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Guest appearance at Anime North 2017!

Anime North (May 26th to 28th) is right around the corner, and we are pleased to say that we have once again been invited to have our own space since we were such a huge success last year. Ours was indeed one of the biggest attractions at the event, and we intend to keep that status this year as well. Combat archery tag has been on a steady rise since it came to be a few years ago, and we are proud to be the top facility of the regions in and out of Toronto.

Some of you may be wondering: what on Earth is Anime North? Well, to give you a small idea, Anime North is in fact a convention that celebrates Japanese culture in close to every way, shape and form. Primarily, anime, manga, music, and games are most heavily featured, along with numerous guest appearances from people who are somewhat influential in that scene.

One of the best features in my opinion, at any convention, is the cosplaying. No matter your preference of genre, your ability at creating costumes (or simply buying one), or even how resembling you are to the actual character, none of that matters. There’s an implied understanding that any and all cosplay is awesome, and that’s the end of it. Some people take it even a step further, and actually want to learn the style of fighting different weapons require, or simply want to get absorbed in a world outside of their own. That’s where we come in.

Archers Arena offers not only the obvious bow-wielding experience through target shooting and combat archery tag, but we also have our own larping (live action role-playing) system through Champions Arena. We allow these people who want to explore new and exciting worlds a very real way to do just so. From bows and arrows, to dual-wielding swords, sword and shield, or even katanas (and maybe some lightsabers), we have what it takes to make your experience personable, memorable, and unique to you.

Everyone I know of has his or her own entry point to archery; whether it’s an actual person, a character, or even a game. Personally, The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time was my gateway to loving archery (and horseback riding, but that’s another story), as well as my huge crush for Legolas and the elves in The Lord of the Rings. Simply because they were just so damn cool. My point being that everything we see or watch influences our likes and dislikes, and the fact that archery is represented in such a bad-ass way through so many mediums only enhances one’s experience when they come and play at Archers Arena; seeing as regular people can let themselves become their own hero from their own story.

Tournament Results!

March 26th saw another combat archery tag tournament being held at Archers Arena, and once again, it proved to be a success. Our pool of competitive battle archery players keeps growing and the results of this tournament were extremely close. Our plan of splitting up old, dominating archery dodgeball teams (Blood Bath and Beyond, and Wetshots) ended up being an interesting factor for every team, but especially for the players that were always used to playing together. Facing their old teammates was “really cool and fascinating” as one of them later mentioned to me.

What was fascinating in my eyes was how differently they ended up playing among new players. Not only did they have to gage their new teams’ strengths and weaknesses, they also had to remember those of their buddies so they could exploit what information they had on them. It was a beautiful coming together of old and new discussing strategy and forging plays in order to win a match.

Furthermore, this time around we limited our archery dodgeball tournament to 6 teams, allowing rematches to better gage not only endurance, but how well players and teams evolve together. This new system was definitely a favourite for many players, along with a new twist changing team count from 6 to 5, creating a whole new level of intensity in gameplay. Each arrow fired had to count, and strategies were evolving with every round.

Some other highlights include:

- Shooting arrows at our brand new red ducks for target practice in our range to keep both mind and body warm and ready to go in between matches;

- each team had one coach to play with them, allowing balance to be had in this combat archery tag tournament while making it more interesting for every team coming in;

- retired coaches and members showed up for the tournament, and they had to acknowledge they were now out of practice and on a lower skill level than the new generation;

- an array of creative team names were had: The Lords of the Strings, Power Rangers, XxX, Shake’N’Bake, Strap-Ons, and Bowthoven’s 5th Stringphany;

- new players ended up doing great plays, wonderful headshots and fantastic catches;

- our archery-loving community keeps growing and expanding and that is awesome.

