The JOAD Program

JOAD, Junior Olympic Archery Development is an archery development program that operates across America. This course is designed to teach children and teenagers the things that they need to know to progress from beginner level archery to intermediate and advanced levels. In addition to teaching youth about archery and proper techniques, the program also focuses on promoting life skills and self-confidence. Operated in USA Archery clubs across the nation, it is a simple matter to find your closest club to sign yourself or your children up for the program. To locate your nearest archery club, check out our listing of of Archery Clubs and Ranges here.

Most of the clubs have rental archery equipment available for hire for those that do not already possess their own equipment. For those interested in starting a club in their area, it is possible to establish your own club, to do so, contact a JOAD State Coordinator and talk to them about opening your own branch.

To reward achievements within the program, JOAD offers special “star pins” to recognize the accomplishments of those participating in their program. These star pins are treated as a way of observing the competency of the archers in the program based on their performance in the achievement program. The star pins all come in different colors and are decorated with a number of starts representative of the achievement level of the respective archer. The highest achievement attainable in this fashion is the 6-star pin, awarded to those who manage to shoot 6 10’s in a row.

JOAD supports archers who make use of both recurve and compound bows and offer a safe place for prospective archers to practice and improve in both of these styles of archery. Participants of the program are trained to participate in both local and national competitions. Catering for those between the ages of eight and twenty, the program is suitable for anyone between these ages and wishes to improve their archery, whether for recreational or competitive reasons.


Junior archery competition

Photo by Eric Goranson


Many people who have taken part in the program previously have reported that in addition to improving their archery, JOAD allowed them to forge new friendships and team-building skills that they previously did not have. The beauty of this program is that it puts a group of like-minded and similar aged youth together and provides them with an activity that offers instant recognition of improvement and can encourage a healthy competitiveness between those in the program. Such an atmosphere is perfect for bonding and finding people with similar interests. For those who are too old to participate in JOAD or for family members who wish to partake in archery as a family, Archery USA also offers similar programs for adults.

To sign up to the program, a membership fee of $90 is required or a fee of $65 to those who previously participated in USA Archery’s Explore Archery program.


JOAD programs are open to both recurve and compound bows and most clubs offer rental equipment so you can try both styles before you invest in the equipment that suits you best. If you are ready to take the next step and use your own equipment our reviews in both compound bows and recurve bows can help you find the bow that will cater to your needs.

For basic compound bow reviews, click here.

If recurve bows are more suitable for you click here.