Archery Style

What style do I shoot?


Do determine your style of participation there are a few questions that needs to be answered.


for IFAA archery:


A Cub Division is established for archers below the age of thirteen years.

A Cub may elect to shoot in the Junior Division with written parental consent, but having done so, may not revert back to Cub.

Cub shooting markers will be coloured black.

Age will be defined as on the first day of a tournament.


A Junior Division is established for archers below the age of seventeen years.


A young adult Division is established for archers between the age of seventeen and nineteen years.


Those archers who are 55 years of age on or before the first day of a tournament will be given the choice to participate in the Veteran or Adult division (not both).

The decision to participate in the Veteran section is not binding on subsequent tournaments. The choice is always optional. Proof of age will be compulsory.

There will be no classes in the veteran division.



In local South African events archers aged 60 and older may elect to shoot in the Veteran masters class. This class is not valid at Regional or IFAA events.



1.1                              I.F.A.A. STYLES

1.1.1                         BAREBOW    (BB) – Recurve & Compound                    Bow, arrows, strings and accessories shall be free from sights, marks, blemishes or laminations that can be used for aiming.                    An adjustable arrow rest may be used to control the gap between the arrow and face of the bow window.                    The use of stabilisers, any length and number, shall be permitted.                    One permanent nocking point only is permitted.                    No mechanical device will be permitted other than one non-adjustable draw check and/or level mounted on the bow, neither of which may extend above the arrow.                    All arrows shall be identical in length, weight, diameter, fletching, and nocks, without regard to colour, with allowance for wear and tear.

1.1.2                         FREESTYLE LIMITED    (FS)    Recurve & Compound                    Any type of sight is permitted.                    Release aids are not permitted.

1.1.3                         FREESTYLE UNLIMITED    (FU)                    Any type of bow, sight and release aid recognised by SANIFAA is permitted.

1.1.4                         BOWHUNTER    (BH)     Recurve & Compound                    Bow, arrows, string and accessories shall be free from sight marks, blemishes and/or laminations that could be used for aiming. A levelling device is not permitted.                    No device of any type that may be used for sighting may be used or attached to the archer’s equipment. No draw check or clicker will be permitted.                    One consistent nocking point only is permitted (the point where the arrow touches the string) and shall be held by one or two indicators.                    One consistent anchor point only is permitted.                    An archer shall touch the arrow when nocked with the index finger against the nock. Finger position may not be changed during the competition.  In cases of physical deformity or handicap special dispensation shall be made.                    All arrows used shall be identical in length, weight, diameter, fletchings and nocks, without regard for colour, with allowance for wear and tear.                    Brush buttons in their proper place at the recurve tip of the bow are permitted.                    String silencers no closer than 12″ above or below the nocking point are permitted.                    A bow quiver installed on the opposite side of the sight window with no part visible in the sight window is permitted.                One straight stabiliser, coupling device included (if used), not exceeding 12 inch as measured from the back of the bow, may be used.  The plunger (where the stabiliser is screwed in) is part of the stabiliser.                No forked stabiliser or any counter balance will be legal.

1.1.5                         BOWHUNTER LIMITED    (BL)                    Any type of bow recognised by SANIFAA is permitted.                    Release aids will not be permitted                    A sight with a maximum of 5 fixed reference points, which must not be moved during a round, will be allowed.                    Pin sights are to be of straight stock from point of anchor to sighting points with only one sighting reference possible from each pin or reference point.                    Hooded pins or scope sights are not permitted.                    Bow sight pins known as Glo Pins are deemed legal. The configuration of this sight pin is such that a fiber optic is bowed behind a flat pin that comprises the straight stock, and is totally hidden behind the straight stock until curling to the tip of the straight stock to present the sighting point. The fiber optic bowed behind the straight stock must not be visible to the archer when at full draw. In order for the any sights with fiber optics to be considered legal, they must conform to the same construction, that is, the pin must be of straight stock and the fiber optic hidden in such a way as to not be visible to the archer when at full draw. Any other configuration requires separate ruling.                    A kisser button or string peep sight will be permitted but not both.                    Pin Guards/brush guards may be used provided that the distance between the bottom of the top guard and the top pin must be greater than the distance between the top pin and the next highest pin. The same clearance as for the top sight pin applies also to the bottom pin and the bottom guard.                    All other rules for the BOWHUNTER style will apply.

