Novelty shoot ideas

Fundraising is a key objective of clubs everywhere. The following event ideas are provided as a resource to help clubs in their fundraising efforts. It is strongly recommended that before implementing these ideas, or any other novelty event ideas, clubs carryout a risk assessment of each event. Clubs should also ensure that novelty events do not breach their State’s gaming laws or void their insurance policies.

If you have a novelty event idea that you’d like to share, send it to and be sure to include the name (if any) you’d like published as the source. A PDF version of this page can be found here

William Tell
Everyone is familiar with the William Tell story.  In this version Traditional Archers shoot from 30 metres, Bowhunters from 40 metres and Free Style would shoot from 50 yards. If the apple is cut by the arrow it is considered a William Tell and the Archer can be awarded a special William Tell patch for the achievement.

The $20 Bale
Place a $20 bill on a bale 50yrds away (or further for compounds).  For $1, two arrows can be shot in an effort to hit the $20 bill. The proceeds contribute to the prize pot. If no one has hit the target after everyone has shot, the field can be moved a little closer and charged another $1 for one shot.  Keep progressing this way until someone hits the twenty. The prize might be half the pot.

The Wheel of Fortune
A spinning wheel is set up at an appropriate distance. Attached to the wheel balloons have vouchers for local goods, services or prizes. Source prizes from local business houses. Archery gear and camping goods are always popular, as are cloth patches, T-shirts and the like. $1.00 per shot (or two shots)

The Balloon Bob
Fill balloons with helium (available from party hire businesses) and tie them to long (10metres) strings. Set up several at various distances. This is a great one for windy days when targets bob about erratically.  Balloons can be filled with tinsel or confetti so they look impressive when they burst. You can also insert very light tokens representing the prize won, tightly rolled gift vouchers redeemable at local businesses etc.

Bow Bird
The Bow bird event, using Frou Frou (or Fru Fru as it has become today) arrows is very popular and fairly dramatic visually.  You can make target discs out of 5 or more layers of cardboard glued together.   A dab of bright red paint in the centre is all that’s needed so you can separate the double hits.  A ‘launcher’ is stationed behind a robust protective barrier – a brick wall or sheet of steel plate – from where s/he tosses the discs into the air up to 4 at a time. Remember to ensure that your barrier is impervious to all arrows and bow-weights.  Unless you intend to provide them yourself, it’s also a good idea to let people know in advance that they’ll need to bring a few flou flou arrows along. You might even want to include some instructions for making them, in your event flyer.  Charge what you think is fair for a session – perhaps $2. A prize probably isn’t necessary for this kind of event.

In the Slats
You know how you’re always trying to think of a legitimate excuse to ‘rescue’ one of those wooden louver doors you’ve seen laying in your local tip?  Well here it is!

Knock out every second louver and then suspend the door on the horizontal between a couple of posts. Set it up at a height that facilitates archers of various heights. In the distance place a bullseye target or even a few tins stood on short posts. Archers are then challenged to shoot between the louvers to hit the target. This one will be popular with the compound crowd.

A Full Deck
Take a deck of cards and sell each card for $1.  Tear each card in ½, giving half to the shooter while placing the other ½ in a can. When all the cards are sold (if there’s enough interest you can sell 2 decks by having a red and blue deck to distinguish one from the other) you draw 2 cards out of the can and the shooters that own them compete head to head in some sort of speed round like clay pigeons or rolling disk.  The winner gets his card put in the round 2 can, and so on, ‘til you are down to the last 2 shooters. The ultimate winner splits the pot with the club.

The Coughing Carp
OK, settle down all you animal rights campaigners – no little fishies are harmed in this event, which takes its name from the image of Gold fish coughing on the pavement when the bag breaks on the way home from the pet shop. Anyway…..  a post is erected about 5 feet high with a crossbar about 3 feet long. A pulley system is suspended on each end of the crossbar. Now picture a string running through the pulleys so that it hangs about3 feet off the ground, to which strong spring clips are attached. A Ziplock bag half filled with water is clipped on each side. Shooters get 3 arrows and they have to hit the bag below water line. Hit above and nothing happens. Hit below the water line and one bag raises as the water pours out, while the other falls. Shooters might shoot all their arrows without a valid. The loser is the archer whose bag hits the ground first because it contains more water (and therefore weighs more) that the winner’s.

Down the Barrel
Set-up a hollow log or a length or PVC pipe at an average standing height. Make it adjustable or have lots of log-rounds, phone books or some other materials available for people of different heights to stand on.  Ensure that a target can be seen clearly at the end of the “barrel” and charge folks $1 (2 arrows?) to try their luck at hitting the target in the distance. The distance need not be great. What you are trying to do here is test your ability to concentrate on the target in the distance, blocking out all peripheral stimuli. This event can result in the destruction of an arrow or two, but it really tests the archer’s metal. If you choose to make it a competitive event, the person who hits the bull with two consecutive arrows could be given the pick of a prize table.

The Levitating Ball
This one is lots of fun, especially for the Compound Bow fraternity, and not so hard to set-up as long as you have enough power on site to run a domestic vacuum cleaner a while.  Intrigued?

Hammer a stake into the ground, leaving about 4 feet of it proud.  Now take a domestic vacuum cleaner and plug the flexible tube into the exhaust port at the rear of the cleaner. Carefully tape the tube up the length of the stake, so that its end is level with the top of the stake. Switch on the vac and place a ping-pong ball carefully in the stream of air that’s pouring out of the tube. Voila, the ping-pong ball will hover in the jet-stream some distance above the stake, dancing about, as if by magic. Charge what you think is reasonable for an attempt to nail the ping-pong ball. It is probably not a good idea to use your own vac. Second hand vacs are very inexpensive and not hard to find. You might try a note on your local community noticeboard, or have a chat to the folks at your local tip.

