What is Archery Ambush?

Archery Ambush is a high-energy high-fun form of archery that has combined the Elements of paintball, dodgeball  with the timeless skills of archery involving a Hunger-Games style start.

Not created but evolved.

Archery AmbushTM was not created but has evolved over many years into an entirely new game. Known by many names, variably as BattlezoneTM, Archery AmbushTM, Archery TagTM, Archery AttackTM, the game can be played all year round, utilising paintball masks and goggles, low-powered bows, specialist non-injuring foam-tipped arrows and inflatable structures which form part of the obstacles on the field.

Many children in the 1960s and 1970s, before the age of the video game, played variants of Archery AmbushTM, firstly with plastic arrows with rubber suckers. the arrows then evolved to have corks glued in at the ends and when our mothers still believed there was too much risk, foam was then tied around the arrows to give greater protection. By the early 1970s, it had become standard practice to use hard plastic tip covers (usually obtained

from bathroom suppliers where they were waste packaging from new toilets and sinks and used to protect tap and fixing holes). These were glued with epoxy glue to the wooden arrow shafts, (or in many cases, uncut wooden dowels) and then furniture foam disks were glued to these. In Europe, these became very common in medieval warplay and to stop the foam getting wet, and to give greater protection, vinyl covers were glued to the foam and tied to the shaft of the arrow.

These role-play arrows are sill commonly in use today although they have moved from generally home-made production to commercially made products.  By the late 1970s, these arrows were made fromfoam tubes widely used in the marine industry and had the advantages of being water-resistant. Very few original role-play arrows remain because the 1970s and 1980s foams, unlikely today’s foams,  were not stable in UV. 

The original role-play arrows remained a concern within close quarter combat as the spherical front could still injure eyes on a direct hit. This, and the fact that marine foam tubes were not spherical led to the development of the  resulted in a flat spherical shape being more common and this shape has been the predominant shape in Europe since the 1990s. Today there are numerous variants of almost exactly the same external shape, although methodologies of attachment to arrows vary, although the foam disks behind the fixing plates have invariably given way to plastic.

In today’s more litigious world, paintball masks are also used to avoid face injuries and as a result, injuries in Archery AmbushTM and its variants are almost unknown.

Games are high-intensity high-action games which at their highest are the equivalent hour for hour of moderate aerobic exercise class and which still provide, even at the lowest level of intensity a high level of exercise. Uniquely, Archery Ambush™ can be played in sports-halls, tennis courts, football fields, cricket pitches and each type of venue has a specific set of rules and procedure of play.

Locksley’s aim of incorporatingArchery Ambush™ into the school archery programme is to encourage those individuals with a negative attitude to high-energy sport. It also encourages students  into archery through the fun of Ambush Archery as well as providing a fun outlet for serious Archers. 
In a highly competitive school sports environment, it is far too easy to burn out young players from pressure and the inclusion of Archery Ambush™ is an attempt to reduce the pressure that archers feel to achieve high scores every time they shoot the bow.

Early tests on youth archers of a number of clubs indicate that the outlet of Ambush Archery™ achieves this goal. Games will be open to Archery Club members and siblings.

How safe is it?
It is much safer than dodgeball or paintball – both of which produce significant bruising and this is due to the nature of the foam used in the arrows as well as the ban on head-shots and also on shooting anyone closer than 10 feet (3m) away.

Archery Ambush™ games are inherently safe as utilising low-power beginners bows, specialist foam-tipped arrows and paintball helmets. The game is fully inclusive and can be played by able-bodied and disabled players. Archery Ambush™ is a game that can be played by people of all ages together for fun and exercise and is particularly adapted to team play.