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More Info. Field Competition Format

How NFAA Field Archery Works:


1. Style – Refers to the type of shooting equipment used by the archer, i.e, Freestyle, Freestyle Limited, Barebow, Bowhunter Freestyle, Freestyle Limited Recurve, and Traditional

2. Division – Refers to the separation of competitive archers by category, i.e. Professional, Senior Professional, Master Senior, Silver Senior, Senior, Adult, Young Adult, Youth and Cub.

3. Class and/or Flight – Refers to the separation of competitive archers according to skill level.

4. Scratch Score – Refers to an archer’s score before it has been adjusted by his/her handicap.

5. Net Score – Refers to an archer’s score after his/her scratch score has been adjusted by his/her handicap.

6. Handicap – Refers to the number of artificial points an archer receives to adjust his/her scoring ability to the common level of perfect.

7. Handicap Differential – Refers to the difference between an archer’s scratch score and perfect.

8. Age – An archer’s age will be determined by their actual birth date and their physical age as of the first day of their competition in any tournament.

1. They shall not be placed over any other larger targets nor shall there be any marks on the target butt or foreground that could be used as points of aim.

2. All target butts must be so placed that the full face is exposed to the shooter. 

3. In all National and Sectional tournaments using official NFAA rounds, the following target configuration shall be used according to the target diameter: 20 cm. target faces: Sixteen target faces shall be used for the 35/30/25/20 foot and the 11 yard shots. The target butt shall be constructed to hold the targets in a 4 by 4 configuration. 35 cm. target faces: Four 35 cm. target faces shall be used. The target butt shall
be constructed to hold the targets in a 2 by 2 configuration. 50 cm. target faces: Two target faces shall be used for the 35-yard fan (Field
and 36-yard fan (Hunter rounds). The target butt shall be constructed to hold the targets either side-by side or one above the other.
65 cm. target face: One target shall be used.

4. In all National and Sectional tournaments using official NFAA rounds where Group 4 Animal faces are specified, four Group 4 Animal faces will be used and the target butt shall be so constructed as to encompass the targets in a 2 by 2 configuration. The four faces presented shall be of the same design. Where Group 3 Animal faces are specified, two Group 3 Animal faces will be used, either side-by side or one above the other. The two faces presented shall be the same design.

5. An archer shall not deface his/her target in any manner to include punching a hole, enhancing the X or any other portion of the target in an effort to gain sighting/aiming advantage. Any target so defaced shall be removed by the tournament chairman. Repeated offense shall be grounds for removal of the offender from the tournament. Note: The tournament chairman may have the archer’s name placed on the target, as in indoor tournaments, however, the name will not be on or in the scoring area of the target.

Shooting Positions:

A.) Yardage shall be shown for all shooting position stakes.
B.) It shall be permissible to use two or more shooting position stakes at any or all
one-position targets, provided the stakes are equidistant from the target.
C.) All shooting positions shall be plainly visible. When ground level markers are
used in place of traditional stakes, a sign should be posted listing the various
positions for each target.

NFAA Shooting Styles and Equipment Rules

A. General

1. A conventional bow of any type may be used provided it subscribes to the accepted principal and meaning of the word “bow” as used in archery competition, i.e., an instrument consisting of a handle (grip) riser and two flexible limbs, each ending in a tip with string nock. The bow is braced for use by a single bowstring attached directly between the two string nocks only. In operation it is held in one hand by the handle (grip) riser while the other hand draws, holds back and releases the string. In the case of physical disability of the arms or hands, a chew strap may be used in place of fingers or release aids.

2. Compound bows may be used, provided:

2.1 Basic design includes a handle riser (grip) and flexible limbs.

2.2 Total arrow propelling energy is developed from a flexing of the materials employed in limb construction.

2.3 Weight reduction factor is of no consequence.

2.4 Bows which develop any portion of arrow propelling energy from sources “other than the limbs” shall not be allowed. This is not to be
construed to mean that compound bows which employ other sources of arrow propelling energy, not specifically listed in this paragraph, will be allowed.

2.5 The cables of the compound bow shall be considered as part of the string and all applicable string rules except color requirements shall apply.

3. The maximum peak draw weight allowed in NFAA competition shall be 80 pounds, with a maximum arrow speed of 300 feet per second, with a variance of 3%. See By-Laws Article IV, Section D, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 1.9.

