Archery Evolution

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What is DodgeBow?

DodgeBow is an interactive, amateur team sport played with low draw-weight bows and non-lethal arrows. It's similar to the sport of dodgeball, with the skills of archery added to increase the challenge.


Two teams compete in an area the size of a volleyball court. Each team has two inflatable bunkers used to take cover from flying arrows. All players wear protective gear, including an approved facemask.


The game is won either by elimination of all players of the opposing team, or by shooting out the opposing team's targets.


PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY is paramount when playing DodgeBow. Players are expected to maintain respect for all other players, referees, spectators and equipment during play to ensure a safe and fun experience.



All participants must be at least 12 years old to play the game*. Anyone under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.  In order to play a game, every player must have an up-to-date, signed waiver on file.


* Students aged 8 and up may be allowed to play after they have completed one SAFE Archery course and have been approved by an Archery For ALL Instructor.


The game is played with two teams of 3 to 6 players each.  Each game lasts 6 minutes with short breaks between games for rest, player change-out and strategy discussions amongst team-members.


The game is "won" when one team either 1) is the first to eliminate all players from the opposing team; 2) shoots out all of the opposing team's targets; or 3) has the most team members still in play at the end of the game.




Here are the basic rules of DodgeBow:


  1. The typical DodgeBow court is about the size of a small Volleyball court, with a centerline, 2 endlines, 2 sidelines and a "Safety Zone" in the middle of the court formed by the two spiking lines.

  2. DodgeBow is usually played with one referee, with each player using the honor system (acknowledging when the've been hit, etc.). The referee helps facilitate the game by starting or pausing game play, confirming hits and catches and announcing when game time has ended.

  3. Each team starts with 3 arrows per player, placed near the centerline. During the opening rush (when the game starts), players scramble to get arrows and take cover or start shooting.

  4. You are out if:  1) you step over the centerline;  2) you step outside the endline or sideline for more than five seconds (to retrieve arrows);  3) an arrow hits your body anywhere except the bow or the facemask; 3) you shoot an arrow and it is caught by an opponent;  4) you shoot an opponent in the facemask;  5) you exhibit behavior the referee determines to be unsafe.

  5. You may enter your team's side of the Safety Zone to retrieve arrows, but you cannot shoot from within the zone. You can however, be shot by the opposing team while inside the Safety Zone.

  6. A shot arrow can only hit out 1 player.  Arrows that hit the ground, the wall, targets, bunkers, or other objects before hitting the opponent are considered dead arrows, and are ineligible to shoot players out.

  7. You may block a shot arrow only with your bow. However, if you fail to make a clean block (as in the arrow still ends up hitting or grazing your body afterwards), you are out  (if it hits your hand, you're out).

  8. If you are shot out, line up on the side next to the referee in the order you got out. If your teammate catches an arrow or knocks out a target from the other team, the player at the start of your team’s line is called back into play  (the teammate must be in the line at the time s/he's called back in).

  9. If the game comes down to 1 player per side, they have 10 seconds to hit each other out; if not, "Showdown" comes into effect. The centerline and Safety Zone are dissolved and the first player to get the other player out wins. If neither player is shot out before the end of the game time, the game ends at a draw.

  10. It's considered un-sportsmanlike to argue with the referee.


Have fun, shake hands, make friends and "May the odds be ever in your favor!"

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