Materials: – Sheets of paper, each gridded with 9 blocks.  As in standard tic-tac-toe, the archer shoots, aiming to create a line across, up and down, or diagonal. This can be either a single person shooting, or a pair on a target.  If an arrow is outside the outer box, it can be reshot. If it lands in another block, it stays. The size of the tic-tac-toe grid could be made to fit different skill levels of the archers or the distance adjusted to the skill level. For higher-level compound, etc., to increase the challenge, dots could be in each of the blocks and the arrow must hit the dot to score.

Reverse Scoring
Use any concentric ringed target and reverse the point values, making the bull the least amount of points and the outer ring the most. You’d be surprised at how hard it is to hit that outer ring when you’ve trained brain to hit the Bull.

Secret Spot
Uses 20 metre, paper animal targets (e.g. rabbit).  Have someone who is not shooting draw a 5cm diameter circle in a random area of the inner kill zone of each target with a fine tipped pen.  Shooters will not be able to see where this ‘inner’ inner kill zone is from 20 metres. Award double points for the ‘secret spot’.

Lights Out
Set up a lit candle in front of a bail at 20metres.  Shooters pay 1$ per arrow to try and blow out the candle. Hitting the candle itself does not count.  It must remain standing. The whole idea is to ‘blow’ out the candle.

Smoker Round (beloved of sadists!)
The smoker round is a regular 3-D round, except the shots are all extremely difficult for various reasons, for instance: the kills cannot be seen from the shooting position (arrows must arch over obstuction) — shots must be taken from uncomfortable positions like laying down or sitting on a plank suspended by ropes (a swing) — shots where the arrow must pass thru a very small opening — shots where there is no hope of recovering an arrow (where misses will encounter rocks or the arrow will be lost for sure).  The only rules are that all shots must be makeable with a perfect arrow/shot, and that the archers are only allowed one arrow for the whole round. When an arrow is unshootable for any reason, the archer is out. Arrows can be straightened but not repaired. Bent, pointless, fletchless, should be the norm about 10 targets into the round. Every target should only be makeable with the perfect shot (I can’t stress this enough), but the shots have to be makeable.  This round could be shot by teams of two/combined scores, $10-15 entry fee with a nice prize for the winners. The ‘Masterclass’ will love the challenge!

Arrow Shredder
Cut out a small (Hog) deer target out of 3/8″ steel plate. In the usual kill zone cut out a lung shaped hole. Weld 2 stakes onto the bottom so you can push it into the ground to hold it upright. Place it in front of a hay bale or bag target and take turns trying to shoot through the kill zone. Now you no why I call it the arrow shredder! If you’re having an off day it gets expensive!

If you build it, they will come, and and believe me they won’t be able to resist SSSHHHRRedding some shafts!

Balloon ‘Lottery’
Money shoots are always popular. Put a few bills inside balloons amongst a lot of empties scattered around a shooting lane…a few $5s, a $10 and a $20 if the number of shooters makes it feasible. Charge $2 an arrow. Winner gets the amount in the balloon they burst. It’s important to limit this event to one archer at a time, if arguments are to be avoided.

The Chrony-Pot
Everyone wants to know how fast their bow shoots.  If your club doesn’t own a chronograph, put out the feelers amongst your members or your local gun clubs to see if they have one you can use for the day. Set it up on the practice butts and charge the punters $2 to see how fast their arrows fly. If you have a maths boffin handy you can even charge them another $1 to interpret speed and arrow-weight in kinetic energy (impact) at varies distances.

For this one you need some plastic PVC pipe (about ten feet of it), a mousetrap (BIG rat traps are better), a couple blocks of wood, a golf ball, a deck of playing cards, a rag-bag target, some string, and a safety pin.

Pin the playing card to the target. Tie the pin to the bail on the rat trap.

Drop a golf ball in the PVC pipe, and then draw and shoot the playing card on the target before the ball rolls down the pipe, triggers the trap which yanks the pin and the card off the bag. It’s magic!

The ‘V’ Shoot
Draw two converging lines on a piece of paper. The arrow closest to the bottom of the “V” without going outside it, wins. A knockout round may be necessary, but that’s just good for the suspense factor!

The William Tell
Get a cheap foam wig stand (hairdressers have them) and a wig – the more outrageous the better! – and put an apple on it’s head. Small crab apples for Compounds; Big Cookers for kids. The first to skewer an apple wins.  If you get a head shot – you’re out!

Hanging prize (one for the kids)
Get some strips of paper and hang some chocolates at the end. When there are enough holes in the paper, the chocolate will fall. You may want to give the paper some tears to start with.

Speed Shoot
To finish a serious session with a bit of fun have a speed shoot in teams! Two teams, ready to come to the line one at a time, with three arrows each. Move the butts a bit further back than you’ve been shooting. On the whistle the first player from each team starts shooting. The second player comes to the line and starts shooting as soon as the first is finished, and so on. Have a Marshal next to each shooter – for every arrow that hits the butt (or make it a smaller target, if they’re good!) stop the other team for a count of five. So the question becomes, is it better to get my arrows off quickly regardless of where they go, or is it better to be more accurate and stop the other guy.

Blackhawk Down
This one is more suited to large events, especially those with very competitive archers who might need a challenge. Consequently, this is an event that should be well publicised prior to the big day, in your event flyer for instance.  Believe it or not, these days remote control model helicopters can be purchased on eBay for as little as $25.  Fly one over a field and invite the “Master Class” among shooters to try and bring the chopper down. You’ll want to charge about $5 a shot for this one, but you’ll find the latent Rambos in your midst drawn to it like moths to a flame!

Extreme Archery event ideas (watch this space)