Article IV

A.    National Tournaments

1.         A National Outdoor Championship Tournament, National Indoor Championship Tournament, and a National Marked 3-D Championship Tournament shall be provided annually, at a time and place to be determined by a 2/3-majority vote of the NFAA Council.  A National Unmarked 3-D Championship Tournament may also be provided annually, at a time and place to be determined by a 2/3 majority vote of the NFAA Council.  An annual National Outdoor Target Championship to be held at NFAA Headquarters with two rounds.  Day 1 – NFAA 900 Target Round, Day 2 – NFAA Classic 600 Target Round. A National 1-Arrow Marked 3D. 

1.1       The selected host and the NFAA Director of the host’s state will be notified of acceptance of the bid within 30 days of the Council’s decision.  This notification will include a contract sent to the accepted host.  The contract, signed by the host, must be returned to NFAA Headquarters within 60 days.  If no contract is received within 60 days, the NFAA Council will consider other bids for the tournament.

2.         At all National tournaments, the opening ceremonies shall, when possible, begin with the singing or playing of the National anthem and the salute to the flag.

3.         The NFAA Council shall also establish entry fees, awards, and any or all other conditions.

            3.1       Awards for Indoor and Outdoor Nationals shall be silver bowls for championships of all classes, styles and divisions regardless of participation numbers.

4.         At the National Outdoor Championship Tournament all flight awards will be presented at the tournament site immediately upon completion and tabulation of scores.

5.         At the National Outdoor Championship tournament the Championship Field Round target and the Championship Hunter Round target will be used.

6.         All unused targets ordered by hosting clubs for National tournaments must be purchased by the host club at cost price, or returned postage paid to NFAA Headquarters. The Chairman’s report for National tournaments shall include an accounting of targets ordered, targets used, and targets unused.

7.         Protests arising at this tournament will be discussed and ruled upon by a committee consisting of the Tournament Director, NFAA President, One (1) councilman, and two (2) Directors, available at the tournament. The Councilman and Directors will be chosen at random by the Tournament Director. A list of the members of this committee shall be posted in public view.

8.         Any individual wishing to file a protest against another archer must inform that individual in the presence of a tournament official that a protest will be filed. Both individuals have the right to be present at the meeting of the protest committee. All protests must be submitted within one hour after the end of the day’s shooting or, if indoors, the line on which the alleged offense occurred. A $50.00 National and $25.00 Sectional protest fee must accompany the written protest at National and Sectional tournaments, which will be refunded if the protest is upheld. No protest that is filed after the time limit will be considered or acted on.

9.         A competitor not following the established tournament rules, improper conduct or creating a safety hazard may be disqualified immediately.

9.1       A competitor using equipment not deemed legal for NFAA competition may be disqualified after review by the committee with the archer in question present, after that days shooting is complete.

9.2       At National-level tournaments, archers who shoot at other than their scheduled time will not be eligible for awards.

9.3       For tournaments without a timer, a competitor who is not present at their assigned target before their group has scored all the arrows of that target will take a no score for that target.  Exceptions will be for equipment failure experienced during practice that is reported to and approved by the tournament chairman or circumstances caused by tournament officials.  It is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure they are at their assigned target on time or to seek the assistance of the tournament director to help them arrive at their target on time.

10.       The Host club must be covered by NFAA insurance or a policy of equal or greater coverage.

11.       A range inspection will be conducted by the NFAA Director of the host state. If any change is required, then the host club shall be consulted.

12.       The Host club shall provide a practice range which consists of a single shooting line with the practice butts angled or in a “V” shape.

13.       The Professional Division shall only shoot for score the last 3 days of the event, with the animal round to be held the final day of the event.

14.       The NFAA Indoor Round will be shot at the NFAA National Indoor.

B.         Sectional Tournaments:

1.         A Sectional Outdoor championship tournament shall be provided annually, also a sectional 3-D championship tournament may be provided annually in each section, with the time, place and rounds to be determined by members of the Board of Directors within the section. All bids submitted for Sectional tournaments will be sent to the host state Director at least 15 days before contracts are signed, and copies must be available at NFAA Headquarters for inspection.

2.         Sectional Indoor championship tournament may be provided annually by the same procedure.

3.         All Sectional tournament shall be hosted by a current NFAA chartered Club or Shop.  A Club or Shop can host a maximum of one (1) sectional location for each event.

4.         State Associations are eligible to host a NFAA sectional event or location if no other bids are received.

5.         All Sectional tournaments shall be hosted on a current NFAA inspected range.

6.         At all Sectional tournaments, the opening ceremonies shall, when possible, begin with the singing or playing of the National anthem and the salute to the flag.

7.         Sectional tournaments shall consist of official NFAA rounds. If Field and Hunter rounds are shot, the Championship Field Round target and the Championship Hunter Round target will be used.

