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Are Compound Bows Allowed in The Olympics?

‘Are compound bows allowed in the Olympics?’ This has now become a common question amongst archers.

The answer is "no." Compound bows aren't allowed in the Olympics yet. Despite several attempts, they were unable to incorporate this due to technical differences and accessibility issues.

Although many other popular archery competitions now allow multiple Archery styles. These incidents are creating more and more questions among compound bow shooters.

The first attempt to make compound archery an Olympic event is in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The IOC then decides that recurve archery and compound archery are too similar.

Then it was in discussion again at the London Olympics 2012. They thought then to add compound archery at Rio 2016 Olympics. There were many issues at Rio Olympics.

The IOC then thought to add mixed teams for Tokyo 2020 Olympics. They cannot add compound archery to the Olympics yet, because there are some issues still with it.

If the international Olympic committee wants(IOC) to add a new event to its curriculums, it must differ from the other Olympic Games. "We have recurved archery in the Olympics now. It differs from Compound Archery."

Dissimilar rules and point systems are used in different countries to judge compound archery and recurve archery.

In compound archery, there is a six-ring target with a 40-centimeter radius, where archers shoot from almost 164 feet away.

Whereas, in recurve archery, there is a ten-ring target with a 61-centimeter radius. Recurve archers need to shoot the target from almost 230 feet away.

The IOC also evaluates before adding any events to the Olympics: it is the athletes, and their hard work, scoring points, and setting new records. Not their modern pieces of equipment.

Technical Differences Between Compound and Recurve Bow

The argument of compound vs recurve makes the distinction. Technology is the crucial difference between compound bow shooters and recurves bow shooters.

Compound bows have magnified scope. It also has a mechanical release aid. This mechanical aid helps to draw some weight from the bow.

But recurve bows have nothing of this sort. It is more about physical strength. The string needs to be pulled back and held while aiming recurve bow and then shot the arrow.

These technologies on compound bow make compound archery more focused on shooting accuracy.

Recurve bows need the entire performance, accuracy, and physical strength all.

Is Compound Bow Accessible to Everyone?

Although the greatest obstacle compound archery might face is accessibility. According to IOC, any new Olympic event must have inclusive quality. The entire world must be able to take part.

Compound archery is more prominent in the western world and Europe. In Asia, Africa, and Australia, the technology required for compound archery is costly and not available. It will put Asians, Africans, and Australians at a disadvantage.

Americans and Europeans will have a competitive edge over this. They will have a bigger pool of compound bow shooters readily available for the Olympics.


Although the IOC is still in a dilemma in adding a compound bow to the Olympics, you can still practice with both kinds. Compound bow and recurve bow have their differences, but both of them have their charm.

So, if you are questioning, "Are compound bows allowed in the Olympics?" and should you practice archery with a compound bow, we will say, as of now practice with recurve bow. And hopefully, IOC will include a compound bow real soon.

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