Range safety

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Range Set-Up

Suggested range dimensions are included as an appendix to these rules.

  1. Mark out the range and a safety zone clearly. You can do this with ropes, poles, signs, tapes, or similar.
  2. Based on the kind of shoot you are running, and the strength of the equipment being used, you must have a safety zone behind and to the sides of the shooting/throwing line and targets that is big enough to prevent any injuries to bystanders, or damage to property. Make sure that it's free of traffic, campsites, list fields, parking areas, or other hazards.
  3. The safety zone can be smaller if there is a hill, permanent backstop, archery netting, or something similar that will stop stray arrows.
  4. Block any roads or paths within the safety zone or range when the range is being used.
  5. Make sure the shooting/throwing line is clearly marked, but people shouldn't be able to trip over it.
  6. Hard targets for knives and axes should be at least 3 metres down range from the throwing line. A hard target is made of materials that provide solid resistance, including logs, plywood, etc
  7. Hard targets for spears should be at least 6 metres down range from the throwing line.
  8. Soft targets for spears should be at least 3 metres down range from the throwing line. A soft target is made of materials that do not provide solid resistance, including hay bales, polystyrene, etc

Range Protocols

  1. You must give a briefing on safety and the competition rules before you let the competition or practice begin. Make sure that everyone understands:
    • Who is the Target Archery Marshal-in-charge of the shoot (and who are their assistants)
    • The Archery:Basic Rules that all participants should know
    • 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.
    • Which target(s) to use and which ones shouldn't be used
    • How many arrows to use, or how many throws they get
    • Whether they can shoot in their own time, or if there is a time limit
    • What happens if they drop an arrow or weapon - e.g. are they allowed to use another one, or does it count as a missed shot. Can they attempt to pick it up, if they don't go over the shooting line?
  2. If you are the Target Archery Marshal-in-Charge and there are a large number of archers shooting, make sure you can be identified easily.
  3. If you are the only Target Archery Marshal at the shoot, you can get another experienced archer to supervise the line for you while you shoot. You're still responsible for the shoot.
  4. Don't allow more archers on a line than you and your assistants can reasonably and safely supervise. This number will change depending on the type of shoot, and experience of the archers.
  5. You need to give everyone on the line at least one metre of space, more is better.
  6. Make sure everyone lines up the same way - either all archers toeing the shooting line or all straddling it, to make sure that no one accidentally shoots anyone else on the line. If you have archers shooting from prone, kneeling, or a seated position, you need to make sure that the head of their arrow or bolt, at full draw, is in the same line as the other archers' arrowheads. Place them on one end of the line with others shooting from similar positions.
  7. The conditions around the range and safety zone may mean that you need to have additional Target Archery Marshals or assistants to watch for and stop traffic through the area.
  8. You need a high level of supervision for specialty shoots where there are unusual conditions, such as off-handed, with restricted vision, or similar. You might need to have one marshal for each participant.
  9. Don't run shoots with dangerous artificial handicaps or conditions.

Range Procedures

  1. Call archers to the line.
  2. Check to see that the range and line are clear and safe, by looking and calling out, and wait for a response that it's not clear
  3. If it is clear, tell the archers that they can shoot.
  4. When everyone is done, tell the archers to stop shooting and wait for everyone to lower their bow and step back from the line.
  5. When everyone has put their weapons down, tell the archers that they can go and collect arrows.
  6. If you see a serious safety problem on the range, such as someone entering, or about to enter, the target or safety zone, call "Hold!". If anyone calls "Hold!," find out what the problem is and resolve it. Make sure everyone has unloaded their weapons before you move in front of the shooting line.