International Paralympic competition is governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) which follows the World Archery rules. In the United States, the national governing body of Paralympic archery is USA Archery.
As of April 1, 2014 the international classification rules for Para-archery will be changed to reflect the following statement:
“World Archery, in full agreement with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), has clearly stated that the Paralympic Games and World Archery Para-Championships should not be for anyone who has a physical impairment, but for those athletes with an impairment where the impairment has a direct and important impact on the archery performance. “ – International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
There are two main types of bows used in Para-archery. A Recurve bow has tips that curve away from the archer with the string touching a section of the bow. A Recurve bow typically transfers energy more efficiently providing for a greater amount of speed for the arrow. A Compound bow on the other hand uses a system of pulleys and cables to bend the limbs requiring less force from the archer. This allows the archer to hold the string at a full draw position for a longer period of time than with the Recurve bow allowing for less strenuous aiming particularly when shooting multiple times in a row.
Other pieces of archery equipment include arrows, fletching, string, release aids and stabilizers. A release aids allows in assisting the archer to release the bow. These aids can be used by the archers hand or mouth. A stabilizer is a counter weight used to stabilize the bow which in turn helps to decrease movement on the release improving accuracy.