Archery in the SCA
First and foremost, each Kingdom within the SCA has it's own rules and regulations concerning archery, live weapons, and jousting. Ask your Knights Marshal what the rules and regulations are in your area for each of these activities.
Target archery is very popular to the point that many members participate in the Interkingdom Archery Competition (IKAC). Most local groups have someone who is involved in SCA archery. Most SCA events will have a target archery competition as part of the scheduled activities. All competitions, unless specifically noted otherwise, only allow use of period bows - recurve, composite, and English style long bow. Compound bows, stabilizers, sights, and other "modern" enhancements or accessories are strictly forbidden. There are also requirements regarding the types of arrows which may be used. Check with your Knights Marshal for details regarding target archery in your area.
Another popular archery activity in the SCA is combat archery. A combat archer dons his armor (minimum requirements), arms himself with his period bow and special SCA blunt tip arrows (and/or other combat approved missile weapon), and steps onto the field of battle during a melee (team combat). He/She the proceeds to shoot his opponent with arrows. Many heavy weapons fighters also participate in combat archery, and it is ideal for those who want to play war, but don't want the face to face, hand to hand combat.
In addition to those who use bows to shoot arrows in the SCA, there are those who make them. Some people have found their niche in the realm of SCA activities as bowyers (those who make bows) and fletchers (those who make arrows). Check with your Knights Marshal to find out who to contact if you are interested in these two crafts.
Live Weapons in the SCA
The first component of live weapons is Rapier Dueling. This may or may not be allowed in your Kingdom, so please check with your Knights Marshal for details on this activity.
The second component is thrown weapons, such as knives, axes, and spears. Many events include live weapons competitions where real steel weapons are thrown at a hard target. If you are interested in this activity, ask your Knights Marshal who you should contact for more information.