How To Set Up An Indoor Archery Range (Step-By-Step)

Hobbies are great when they can be done both at home and in other places. They are also fun when you can do the hobby outdoors or indoors, such as when it is raining. Archery is one of these hobbies, and indoor archery ranges are perfect for working on your archery skills.

Indoor archery ranges are great places to practice archery, but setting up your own indoor archery range can take some work. Some steps include setting up the targets, ensuring there is enough space between the targets, and ensuring anyone using the range is safe.

Continue reading to learn the necessary equipment one may need to set up your own indoor archery range as well as the steps to ensure the archery range is perfect to practice archery while ensuring the safety of those who use it.

woman practicing archery indoor archery range

Setting Up An Indoor Archery Range

Setting up an indoor archery range can seem like an overwhelming task. You need to get the necessary equipment together in order to build the range, and you have to set up and maintain the equipment in order to ensure that your indoor archery range is functional.

Some factors that should be considered when setting up an indoor archery range are:

  • Large space to set up the range and ensure that there is enough space for archers
  • Safety measures to decrease the likelihood of injury
  • No interior possessions or property where they can be damaged by archers when practicing

Each of these should be taken into account in order to set up an indoor archery range that is appropriate for you and other archers. Before setting up your indoor archery range, you want to first gather the equipment necessary to build the indoor range.

Necessary Equipment

There are two things an indoor archery range needs in order for someone to practice archery. These are targets to shoot and a large enough area where someone can stand to shoot at the targets without hitting another person.

Archery Targets

When one thinks of an archery target, one thinks of the circular target with areas marked in red and black. While these are the most common types of targets for archers to practice on at an archery range, there are other types of targets you can make and set up for your indoor archery range.

There are ways to make your own targets rather than buying specific targets for archery. There are many Youtube videos that show you how you can make different archery targets depending on the amount of money you want to spend as well as what materials you have available – What are the best materials for an archery target?

Want to know why archery targets are so expensive?

Some of these include:

These three videos as well as many others can show you how you can make your own archery targets for your archery range rather than just buying targets that are already made.

Parts Of An Indoor Archery Range

When setting up or building an indoor archery range, it is important to know the various parts that make up the archery range. These parts include:

  • A Shooting Station
  • A Waiting Area
  • An Archers Area
  • A Spectators Area

Each of these four places should be included in an archery range, especially if it is indoors because you want to have space where people can stand that is not in the way of any archers that are shooting.

Shooting Station

A shooting station is an area in which the archers stand and shoot at the targets. It is this area in which the archers should be aiming their bows and arrows. It is also here where other people should not be standing as they can get injured if they stand too close to the archer or the target, or if the archer misses the target.

Waiting Area

The waiting area is where archers will stand and wait before moving into the shooting station. It is here where you can determine which archers go where in order to keep order and not have too many archers in the shooting station/area at one time.

Archers’ Area

When archers are not shooting, they need to have a space where they can stand or sit in order to stay out of the way of other archers. This is what an archers’ area is for. When archers are not shooting and are not preparing to shoot, they can stay in this area so as to not have overcrowding in areas where archers are shooting.

Spectators’ Area

The spectators’ area is where others can stand and watch the archers as well as congregate with others there while staying out of the way of the archers shooting in the shooting station. This can be an area where events are held as well as where people can regroup or group together when visiting the archery range.

Minimum requirement of an Archery Range

An indoor shooting range should strive to have the following requirements as a minimum. These requirements are:

  • The building should be heated and well-lit. The dimensions of the building should be at least 25 yards long and 21 yards wide
  • There should be a secure storage area where the archery equipment can be kept
  • A changing room that is fully accessible, or a clubhouse that includes toilets
  • A signpost or notice board where activities can be advertised

These are the bare minimum requirements for an indoor archery range. Of course, this does not list things such as the targets, and such, as those should be considered mandatory for an archery range.

Setting Up An Archery Range

Now that you know the different parts of an archery range which are important to ensuring the safety of those who use the archery range, you can begin setting up your archery range following the steps below.

