Field archery

Field archery

Field archery involves shooting at targets of varying (and often unmarked) distance, often in woodland and rough terrain.

One goal of field archery is to improve the techniques and abilities required for bowhunting in a more realistic outdoor setting. As with golf, fatigue can be an issue as the athlete walks the distance between targets across sometimes rough terrain.Field Archery is usually shot according to either IFAA (International Field Archery Association) [ [ International Field Archery Association rules] ] rules or to FITA (Federation International de Tir a L'Arc) rules. (see section on FITA Field). Some national organisations (such as the NFAS in the UK) have their own rules.FITA rounds consist of 24 targets, which may have marked or unmarked distances depending on the specific type of round.FITA Field Archery is very popular in Western Europe whereas 3D is shot mostly in the Americas and Oceania.


The NFAA is the US affiliate of the International Field Archery Association.

Three common types of NFAA round are the field, hunter, and animal. A round consists of 28 targets in two units of 14. The information in the following sections is taken from the NFAA Styles and Rules. [ [ NFAA Styles and Rules] ]


Field rounds are at 'even' distances up to 80 yards (some of the shortest are measured in feet instead), using targets with a black bullseye (5 points), a white center (4) ring, and black outer (3) ring.


Hunter rounds use 'uneven' distances up to 70 yards, and although scoring is identical to a field round, the target has an all-black face with a white bullseye. Child and youth positions for these two rounds are closer, no more than 30 and 50 yards, respectively.


Animal rounds use life-size 2D animal targets with 'uneven' distances reminiscent of the hunter round. The rules and scoring are also significantly different. The archer begins at the first station of the target and shoots his first arrow. If it hits, he does not have to shoot again. If it misses, he advances to station two and shoots a second arrow, then to station three for a third if needed. Scoring areas are vital (20, 16, or 12) and nonvital (18, 14, or 10) with points awarded depending on which arrow scored first. Again, children and youth shoot from reduced range.


3D archery is a subset of field archery focusing on shooting at life-size models of game, and is popular with hunters. It is most common to see unmarked distances in 3D archery, as the goal is to accurately recreate a hunting environment for competition, albeit a more loosely organized form of competition than other types of field archery.

On these animals there are 4 rings, only 3 of these are used in ASA shoots. The one that isn't used very often is the 14 ring. This can only be scored if you call it before you shoot, and even then it may not be allowed. Next is the 12 ring inside of the 10 ring, inside of the 8 ring. Anything on the target that is outside of the 8, 10, 12, or 14 rings is a 5. If you miss the target, you score a zero.

Though the goal is hunting practice, hunting tips (broadheads) are not used, as they would tear up the foam targets too much. Normal target or field tips, of the same weight as the intended broadhead, are used instead.


In the United Kingdom the NFAS (National Field Archery Society) sets the rules for many shoots including Big Game and 3D shoots. Most of these consist of 36 or 40 targets or 2x20 targets. The NFAS is not affiliated to any international organisation.

The information in this section is taken from the NFAS Rules of Shooting. [ [ NFAS Rules of Shooting] ]

The most common NFAS rounds have a "walk-up" format where the archer starts at the furthest peg from the target and proceeds to nearer pegs if necessary.

The first arrow is shot from the red peg (or sometimes wasp peg for compound). A hit in the kill zone scores 20 points (sometimes 24 if an inner kill zone is being used). A hit in the wound zone (anywhere outside the kill zone but not on antlers or base, or within wound lines on 2D targets) scores 16 points.

If the scoring area is not hit with the first arrow the archer will proceed to the white peg for his/her second shot. A kill scores 14 points. A wound scores 10 points.

If a third shot is needed the archer will proceed to the blue peg. A kill scores 8 points. A wound scores 4 points.

If all 3 arrows miss the scoring zones the archer must stop shooting and a zero is scored for that target.

Juniors 12-14 and 15-16 must shoot blue, yellow, yellow and white, blue, blue respectively.

Cubs (under 12) shoot all their arrows from the closest yellow peg.

All archers attending these shots must carry a valid NFAS card in order to shoot.

There are multiple classes including compound limited, compound unlimited, bowhunter, barebow, freestyle, crossbow, hunting tackle, American flatbow and longbow. The traditional class is also accepted at some shoots.

FITA Field

FITA (Federation International de Tir a l'Arc or International Archery Federation) defines a 24 target field round known as the FITA 24.

The information in this section is taken from Book 4 of the FITA Constitution & Rules. [ [ FITA Constitution and Rules Book 4 - Field Archery Rules] ]

A mix of target sizes is specified together with a range of distances for each target size. Distances are measured in metres. The round may have marked distances, unmarked distances, or (in the Mixed round) a combination of both. A Combined FITA 24 consists of a 24 target unmarked round shot on one day and a 24 target marked round shot on the same course the following day, with the distances having been increased for the marked round.

Target faces have four black outer rings and a yellow spot, each with an equal width. The yellow spot is subdivided into two rings. The black rings score 1 point for the outermost to 4 points for the innermost. A hit in the outer yellow scores 5 points. A hit in the inner yellow scores 6 points. Before April 2008, the innermost yellow ring counted as an X (the number of Xs was used for tie-breaks) but only scored 5 points.

ee also

*Target archery
*Clout archery
*History of archery


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