A relatively new program has developed in U.S. schools called the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP). In this students use Genesis bows (a compound-style bow without a let-off). This is similar to a physical education programs, and students who want to can also go to state and national shoots to compete against other schools. Though started in the United States, it has begun to spread to other countries.
Many sportsman’s clubs and similar establishments throughout the US and other countries offer archery education programs for those under 18. These programs are commonly referred to as Junior Olympic Archery Development Programs, or simply JOAD. There are over 250 JOAD Clubs recognized by the National Archery Association. 4-H is also offering archery as an activity for those under 18. Usually members are have to have certain requirements for the bows they shoot (ex. use a Genesis Bow, no sights, no release, etc.). Members of archery 4-H clubs and those who use archery as their project can compete in target archery and field archery competitions.
Archery with humans as targets, or very near the target
Demonstrations of archery skill are sometimes featured as entertainment in circuses or wild west shows. Sometimes these acts feature a performer acting as a human “target” (strictly speaking they are not the target as the objective of the archer is to narrowly miss them, however they are frequently referred to as human targets). Archery in this context is sometimes known as one of the “impalement arts”, a category which also includes knife throwing and sharpshooting demonstrations. Apache boys were trained to protect themselves by giving them a shield and having several warriors shoot at them with blunt arrows, which can still do severe damage.
In some recreational groups, a form of archery known as combat archery is practiced, where several archers divided into “lights” and “heavies”, namely those wearing armour or not, shoot at each other with cushion-tipped arrows from low-powered longbows, with a maximum draw-weight of 30 lb (14 kg). The rules of combat archery dictate that no archer may shoot at a light, however all may shoot at a heavy. Combat archery can be an interesting challenge for participants, as it involves shooting at moving targets, and can be used to re-create battles. In Australia, it is more common for ‘lights’ to wear enough protection that they can shoot at each other as well.
You may wish to join an archery club. Here are a couple of clubs to join: