Archery is an ancient sport. It was included in the Olympic Games in 1900, 1904, 1908, and 1920, and has been a permanent fixture since 1972.

Archery and Shooting at the Olympics

Archery is an ancient sport. It was included in the Olympic Games in 1900, 1904, 1908, and 1920, and has been a permanent fixture since 1972. Today there are four events: individual men; individual women; team men; and team women. Olympians use recurve bows to shoot targets that are 48 inches in diameter. In the 2012 London Games archery competitions are held July 28-29 and August 2-3, with a total of four gold medals.

An MSU Archery Team member prepares her bow

Shooting has grown quite a bit from its first inclusion in the 1896 Olympic Games. That year there were five shooting events, and there are now fifteen. Shooting events fall in to three categories: rifle, pistol and shotgun. The fifteen events held at the 2012 London Games include: men’s 10m air pistol, 10m air rifle, 25m rapid fire pistol, 50m pistol, 50m rifle 3 positions, 50m rifle prone, double trap, skeet and trap, and women’s 10m air pistol, 10m air rifle, 25m pistol, 50m rifle 3 positions, skeet and trap. Shooting events are held July 28 – August 6, with a total fifteen gold medals.

Archery and Shooting at Michigan State

Shooting and archery are not NCAA recognized sports, but have been practiced as club sports for decades. MSU has a Marksmanship Club and an Air Rifle Club Team, as well as an MSU Archery club sport team. The archery team shoots basic recurve bows, compound bows, and competition-style recurve bows. They have an indoor and outdoor season, and they practice at the MSU Demmer Center. They are coached by Dr. Norm Graham and Glen Bennett. Glen was recently named North Region USIAC Archery Coach of the Year by the United States Collegiate Archery Association, the governing body of competitive archery.

1923 Women's Rifle Team

The MSU Archery team has a long history of excellence in competitions. This was demonstrated this past weekend when we went to watch Glen coach the Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) Program. Prior to starting the practice, a USA Archery bronze medal was presented to one of the club members for her achievements in national competition. Glen mentioned that several members have won prestigious awards and the attention of the national USA Archery organization. The JOAD Program attracts archers of all ages. When we were there the ages ranged from five to sixteen. All members receive safety training prior to learning the sport. Scroll down for a special Beneath the Pines look at the archery and shooting facilities at Michigan State.

You can make a gift in support of the shooting sports programs at Michigan State on the MSU Giving website.

Demmer Center

The John and Marnie Demmer Center is a shooting and archery facility at Michigan State University, located on Jolly Road. The center offers both public and members-only hours, summer camps, classes for all ages, and more. There was even a “Hunger Games Style Archery Clinic” offered this summer. Anyone interested in learning archery or shooting can sign up for classes, ranging from beginning to advanced levels. Equipment rental is also available.

Demmer Center Shooting Range
MAC Women's Archery Team - 1930
Stringing a Bow
Two women participating in archery - 1937
Coach Bennett presents an award to a JOAD member

The Demmer Center includes gardens with

plaques teaching the history of archery

Junior Olympic Archery Development clinic participants

Children as young as five

participate in the JOAD program 

The 3D range includes traditional hunting targets (deer, moose, etc.),

wolverines (we are MSU, after all), and dinosaurs for the children.

Lobby of the Demmer Center

Photo Credits: Vintage MSU photos; MSU Archery Team Member; Shooting Range. All other photos taken by Katie Kelly, Communications Manager at University Scholarships & Fellowships.

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