Field archery


Field archery involves shooting at targets of varying and often unmarked distance, typically in woodland and rough terrain. As well as being a sport in its own right, it can be used to improve the techniques and abilities required for bowhunting in a realistic outdoor setting. Archers sometimes refer to the additional skills required to deal with challenging terrain and lighting as “fieldcraft”.

Events are usually conducted according to the rules of either the International Field Archery Association (IFAA) or the World Archery Federation (WA). Others may be held under the rules of national organisations such as the UK’s National Field Archery Society (NFAS) and the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) in the USA.


The bow and arrow are known to have been invented by the end of the Upper Paleolithic, and for at least 10,000 years archery was an important military and hunting skill and features prominently in the mythologies of many cultures.

Archers, whether on foot, in chariots or on horseback were a major part of most militaries until about 1500 when they began to be replaced by firearms, first in Europe, and then progressively elsewhere.

Archery continues to be a popular sport; most commonly in the form of target archery, but in some places also for hunting.


IFAA and NFAA competitions include three rounds: field, hunter, and animal. A round consists of 28 targets in two units of 14.

Field rounds are at ‘even’ distances up to 80 yards (although some of the shortest are measured in feet), using targets with a black inner ring, two white middle rings, and two black outer rings. Four face sizes are used for various distances. A score of five points is awarded for shots which hit the center spot, four for the white inner ring, and three for the outer black ring.

Hunter rounds use ‘uneven’ distances up to 70 yards (64 m). Scoring is similar 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 (46 m), 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 nonvisual (18, 14, or 10) with points awarded depending on which arrow scored first. Again, children and youth shoot from reduced range.

3D rounds use life-size models of game animals such as deer. 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. 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 broad head, are used instead.

Rules: There are four different target face sizes in field archery; 20 cm, 40 cm, 60 cm, and 80 cm. Irrespective of the round you are shooting, target faces are always set up the same, 20 cm in a block of 12 faces; three high and four across, 40 cm is set in a block of 4 faces; two across the top and two across the bottom.


There are many different styles that you can shoot in field archery. The styles differ in terms of what bow is allowed and what accessories you can have on your bow. The options range from the traditional style (naked longbow or recurve) all the way to freestyle in which you can use any type of bow, sight, stabilizer, etc.


The C&R Committee.
The Technical Committee.
The Target Archery Committee.
The Field and 3D Archery Committee.
The Judges Committee.
The Medical & Sport Sciences Committee.
The Athletes Committee.
The Coaches Committee.
The Para-Archery Committee.


Kim Soo Nyung

Darrell Pace

Yun Mi Jin