Briefing format

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The military and emergency services often use a particular format for giving briefings. Here is an example of how it could be applied to an archery event.

A briefing should be given to everyone participating and watching.


  • Describe the range
    • where the targets are (particularly important for roving or novelty shoots
    • Any areas which are out of bounds or hazardous etc


  • What is the shoot?
  • Is it a competition, a practice, just for fun?
  • How long the shoot is expected to run for
  • If the shoot is happening at a time when people may have been drinking (eg afternoon or after dinner, remind people that if they aren't fit to drive, they aren't fit to shoot.


  • What is the point of the game/competition/practice?
  • What does someone need to do to win?


  • What equipment can be used in this competition?
    • Period equipment only? Is modern equipment allowed?
    • How many arrows are needed for this competition?
  • What to do if the archer drops an arrow
  • How much time is allowed, or can archers shoot at their own pace, or is it in volleys?
    • If it is a timed end, can the archer start with an arrow knocked or bolt loaded?
  • Toeing or straddling the line (choose one and be consistent)
  • How many to the line to shoot at once
  • Remind people:
    • Don't nock or loose an arrow or bolt, or throw a weapon while anyone is forward of the shooting line
    • When you have finished, lower your bow or any weapons in hand, step back from the line, and wait for further instructions.
    • You must not go forward of the shooting line while others are shooting, and you must wait until you are told to go and collect your arrows or thrown weapons.
    • Put your bow down somewhere safe before going to collect your arrows.
  • Anything else participants need to know about how the game is played

Administration and Logistics

  • Scoring
    • Who is tallying the scores (the marshal, list keeper or archer)?
    • How points are counted (if relevant)
    • How to count arrows that cut the line, or have bounced out
  • Collecting arrows
    • Remind people about collecting arrows safely, asking permission before touching other people's equipment
  • Do you have a list keeper collecting scores? - identify them
  • What happens if you are eliminated from the competition (if relevant)

Control and communication

  • Identify the Target Archery Marshal in charge, and any assisting.
  • Explain that if people don't follow instructions from the marshals about safety or the competition they will be asked to leave
  • Range commands
    • Wait for instructions before approaching the line, otherwise stay well back
    • Wait until you are given the all clear to shoot
    • How you will tell people when they are allowed to shoot and when to stop - e.g. "Range is open," "Range is closed." "You may fire at will." "Stop shooting." "Loose when ready." etc.
  • Holds
    • If you see a safety problem on the range, call "Hold!".
    • If anyone calls "Hold!" Do not shoot! Lower your bow or weapon, carefully remove your arrows or bolt from your weapon, and wait for the Target Archery Marshal to tell you what to do.


  • Are there any questions?
  • You could also ask a few questions to make sure that people understand what you have told them.

Example briefing for a shoot

Greetings good gentles, welcome to our archery range. I am Captain Shootsalot. We'll be shooting at the three targets at the other end of the range from the lines marked here. Please avoid the area to the right of the range as there are some wombat holes.

We're doing a King's Round today. This afternoon's competition should run until about 4pm. If you've been drinking after lunch, remember that if you aren't fit to drive, you aren't fit to shoot.

The aim of the game is to hit the target with at least one arrow from further and further away. If you fail to hit the target with one of your arrows in a round, you will be eliminated, and the winner will be the last archer remaining.

You can shoot up to six arrows in each round, in your own time. If you hit the target with one of them, you are through to the next round, so you don't need to fire any more arrows. If you are unsure, use one of your remaining arrows. If you miss with all six, you're out. If you drop one over the line, sorry, it's gone. If it bounces off the target, sorry, it won't count.

Looks like we can fit six to the line at once. Please all stand astride the line, and please fill in a gap when an archer steps back.

Remember not to nock or loose when anyone is forward of the line, and wait for the instruction to shoot. I'll call "Range is open, you may fire at will."

When we are all done, we'll put our bows down, and wait for instructions before going to collect arrows. I'll call "Range is closed, move forward and collect."

After each round, we'll move back another five yards, if you are still in. If no one hits the target at a particular distance we'll do another round at the same distance until someone hits the target.

When we go to collect arrows, please help find the ones beyond the target, but ask for permission before touching other's equipment.

Only arrows inside the target area will count, if it cuts the line, it's in.

I'll be the Marshal-in-charge for this shoot, but I'll be assisted by Lord John Fletcher, and Lady Jane Bowyer. Please follow our instructions, or if you don't want to, you can leave now.

Make sure you have signed in with our list keeper, Myfanwy. Please wave, Myf! When you have been eliminated, please let her know so she can record your final distance for you.

Remember, if anyone sees any problems, call "Hold!". If you hear anyone call "Hold!", do not shoot! Remove your arrow from your bow, and wait for instructions. It's for your safety.

Does anyone have any questions?

Excellent. Could I have the first six archers to the line? The range is now open, you may shoot at will.