Target sports are the most difficult categories of sports that exists in this wonderful and dynamic world These type of sports demands a lot of physical and mental concentration. In return, it provides us with innumerable health benefits.
The main traits of these sports are concentration, discipline, focus and patience. The object that is used to aim and shoot at the target should be balanced accurately and precisely from all sides. We need to maintain a fine body posture and look straight only on the target without losing concentration. So many rules to be followed while playing, isn’t it? Therefore, it is absolutely true that when we manage to shoot at the target accurately, it makes us erupt in joy and we feel like an achiever. It gives us a heavenly perception of happiness and self-confidence.
There are a number of target sports for you to enjoy.
This sport accompanies the use of a bow and arrow to shoot a required target. It is the oldest form of target sports that dates back to the Stone Age around 20000 BC. However, there are records of ancient Egyptians who used archery for hunting around 2800 BC and they depended on this sport for their survival. The bow used by them was made from wood and animal horn and held together with animal sinew and glue. The bowstring made from sheep intestines required two people to string it. After the Egyptians, the Persians, Greeks and Romans started adopting archery as their sports. In Asia, archery was first introduced in China during the reign of the Shang dynasty who ruled from 1766 to 1027 BC. Archery was instigated in Europe during the Middle Ages and after that it became a royal sport of great fondness for royal dynasties. In 1900, archery became an official sport of the Olympics. In modern times, bows and arrows are made of fibreglass, carbon fibres, laminated wood etc and the bowstrings are made with fibres like dacron, kevlar and nylon. There are many types of bows of different shapes. Nowadays finger protection gears such as gloves are used by archers while playing. For playing archery as a sport in the Olympics, the players should maintain a distance of 70 metres from the target. The circular target measures 122 cm in diameter containing 10 concentric rings that represents different scoring sections. In Olympics, a player must shoot 72 arrows in 12 phases. If an arrow hits the innermost ring of the target board, the score will be 10 and if it hits the outermost ring, the score will be 1. So the points are given according to the position of the arrow in the target board.
In this type of sport, small missiles are shot on a circular dartboard that is fixed on a wall. The game of darts originated during the rule of King Henry VIII of England. It is said that he urged his soldiers to practice archery regularly. However, some soldiers started throwing their arrows to the target sans the bow as a means of fun. Soon this practice became popular and most people decided to practice this sport indoors. So they shortened the arrows and decided to play indoors. As time passed, it became a regular pub sport and overturned wine barrels were used as targets. But later as the barrels became limited, one person decided to use the concentric age rings of a tree as a target for shooting darts. Taking a leaf from this idea, Brian Gamlin, a carpenter from Lancashire in England invented the modern dartboard in 1896. After the end of the First World War, darts became a hugely popular sport and many people frequent the pubs to play darts and even competitions were held. The dartboard is fixed on the wall at a height of 1.73 metres from the ground .The player must throw the missile from a distance of 2.37 metres from the dartboard which is the target. The dartboard consists of 20 concentric rings and the player who is able to throw a missile at the innermost circle score the highest point which is 20.
Pistols were supposed to be made in the 16th century. It is believed that pistols are derived from the name of Pistoia, a city in Italy. The pistol with the revolving cartridge was invented by Samuel Colt, an American industrialist. In the Olympics, pistol shooting events are held for men, women and for mixed teams in categories of 10 metres and 25 metres. In 25 metres pistol shooting, a player needs to shoot at a distance of 25 metres from the target in standing position with a 1.4 kg pistol having a length of 5.6 millimetres. . The circular target is fixed at 1.4 metres above the ground. Similarly, in 10 metres air pistol, players shoot at a distance of 10 metres from the target and the type of equipments used are same as that used in 25 metres pistol shooting.
Rifles are the modernized versions of muskets that were first made in the 15th century. Muskets produced a lot of smoke and soot when fired and require proper maintenance and cleaning and cannot fire quite accurate shots. The rifle was first invented in Kentucky, United States in the 18th century and can be used for shooting accurately without production of any smoke and soot . Rifles are needed to be hold with both hands and pistols can be hold with only one hand. In Olympics, rifle shooting in categories of 10 metres and 50 metres are held for men, women and in mixed teams. For the 50 metres rifle shooting category, the player can shoot the target by keeping a distance of 50 metres from the target in either kneeling, standing or prone positions. However for the 10 metres rifle shooting event, the players need to shot in a standing position only and maintaining a distance of 10 metres from the target. The targets are positioned at 0.75 metres and 1`.40 metres for the 50 metres and 10 metres categories of rifle shooting respectively. The weights of the rifles vary from 5.5 kg to 6.5 kg .
CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING
In this sport, clay saucers are flung into the air and they are hit with a shotgun. It originated in England during the 18th century when hunters used to shoot pigeons released from cages but this practice was stopped during the 19th century and clay pigeons were made to practice this sport. It is also known as trap shooting or down the line shooting. Skeet shooting is quite similar to clay pigeon shooting. Skeet and trap shooting have been introduced as an Olympic sport in the category of shotgun shooting. In skeet shooting, players have to shoot on eight different stations to hit orange clay targets thrown from two houses at the left and right end of the range known as high house and low house respectively. The targets thrown from the left house are known as marks and those from the right house are called pull. In trap shooting, players have to shoot on five different stations to hit orange clay targets thrown from a trap located in front of them.
Thus, target sports are not only about hitting targets but also about undergoing training to develop physically and mentally, thereby helping a person to establish a good and strong personality.
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