The Antient Silver Arrow – The Scorton Arrow

Once described as ‘The Daddy of all Sporting Fixtures’; The Antient Silver Arrow, is the World’s longest established and oldest recorded sporting event, dating back to 1673 and first shot for in Scorton Village, North Yorkshire.

The Society of Archers was formed at the first meeting of the Antient Silver Arrow Competition in 1673, for the purpose; to maintain Target Archery, the skill of which was largely in decline following the English Civil War.

The competition has continued annually since 1673 (except in periods of various Wars) and celebrated its tri-centenary shoot in 2008 with guest of honour The Rt Honourable William Hague MP.

The competition is open to any Gentleman Archer aged over 21 shooting in the Long Bow or any other bare bow and, since 1947, the Recurve Bow which was allowed to enter due to timber shortage and rationing in the UK following the war. Modern Compound bows are not permitted to take part.

The winner is the first gentleman to hit the 3 inch centre Black Spot (introduced in 1951 and first hit by Frank Newbould, Captain 1951 – previously it was just the Gold) at 100 yards and becomes ‘Captain of the Arrow’ and takes on the responsibility to arrange the next years meeting. Assisted by a Lieutenant, which is awarded to the first gentleman to hit the Red.

Entry in to the Competition automatically bestows the privilege to become a Member of the Society of Archers and to dine with the Captain and other members at the annual Luncheon. A blazer or jacket and tie must be worn during the luncheon and the AGM that follows (a Society Tie is available for purchase on the day).

It is fair to say that many gentleman archers attend ‘the Scorton’ for the sense of the occasion – an experience that has seen some members attending continually for over 60 years and others travelling from as far afield as the America’s and Australia (countries even younger than our competition!) to renew the bond of friendship and sport between gentlemen at this most antient and unique event.

It is one of the few sporting fixtures where the competitor is at his own honour to mark his own score card, to be able to enjoy and share a drink on the field of play but where or unseemly behavior, such as cursing* would result in an immediate fine of up to one whole pound and the consternation of the judges who decision is final and without appeal. Proceeds of the ‘swear bag’ are given to a local charity incidentally.

(* Rumour has it that the Football Association are look are looking in to a similar rule for football players – though this is yet unconfirmed – or no it’s not – see FAQ!)

If this sounds like your kind of event – we would be delighted to welcome you to World’s longest established and oldest recorded sporting event – The Antient Silver Arrow.

The Antient Silver Arrow Tournament 2023
The 314th Recorded Meeting in the 351st year of The Society of Archers’
Antient Silver Arrow Tournament took place at Harrogate RUFC on Saturday 20th May 2023.

The Antient Silver Arrow