Para Archery Assisted Devices
Para archers are allowed to use assistive devices but all devices must be reviewed by the classification panel and recorded against the athlete’s classification card.
An assisted device constitutes anything that is not standard archery equipment or utility as defined by world Archery rules.
Examples of assisted devices are
- Prosthesis for an amputee (lower or upper limb)
- Chair or stool to sit or lean on for shooting
- Foot block for athletes with leg length difference
- Any straps to hold the athlete to the wheelchair (trunk or legs)
- Release aids, e.g. mouthtabs, mechanical release aids attached to hand/elbow/shoulder
- Splints or bandages to hold the bow
- Wrist splints
- Personal assistants for nocking arrows
There are a number of rules governing the exact use and specification of these devices.
Specific rules for para archery can be found in Book 3, Chapter 21 of the World Archery Shooting Rules CLICK HERE
Examples of assisted devices and relevant rules regarding their use:
According to World Archery rules a wheelchair is a chair with a maximum of 4 wheels.
- No part of the wheelchair can support the archer’s bow arm when shooting
- There must be a clearance of minimum 110mm from the archer’s bow arm armpit to the highest part of the wheelchair
- The back support or side protrusions of the chair cannot protrude further than half the chest depth for W2 class
- The footplates and feet cannot touch the ground when shooting
- The size of the chair cannot be greater than the allowed shooting line width of 1.25m
The athlete can only use a wheelchair if they classify with a minimal functional loss of 50 points (in the lower limbs and/or trunk).
There are some exceptions depending on the impairment.
A stool can be used by an athlete with a functional loss of 38 points or more in the lower limbs and/or trunk.
The classification panel may also allow use of a stool for athletes with poor standing balance.
The maximum foot print of the stool legs and the archer’s feet cannot exceed 60cm (wide) x 80cm (along the shooting line).
Bow arm splint
A splint can be used when the archer cannot hold the bow due to deficiency or weakness. The bow can also be bandaged or wrapped to the hand or arm but cannot be rigidly connected to the splint or bandage.
String arm wrist splint (shown with incorporated release aid)
Shoulder release brace
These are allowed in W1 and Compound divisions. In the case below, the release aid is incorporated into a shoulder brace. The aid is triggered by a mouthpiece.
Similar to the shoulder brace but the release aid is connected to an elbow brace. Allowed in compound and W1 divisions.
A mouth release is allowed in all divisions but in the recurve division it cannot be a mechanical release. In this case a piece of fabric is connected to the string just below the nocking point – the fabric is then held in the mouth and released to shoot the arrow.
A body or chest strap may be used by wheelchair athletes with impairments in the trunk. The strap may have a maximal width of 5cm. All straps must be approved by the classification panel and will depend on the athlete’s stability and is primarily determined to ensure the archer’s safety. Foot and leg straps may also be permitted on review.