8.         The entry fees, awards, and any or all other conditions for these tournaments shall be established by NFAA with approval by the Council.

8.1    Host club may keep up to fifty (50) percent of the registration fee for archers who do not show.

9.         An archer may choose to shoot in several Indoor and Outdoor Sectional tournaments of his choice, but only may compete for awards in that section of his state affiliation.

10.       A protest committee shall be assigned at each sectional site, consisting of three NFAA members, one of which shall be a Councilman, or Director or Director designee.

11.       In the case of multiple sectional sites, the ruling shall be forwarded to the Sectional Councilman if not present at the site.

12.       The Host club must be covered by NFAA insurance or a policy of equal or greater coverage.

C.         State Association Approved Tournaments:

The NFAA affiliated states may provide any number of outdoor and indoor tournaments, up to and including the state championship level.

D.        Tournament Officials:

1.         Tournament Chairman:

At all NFAA sanctioned tournaments a Tournament Chairman shall be appointed and it shall be his duty to:

1.1       See that the requirements of NFAA sanction are fulfilled, through the NFAA Director, NFAA Councilman, or designated NFAA administrator.

1.2       See that a target captain and two scorers are appointed for each group.

1.3       Designate the order in which groups are to shoot or assign the stakes from which each group is to start, depending on which system is used.

1.4       Have the option to set a time limit, either by target or by round, when such tournament must be completed. 

1.5       See Article IV, Section A, Paragraph 8 for protest filing procedures.

1.6       Inspect or designate an official of the tournament to inspect any Barebow, Barebow Recurve, and Bowhunter Freestyle equipment at any time during an NFAA sanctioned event that they feel necessary.

1.7       Disqualify any competitor not following the established tournament rules, improper conduct or using equipment not deemed legal for NFAA competition.

1.8       Appoint Line Judges as deemed necessary. Judgments made by Line Judges shall be final.

1.9       Assure that an official chronograph and official bow scale, defined in Article I, Section A, Paragraphs 12 and 13, respectively, are available at the tournament site.  The official tournament bow scale and chronograph shall be used for enforcement of the peak draw weight and arrow speed limits specified in Article II, Section A, Paragraph 3.  These devices shall be made available, without charge, to any registered competitor for the duration of the tournament.  At the discretion of the Tournament Chairman, the requirement for these devices may be waived at state and club events.

2.         Target Captain:

At all NFAA sanctioned tournaments a Target Captain shall be appointed by each group and it shall be his/her duty to:

2.1       Report any archer in his/her group violating the rules set forth in the NFAA By-laws.

2.2       Rule on all questions on his/her target subject to appeal to a Line Judge.

2.3       Acknowledge equipment failure of any archer in his/her group.

E.         Official Rounds:

1.         The NFAA recognizes as official those rounds described in By-Laws Article VI.

2.         NFAA Sanctioned Round: The NFAA shall grant official sanction to any of the above NFAA Official Rounds when said round is conducted by the NFAA or through its recognized state affiliate; when said round is held on an NFAA approved facility using official NFAA targets; and when said round conforms to By-laws Articles I, IV, and VI.

3.         NFAA Handicap Round: The NFAA recognizes as official for recording on the NFAA handicap card any 28 target Field Round or 28 target Hunter Round or 14/14 combination of same.

F.         Standard Facing for Championship Field Ranges:

            1.         20cm Faces:  16 faces – 4 across and 4 up/down

            2.         35cm Faces:  4 faces – 2 across and 2 up/down

            3.         50cm Faces:  A minimum of 1 face per target.  A minimum 2 (side by side) faces per target at 35 and 36 yards.

            4.         65cm Faces:  1 face per target.

            5.         Animal Group 1 and 2:  1 face per target with bonus spots.

            6.         Animal Group 3:  2 of the same face per target with bonus spots.

            7.         Animal Group 4:  4 of the same faces per target with bonus spots.

            8.         See Appendix 4 for target face size/group needed.

G.        Flighting for National and Sectional Tournaments:

The method of determining flights at National and Sectional tournaments shall be printed in the contracts and on the registration forms.

1.         The NFAA flight system will be used at National and Sectional tournaments.

1.1       Flights will be provided in each division and shooting style as follows: 1 to 15 shooters, one flight; 16 to 30 shooters, two flights; 31 to 45 shooters, three flights; 46 to 60 shooters, four flights; 61 or more shooters, five flights; and so forth.  (See Appendix 1)

1.2       An optional alternate flight system for tournaments with 200 shooters or less (see Appendix 1).

2.         For Outdoor Nationals archers will be arranged in flights according to their final score, whether it is a 3 day, 5 day or 3/5 day National format.  For Outdoor Sectionals archers will be arranged in flights according to their final score and X count.

