Shooting Rules

BowHunter Course

When you are ready to shoot your foot must be behind but touching the peg (you are definitely not allowed in front of the peg). If the shot is a kneeling shot you can touch the peg with your knee or leg.

For standard BowHunter courses a maximum of three arrows is shot at each target.

Before you have finished shooting from a peg, you may not walk forward of the peg as this would give you an advantage in shooting the target. If you are unsure whether or not you need to take a second shot to score on a target, you may take the shot ­before going up to score the target. In some competitions arrows need to be marked to identify the first, second and third arrow that has been shot. .

IFAA Course

Every IFAA target has an indicator board close to the most distant peg from the target face. This board gives information on the distance to the target for Seniors, Juniors and Cubs and other instructions for the target, e.g. whether all shots are to be taken from the same peg, or whether the target requires to archer to walk up or to shoot from different pegsThere are pegs for each distance for each target and multiple pegs if the target is a fan.

While shooting, the archer need not actually touch the peg, but can be up to 6 inches behind the peg and either side of it while remaining the appropriate distance from the peg. An IFAA shooter is entitled to a clear, unobstructed view of the target, so may move to where such a view is achieved as long as the required distance to the target is maintained.If an arrow touches a branch or similar on the way to the target, the archer has the option of disregarding the arrow and repeating the shot.

The speed of a bow shooting an IFAA course must not exceed 300 fps (91.5 m/s). Speeds in excess of this are not permitted. During a full 28 target round, the archer is expected to shoot half the targets from the left side of the lanes and the other half from the right side, but the rule about clear shots still applies if the view is obstructed. Sides are usually swapped at targets 1 and 15. Binoculars may be used and many shooters check the position of arrows after every shot. Other group members may also spot on your behalf. 

Safety Rules

The club’s property and the land used by the club is a wildlife reserve. All animals and birds on the property are protected. Only the Course or Field Captains may move any foliage on the course. Do not move foliage to get a clearer shot.

Each course has been set out with safety in mind and has been ‘safety-checked’ by the Course Safety Officer.

When walking around the course always follow the course markers. When your round has finished exit the course by 'FOLLOWING THE MARKERS' – never backtrack around the course or cut across the course.

In the event that your group is holding up groups behind you, if all are in agreement, you should allow that group to pass through.

If your group is leaving a target and there is another group waiting to shoot the same target, indicate when you are all well out of the way by calling ‘CLEAR’. If your group catches up with another group never shoot unless you are sure they are clear.

No Broadheads shall be taken or used on the course.
No Crossbows are to be used at the club.

The ‘Closed’ sign over a course indicates that it must NOT be shot as this could endanger people working on the course.

When searching for arrows behind a target butt, place your your bow across the target face to indicate your presence to others, or make sure at least one archer is standing in sight in front of the butt. Do not shoot at a target that has a bow or other archery equipment placed across it.

If you find a lost arrow it should be handed at the club.  A collection of ‘found’ arrows is in a container in the clubrooms. It is not a case of ‘finders, keepers …”, please do not help yourself to arrows unless they belong to you.

When drawing back the bow, never aim the tip of the arrow above shoulder height. This is to protect against an accidental early release.

If the Group Leader feels that the shooting position is dangerous he or she may alter the position for that shot and inform the Course Captain as soon as possible after the end of the round.

If the Group Leader feels it is unwise for an archer to shoot from their normal peg, for safety reasons, he or she may assign another shoot position.


The following is a list of important course etiquette rules:
1.     Avoid damage to ALL plants.
2.     No plant or branch may be broken to improve a shot.
3.     Remain on the pathway.
4.     Leave targets up and visible the way you expect to find them.
5.     No one shall shoot in any way that endangers another person.
6.     No alcohol is  to be taken on the course.
7.     No broadheads are to be taken on the course.
8.     No camouflage clothing is to be used on the course.
9.     No shot is to be taken if a bow has been left across a target.
10.  Slow groups are to let faster groups through.

Note that the area within the club boundaries is a wildlife reserve. Therefore, no animal or bird may be shot within these boundaries.

Scoring & Grading


Scores must be recorded on the club’s official score cards and must state:

  • Archer’s full name
  • Shoot Date
  • Archer’s shooting division
  • Peg Colour

When shooting the IFAA course, the scores of all 4 arrows on each target must be recorded .

Scoring Rules

All arrows must be left in the target until viewed and scored by the whole group. If an archer pulls out the arrows before the rest of the group has been able to view them that archer’s score may be recorded as zero. If the archer repeats the offence it will result in the offending shooter being disqualified.

An arrow needs to touch a line to score. If there is any gap between the arrow and the score line then that arrow does not score.

Do not touch or pull out any arrows until all scores are written down.

If an arrow passes through or bounces out of a  target, the score will stand if a group member reliably witnessed it. If not the shot is to be recorded as a miss. ­


If an infringement of the rules occurs, archers may lodge a formal protest. Protests are to be in writing on the Protest Form (which can be obtained from the Registrar) and lodged with the Protest Committee no later than one hour after the courses closing for that day. The Protest Committee, consisting of the Registrar, plus two senior committee members, will hear the protest as soon as practicable after the protest has been lodged. The decision of the Protest Committee will be final.