Players target fun and fitness at Mississauga’s Archery Terminal


If you’ve watched Arrow or The Hunger Games, you may have wondered what the sport of archery is like.

Archery tag is a new recreational activity that allows you to fulfill your fantasy with friends.

“It’s a great way to stay active with friends and family,” said Ray Fung, co-owner of Mississauga’s Archery Terminal. “It fits all age groups and offers a unique experience.”

I joined a session with 14 people who had never tried the sport before.

“I think archery tag reaches out to a broader audience than paintball or airsoft,” said Fung. “At our facility we see about a 50/50 split of females to males.”

The main objective of Archery Tag is to eliminate the enemy team by shooting them with the foam-tipped arrows scattered around the arena.

Each player is given a bow, an armguard and a visor for protection.

The armguard protects people from misfiring the bow. The danger comes from the string, which can scrape against your arm, causing a large bruise or rash if constantly misused.

I felt a rush of emotion every time I pulled back on the loaded bowstring.

I would try to slow down my heavy breathing to target a player zipping behind barriers and the moment they stood still I let the arrow fly.

Most times the arrow wouldn’t hit but I felt like I was getting better each attempt and after 10 tries I hit my first moving target square in the chest.

“Safety is our biggest concern,” said Fung. “It looks painful to get hit by one of these arrows but it hurts less than getting hit by a paintball.”

I got hit five times and never felt pain. The sensation of being hit by the foam arrow was similar to a forceful push.

To ensure no one is hurt at close range the arena has a 10-foot safe zone located in the middle that separates the teams.

The trainer throws bunches of arrows out in a pile in the safe zone at the beginning of the game and everyone begins to rush the centre of the arena from opposite sides to grab a single arrow.

Players quickly disperse to the barriers set up around the arena. Some huddled close together and others stayed out in the open to keep the enemies attention.

Every game felt intense and the variety of game types kept the experience fresh.

Players are given 30 minutes of hands-on training before playing.

“The half hour is enough to learn the basic mechanics of how to fire and load the bow,” said Fung. “ The first time you play you aren’t going to be very good. A lot of the training can get lost because your instinct takes over.”

I found myself frantically trying to load the bow many times during the first game despite being confident during training. I was scared every time I looked down at my bow because I was expecting to get shot.

Each session costs $24.80 per player and provides 50 minutes of gameplay along with the time required for training.

The facility also offers monthly specials to lower the cost every day of the week.

Archery Terminal is looking to create a league sometime in the spring.

“The reason we don’t have a league currently is because the sport is still relatively new and for someone to join a league it takes a lot of repeat sessions,” said Fung. “We want to make sure we get enough exposure and we are trying to obtain new partners.”

The facility sponsors the UTM archery club and participates at community events in Mississauga by setting up booths.

“Most of our growth has come from social media,” said Fung. “We like to ask how people found out about us when they come here and most of the time it’s because someone posted something on Facebook.”

Fung and other co-owners started the business six months ago after they experienced playing archery tag for the first time.

“I had no idea this sort of sport existed,” said Fung. “Every time I play I still get the same adrenaline rush of shooting someone and the fear from being shot at.”

Archery Terminal is at 1100 Courtneypark Drive E., Mississauga, people can set up a booking at website