Step One

The first step in setting up an indoor archery range is to have a location with enough space to have the archery range. One main thing you want to ensure is that there is enough space for archers to stand and shoot at targets. Many guidelines put this distance at 20 yards maximum.

Along with this measurement, you want to have at least five feet of clearance distance behind both the shooting line and the target butts. You also want to ensure there is enough elbow space between archers.

Step Two

Once you have the space set up for your indoor archery range, the next step is designating the areas for shooting, archers, and spectators. You also need to decide where the targets will line up.

Step Three

After deciding which areas will serve what purpose, you can start setting up the equipment. The first piece of equipment to set up is the targets. Once you have the targets placed, you can more easily determine the space between the archers.

Step Four

Once you have your targets set up, you may want to include something to serve as a backstop behind the targets. This will prevent the arrow from breaking through the target and exiting through the other side.

Step Five

Ensure that the only access to the archery range is behind the shooting line. People should only be able to come into the archery range from behind the shooting line to ensure that no one could be injured upon entering. If the entrance is behind the targets, there is the possibility of arrows hitting those who come inside.

Step Six

Make sure there is access to all emergency exits. In case of an emergency, you want to ensure that there is access to all emergency exits at all times. The only emergency exit that should be restricted is an emergency exit that may be in front of the shooting line entrance.

Indoor vs Outdoor Archery

Unlike some sports and hobbies, such as baseball and football, which are solely meant to be played and practiced outdoors, archery can be practiced and conducted both at outdoor ranges and in indoor ranges.

Differences of Indoor and Outdoor Archery

While archery can be practiced both indoors and outdoors, there are some differences between practicing archery in each of these areas.

Outdoor Archery

When one thinks of practicing archery, you may think of grabbing a bow, some arrows, and heading outside where there are targets standing ready for the archer to shoot at. This is the basis of outdoor archery. Practicing archery outdoors is a perfect activity during the warmer months in the summer and is a good way to get outside and get some sunlight.

There are some benefits to the idea of practicing archery outdoors rather than indoors.

Benefits of Outdoor Archery

Practicing archery outdoors comes with many benefits. These benefits can include:

  • There is plenty of room outside for many people to practice archery at one time. If there is no enclosed space, it is easier for people to spread out and allow for more people to practice archery at one time.
  • Your focus can be improved. It takes a great deal of focus to do well in archery, adn the constant distraction that can be found outside can help one increase their focus when practicing outside as they will learn to ignore the constant distractions.
  • Your safety awareness is improved. Archery can be a dangerous sport if certain safety precautions are not taken. All archers become aware of these precautions and are to strive to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them.

Can you practice archery in a public park or in your own backyard?

Indoor Archery

When the weather is not right for practicing outdoors, such as when it is colder or when it is raining, archery can be practiced in an indoor facility. As long as the facility provides the necessary space for one to practice archery safely, archers can practice even when the weather does not allow for outdoor practice.

Benefits of Indoor Archery

There are some benefits that come with practicing archery indoors. These benefits can include:

  • Indoor archery allows for archery practice even if the weather is not favorable. During times when it is raining or cold, it may not be the best time to practice archery outside, but indoor facilities allow for heating and a dry area in order to practice.
  • Safety awareness is also improved when doing indoor archery. There is less open space when practicing archery indoors, so archers have to be more aware of safety protocols as well as where others in the area are.
  • The other skills you obtain through archery, such as improved strength and improved focus, also apply when you practice archery indoors.

Final Thoughts

Archery is a sport and hobby which can be practiced both indoors and outdoors. When building an indoor archery range, it is important to have enough space for all of the different parts of the archery range, such as the shooting line, the spectators’ area, and the waiting area. When each of these areas are designated and used well, it helps to keep those who use the archery range safe and decrease the possibility of injuries.

The main steps involved in setting up an archery range indoors primarily revolve around designating spaces for archers, spectators, and shooting, as well as assembling the targets needed for the shooting range. It is also important to have the emergency exits accessible at all times and try to avoid having an emergency exit in an area which can increase the possibility of injuries.

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