4. Any device that would allow the mass weight, or the draw weight of the bow to be relieved from either or both arms, at full draw, shall be declared illegal.

5. All overdraws shall be designed in such a fashion as to prevent the arrow from falling off the shelf causing an unsafe condition.

6. Maximum arrow shaft diameter allowed in NFAA competition will be 0.422 inches, with point diameter not to exceed 0.425 inches. The shaft diameter will include any wrap placed on the arrow and will include the size of the nock and the nock insert.

7. No archer shall draw a bow with the bow hand above the top of the head when drawing on a horizontal plane, parallel to the ground. A warning will be given on the first instance. Second instance will require removal of archer from event.

8. Crossbows may be used as a separate style/division at National level Indoor events. They are optional at all other events and facilities at the discretion of respective responsible National, Sectional, State, Club, and Tournament officials.

9. Lighted nocks are not allowed.

10. All requests for rulings on equipment must be accompanied by an example of the item in question to the assigned committee and for examination by the Board of Directors prior to voting.

B. Barebow:

1. Archers shooting Barebow style will use bow, arrows, strings, and accessories free from any sights, marks or blemishes that may be used as a sighting aid.

2. An adjustable arrow plate may be used provided it does not extend more than ¼” above the arrow.

3. The use of stabilizers shall be permitted. The rear stabilizer shall not touch any part of the body.

4. One consistent nocking point only is permitted and may be held by one or two nock locators, which shall be snap on type, shrink tubing, thread or dental floss, tied or served on the serving. Nocking point locators shall not extend more than one half inch (1/2”) above or below the arrow nock when at full draw.

5. Only one adjustable draw check and level mounted on the bow, neither of which may extend above the arrow and a mechanical type arrow rest and cushion plunger are permitted.

6. Only gloves, tabs, or fingers shall be permitted, except in the case of physical disability of the arms or hands, a chew strap may be used in place of fingers.

7. All arrows shall be identical in length, weight, diameter and fletching, with allowance for wear and tear. Powder on the arrow points shall be permitted as a visual aid.

8. The ends or edges or laminated pieces appearing on the inside of the upper limb shall be considered a sighting mechanism.

9. No device of any type, including arrow rest, that may be used for sighting, may be used or attached to the archer’s equipment.

10. The pylon (string clearance bar) will be allowed in this style if it is not located in the sight window.

11. Any part of the arrow rest extending more than ¼ inch above the arrow is deemed illegal in the Barebow style.

C. Freestyle: 

1. Any type of sight and its written memorandum may be used.

2. Any release aid may be used provided it is hand operated and supports the draw weight of the bow and is not attached to the bow other than the bowstring. In the case of physical disability of the arms or hands, a chew strap may be used in place of fingers or release aids.

3. The rear stabilizer shall not touch any part of the body.

D. Freestyle Limited:

1. Any type of sight and its written memorandum may be used.

2. Release aids shall be limited to gloves, tabs and fingers. In the case of physical disability of the arms or hands, a chew strap may be used in place of fingers.

3. The rear stabilizer shall not touch any part of the body.

E. Freestyle Bowhunter:

1. A maximum of (5) five fixed reference points: Points of attachment shall not be considered reference points. A line running vertically from its top attachment in the pin guard to its bottom attachment in the pin guard would be legal. Sighting reference points, string peep (with or without a lens) and/or kisser button may not be moved during a round. Scopes, clickers and draw checks are not allowed. A round or oval housing around the points of reference is not considered a scope as long as no lens is used. No additional pin guard may be used. A sight pin consisting of a housing with a hole through it, that does not contain a fixed reference point within the hole, is not allowed.

2. Release aids will be permitted. In the case of physical disability of the arms or hands, a chew strap may be used in place of fingers or release aids.

3. A pinguard mounted on the sight, and a level mounted anywhere will be legal in this style of shooting, provided that there are no additional marks or blemishes on either of these items that could be used for sighting. 

4. A string of suitable material with a center serving and end servings of the same or different color than the string may be used. One consistent nocking point only is permitted. Nocking point locators shall not extend more than ½ inch above or below the arrow nock when at full draw. Brush buttons and string silencers properly attached will be legal.

