The other day I decided to channel my inner Green Arrow, and decided to take a friend up on his offer of heading to archery tag with him. What is archery tag? Think a cross between paintball and dodge ball, but using a bow and arrow instead. Like in paintball, the only protection you absolutely need is a face mask, although long sleeves and/or possibly a forearm guard may not be a bad idea (I wore both but took the guard off after a game or two – the sting of the bowstring hitting your arm isn’t as bad during a game as you’d think, so long as you’re holding the bow correctly).
I haven’t shot a bow in more than twenty years, and even that was only for an afternoon during a 6th grade trip, but it’s surprisingly easy to pick it back up and loose a few arrows. Hitting a target is altogether a different matter, but the act of try was incredibly fun.
Especially when the target was trying to shoot you back.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that while the act of firing (or nocking, drawing, and releasing to use the proper terminology) an arrow was pretty easy, actually hitting something you were deliberately aiming at was a lot harder than Stephen Amell makes it look on TV, but a whole lot more fun. Even getting hit wasn’t as bad as you’d expect (I even caught an arrow in the eye, which pushed the mask against my face. It probably looked pretty bad, but there was no bruising or anything the following day, and it didn’t hurt as much as people expected it would).
If you’ve ever played paintball, or dodgeball, then you have a pretty good idea of what to expect with this game. The version we played was on an indoor soccer complex (complete with friction burn giving fake turf) with blow up obstacles with each team staying in their designated area, presumably to avoid point blank arrows to the body (I could be wrong – I didn’t ask why), which resulted in arrows flying through the sky for some pretty fantastic and rewarding hits.
To say that the game was fun would be somewhat of an understatement. Was I sore afterwards? Absolutely. But not because the arrows hurt when they hit you, but because I’m not used to running around ducking and dodging said arrows.
Next week, I expect I’ll be just as sore.