Roving Marks is like a clout but differs in that archers move around the field shooting at targets (marks) at different distances. Typically the marks are set at anything between 50 and 200 yards and points are scored for how close your arrow lands to the mark.
Originally Roving Marks was only recognised by the British Longbow Association (BLBS) and could only be shot by archers who were members of that organisation but a few years ago BLBS dropped roving marks from the list of recognised rounds so is now no longer covered by BLBS insurance. Clubs putting on Roving Marks need to arrange their own insurance and require a venue of several acres for the shoot which is why there are so few of this type of competition.
Bowbrook Archers puts on a Roving Mark shoot at PGL Boreatton Park on the 3rd Sunday in January each year. 10 marks are placed around the field at distances of between 50 and 180 yards but just to make it more of a challenge some of the shorter shots have obstacles (trees) that you have to shoot over in order to reach the mark. The shoot is open to any archer shooting a wooden bow and using wooden arrows. We provide tea & coffee and have a BBQ available for those essential bacon butties before the start of the shoot.
This is not only a deeply insulting word for a vain or conceited person, one given to pretentious displays, (you cannot shoot them no matter how irritating they are) it is a form of archery. Popinjay shooting is popular on the continent particularly in Belgium and France but less so in the UK. Archers shoot at ‘birds’ like large shuttlecocks perched on top of a 90 foot mast and try to knock them off. The ‘birds consist of 1 cock worth 5 points, 4 hens each worth 3 points and 24 chicks each worth 1 point. Archers stand at or near the base of the mast and shoot a single arrow straight up at the birds to try to knock them down. Only blunts are allowed.
Very few Popinjay shoots are held in the UK. We have heard of a small number of clubs near the south coast that have Popinjay masts but have not seen any shoots advertised. Bowbrook Archers do not shoot Popinjay as we do not have a Popinjay mast but we are trying to get one.
In Canada and the USA a number of clubs shoot Horizontal Popinjay where the birds are set out horizontally at 65 feet.
Papingo is similar to but different from Popinjay in that a single bird is suspended at a height then shot at in the same way as a Popinjay. The object is to dislodge the wings then the bird itself.
Bowbrook Archers do not shoot Papingo as we do not have the facilities. The only known Papingo competition in the UK is held at Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland where the Papingo is hung from a pole suspended from the clock tower of Kilwinning Abbey.
Possibly the simplest description of flight shooting is – see how far you can shoot. There are different categories for the different bow types and draw weights. Some flight shooters use specialised bows and special arrows get the best distance. As the distances involved can be very long, flight shooting is normally only held on an airfield.
Bowbrook Archers do not do flight shooting although some of our members took part in the National Flight Championship when it was held in Shropshire.
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Compiled by Dick Hilton
A founder member of Bowbrook Archers