Does Eye Dominance Matter In Archery?

Does Eye Dominance Matter In Archery?

Do you know that just as some people are left-handed and others use their right hand predominantly for doing specific tasks, it is the same way that we all have one eye which is dominant over the other?

Coincidentally, most people’s handedness is the same with their eye dominance, so if you are right-handed, chances are that you have a dominant right eye, and conversely.

Eye dominance matter in certain activities like looking through a microscope and playing a game of archery. Archery will certainly not focus on the target properly if he has cross-eye dominance, resulting in the dominant eye taking over, leading to error due to parallax.

What Exactly Is Eye Dominance

Eye dominance, also known as ocular dominance, is when one eye is used more than the other or when one eye can fixate on something or has better vision. If you are involved in activities that require you to focus your eye on a target, like archery, cricket, baseball, using a telescope or microscope, playing golf, and the like,

This phenomenon does not mean that the dominant eye sees better than the other. Someone aptly referred to eye dominance as ‘eye preference,’ which is the tendency to use visual input from one eye instead of the other. In the same way, a right-handed person prefers to use their right hand to perform most tasks, while a left-handed person uses his left hand most often, and so does each pair of our eyes work. Even though we are not conscious that we prefer one eye over the other until we get into activities like archery that require us to focus so we can aim correctly.

How To Tell Which Of Your Eyes Is Dominant

How our left eyes view an image differs from how our right eyes view the same thing. To prove this point, you can carry out places. Simple exercise:

1. Make a fist with yourself and put it before you.

2. Now close your right eye, and look at your fist with your left eye.

3. This time around, close your left eye and look at the fist with your right eye.

If you were very observant, you would notice that it looks like your fist is in 2 different places, but do you know that when you open both eyes to look at the fist, it looks like the first was in one place?

When we look at an object with both eyes, our dominant eye focuses on the object. That means that in the game of archery, though you are shooting with both eyes open, in the real sense, your dominant eye is used to aim at the target. So your dominant eye aims at the target.

There are a few ways to determine which of your eyes is dominant, and one of them is:

The Wink Test.

To determine which of your eye is dominant using the wink test, you will need to make a triangle shape with your hands by following these steps:

1. Put your hands in front of you so your palms face forward as if signaling someone to “Stop!”

2. With your hand still in front of you, bring your thumbs together to touch each other.

3. Now, turn the angle of your hands so that your index fingers are touching. If you had done that well, you would have formed a triangle with your hand.

4. You want the triangle you just formed to be smaller, and you do this by bringing your hands closer together.

5. Try to look through the triangle and focus on a small object a distance away ( about 15 meters away).

6. Close one of your eyes first and try to look at the object through the triangle. Afterward, open one eye and close the other one. When you do this, you’ll notice that you can see the item through one eye and not the other. So if you saw the object with your right eye, that means you’re right-eye dominant; if you could see the object through your left eye, that means you’re left-eye dominant.

Does Eye Dominance Matter In Archery?

Does Eye Dominance Matter In Archery?

When you practice the archery game, you want your dominant eye to align with your arrow shaft and bowstring. So, if you are right-handed and have right-eye dominance, then you have no issues because as you pull the bow string back, your dominant eye, which in this case is your right eye, will line up with the string and the arrow shaft. The same is the case if your dominant eye is the left eye and you are left-handed because as you pull the bow string back, your left eye will also line up with the string and the arrow shaft.

In both cases above, your dominant eye, which is the one the brain focuses on, is the same one that is lined up with the bowstring and arrow shaft. Problems arise if you are right-handed and your dominant eye is the left eye or if your dominant eye is the right eye and you are left-handed. That is what is called “Cross Dominance.” That is, their handedness and eyedness are on opposite sides.

When people with cross dominance draw, their dominant eye does not line up with the bowstring and arrow shaft, and this is because their brain is using focus from the wrong eye, and the result is that their aim will be slightly crooked. If you play the archery game, determining if you have cross dominance can help you see why you don’t seem as successful as you ought.

Even without testing their students to see if they have a cross-dominant eye, most archery coaches simply watch them as they shoot. If the student consistently misses one side of the target, it tells them that the shooter might have a cross-dominant-related issue.

Solutions For Those With Cross Dominance

Before we attempt to proffer a solution for cross-dominance, we want to state that about 30% of archery players are cross dominant, which means that it is not such a rare situation. So there is nothing anyone should have worries about.

There is a long debate about what many professional archers believe should be done if one is cross dominant, and each point of view is valid. Many believe people should select a bow based on their eye dominance. So, for a right-handed person with a dominant left eye, you should get a left-handed bow, and vice-versa.

Some shooters, especially those successful in shooting with their non-dominant eye, are usually reluctant to switch. It is perhaps because the switching process means that for a brief period, they might experience a lot of frustration as they try to adjust, coupled with the fact that their success will be reduced before it can go back to the success they have attained previously.

Others believe you should close your dominant eye and aim with your non-dominant eye. Many people do this, and they have recorded success. You can wear an eye patch on the dominant eye as it is better than closing your eyes which can be uncomfortable and even affect your aiming.

Many coaches believe learning the archery game with your non-dominant hand is best. That means a right-handed should learn to draw with the left hand, while a left-handed should learn to draw with the right hand. Most experts would advise people not to select a bow based on their handedness but instead on their dominant eye.

There are several shooters who, through practice and concentration, learned to override their dominant eye through practice concentration. Others have learned to use both eyes successfully in the shooting but not without the fatigue and stress involved. All that said, many archers are cross-dominant, and they are still good at the game without trying to make any adjustments.


The game of archery is an exciting and captivating game to watch and play, and the hands and eyes are two parts of our bodies that are keenly involved in the game. Most archery shooters’ eye dominance is on the same side as their dominant hand.

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Still, those whose eye dominance and handedness differ can attempt to adjust or switch their dominant eye. Still, if they choose not to, it might significantly affect their shooting prowess if they adjust to shooting as a cross-dominant archer.

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