Don’t nock it till you try it

Archery Games fling into Cal­gary

Metro Canada (Calgary) - - YOUR ESSENTIAL DAILY NEWS - Aaron chatha Metro | Cal­gary

I used to be an ad­ven­turer like you, then I took an ar­row to the knee at the Cal­gary Archery Games.

And it’s not a love tap ei­ther — it’s like a high ve­loc­ity dodge ball whistling through the air. Cupid’s ar­row this ain’t.

Now of­fi­cially open, the Archery Games present a very fa­mil­iar set up: two teams set up on ei­ther side of the court, armed with a bow, with a pile of ar­rows in the cen­tre.

The game then plays out very sim­i­lar to dodge ball, but with a bow and ar­row. Ev­ery­one runs to the mid­dle to grab an ar­row, nock it back and try to hit some­one on the other team to take them out of the game.

The ar­rows are fit­ted with foam tips, and hon­estly dur­ing the game the Metro team played, you can feel the im­pact of an ar­row, but it’s softer than a dodge ball. Metro writer Helen Pike took an ar­row to the neck and shrugged it off.

The bows are fun to shoot, but def­i­nitely take some prac­tice, es­pe­cially learn­ing to set your ar­row prop­erly in the mid­dle of a game.

We played two vs. two and three vs. three, but the arena can ac­com­mo­date as high as 10 vs. 10.

There are a cou­ple of game modes, too. There’s stan­dard elim­i­na­tion, there’s a mode called medic where one player has a shield in­stead of a bow and can re­vive fallen team mem­bers, and a fire­ball mode that in­cludes an ac­tual dodge ball.

One of my favourite modes was called zom­bie, where if you hit some­one they must join your team, un­til it comes down to a gi­ant group on one side tar­get­ing one player on the other.

Mostly, it just keeps peo­ple in the game.

The av­er­age game length is only a few min­utes, so you’ll get in a ton of ses­sions just by play­ing for an hour. It’s a good thing too, be­cause it’s much more phys­i­cally de­mand­ing than it looks.

Truth be told, I was hit more than I ac­tu­ally hit any­one else, but even still, the game was still ridicu­lously thrilling. While some dive for cover, hid­ing be­hind gi­ant bean bags, it’s ex­hil­a­rat­ing to take a risk, stare and archer down, and dodge a vol­ley of shots un­til you can pull your own off.

Set your tar­gets at www.archerygamescal­

AAron ChAthA/Metro

The Archery Games

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