A.        Club/Shop Charter Procedures:

1.         NFAA charter and continued affiliation authorizes automatic sanction of state association tournaments for all official NFAA rounds conducted by the club, provided such rounds are held on an approved NFAA indoor or outdoor facility and provided they conform to Articles I, II, III, IV and VI of these By-laws.  Sanction shall mean that said round is conducted by the NFAA or through its recognized state affiliate; when said round is held on a NFAA approved facility using official NFAA targets; and when said round conforms to Articles I, II, III, IV and VI of these By-laws.

2.         An archery club having a minimum of five (5) Head of Household members, one of which must be an adult, meeting requirements in NFAA Constitution Article III, Section A, Paragraph 2 or 3, may be chartered with the NFAA upon approval of the state association and the NFAA Director who has jurisdiction.  A club/shop charter may be granted by the NFAA only after prior approval of the state association and NFAA Director.  No club/shop, meeting NFAA minimum requirements, shall be denied membership to the NFAA unless special circumstances occur.  A petition to deny membership must be filed by the state and approved by the Council.

3.         Application for charter will be made in triplicate, and along with the proper fees, shall be forwarded to the state association secretary.  After approval by the state association all three copies will be forwarded to the NFAA Director for review.  Upon granting his approval the NFAA Director will affix his signature, forward one copy to NFAA Headquarters, return the second copy to the state association secretary, and retain the third copy for his records.  Upon receipt of properly executed application and charter fee at NFAA Headquarters the Executive Secretary is authorized to issue the charter.  Effective date of the charter will be shown as the date of approval by the NFAA Director.

4.         A newly chartered club will pay a $30.00 fee to charter with the NFAA and have a Constitution and By-laws that is in compliance with the State requirements.  A newly chartered Shop will pay a $30.00 fee to charter with the NFAA.  After establishing charter, continued affiliation will be maintained through the state association and the NFAA Director.

5.         Sixty days prior to expiration of club/shop charter, the NFAA shall provide the club/shop with a charter renewal form in triplicate and a list of these clubs/shops will be sent to the state secretary and NFAA Director.  Upon successful renewal of NFAA Charter, the state secretary will forward one copy of NFAA Headquarters of the completed form with a $30.00 renewal fee, one copy to the NFAA Director and retain the third copy.  Upon receipt of the approved renewal form and renewal fee at NFAA Headquarters, their charter will be extended for an additional year.  If a Club/Shop changes their Constitution and By-laws within the year they will send a copy along with the charter renewal to the State Secretary and the NFAA Director.  Failure to renew their charter by the last day of the month in which the club/shop charter expires, shall result in the club/shop being dropped from the active rolls of NFAA.

6.         If a State Association is unable to process the charter application within thirty days of receipt, NFAA headquarters is authorized to accept the application and issue the charter.  The State Association will be contacted for approval, and if the application is denied by the State Association, NFAA will immediately revoke the charter and notify the endorsed insurance carrier of the situation.

7.         When possible, place in a prominent place in all state NFAA sanctioned clubs, a NFAA bulletin board, upon which the clubs NFAA shoots, a membership application should be placed.  The NFAA logo or NFAA flag should accompany this bulletin board.

B.         Course Approval Procedure:

1.         The NFAA recognizes as official only tournaments held on NFAA approved courses and makes no awards for competition on any other course.  The NFAA Director, or his designated representative must inspect courses.  Any one that is designated to represent the Director must be a member in good standing of the NFAA.

2.         Any NFAA chartered club/shop having a range will have it inspected for safety by the NFAA State Director or his designated representative every two years.  When inspecting a Bowhunter range the NFAA Director will use the course layout regulations and the safety regulations that pertain to a marked or unmarked Bowhunter range.

3.         To get a course approved, by the NFAA, the club secretary/shop manager must contact the NFAA Director for that geographical area.  The Director will provide the necessary forms and arrange for inspection.  The Director or his designated representative must conduct the inspection.  Inspection forms shall be made in triplicate, with one copy being retained by the club, one retained by the Director, and one forwarded to NFAA Headquarters.

4.         The NFAA Director or his/her delegate shall be reimbursed at the current NFAA rate by a club/shop or association for travel incurred to inspect their course/range.

5.         After inspection has been made, the NFAA Director or his delegate has been reimbursed for travel incurred, and the completed forms have been reviewed and signed by the NFAA Director or his designated representative, they shall be forwarded to NFAA Headquarters, together with the $15.00 course approval fee.  This fee covers either an outdoor range approval or an indoor range approval.  The club/shop shall then be issued the appropriate course rating certificate(s).

6.         If course approval is completed within a month period from the effective date of new charter, no fee will be required for the initial approval.