The victors were the cleverly named The Lords of the Strings (personal favourite pun), which was composed of 4 higher level players instead of the regulated 5, winning by only 1 point at 19. Second place was the less-cleverly named Strap-Ons with 18 points, a team that has been building itself from the ground up at Archers Arena with constant practice and coming out on Coach nights (every Tuesday). Goes to show that dedication really pays off. Third place ended up being a tie between XxX, and Power Rangers at 17 points.

Here’s to a next tournament just as successful! Keep a look out for it in upcoming blogs or through our Archers Arena facebook page.

18 Benefits of Playing Combat Archery Tag at Archers Arena!

Archery is widely known as being a therapeutic sport because of its calm, focused nature. However, combat archery tag (or archery dodgeball) is a much more active version of archery, which still encompases many of the same benefits, along with a few more of its own. The following are just some of the perks or skills you get out of playing combat archery tag here at Archers Arena.

1. Exercise

Combat archery tag is known as a workout; you will be leaving sweaty and satisfied.

2. Upper Body Strength

The constant, repetitive motions of drawing and firing a bow activates the major core muscle groups in the upper body.

3. Agility

Your reflexes and quick moves will be put to the test while playing archery dodgeball, allowing for constant improvement.

4. Instincts

At Archers Arena we encourage instinctive archery, which means less thinking and more feeling for more accurate results. Having a clear mind really does improve and sharpen your skills.

5. Balance

To successfully hit stationary targets, stillness is key, therefore control of your body is essential, and that develops one's balance.

6. Hand-Eye Coordination

Not only does it improve by shooting, it also improves with catching oncoming arrows.

7. Mental Focus

This is a big one. You have to both focus on hitting your target, while also keeping track of everything else going on in the game.

8. Analytical Skills

Because there is so much going on during a game, players eventually pick up prioritizing certain plays or tactics to either gain the advantage or survive an onslaught.

9. Teamwork/Communication

Lone wolves don't survive in the arena, no matter their potential. Working as a team always brings the best results as one player may see something others don't. Communicating is key to adapting to given circumstances.

10. Patience

The key to winning in archery dodgeball is patience, along with timing. Mastering archery takes time and requires a certain softness, kind of like a bow itself.

11. Confidence

Another big one. Seeing yourself improve and your shots landing is always a great way to boost both your self-esteem and your confidence, along with our encouraging coaches.

12. Community

We at Archers Arena are building a community of players that simply love the sport, and we all support and push each other to get better. There is nothing but love here, and it really shines through.

13. Safety

We provide arm guards and helmets, as well as a training which shows you how to handle our equipment safely and effectively.

14. Stress-Relief

No better way to let off steam than by shooting other people and they still get to walk away unscathed.

15. Two Outlooks

Combat archery tag can be conducted both in and outdoors.

16. It's Fun for Everyone

Kids and adults alike always enjoy their experience with us, and who can blame them? Archery is already badass, and now you get to make an hero out of yourself on our courts.

17. New Sport

Combat archery tag is a relatively newly developed sport, meaning that there are still various techniques and tactics waiting to be discovered to enhance the game.

18. Easy to Learn

Literally anyone can pick up combat archery tag if they truly desire to. We provide in depth training to ensure every new person starts on the same level as everyone else, personal predispositions notwithstanding.


These are just a few of the reasons why both Archers Arena and combat archery tag have become such popular attractions for the people of Toronto, although archery dodgeball itself is making it's way worldwide. It really is a choice that you simply can't go wrong with because it appeals to everyone on different levels. Whether it's from the excitement of being a bow-wielding warrior to even just being a competitive person who enjoys pushing their own limits, there really is no bad reason to want to play the game.

Popular Archery Icons and How They’ve Affected Today’s Archery

Archery has come and gone from the front interest line due to its growing and receding popularity on-screen with either movies or TV series, and even in video games. It becomes super trendy, and cool, and hip when viewers see their heroes handling a bow, and then when the movie or show dies down, or the game gets old, so does the archery trend before it comes right back strong as ever. So here is a tribute to the various inspirations and forms that archery has shown through to make its place in our culture throughout the times.

