So, you want to know if archery is even popular as a hobby or a sport? In this short article, we discuss how popular archery is in the U.S. and around the world. And a surprising reason why archery grew in popularity in recent years.
Here is the main takeaway from the entire article.
According to a poll done in 2020 for the official Archery Trade Association in the US, there were over 30 million people who are archers. The number of archers is actually higher than from around 10 years ago and some say because of a surprising reason as you will see.
Let’s look at the official result of archery’s popularity in the US.
So, let’s forget about just the US and look at things from a worldwide perspective.
A quick analysis of Google searches across the world reveals that the term archery has worldwide appeal. Obviously not in every country, but if we look at the trend across many years we can see the trend is relatively stable.
This is hardly surprising since archery has many benefits as you can see here.
How Can You Find The Nearest Archery Club
If you live in Europe, Northern America, Australia, South Korea, or many other Asian countries you can simply type in Archery ranges in X (x being the city where you live) and I can bet you will find a range where you can practice and get started.
If you are reading this in the US simply click here, it will take you to a site where you can entire your zip code and it will show you the nearest club you can join.
So you can find a local archery range pretty much anywhere.
This makes sense since archery was introduced as an Olympic sport in 1904 and again in 1972. Why two times? It’s weird but you will see it a little later on. You won’t believe what they used as a target in the first Olympic competition.
Archery Trade Association did a couple of really cool studies. In 2016 they got a Responsive Management to do a nationwide survey which revealed that 9,9 million Americans did some form of archery in 2015.
That is 9,4 percent higher than the year before and overall the number of archers increased 20,6 percent from the 2012 study.
Which is a big bump.
So, why the increase in archery popularity?
Some estimate that the popularity of shows like The Green Arrow helped push archery in the minds of the American public and combined with the Hunger Games Trilogy made for a powerful one-two punch that helped archery rise in popularity.
Which makes sense. Green Arrow was awesome (for the first few seasons).
Archery in the Olympics
Archery has a long history, as you can see here but the popularity of modern-day archery stretches back over 100 years. It is the reason why it was included in the 1900 Olympics. Albeit in a slightly different format than you see today.
At first, they used pigeons for practice. Don’t worry they were fake pigeons. A plastic tube on top of a poll was stuffed with feathers. And they had to hit that.
Only 3 countries are said to have participated in the very first archery competitions in the Olympics.
Sadly, archery was removed from the Olympics in 1920 due to the fact there were no standardized international rules for archery. Which led to confusion, since every country had its own rules under which the archers trained.
And when you gather a few dozen archers from different countries and every single one of them is used to different rules obviously confusion sets in.
But after a brief pause of only 52 years (being sarcastic here), archery was reintroduced in the Munich games in 1972 and has been a part of the summer Olympics ever since.
Which Country is the Best in Archery?
The answer is South Korea. Their team has been decimating other teams in the Olympics for decades. The sport itself has great appeal in the country as well.
A Few Cool Facts on Archery
So here is a list of a few facts that demonstrate archery’s popularity across centuries.
- William Shatner the famous actor a.k.a the original Kirk is reportedly an avid archer
- If you love bows and arrows there is a word for that and its Toxophilite
- The first book on archery was written in the 16th century and is named Toxophilus (you can guess why)
- James the first of Scotland financially punished people who were playing football because he wanted to stop men from playing that game because he believed it stopped young men from practicing archery.
- Bhutan, (yes that is a country I promise), declared archery a national sport in 1971. And as a sport is loved across the nation. They even have a proverb that says »archery builds concentration, which contributes to mental development« … which is also described in my article which you can read here, where you can see all the benefits of doing archery.
- “The Armless Archer”. An American Matt Stutzman was born with no arms. And uses a release trigger attached to his shoulders to fire his bow. And he holds the bow with his leg. How crazy is that!
Sorry got a little too excited there.
Competition With Over a Thousand Archers?
Listen to this.
There are competitions in the US, where you can enter, for a fee of course, and win tens of thousands of dollars. One of the famous ones is the Vegas Shot. This is a competition that draws in thousands of archers every year.
I checked their 2020 numbers and in that year the winner took home 54 thousand dollars.
The cool thing is the second runner-up got a good chunk of cash and so did the others, top archers, in the competition. They got less of course but they got good money had fun and of course met some cool people.
If you want to see if there is any competition near your area in the states simply click here.
Regarding the popularity of archery let me leave you with one thing.
Videos of the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships in Hertogenbosch, reached 77 million people. Don’t worry if you never heard of the competition. That’s not important.
The number of people who got exposed to the videos of the competition is. 77 million. Which is a sizable increase from the previous competition held in Mexico City.
Based on everything you have seen here, I am of the opinion that archery is a popular sport. It is unlikely to rival soccer in popularity, that goes without saying.
The popularity of archery is growing. There are no super high growth rates but rest assured if you are dedicating time to this discipline as a way to pass time or to compete you are in good company.
There are literally millions of archers across the world who share this unique skillset with you.
For me it kind of makes me feel like a part of the group. A family of sorts.
So that’s it from my end. Feel free to check out this article if you are wondering about the benefits of archery and if it’s the right thing for you. Or go here if you just want to see the best archery games for your mobile phone.
Talk to you soon.