Each competition is organised in two rounds: the 70m round and the Olympic round. A total of 128 athletes (64 men and 64 women) may take part.
Each archer simultaneously shoots 72 arrows (12 ends of 6 arrows) for a maximum score of 720. Archers are then seeded according to their final score, with the archer achieving the highest score in the ranking round seeded No.1. In the event of any ties, the numbers of 10s and Xs will be used as tiebreakers.
The ranking-round scores are also used to seed the team competition using the combined score of the three archers.
Olympic round (individual)
Based on the ranking round, the top seed plays the lowest seed, the second highest plays the second lowest and so on.
Archers compete head-to-head using the set-scoring system, which was introduced in 2010 and will make its Olympic debut at the London 2010 Games.
Archers shoot three arrows each (alternately). There is a time limit of 20 seconds per arrow. The archer with the highest score for that ‘end’ of three arrows (a maximum of 30 points) wins a set. Two points are awarded for winning a set, one point for a draw and zero points for a loss.
Matches are best of five sets (the first archer to six points is the winner). If after five sets the scores are tied at 5-5, the match goes to sudden death, where both archers shoot one arrow each (alternately). The arrow closest to the centre wins.
The competition is based on a knockout system, starting with 1/32 eliminations (last 64). Following rounds are as follows: 1/16 eliminations; 1/8 eliminations; quarterfinals; semifinals; bronze-medal match and gold-medal match.
Olympic round (team)
Teams compete head to head, with the top-ranked team playing the lowest-ranked team, the second-ranked team playing the second-lowest, and so on.
Each team shoots 24 arrows (eight per archer) and the team with the highest score wins. If the scores are tied after 24 arrows, each team will shoot three arrows (one per archer) with the highest-scoring team determining the winner. If the scores remain tied, the match will be won by the team with the closest arrow to the centre, with the second and third arrows acting as further tiebreakers if required.
The competition is based on a knockout system, starting with 1/8 eliminations. There are a maximum of 12 teams competing at the London 2012 Games and teams ranked 1–4 have byes in the 1/8 eliminations stage. The following rounds are as follows: quarterfinals; semifinals; bronze-medal match and gold-medal match.