Archery is a sport that is open to everyone; it is inclusive of all ages, genders and abilities. Athletes with physical or cognitive impairments, who may otherwise be dissuaded from participating in sports can participate in archery alongside athletes without any disability. Whether your goal is to just get out and socialize or be active, or to make a U.S. Paralympic or World Championship Team, archery is a sport that lends itself to any need.

Simple adaptations to archery programs can break the stigma associated with disabilities and remove the barriers to conversations and interactions among groups of people who might otherwise be separated. This environment can be an enriching experience for all students of archery. 

Instructors and Coaches

The Disabled Sports USA Adaptive Archery Manual, created in partnership with USA Archery, should serve as a supplement to the existing USA Archery Level 1 Archery Instructor Certification course so that instructors may safely teach archery to students of all ages and abilities. This manual is designed to show you how simple it is to integrate adaptive archers into your current archery program. Click here to download the Adaptive Archery Manual.


USA Archery follows World Archery event rules and conforms to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) guidelines.
To review the World Archery rule book please visit

Event Opportunities

A wide variety of Para-archery opportunities exist, starting with recreational and developmental programs, to competitive events at the local, state, national and international levels, including the Paralympic Games and World Archery Para Championships. For more information on upcoming event opportunities, please visit the USA Archery sanctioned event schedule.

Shooting Classification

IPC and USOC guidelines require USA Archery Para competitors to be classified by a certified national or international classifier who is trained with a medical background and in aspects of archery skills. It is important to note that these Paralympic classifications do not encompass all archers with disabilities (e.g. those with cognitive disabilities), yet, all archers are permitted to take part in competition alongside their able-bodied peers. 


After an archer has been classified, he or she will be put into a shooting category. There are four shooting categories in World Archery. They are usually divided into men and women as follows:
  • W-1: Individuals who have both an upper body and a lower body limitation.
  • Open Recurve: Individuals who have either an upper body or lower body limitation and choose to shoot a recurve bow.
  • Open Compound: Individuals who have either an upper body or lower body limitation and choose to shoot a compound bow.
  • Visually Impaired: Individuals that have impairment in their vision.


For more information regarding Para-Archery or adaptive coaching resources please contact Paralympic Head Coach, Randi Smith, at