1.1.6                         BOWHUNTER UNLIMITED    (BU)                    Same rules apply as for BOWHUNTER Limited except that release aids are permitted.

1.1.7                         LONGBOW  (LB)                    A bow of any material, which can be either a one piece bow or a bow that can be taken down in two parts and put together again into a one piece bow within the handle (only shared once in the handle) which when strung displays one continued unidirectional curve, which is measured as follows.                    When the strung bow is placed with the bowstring in a vertical position, the angle as measured between the tangent of any point on the limb and an imaginary horizontal line must always decrease as this point is moved further away from the bow grip.                    Tip reinforcing not exceeding ½” in height, as measured from the surface of the bow limb and not exceeding 1½” in length as measured from the limb tip will be permitted.                    The belly must be free of any marks or blemishes that can be used as sighting aids.                    The bow may contain a window and an arrow shelf.                    Only one nocking point is allowed on the string, which may be marked by one or two nocking point locators.                    Arrows must be of wood, fletched with natural feather, and must be of the same length, fletch and pile, without regard for colour.                    Nocks may be of any material; any weight of pile may be used.                    The bow must be shot with the “Mediterranean” loose.                One consistent anchor point must be used                Adding weight to the riser of the longbow is tantamount to using a stabilizer and is therefore not permitted.                Sighting devices are not allowed in the longbow division. The use of rings at, or near the tips of the arrows provides the archer with a physical sighting device and is not permitted.                The use of a tennis style wrap, which would allow the archer to move his/her hand up and down on the handle and is regarded as a physical sighting method. The use of any type of wrap for this purpose is not permitted.

1.1.8                         HISTORICAL BOW – (HB)                    The recognition of the classic bow (also called historical or primitive bow) shall be based on the accepted design and usage during the period preceding the year 1900.                    There shall be no distinction between the different configurations of bow designs or of materials used.                    Only the adult division shall be recognised and there shall be no class grades.                    The bow shall be either a self made wood or composite bow.                    The inclusion of a form of arrow rest or shelf as well as a sight window cut-in shall be permitted, provided such meet the classic configuration of the bow which has established historical precedence.                    The bow shall be constructed of wood or materials that were used during the period of the bow’s historical usage. Modern materials such as carbon, glass fibre and epoxy may not be used. The use of historic glues such as bone glue and hot tree resin is not permitted and only modern glues and adhesives shall be used for the riser and limbs!                    The standard bowstring material shall be polyester. Historical (such as flax or sinew) and/or modern bowstring materials (such as Kevlar, etc) may not be used.                    Arrow shafts shall be made of wood and shall be fletched with natural feathers that are attached in the historical manner (no clear glue or superglue, etc). Modern arrow points or piles as well as modern nocks shall be permitted. Nocks that are cut into the shaft are only permitted when these are strengthened with appropriate materials.                    Accessories such as woven nocking point indicators and thumb rings shall be permitted, provided that such accessory was used during the historic use of the bow.                The onus shall rest with the archer to ensure that all the equipment that is used for the tournament is historically correct. The shooter shall show documented proof of the correctness of the equipment if so asked by the technical controllers at the tournament.                In this style a Hungarian bow will shoot next to an English longbow. Safety rules have been considered by not allowing traditional glues, bow string materials and cut-in nocks.



Three styles of shooting shall be recognised by the IFAA:

Unlimited – No restriction. 

Compound Limited – No release aids.

Recurve Limited – no release aid

Men and Women will compete in separate divisions.