5. One anchor point only is permitted.

6. All arrows shall be identical in size, length, weight, and fletching with allowances for wear and tear.

7. Brush buttons, string silencer, positioned no closer than midway between the nocking point and where the string touches the wheel/cam, and bow quiver installed on the opposite side of the sight window, with no part of the quiver or attachments visible in the sight window are legal. One straight stabilizer, coupling device included if used, which cannot exceed 12 inches at any time, as measured from the back of the bow, V-bar, counterbalance and string dampeners may be used.

8. An archer will not be permitted to change the draw weight of the bow during a round.

9. During a round no adjustments may be made to the bow and its related equipment unless equipment failure is recognized.

F. Traditional:

1. This style of shooting is for those who wish to compete with the Recurve or Longbow.

2. No device of any kind, including arrow rest, that can be used for sighting will be used or attached to the archers’ equipment.

3. There shall be no device, mechanical or otherwise, in the sight window except the arrow rest, arrow plate or plunger button.

4. No part of the rest or arrow plate may extend more than ¼ inch above the arrow.

5. No clickers, drawchecks or levels will be allowed. No laminations, marks or blemishes on the face of the bow or in the sight window will be legal.
6. The string may be of any color but must have a single color center serving. One single nocking point is permitted. One or two nock locators may be used. Brush buttons and string silencers, properly placed may be used. Any other marks or string attachments will be illegal.


7. One anchor point only is permitted.

8. The archer shall touch the arrow when nocked and drawing the arrow with the index finger against the nock. Finger position may not be changed during competition. In the case of physical disability of the arms or hands, a chew strap may be used in place of fingers.

9. Gloves, tabs or fingers shall be the only legal releases. In the case of physical disability of the arms or hands, a chew strap may be used in place of fingers.

10. All arrows shall be identical in length, weight, diameter and fletching with allowance for wear and tear.

11. One straight stabilizer, coupling device included, if used, which cannot exceed 12 inches at any time as measured from the back of the bow.

12. No written memorandum will be allowed.

13. Bow Slings are permissible.

14. During a round no adjustments may be made to the bow and/or its related equipment unless equipment failure is recognized.

15. For all tournaments below the Sectional level, all traditional archers may shoot at Youth distances at the discretion of each State or Club.

G. Freestyle Limited Recurve:

1. Any type of sight and its written memorandum may be used, providing the sighting mechanism has no magnification. Levels, string peep sights, marks, ties or string attachments to the string and electronic devices are not allowed. A kisser button may be used.

2. Release aids shall be limited to gloves, tabs and fingers. In the case of physical disability of the arms or hands, a chew strap may be used in place of fingers.

3. This style is limited to use of recurve bow or longbow.

H. Crossbow

1. A foot stirrup is allowed, even if not original manufacturer’s equipment. 

2. The use of mechanical spanning (cocking) aids is permitted.

3. A fixed or universally adjustable butt hook/plate may be used provided: (1) It does not rest on and is not supported by the shoulder; and (2) It does not encircle any part of the body or limbs.

4. An adjustable palm rest or handle is allowed provided it does not extend beyond or envelop the wrist.

5. Balance weights, extension rods (stabilizers), and torque flight compensators are allowed provided they do not interfere with another competitor and that they do not touch anything but the crossbow.

6. String attachments are allowed (separate string loops, archery type nock-sets, or center nocking points) so long as they are not made from hard solid materials.

7. A kisser button may be mounted on the stock to check head position, and a liquid level may be used in the line of sight.

8. An eye blinder may either be attached to the person or the crossbow, and tinted lenses (filters) may be a part of the crossbow sight, but must be capable of being checked at any time by a tournament official. Prescription spectacles, shooting spectacles and tinted glasses may NOT be fitted with micro-hole lenses or similar devices, nor marked in any way which could assist in aiming.

9. Prod bracing strings (bastard strings) may be used. Slings and straps to steady the crossbow may NOT be used. Attachments are NOT allowed that are designed to guide the string along the track/stock, i.e. any form of sledge, bead or another attachment designed to control lateral string movement along the track.

9.1 A track cover may be used to keep the track dry.

9.2 All clothing shall be loose fitting and shall not give support to any part of the body. A track suit may be worn.

9.3 A competitor may wear a maximum of two belts, one firm fitting to support clothing and a second loose fitting to support a quiver.

