Field Captain's Role and Responsibilities
The Archery GB Rules of Shooting (section 305) state that ‘at all times, whenever shooting takes place, it must be under the control of a Field Captain.’
This means that, even when a couple of archers are shooting, one person must be nominated as the Field Captain. During larger shoots (club nights or rounds), only a coach or trained Field Captain can take on the role due to the increased risks involved with larger numbers of archers.
Field Captains take overall responsibility for the safe conduct of archery, whether at a practice session, a club night or at a club round. They should have a good understanding of the Archery GB Rules of Shooting, the Club’s constitution and the Club’s rules. We will hold Field Captain training sessions as and when required.
If a Field Captain has to leave the range for any reason, they should nominate another Field Captain for the duration of their absence and notify the archers of the change. The new Field Captain must also be competent to perform the role.
Field Captains are responsible for:
- The overall safety of the shoot.
- Ensuring that the Archery GB Rules of Shooting and club rules are followed.
- Ensuring that the ropes and signs are put out in accordance to the club rules before shooting takes place.
- Ensuring that any non-archers present also abide by any relevant rules of shooting. If they wish to walk to the targets (i.e. cross the shooting line when shooting has finished) the Field Captain must ensure they are wearing suitable footwear and that no running takes place on the range.
Controlling the shooting. To achieve this, the Field Captain will:
- Ensure that all archers know who is acting as Field Captain and that they are responsible for the safety of the shoot.
- Assign archers to targets and ensure shooting takes place in a maximum of two details with no more than two people on each detail (unless the targets have been rearranged to allow safe space for three archers on the line).
- Pay close attention to the shooting line and safety boundaries at all times whilst shooting is in progress. (If the Field Captain is also shooting, there should be another member who is qualified as a Field Captain to perform this function whilst the Field Captain is shooting.)
- Ensure that they are the last person to cross the shooting line after scoring each end, making sure that there is nobody still on the range (including checking behind targets).
- Blow the whistle (or ring the bell) in accordance with the Archery GB Rules of Shooting to signify start of shooting (one blast) and collection of arrows (three blasts). If only two or three archers are present, voice commands can be used in lieu of the whistle.
- During club rounds, ensuring a smooth and relaxed shoot by:
- Agreeing comfort breaks before sighters and/or at distance changes and enforcing restart times.
- Allowing sufficient time to search for lost arrows including searching between subsequent ends, as appropriate, in order to keep the shoot moving.
- Although all archers are responsible for observing range safety and noting any potential hazards or dangers, particularly cricketers, dog walkers and their dogs, footballers etc., ultimate responsibility lies with the Field Captain.
- A call of ‘FAST’ can and should be used by any archer to stop shooting in an emergency, and archers will remove arrows from their bows and wait whilst a hazard is removed from the range. The Field Captain will ensure compliance with this rule and check the range for safety when the emergency has passed before giving the instruction for shooting to recommence.
- Recording any accidents or incidents as appropriate and reporting them to the Club secretary at the earliest opportunity. Incident report forms are stored in the plastic container in the green box on the main range.
After shooting has finished, ensuring that:
- Any lost arrows are searched for and, if not found, that details are entered into the Lost Arrow book (which is kept in the plastic container in the green box on the main range) and that the Equipment Officer is notified of the loss at the earliest opportunity.
- Equipment is put away so that nothing is left on the field (stanchions etc.). All archers should volunteer to take down the target they have been shooting at.
So, the role of the Field Captain is much more than simply blowing a whistle! Given the level of concentration and the increasing use of the back range on club nights, it is becoming more important for the club to have a number of responsible, trained Field Captains, so that it is not always the same people taking on the task. If you are interested in becoming a trained FC, just let Neil know, and he will organise a training session.