Clout is shot in many countries around the world, although Archery Australia employs a unique style of clout. Clout Archery is a traditional archery event, having its roots back to medieval times when archers would lob their arrows onto advancing armies.
Clout archery is shot over long ranges with distances up to 180m, depending upon equipment that is used. The target is laid flat on the ground and archers shoot their arrows into the air attempting to land the arrows in the target.
Aiming is achieved by using a bow sight or, for Barebow divsions, without a sight.
The 'Clout' is a triangular shaped object placed in the centre of the target circle. The various scoring areas are identified with coloured flags.
A cable is laid out on the ground and is marked with the various scoring areas. To score, an archer is assigned to each scoring area and the cable is slowly walked around the circle. Archers assigned to a scoring area collect any arrows within that area.
When all arrows have been scored, the cable is laid on the ground and the arrows laid out in each colour between the coloured flags.
All archers in the one event ideally should shoot at the same target, subject to a maximum of twenty-five (25) archers per target. If more than one (1) target is required, the conditions for each target should be as equal as possible.
Where more than one (1) target is required, the targets should be consecutively numbered. The number is positioned behind the clout so that it will not be hit by archers, but will be of such a size that it is clearly visible from the shooting line. A target number is also to be placed at or near the shooting line.
In the southern hemisphere, the preferred shooting direction is southerly and shooting must be in one direction only, towards the target. Archers shooting at different distances can be staggered so that no archer shoots over another's head and that there is a minimum of 10 metres between the flight path of the arrow of the archer(s) on the longer distances and the archers on the shooting line at the shorter distance(s).
A shooting line is marked on the ground at right angles to the direction of shooting.
A waiting and equipment line should be placed at least five metres behind the shooting line and when all shooting is completed archers are required to wait behind the waiting line.
Usually a spectator line is indicated at least ten metres behind the waiting and equipment lines.
For safety, the field of play is signposted or roped off and only archers taking part in the event, or other authorised people, are allowed to enter. Spectators are expected to remain behind the spectator area.