7.         Course approval shall expire two years from the date of issue except when a change is made in the course, or a higher rating is desired.  In each instance, a new course approval must be obtained.  Procedures as outlined in subsections 3 and 4 of this section must be followed.  The $15.00 course approval fee will apply.

8.         The Club secretary, Association secretaries or Shop Owner/Manager shall be notified by NFAA Headquarters four (4) months prior to expiration of their course approval.  If successful inspection and approval has not been completed prior to the date of expiration, the NFAA Executive Secretary shall notify the Club Secretary, Shop Owner/Manager, the State Association Secretary and the NFAA Director that the range is no longer an approved range.

9.         Course approval may be withdrawn at any time when, in the opinion of the NFAA Director, a condition falls below the standards for the rating awarded.

10.       Revocation or expiration of course approval shall mean that no NFAA sanctioned events may be conducted on the course.

11.       NFAA Star Rating:  To receive a rating of ONE STAR, a course must meet all the requirements listed in 13 below.  A one star course rating represents compliance with minimum requirements.  A one star course rating is not considered satisfactory for tournament competition.  No tournaments can be registered and no NFAA awards allowed for any scores shot on a one star course.

A TWO STAR COURSE rating will require compliance with 12 and 13 below, plus the requirements of 70 BONUS points from 14 below.

A THREE STAR COURSE rating will require compliance with 12 and 13 below, plus the requirements of 190 BONUS points from 14 below.

A FOUR STAR COURSE rating will require compliance with 12 and 13 below, plus the added requirements of 250 BONUS points from 14 below.

A FIVE STAR COURSE rating will be granted to any four star course provided there is at least one 14 target unit which readily lends itself to TV filming, plus the added requirements of 300 bonus points from paragraph 14 below.

A TV RANGE should be more than a regular roving range.  It should lend itself to TV filming in a manner, which would allow the cameraman to cover more than one group or target at a time.  It should be at least one 14-target unit.  Several recommended configurations of a TV range would include:

11.1      Target shot of a road, trail or field where the shooter shoots the target and returns to the road/trail/field.

11.2      Targets set in a semi-circle, straight line or “V” configuration in a field. 

The TV portion of the range may be the complete range or, if part of a larger range (such as 14 or 28 targets) should be an integral part recognizable as such.

Course rating of TWO, THREE, FOUR, and FIVE stars makes the course eligible for tournament competition, registration, and NFAA awards.  The optional Cub and Animal Round shooting positions as well as Youth shooting positions, when present, must be up to standards and become a regular requirement of the inspection.

12.       Course Layout Requirements:

12.1      Distances used shall be those given in the current edition of the NFAA By-laws.

12.2      All distances shall be correct and no deviation is permitted.  Inspectors will check any distance in question with a tape or other means.  The clubs shall tape all targets from shooting position to target butts.

12.3      All butts must be stable so there is no danger of tipping.  If such a chance exists, then they must be braced or anchored.

12.4      Shooting lanes must be cleared so that the lightest bows can shoot an arrow to the target without being deflected.

12.5      Any person, regardless of height, must have a clear view of the full face of the target.

12.6      If the target is not backstopped, one-half the target distance shall be cleared behind the butt. If backstopped, or ditched, then the area to such back-stop shall be cleared so that arrows may easily be found.

12.7      Area one-fourth the shooting distance shall be cleared in front of the butts.

12.8      Paths between targets should be clearly marked and clear enough for easy walking with no obstruction, preferably so that archers can walk two abreast.  If the inspector has any difficulty finding their way, this must be remedied.  Paths should preferably be at the side of the shooting lane.

12.9      Shooting position shall be marked with target numbers, or separate target number marker shall be present and shooting stake color uniformity; Field-White, Hunter-Red, Animal-Yellow, Cub-Black, Youth-Blue.

12.10    Bales or butts must not leak arrows.  They shall not be reinforced with any material that will damage arrows.

12.13    The course shall provide appropriate rest room facilities.  It is most desirable that these rest rooms should meet the minimum requirements provided by the laws of their state or townships.  Such requirements can be obtained from the local county Board of Health.  Due to the condition of many of these facilities, city or county Board of Health affidavits should be required.  A privy law is on the books of every state of the nation.  Each city, county and township also has its own requirements and very often is more strict than the state’s.

13.       Safety Requirements:

13.1      No course shall receive approval until all safety hazards, in the opinion of the inspector, are removed.

13.2      No paths leaving targets shall go directly behind butts.

13.3      If target butt is situated so that any path, target, road or building are behind at any reasonable distance, then the target must be provided with an adequate backstop.

13.4      Practice area must be placed so that no paths or roads pass a reasonable distance behind practice butts.  e)  Practice area shall be treated as a giant sized target, and so cleared and backed.

