One of the immediate highlights of my European Amazing Race experience of darting across Europe and trying unique activities was Archery! Archery had long been on my bucket-list – even before the popularity of Katniss in the Hunger Games, I enjoyed choosing the Archer role when I played RPG computer games (Diablo, anyone?). How cool was it to shoot and be totally badass from a distance? I also thought Legolas from Lord of the Rings had the best fight scenes!
Through Competitours, I not only got to shoot a bow and arrow towards a target, but also at people! Oh yes, archery tag is real and alive.
And, the folks in my very own backyard at 6 Pack Indoor Beach were the first to introduce it to Vancouver!
While in IJmuiden, Netherlands, us Competitours only got a tiny taste of shooting for a brief target practice:
So – I was really excited to organize a full-on 90 minutes of intense archery fun for Eric’s birthday.
There can be different variations of archery tag and many games that one can play.
Archery Tag Variations
- Dodgeball style – two teams are pitted against one another and you are confined to your side of the court. You keep shooting until no one is left standing on the other team, or under a set time, you determine the winner by who has more players standing.* caveat #1 – if you hit some targets, you can bring back ousted players back into the game!
* caveat #2 – if you catch an arrow, you can bring back a player
- Doctor – there is a designated doctor on the field who can revive injured players and carries a shield. He/she is the only one allowed to actually throw arrows with their hand! Clearly, the goal is to get the doctor out!
- Hunger Games! – Everyone for themselves! You have 3 lives, and after being shot 3 times, you’re out. Alliances although not encouraged, were formed nonetheless!
- Zombie Apocalypse – we didn’t get to this one, but it had something to do with infecting others 🙂
Over 20 eager participants showed up on a Sunday morning, although only a minimum of 8 players are needed to secure a private playing area.
Archery Tag – GO!
The boys warmed up with some beach volleyball, as this is 6 Pack’s more popular activity.
Our referee for the day, Jordan, introduced himself and some simple tips and rules and then gave us some time for target practice:
- He suggested wearing an arm band to prevent the bow burn, or trying to bend your elbow slightly to avoid having the string snap against your arm upon release of the arrow.
- We practiced aiming at targets on the wall and then also at the birthday man, who was able to verify that the marshmallow tips weren’t that painful! ( I felt awful though, that as a birthday present I organized all these people to shoot at him!)
- Remember though, that in the games, you are aiming at moving people.
- Look for people that aren’t paying attention, as easy shots.
- Remember to watch out for others!
- Hit the targets to bring people back into the game (only in some variations of the game: eg. dodgeball variation).
- Use the props to your advantage (hide behind them, use as a decoy)
Jordan was a wonderful referee who kept us honest and shouted out when people got hit. He also instructed the teams on when they could bring “hit” team members back into play. He kept everyone motivated and encouraged.
By the end of few rounds, people were sweating profusely!
Jordan advised us all to grab some water (there’s a tiki bar – Chris ordered a smoothie) and also, to hold onto our masks, as we probably didn’t want to wear someone else’s sweaty helmet!
A few people chose to sit out a few rounds and remarked that this was sweatier than they imagined!
Another tip: Bring a change of clothes and towels!
Now – to organize a game for yourself!
- There are drop-in nights, otherwise, arrange for anywhere between 8 – 24 players and you can book your own private time!
- The cost is $25/person and includes 90 minutes of play and your very own referee. The gang was really accommodating and let us play a bit over time since we didn’t have a group booked in after us.
- This arena is located in Richmond on Mitchell Island, but they also have the option of setting up off-site. (Would be pretty rad to play in Stanley Park and dodge behind trees!)
This was a really fun way for a group of friends to try a new activity and get that adrenaline going! Also perfect for team-building and organized work functions.
Book today and let them know I said Hi 🙂
View the full gallery of Archery Tag Photos on my Flickr Album here.
Some more inspiration for other fun group activity ideas that I’ve tried around Vancouver (and dragged friends along to) include:
What should be next on my list? Let me know in the comments!