster the strength needed to handle the bow and the bigger ones are running around like the Green Arrow, trying to impale their younger siblings.
The Green Arrow (pic Wikipedia)
Stress Less Archery from a mums perspective is just too stressful. Thankfully, some bright spark recognised this and came up with the idea to replace the tip of a standard arrow with a soft foam tip. This makes for a safe, aerodynamic arrow that can be fired at an opponent without hurting them too much, so opening the door for a world of fun opportunities to play a team sport, that gets everyone active and off their screens. ARC Sports provides this at locations in Perth to suit you.
All of the Fun, None of the Stress
Suited and booted
The basic equipment provided is a recurve bow, an arm guard, a face mask and foam tipped arrows with carbon shafts. The bows are quite lightweight and can be used either right or left handed. You will need sensible footwear too, because there's a lot of running about. One of the fantastic things about this activity is that it accommodates larger groups of players and suits all ages from young children to adults, especially useful if you're trying to organise an inclusive group event. We have tried this activity indoors and outdoors and it works equally well in both.
Ready to Rumble
Safety First Once everyone knows the safety rules and has been kitted out, it's time to learn the basics. My little kid was delighted to learn that although she could fire at anyone, the big kids were not allowed to shoot her. She exploited this rule gleefully the whole session. When everyone had been divided up into groups, the younger ones took pot shots at an inflatable shooting gallery that had small floating balls to knock off. The larger kids got to practice their aim in pairs, by catching their partners arrows and once everyone had tried stationary targets, it was time to move on.
One of the exciting things about archery tag is that the whole setup involves having several "bases". These structures, built of vinyl covered foam blocks are ideal to hide behind, scramble over and provide cover from your enemies. The kids got their first taste of attempting to hit a moving target when the hapless parents were "recruited" to run across from tower to tower whilst the archers tried to tag them. It was hard to say which was funnier, previously very sedentary mums racing like Usain Bolt to get to cover, or the exasperated groans of tweens unable to hit them.
The Final Battle We were finally split into two groups for a head to head bout. Each team had a target board with foam discs placed outside their fortress. The object of the game was to dislodge all the discs of without getting hit themselves. The gauntlet thrown down, everyone got completely engaged in the game, with both adults and kids having a brilliant time.
Prepare for War
High Octane The adrenalin was pumping and unlike paintball, when you do get hit by a tag arrow, it doesn't hurt, also nobody gets too much of an advantage in terms of how big they are.
Archery tag is a fantastic sport to consider for youth groups, families, or parties. It would be equally great for a group of adults seeking an unusual social event or a corporate team building exercise. Just don't get carried away and turn vigilante.