13.5      A minimum ranging from 25 feet to 50 feet must be provided between any paths or shooting lanes paralleling another shooting lane.  This minimum range permits tolerance to be used, depending upon terrain, length of shot, and any distance used must preserve absolute safety.

13.6      Distance on either side of a target to be free from archers shall range (depending upon conditions and length of shot) from 15 to 30 degrees from the shooting position.  Example: For a 40-yard target; 120 feet, tangent 30 degrees, equals 120 X (0.57735) equals 68 feet clear distance on each side of the butt (about 23 yards).  (If 30 degrees is used, then factor is always 0.57735).  This does not mean all clear, but only that no shooting positions, waiting areas, etc., be located in this area.

13.7      No target shall be situated on top of a hill where a miss becomes a flight arrow.


13.8.1   All pillars or structural parts of the building, including automatic equipment, which in the eyes of the inspector would present an undue hazard shall be properly protected so as not to damage arrows and to prevent rebound to the shooting lines.

13.8.2   The area behind the target butt shall be protected so as not to damage overshot or side-shot arrows.  The backstop material shall extend to a minimum height of 8 feet from the floor.

13.8.3   Bow racks and other accessories shall be of a design and position so as not to create a hazard to either equipment or personnel.

13.8.4   Automatic butts returning with arrows imbedded shall stop without creating a hazard to archers on the shooting line (between 30 to 36 inches from the line).

13.8.5   Ranges with movable equipment shall have a warning system in the event anyone should advance to the target.  Once a participant has passed the shooting line in the direction of the target, the alarm system will activate.  Alarm systems may be bells or horns audible to the entire range.

13.8.6   Walk-up ranges shall have a sign posted stating that no one shall advance to the targets until an appropriate signal is given.  The signal may be a switch-operated device or a manual signal.  The sign shall be conspicuous from the shooting stake.  No size required.


13.9.1   Target butts may be made of straw, excelsior or any other material which in the eyes of the inspector would not be damaging to the arrows and yet provide suitable stoppage.

13.9.2   Butts shall not be made of material which, in a short time, will allow the passage of arrows.

13.9.3   At any time butts begin to allow pass-through arrows, the condition shall be corrected at once.

13.9.4   Each butt shall be large enough to carry the needed target faces for the round being shot.  Each shall have sufficient backing without overlapping one another.  The minimum size shall be 40” square or 48” in diameter.  A deviation in minimum size will be permitted in those club-type operations where each archer is assigned his own butt providing it is large enough to fully support a 40-cm. target face.

13.9.5   There shall be at least one face (or set) on the butt for each archer shooting on that line.

13.9.6   The distance from the floor to the bottom of the butt shall be 16” minimum.

13.9.7   Ceiling to floor distance shall be a minimum of 8’6”.  Each shooting lane shall be 24” minimum.

13.9.8    Movable equipment shall be capable of stopping the target at the following distances, plus or minus 4”, 20, 15 and 10 yards.  55, 50, 40, 35, 25 and 20 feet.


13.10.1 The illumination on the target shall be situated and placed so as not to allow the light rays to be directed toward the shooting line.  At no time will direct light rays be allowed to be in view of the archers so as to disturb his/her shooting.

13.10.2 The acceptable amount of light on the targets has been established at 30 foot candles.  Indoor ranges should maintain a 30 foot candle lighting illumination.

The Executive Secretary of the NFAA may allow deviations to certain rules listed herein except those listed under safety on the recommendation of the inspector.  Any such deviations allowed shall be stated on the approval certificate on display.

14.       Bonus Points: 

14.1      GROUP I:

14.1.1   Cleanliness:  If ranges and all facilities are clean and neat, and provided with trash disposal cans, fresh paint, etc. - 10 points.

14.1.2   If range paths are wide, cleared and mowed - 5 points.

14.1.3   Road: Passable the year round - 5 points.

14.1.4   Practice Area: Balanced to size of club, especially set-up, cared for, and provided with good shootable bales and backing - 5 points.

14.1.5   Camping Area:  Specially set up and designated- 5 points.

14.1.6   Parking Area: Specially arranged so that it is more than just open area (leveled, signs, etc.) - 5 points.

14.1.7   Picnic Area: A picnic area shall consist of mowed area, 1 picnic table, 1 grill or fireplace, and trash can - 10 points.  (Two points for each additional picnic table and/or grill).

14.1.8   Extra directional signals, signs, etc., on range and ground- 5 points.

14.1.9   Club entrance sign - 10 points.

14.1.10 50% of club archery membership NFAA members - 15 points.

14.1.11 100% of club archery membership NFAA members (10 members or more) - 20 points.