First off, I am going to start off with one of the classics of our culture; Robin Hood. There have been multiple takes on this very old tale, from the Disney animated movie featuring foxes as the main characters, to the very funny spoof Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and even the more serious feel the 2010 movie featuring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett gave it. In all of them, Robin’s talents went uncontested and he managed some very impressive tricks with his bow and arrows, which no doubt have fueled the imagination of many a youth.

In the world of video games, I can go all the way back to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for inspiration. Playing as Link and shooting everything with the bow and winning challenges and competitions always gave me such a feeling of satisfaction that my own personal love for the art came from there. In more recent years, the reboot of Tomb Raider in 2013 had Lara survive with only a bow and arrows to start off her adventure, which obviously got me hooked, but so did a lot of other players from all the positive reviews the game received.

Probably one the most iconic bow-wielding characters in my opinion comes from the Lord of the Rings franchise. Being a personal favourite of mine, Legolas has all the moves down in the series and just flat-out makes archery look so damn good, and not just because of his looks. His elven efficiency and accuracy just change the name of the game, and he comes up with tactics that we can’t even begin to replicate (lack of having elephants handy being a main one), although when we play, some of us do come out with bruises from time to time, just as he will always sport one of his forehead after a battle.

There have been a lot of popular icons in the recent years popping up on screen, such as Katniss from The Hunger Games, Hawkeye in The Avengers, Merida in Disney and Pixar’s Brave and even Oliver Queen in the Green Arrow TV series, which have all fueled a different wave of archery love. People want to try it out and see how they fare at it, and generally, when archery is picked up, it’s rather hard to put back down. That being said, here at Archers Arena, we want people to find their true potential not only at archery, but at the new sport that has been created from it: combat archery tag. It brings out a whole new dimension reminiscent of video games and medieval combat. This new trend is definitely here to stay.

First Eastern Canadian Tournament. The Results are IN!

            For those of you that might have missed all our original posts on the subject, on the 5th of February 2017, Archers Arena has hosted the first eastern Canadian combat archery tag tournament! From far in wide, Toronto has received a team from Ottawa, one from Windsor, two from Montreal, and we had five teams representing us. With intense gameplays fought, ridiculous turnabouts, quick moves and quick thinking, there is only one word we can use to describe this event: epic.

            On the eve of the battle, both Ottawa and Montreal teams came to practice at the Arena, leading to the first contact between the various people who were going to play each other the next day. The comradery was frank and forthcoming, although you could tell that no one would go easy on the others the following day. It was great to see so many passionate people that just love the game of archery dodgeball, and who work at bettering themselves all the time.

            When the morning came, coffee and breakfast were awaiting all the players, but the hype was already alive and going. The atmosphere was unreal, the anticipation crackled in the air as all awaited to take each other on. The game was on. Bows at the ready, getting the stretches in, focus was all on strategy and gameplay. Friendly banter in the air, with the underlying current of rivalry made it even more intense, yet still fun.

            Throughout the morning, the plays were non-stop. Teams were learning how to face each other and strategies had to be changed and adapted to who was playing who. Evaluating the other players and understand how they play combat archery tag, and how to counter them was not an easy task, but it had to be done in order to win the tournament! After the first few rounds that comprised Round Robin style of play, Toronto came out on top with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, while Montreal took 4th and 5th.

            However, in a complete change of pace during the finals, Montreal worked together for an epic comeback to win the tournament, and won against the newly reformed team Kyron’s Angels, known previously as Wetshots, which did end up winning our 7th local tournament. As prizes, Montreal Originals ended up going home with six of our beautiful, hand-painted 26 pound bows.

            All there is left to say is that it was truly our pleasure to host such great teams from all over. All we can hope for is to have an even broader turnout from more Canadian cities in the next major tournament, which will be hosted sometime during the summer. We will be working out, and standardizing, Canadian rules so we can all train and play in the same frame of mind. Looking forward to the next epic combat archery tag Canadian tournament!