February 13, 2006
from R.C. of USA:
"As an archer improves overall alignment and form, including keeping the crease of the inside of the bow arm elbow close to vertical, should the coach use "buzz" (of the bowstring humming against the armguard as it vibrates at the end of the shot) on the armguard as a evaluation tool? In other words can slight string contact with the arm guard be considered either a positive thing or an unavoidable result of good alignment?"
I have never given much thought to his question, though archers who have excellent form and release should be able to shoot without it. Yet, there are probably only a few who don't wear an armguard, like one of my archers David Barnes. Most archers, including the world's top archers, shoot with an armguard. I suppose ideally there should be no need for an armguard as it would indicate a very, very clean release and very little string amplitude. However, all releases are not necessarily clean and therefore there would be quite often some string contact (buzz) with the armguard. If the archer has no armguard and they get stung a few times they might try to avoid string contact by trying to get their arm out of the way, affecting their form. If the string hits the armguard too much, then I suspect the archer has gone too far in trying to align or else has other flaws in form that, having been diagnosed, can then be addressed.Therefore better to shoot with armguard for the reason mentioned. (Edited 2/27/2006)