National Archery Day

National Archery Day is a holiday that falls on the second Saturday in May. It’s a day that recognizes archery in all of its forms. Archery is one of the oldest sports in existence and is at least 4,800+ years old. Although archery has only sporadically appeared as an official event for the Olympics during the first part of the 20th century, it did become a permanent addition to the Olympics in 1972. The last few years have seen an increase in the popularity of this sport, which is why a holiday has been created in its honor

The History Of National Archery Day

National Archery Day first became a holiday in 2015. This holiday was invented by the National Archery In The Schools Program in 2015. Since this organization generally has a tournament during the second Saturday in May, the holiday was placed on the calendar to coincide with that event. 

The History Of Archery

Archery is a sport that’s been around for a long time. Historians estimate that it was first invented sometime during the Upper Paleolithic Period—or maybe even earlier. The Upper Paleolithic Period covers a time frame that covers from 12,000 years ago all the way to 50,000 years. Regardless of when it was first invented, it became an important part of hunting and the military. It was used for subsistence hunting and also became a major part of most of the world’s militaries. 

Bows use by the military began to decline during the latter portion of the Middle Ages, thanks to the advent of early firearms. Although firearms of the 17th century were inferior in the fire rate of bows, their continued popularity eventually led to the decline of archery for military use. 

Facts About Archery

As we did the research for this holiday, we came across some interesting facts about archery and bows. Facts that we just couldn’t wait to share with everyone. Below are the facts that we’ve found and that we think our readers will find interesting. 

  • The Olympic recurve bow is based on a design that dates back to 1,500 BC.
  • Archery is the national sport of Bhutan.
  • Archery was the only sport women could compete in during the 1904 Olympics in St.Louis, Mo.
  • During the reign of Henry VIII, every healthy man in the country had to practice archery after church on Sundays to keep their archery skills in good shape. 
  • During the Battle Of Crecy in 1346, English longbowmen killed almost 2,000 French knights.
  • An arrow that’s released during competition can travel at a speed of about 150 miles per hour.

Observing National Archery Day

National Archery Day can be easily observed by seeking out archery programs and learning more about the sport. It’s a great day to begin your journey to mastering the bow, or going to tournaments if you are already proficient with it. And while you’re observing this holiday, be sure to use the hashtag #NationalArcheryDay to encourage other people to participate in this holiday. 

When is it?
This year (2023)
May 13 Saturday
Next year (2024)
May 11 Saturday
Last year (2022)
May 14 Saturday