What is a Robin Hood in Archery? Quick Explanation

What is a Robin Hood in Archery? Quick Explanation

Welcome to this fascinating exploration of an intriguing term in the world of archery: “Robin Hood.”

At first glance, you might assume this term simply refers to the legendary English outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor while displaying exceptional archery skills.

However, the phrase “Robin Hood” has taken on a specific meaning within the archery community that is both unique and compelling. In this article, we will dive into the origins, significance, and context of the term “Robin Hood” in archery, offering a quick and comprehensive explanation for those eager to learn more about this curious expression.

So grab your bows and arrows, and let's embark on an exciting journey into the realm of archery lingo.

The Legend of Robin Hood and Its Connection to Archery

The legend of Robin Hood, an iconic figure in English folklore, has captivated audiences for centuries with its tales of adventure, romance, and rebellion. As a master archer, Robin Hood's exceptional skills with the bow and arrow have become synonymous with the sport of archery itself.

Robin Hood was said to reside in Sherwood Forest, leading a band of outlaws known as the Merry Men. He fought against injustice and tyranny, targeting the corrupt and oppressive ruling class. At the heart of the legend lies the idea of taking from the rich to give to the poor, embodying the spirit of a champion for the common people.

The connection between Robin Hood and archery is inseparable. His legendary prowess with the bow allowed him to triumph over his adversaries and achieve near-mythical status. The tale of Robin Hood's participation in an archery contest, where he famously split the arrow of his opponent, has become a hallmark of his character.

This strong association has left an indelible mark on the world of archery. The term “Robin Hood” is now used within the sport to describe a rare and impressive feat where an archer shoots an arrow so accurately that it lands directly in the nock of a previously shot arrow, effectively splitting it. This remarkable accomplishment pays homage to the legendary archer and keeps the spirit of Robin Hood alive within the archery community.

Definition of a Robin Hood in Archery

In archery, a “Robin Hood” refers to an exceptional and rare occurrence where an archer shoots an arrow with such precision that it lands directly in the nock (the rear, slotted end of the arrow) of a previously shot arrow, essentially splitting or embedding itself in the first arrow.

This impressive feat is named after the legendary English archer and outlaw Robin Hood, who is famously said to have split his opponent's arrow in an archery contest, showcasing his unrivaled skill with the bow.

Achieving a Robin Hood in archery is considered a testament to an archer's accuracy, skill, and consistency, as it requires hitting the exact same spot on the target with two consecutive shots, often from a significant distance.

While it is a remarkable accomplishment, it can also be an expensive one, as the force of the second arrow may damage or destroy the first arrow.

Nevertheless, a Robin Hood remains an esteemed event in the sport, demonstrating an archer's prowess and mastery of their craft.

The Rarity and Significance of a Robin Hood Shot

A Robin Hood shot is an extremely rare and impressive event in the world of archery. The sheer precision and consistency required to execute such a shot makes it a noteworthy accomplishment.

The rarity of a Robin Hood can be attributed to the many variables in play during archery, such as distance, wind, and the archer's form.

To achieve a Robin Hood, an archer must not only have exceptional skill but also a fair bit of luck.

The significance of a Robin Hood shot lies in its demonstration of an archer's mastery over their bow and arrow.

It showcases their ability to maintain a high level of consistency and accuracy, often under challenging conditions.

As such, it remains a highly respected and revered feat within the archery community.

The Impact of a Robin Hood on Scoring and Equipment

In competitive archery, a Robin Hood shot can have varying effects on scoring, depending on the specific rules of the competition.

In some cases, the second arrow may be scored as if it had hit the same scoring zone as the first arrow. In other instances, the second arrow might not be counted at all, as it did not strike the target face independently.

The impact on scoring may also be subject to the judgment of a line judge or range official.

When it comes to equipment, a Robin Hood shot can be both awe-inspiring and costly. The force of the second arrow striking the first can cause significant damage, often rendering the first arrow unusable.

Famous Robin Hood Shots in Archery History

While Robin Hood shots are rare and impressive, a few instances stand out in archery history, showcasing the incredible skill and precision of the archers involved. Here are some famous Robin Hood shots:

  1. Byron Ferguson's Aerial Robin Hood:
  2. Byron Ferguson, a world-renowned exhibition shooter, has performed various impressive shots throughout his career. In one of his most famous feats, Ferguson managed to hit an airborne target with an arrow, and then, while the target was still in the air, hit the first arrow's nock with a second arrow, splitting it in half. This incredible display of skill and accuracy has been celebrated by archery enthusiasts worldwide.
  3. Matt Stutzman's Paralympic Robin Hood:
  4. Matt Stutzman, known as the “Armless Archer,” is an accomplished Paralympic archer who holds multiple records. Despite being born without arms, Stutzman uses his feet and mouth to shoot arrows with incredible precision. During the 2012 London Paralympics, he shot a Robin Hood during a practice session, further proving his incredible skill and determination.
  5. Lars Andersen's Rapid-Fire Robin Hood:
  6. Lars Andersen, a Danish archer, has gained popularity for his impressive speed-shooting skills. In one of his viral videos, Andersen managed to shoot a Robin Hood while rapidly firing arrows in quick succession, showcasing his remarkable accuracy and control even under immense speed.
  7. Howard Hill's Legendary Robin Hood:
  8. Howard Hill, often referred to as the “World's Greatest Archer,” was known for his incredible shooting abilities. In the 1938 film “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” Hill performed a Robin Hood shot for the archery contest scene. This moment has since become iconic and has inspired countless archers to strive for their own Robin Hood shot.

These famous Robin Hood shots not only highlight the exceptional skill and accuracy of the archers involved but also serve as inspiration for aspiring archers to continue honing their craft and pursuing their own remarkable accomplishments.


In conclusion, the term “Robin Hood” in archery refers to an extraordinary and rare event where an archer shoots an arrow with such precision that it lands directly in the nock of a previously shot arrow, effectively splitting it.

This feat is named after the legendary English archer Robin Hood, who was renowned for his unparalleled skill with the bow and arrow.

Achieving a Robin Hood is a testament to an archer's accuracy, skill, and consistency, and is considered a remarkable accomplishment within the sport.

While Robin Hood shots are rare, they hold great significance as they showcase an archer's mastery over their equipment and highlight their dedication to the sport.

Despite the potential impact on scoring and equipment, a Robin Hood remains an esteemed event, inspiring both professional and amateur archers alike to strive for greater accuracy and precision in their pursuit of archery excellence.