9.4 Following items are not allowed: 1) Pistol Crossbows. 2) Electronic Equipment or Components while on the shooting line except as
specifically otherwise listed. 3) Compound prods and prod assemblies with mechanical moving parts. 4) Attachments designed to guide the
string along the track/stock. 5) Slings or Straps to steady the Crossbow. 6) Magnifying Sights. 7) Micro-hole lenses, similar devices, or marks in prescription eye wear. 8) Corrective Lenses as part of the Crossbow. 9) Vertical Crossbows (vertically mounted prod assemblies). 10) Special shooting gloves.

9.5 The wearing of finger protection for spanning the Crossbow is permitted, but must be removed during the act of shooting. 


10. Crossbow bolts/arrows will be made from any safe material and of such design as not to cause unreasonable damage to target butts.

10.1 Points shall have a minimum weight of 80 grains weight and be of either bullet or field point shape. The minimum total weight of the bolt shall be that recommended in the manufacturer’s literature. 10.2 Slip-over Points (point diameter larger than shaft diameter) are not permitted. Minimum bolt length 355 mm (12 inches). Maximum bolt length 610 mm (24 inches)

10.3 Bolts must be fitted with fletches. There is no restriction as to size or number. All bolts in a set shall be made to the same specifications and colors.

10.4 All bolts being shot in an end must have identical fletch sizes and colors with respect to each bolt.

11. There is no distinction between Recurve and compound, draw weight, or sighting systems.

12. All crossbows must be fitted with a mechanical trigger mechanism. Electrical, electronic, pneumatic, or hydraulic triggers are not permitted.

13. All track style crossbows must have a single operational bolt retainer which prevents the bolt from slipping forward when the crossbow is pointed toward the ground. Front mounted bolt retainers are not allowed. Crossbows fitted with “Over and Under tracks” are not permitted.
14. The prod (bow limbs) may be made of any material and may be of either one or two piece construction. In the case of metallic prods, the limbs shall be bound with a suitable tape to prevent personal injury in the case of failure. Prod assemblies may be either recurve or compound.

15. Target Crossbows may not exceed a draw weight of 95 pounds as published by the manufacturer. The maximum bolt/arrow speed shall be 300 fps plus or minus 3%.

16. Bow strings and servings must be made from non-metallic materials. Bow strings may be either connected directly to the limb tips or by means of axle pins fixed or pivoting, metallic or synthetic.

17. Target Crossbows may not employ a magnification sight. The sighting system shall have no more nor less than two separate open or dioptre (aperture) sight units. The maximum distance from front sight to rear sight shall be 720mm measured between the sighting elements. The length of the front sight tube may not exceed 60mm, and the length of the rear sight unit may not exceed 150mm inclusive of antiglare tube and eye-shield (if fitted). Laser sights are not permitted. Lighted fiber optic sight pins are allowed in 2012-2013 on a trial basis. Rule is to be in effect starting 8 February 2012 and will be reviewed at the next Director’s meeting.

18. Pistol Crossbows and Vertical Crossbows are NOT legal for competition.

19. Maximum diameter of arrow/bolt shaft is 27/64 inches (2712).

20. No crossbow will be cocked before the shooter is at the shooting stake/shooting line. If so equipped, the safety must then be placed in the ON position.

21. Range finding devices are not permitted in competitions.

22. Binoculars or spotting scopes may be used for spotting bolts.

23. Crossbow shooters may only span the crossbow when actually at the shooting line/peg.

24. The act of loading a bolt in a spanned crossbow must be performed with the crossbow directed at the ground immediately in front of the shooting line in the direction of the target. Loading a bolt in an elevated crossbow is not permitted.

25. Elevating a crossbow (with or without an arrow) above the target is not permitted.

26. If a spanned and loaded crossbow is lowered during the act of shooting, it must not be turned aside from the direction of the target. In such cases the safety catch, if so equipped, must be applied. 


27. If a defect occurs in the crossbow during shooting, the crossbow shooter must stop shooting immediately.

28. At the signal to stop shooting, the crossbow must immediately be lowered, the arrow removed, and the string lowered (unlatched).

29. At no time should anyone pick up or handle another individual’s crossbow/equipment without receiving permission to do so.

30. At no time should an individual leave the peg/shooting line with a spanned and/or loaded crossbow.

31. In the interest of personal safety it is strongly recommended that the fingers of the hand which loads the bolt be kept straight and pointing away from the path of the bowstring. 


32. When loading a cocked crossbow, the shooter should always work above the string and never load the arrow by coming up from the bottom of the crossbow.

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