Posted by Brad Patsy on Jan 5th 2018

Indoor Archery Range shooting can be a really great experience. It can be a true family sport where a husband, wife and kids can all go enjoy archery together. You don’t have to run fast, jump high or lift heavy weights. You will find all types of archers shooting local indoor archery range leagues during the winter months. From Joe Bow-hunter who just wants to have a good time and keep in practice during the off season to Joe Pro who travels across the country shooting national level tournaments.

Have you ever found yourself on an internet archery forum or social media site and hear other archers talking about shooting a ‘Vegas’ round but wasn’t really sure what it is or how it was shot? Have you seen pictures of targets and either wondered how you could get into indoor archery or perhaps even thought “wow that must be easy since all the arrow holes are in the middle”? Maybe you have even went to the local archery range with a friend or coworker to give it a shot but felt a little bit lost since you had never done such a thing before.

Even if you’ve never shot on an indoor archery league or indoors at all, it is very easy to get started. I’m sure most of us got started with our regular old hunting bow. The first thing to getting started is to find a location near you that has an indoor archery range or indoor 3D archery range. This would usually be at a local archery shop or archery club. These places will normally hold indoor archery leagues over the winter months. These venues always welcome new indoor archery shooters and will be quick to help out and educate new shooters.

Depending on your location the standard target may be either the Vegas archery target 3 spot or NFAA 5 spot. Both targets are shot at 20 yards and are the same size but are scored and shot a bit differently. A Vegas round consists of 30 arrows shot in ends of 3 arrows. The scoring rings are X10-9-8-7 etc.A perfect score would be 300 30X. In most cases the X is only used as a tie breaker. A shooter with a 300 25x would beat a shooter with a 300 22x. The NFAA round consists of a 60 arrow round shot in ends of 5 arrows. Scoring this target is X-5-4-3-2-1 with a perfect score being 300 60X. Once again the X ring is used as a tie breaker. The main difference in these two is that the X ring on an NFAA target is the size of the 10 ring on a Vegas archery target. A 300 on a Vegas face is much tougher then a 300 on an NFAA face.

If you’re a casual archer that doesn’t shoot much the thought of shooting 30 or 60 arrows in a single session may be a bit scary. If you have your bow turned up to the max poundage and only shoot a handful of arrows in a normal archery practice session you may find yourself getting tired during a round. The good thing is that you can easily lower your bow poundage to make the round more enjoyable. In reality if you have to turn your weight down, then you’re probably shooting too much poundage anyhow. You will also find that the more you shoot the more in shape your body will get. As the weeks go on you won’t be wearing out as fast and will find yourself aiming and your overall archery shooting will get better. It seems that the muscles we use to shoot a bow aren’t used for anything else.

The biggest thing I tell people about archery shooting indoors is to just go out and have fun. Archery can be just like golf where a bunch of friends hang out on a regular basis and have a good time. Just like in golf some shooters are going to excel and be more serious than others. Some of my best friends have been made through archery. I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I wasn’t involved in archery.

If you’ve never tried indoor archery shooting now is the time to give it a shot. Winter leagues will be starting the first of the year. Get out there and give it a try. Whether you just want something to do over the winter months or have aspirations of being the next world champion archer there’s no reason to miss the opportunity. Get out there, have fun and improve your archery shooting.

Stay tuned for more helpful articles. Next week’s article will focus on intermediate indoor archery shooters who have leveled out and can’t seem to get their score to the next level that they desire. Feel free to direct any questions to or check out our blog at