3.         For Indoor Nationals and Sectionals, archers shall be arranged in flights according to their final score and may include X count.

4.         Equal division of the number of archers in each flight will be maintained, except that the last flight will record a lesser number (for two flights) or an unequal number (for three or more flights) as may be required. When two or more tie scores appear at the flight break, the archers tied will be placed at the bottom of the upper flight, without disturbing the remaining flights as originally established.

5.         The flight system does not apply to the Professional Division.

H.        National and Sectional Divisions of Competition:

1.         Divisions of competition and styles of shooting to be recognized at National and Sectional tournaments (see Appendix 4 for standard nomenclature):

Professional, Adult, Senior, Silver Senior, Master Senior, NFAA Junior (Cub, Youth and Young Adult).

2.         Styles of shooting to be recognized shall be 

ADULT, SENIOR, SILVER SENIOR, MASTER SENIOR Freestyle, Freestyle Limited, Barebow, Bowhunter Freestyle, Traditional, Freestyle Limited Recurve, Crossbow (Adult only), Barebow Recurve, Longbow (Adult only)
YOUNG ADULT, YOUTH, CUB Freestyle, Barebow, Bowhunter Freestyle, Freestyle Limited Recurve, Barebow Recurve

3.         A Crossbow Division may be provided at National level NFAA and NFAA-owned Indoor events – Adult divisions only.  Shooting Rules: (See Article II, Section L.)

4.         At all Sectional and National Tournaments, a Guest Class, with no awards provided, will be provided for any Adult, Cub, Youth, Young Adult archer, not a member of NFAA who provides proof of membership in any other IFAA Affiliated National Association. All professionals must be NFAA Professional Members.

I.          Outdoor Shooting Rules:

1.         Archers shoot in groups of not less than 3 or more than 6; 4 to be the preferred number. No group of less than 3 shall turn in an official score.

2.         By mutual agreement the foursome shall decide which two shall shoot from which side of the shooting stake.

2.1       On targets 1 and 15 the archers shall change their order of shooting. Those who shot first shall shoot last and those who shot last shall shoot first. Those archers who had been shooting from the right side shall shoot from the left side and those who had been shooting from the left side shall shoot from the right side. If you shot bottom targets you will switch to the top and if you shot top you will switch to the bottom.

2.2       The archer must straddle an imaginary shooting line, which is marked by the distance stake and parallel to the target face, while shooting the required arrows. No archer may advance to the target until all arrows have been shot by the group, except for yardages that are 32 yards or less and when there are more than four archers in a group on 35 cm. targets or smaller. Archers may elect to shoot at a clean target after all previous shooters in the group have shot and had their arrows scored.

3.         When shooting at butts with multiple target faces, the first 2 shooters will shoot the bottom target faces. When target faces are placed side by side (i.e. 50 cm.) the archer on the left will shoot the left target face; the archer on the right will shoot the right target face. On fan positions the same applies, except each archer will shoot two arrows at each target. Any arrow striking the wrong target shall be considered a miss and may not be re-shot.

3.1       20 cm. Targets will be shot vertically. The shooter may elect to shoot top to bottom in order or bottom to top in order.

3.2       20 cm. Targets.  Each archer must choose one column of four target faces on his or her side of the shooting stakes.  An archer must not shoot at a column that has already been shot by another archer.

4.         One group shall not hold up the following groups while looking for lost arrows. Enough arrows shall be carried so that each archer may continue shooting, and return later to find missing arrows. If one or more open targets in front and two or more groups back up, the delaying group shall allow backed up groups to shoot through.

5.         No archer may practice on any shot of a course to be used for tournament shooting later the same day. Special practice targets should be supplied. The first target of each round may be used as practice at the discretion of the tournament chairman. The maximum number of arrows allowable will be determined by the round being shot.

6.         An archer leaving the range for any reason other than an emergency situation or an equipment failure may be privileged to return to his/her group and complete the unfinished round or subsequent rounds. He/she will not be privileged to make up any arrows missed in the interim. If deemed an emergency, or an equipment failure, then in the presence of the tournament official he/she will be allowed to shoot missed targets.

7.         In the case of an equipment failure the archer may have the needed time, as granted by a tournament official, for equipment repair or replacement and may shoot arrows required to assure that the proper sight settings are accurate, within the 45 minute maximum time limit. Then, in the presence of the tournament official, be allowed to shoot the targets missed. This occurrence of repair or replacement may not happen more than once in any tournament day.

8.         No archer may shoot (compete) in any one tournament more than one time unless advertised as a multiple registration tournament.

9.         In case of inclement weather, the tournament shall continue unless the range has become unsafe as determined by the Tournament Chairman or appointed Tournament Officials.  Unsafe conditions shall be called if lightning is within the vicinity of the tournament facility.  A pre-determined signal will be sounded to halt competition. An archer leaving the range without approval shall be subject to the requirements of Article IV. H. 6.