14.1.12 Shooting stake color uniformity - 10 points. (Field-White; Hunter-Red; Animal-Yellow; Cub-Black; Youth-Blue).

14.1.13 Shooting lanes wide enough to accommodate 4 shooting positions, so 4 archers may shoot at one time on all targets- 20 points.

14.1.14 NFAA members in club over 100 – 10 points; over 200 – 20 points; over 300 – 30 points.

14.2      GROUP II:

14.2.1   Children’s play area separated by fence, etc. - 5 points.  Swings, 2 points each; Sandboxes, 2 points each; Slides, 2 points each.

14.2.2   Club bulletin regularly published - 10 points.

14.2.3   Club signs and decorations at the entrance - 5 points.

14.2.4   Safe drinking water - 15 points.

14.2.5   PA System - 5 points.

14.2.6   NFAA approved instructor - 10 points.

14.2.7   Club or dealer arrangement for selling equipment- 5 points.

14.2.8   Regularly scheduled club events, shoots, parties, picnics, etc.  Allow one point per activity with a maximum of 10 points.

14.2.9   Regularly scheduled Junior Program (Junior Olympics, etc.)- 5 points.

14.2.10 Club-owned land - 20 points (1 point for every two acres).

14.2.11 NFAA Liability Insurance - 10 points.

14.3      GROUP III:

14.3.1   Kitchen facilities (building) - 10 points.

14.3.2   Separate broadhead range, sand banked - 20 points.

14.3.3   Bow racks on range and general area - 5 points.

14.3.4   Benches and seats on range, ¼ point per target - 7 points.

14.3.5   Double toilet facilities, over and above the minimum requirements: neat, clean and sanitary - 10 points.

14.3.6   Paid caretaker - 15 points.

14.4      GROUP IV

14.4.1   Storeroom: Building for supplies - 5 points.

14.4.2   Running water in facilities - 5 points.

14.4.3   Club house at range - 20 points.

14.4.4   Club house heated - 10 points.

14.4.5   Electricity to facilities - 10 points.

14.4.6   Extra shooting facilities - Short course (Children’s course or practice course) - 5 points.

14.4.7   Electricity lighted: Practice area - 5 points; one 14 target unit - 15 points; parking, picnic area, etc. - 5 points.

14.5      GROUP V

14.5.1   Two 14 target units       - 10 points

14.5.2   Three 14 target units      - 15 points

14.5.3   Four 14 target units       - 25 points

14.5.4   Six 14 target units         - 40 points


Safety requirements:

15.1      No course shall receive approval until all safety hazards, in the opinion of the inspector, are removed.

15.2.     All range inspectors MUST be members of the NFAA.  

15.3.     No paths leaving target shall go directly behind targets.

15.4.     If target is situated so that any path, target, road or building is behind at any reasonable distance, then the target must be provided with an adequate backstop.

15.5      Practice area must be placed so that no paths, roads, pass a reasonable distance behind practice butt.  Practice area shall be treated as giant sized target, and so cleared and backed.

15.6      Targets should be placed in shooting lanes to simulate hunting conditions, but at the same time these shots should be good, clean (not clear) and safe shots.  Remember, realistic bowhunting practice shots.

15.7      If an arrow is lost, the archer may search for their arrow a maximum of 25 yards behind the target.  The shooter should place their bow across the shooting lanes in plain sight, or stand their bow in front of the target butt and/or 3-D animal.

15.8      A minimum distance ranging from 25 to 50 feet must be provided between any paths or shooting lanes paralleling another shooting lane.  This minimum permits tolerance to be used, depending upon terrain or length of shot.  Any distance used must preserve absolute safety.

15.9.     A minimum of 50 yards must be provided behind the target.  An appropriate backstop may be substituted.

15.10    Distance on either side of a target, to be free from archers, shall range (depending upon conditions and length of shot) from 15 to 30 degrees from the shooting position.  [Example:  For a 40 yard target, 40 yards times tangent of 30 degrees (0.57735) equals about 23 yards clear distance on each side of target butt.]  This does not mean all clear, but only that no shooting positions, waiting areas, etc., be located in this area.

15.11.   No target shall be situated on top of a hill where a miss becomes virtually a flight arrow.

15.12    It is mandatory that on a Bowhunter/3-D range, the range inspector must be provided, at the time of inspection, with a map of the range layout which will be used for the inspection.  Also if an accident occurs during the shoot this may be used for Insurance purposes.  A map shall show distances, direction, targets and shooting positions.

15.13    Archery range safety warning signs shall be posted on all approved NFAA 3-D ranges at the inspector’s discretion.

15.14    If simulated moving targets are incorporated into the range they will be operated from behind the shooting position.

< Back to Constitution

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

OK, got it.