10.       Tripods for spotting scopes and tripods for binoculars shall not be permitted during outdoor competition at National or Sectional Tournaments.

11.       At all NFAA outdoor sanctioned tournaments, a (3) let down rule will be applied per arrow. A fourth let down will be counted as a shot arrow.

12.       The targets at all official NFAA outdoor rounds must be shot in numerical sequence.  Archers are not allowed to intentionally skip a target(s) and return later to shoot the skipped target(s). Any intentionally skipped target(s) may not be re-shot and shall be scored as zero.

13.       A disabled archer shooting from a chair or wheelchair will place the chair legs or wheels straddling the distance marker or shooting line.

J.          Scoring:

1.         All arrows must remain in the target butt until all arrows are scored. In all NFAA Rounds, an arrow shaft need only touch the line to be counted in the area of next higher value. They may then be withdrawn.

2.         The status of all arrows shall be determined and recorded before touching or withdrawing any arrows from the target butt.

3.         The target group, which generally consists of four archers, will select a score caller, two scorekeepers, and a target captain.  The target captain shall be the judge of disputed arrows on his/her target.  In the case of a group of three archers, a scorekeeper will also be the target captain.  When a captain’s arrows are in question, the majority of the group shall decide the status of the target captain’s arrows.  When a line judge has been appointed by the tournament director and an appeal is made to the line judge, the line judge’s call will be final.

4.         Off-ground skids or glances into the target shall not be counted. Arrows striking objects over the shooting lane may be re-shot.

5.         Arrows passing through the face, but still in the butt, may be pushed back and scored as hits in the circles through which they went. This does not mean that they may be withdrawn and then stuck back through the target.

6.         Arrows believed to have passed through the target may be re-shot with marked arrows, which will not be scored if the doubtful arrows are found in the butt.

7.         Unsuspected pass-throughs: in any instance where arrows are found to have obviously passed through in such a manner they cannot be properly scored and their location and the condition of the butt convince the target captain that the arrows did indeed pass through a scoring area, the archer may return and re-shoot from the obvious distances or furthest distances involved.

8.         Witnessed bounce outs, believed to have hit the target in the scoring area, will be re-shot.

9.         An arrow embedded in the nock of another arrow (generally known as a Robinhood) will be scored the same as the arrow it skewered.

10.       All shoot offs for ties will take place at the practice range, on the longest yardage commensurate with age.  Field or Hunter faces may be used at the discretion of the tournament director.  Score, Spots & X’s will be used.  After one end, if still tied, repeat the end.

11.       If an archer shoots more than the prescribed number of arrows in an end, the excess arrow or arrows of higher value will not be scored. A penalty of one scoring ring (1 point and 1 X if applicable) will be assessed for each arow shot over the prescribed number of arrows.  

12.       Any arrow(s) shot from other than a pre-designated position in the designated order shall be scored as “0” (zero).

13.       A dropped arrow is one which falls while being transferred from the quiver to be nocked on the string, or in preparation for a shot; or which falls from the string during a controlled letdown. (A dropped arrow may be re-shot).

14.       Scorecards must be signed as correct by scorekeeper and archer. Once submitted a scorecard cannot be retrieved for purposes of changing totals.  An archer who has signed and submitted a scorecard as correct which has incorrect total(s) may be disqualified.

15.       Occurrence of equipment repair or replacement may not happen more than once in any tournament day.

16.       If an archer shoots less than the prescribed number of arrows in one end he/she may shoot his/her remaining arrows if the omission is discovered prior to advancing to the target; otherwise, they shall be scored as misses. 

K.        Awards:

1.         At Sectional and National Tournaments, awards shall be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in all divisions and styles.  At state level and below the unit system may be used.  The unit rule is defined as follows:  One award for one through three archers; two awards for four through six archers; three awards for seven or more archers in a class.

2.         At National and Sectional tournaments, archers must complete the prescribed number of targets for the tournament to be eligible for an award.  No award can be won with an incomplete score, except in the case of emergency.

3.         Archers awarded the temporary custody of prizes and trophies shall be responsible for their return in good order to the Executive Secretary at least two weeks before the next annual tournament.

4.         Ties for 1st, in Championship Flight at any National Tournament will be broken by a shoot off.  All other ties will receive duplicate awards.  Ties for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the professional division will be broken by a shoot off.

5.         At Sectional and National Outdoor Tournaments, “X” count may be kept and used to break ties.

L.         Use of Handicaps:

1.         All handicaps as provided under “Handicapping” shall be recognized.

2.         The NFAA shall issue official NFAA handicap cards.

< Back to Constitution

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

OK, got it.