British Horseback Archery Association
1.1 Every competition shall have the following roles assigned: competition organiser, chief referee, target judge(s), time keeper and score keeper.
1.2 Each role may be held by a single person or by more than one person jointly, in which case the role may be exercised jointly or separately and individually.
1.3 A single person or group of people may hold more than one role at a time.
1.4 The competition organiser shall be responsible for providing the venue and where horses are being provided this shall also be the responsibility of the competition organiser.
1.5 The chief referee shall be responsible for ensuring that the competition runs in accordance with the rules. The chief referee shall decide all matters relating to the rules save where that responsibility is passed to an appeal panel.
1.6 The target judges shall be responsible for determining the number of points scored by arrows hitting the targets. They shall operate under the supervision of the score keeper and the chief referee. Target judges must be familiar with the provisions of rule 5 (scoring).
1.7 The time keeper shall be responsible for ensuring that the timing equipment is operating correctly and for recording the time taken for each run.
1.8 The score keeper shall be responsible for supervising the target judges and ensuring that the scores awarded by the target judges are recorded correctly.
1.9 In addition, individual events may call for further officials, including start line judge (Korean event) and judges for each section of track (Hungarian).
2. The Track
2.1 Unless otherwise specified by the rules for a specific event, the track shall be 2-4m wide and the boundaries of the track shall be clearly delineated, usually by a rope barrier or raised earth.
2.2 If rope is used to mark the track then it shall be suspended in a way that does not present a hazard to horses or riders. Any posts used for this purpose must be such as do not present significant risk of injury to a horse or rider who falls onto them.
2.3 It is recommended, but not required, that the rope have break points to allow a horse to go through it. The recommended method is to attach a small piece of wire to the ends of the ropes and hook them together.
2.4 There shall be adequate space after the finish line for the horse to slow and stop safely.
2.5 Where any competitor will be shooting left-handed, the track must not disadvantage competitors of either handedness. Specifically (but not exclusively), the targets must be at the same distances along the track both ways. Rule 2.4 (safe stopping space) applies to riders going in both directions.
2.6 The track shall be inspected for hazards before each day of competition.
2.7 Spectators must be required to maintain a safe distance from the track. This distance shall be determined by the chief referee.
3.1 All horses must be adequately trained and experienced in mounted archery and must be fit enough to complete all their required runs at canter or gallop.
3.2 Competition organisers and national bodies may make such rules regarding the horses’ age, vaccinations, health records, veterinary examinations and fitness as are reasonable.
3.3 Competition organisers and national bodies may make such rules regarding the inclusion of stallions as are reasonable.
3.4 Without prejudice to the above rules, horses with a known propensity to kick or bite should be required to wear red or orange ribbons in their mane and/or tail.
3.5 Those competitors who have not brought their own horse or arranged a private hire or lending of a horse shall be allocated a horse by the competition organiser, who shall attempt to allocate horses appropriate to the ability and riding style of the competitor. The decision of the competition organiser shall be final and shall not be appealable under rule 9.
3.6 It is recommended, but not mandatory, that no more than 3 competitors should ride a given horse in any one competition.
3.7 In the event that too many competitors wish to ride a particular horse (it being a horse available for allocation by the organiser), the final say shall go to the competition organiser and this decision shall not be appealable under rule 9.
3.8 Rules 3.5-3.7 shall all be subject to the absolute right of a horse’s owner to determine which riders and how many riders shall ride their horse.
3.9 Competitors must be given reasonable opportunity to ride the horses before the competition, in order to familiarise themselves with their horse and ensure that all competitors are satisfied (insofar as practicable) with their appointed horse.
3.10 The chief referee may, at any time and at their discretion, rule that a horse is not safe to continue, either through injury or for any other reason.
3.11 The owner of a horse may at any time withdraw their horse from the competition for any reason.
3.12 If a horse is withdrawn from the competition under rules 3.10 or 3.11 then:
3.12.1 the competition organiser shall attempt to make provision for an alternative horse;
3.12.2 if an alternative horse is being provided then the competitor shall be allowed a reasonable time to familiarise themselves with the horse and warm the horse up. The referee shall determine how long is reasonable in the circumstances.
3.12.3 The referee may, at their discretion, allow a warm-up run. If this is allowed then the referee may specify whether or not the competitor is permitted to shoot during the warm-up run. Unless there is good reason to do otherwise, the referee shall allow such warm-up run as is allowed to all competitors at the start of the event.
3.12.4 The referee may, at their discretion, allow the competitor to complete any runs that they have missed whilst changing horses. When deciding whether to allow this, the referee shall consider the extent to which the change was required as a result of the rider’s fault.
4. Personal Conduct
4.1 All competitors, supporting staff (including but not limited to coaches, grooms and team managers) and spectators shall conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike fashion. Unacceptable behaviour on the part of spectators or supporting staff may result in penalties against the competitor to whom the offenders relate.
4.2 Unnecessarily rough or cruel handling of the horses is forbidden. Penalties may be imposed as in rule 4.1 above.
4.3 Alcoholic drinks are prohibited in the start and finish areas, as well as in any area that is being used for shooting or riding.
4.4 No competitor shall consume any alcohol until they have concluded their riding and shooting for the day.
4.5 No competitor shall take any drug, whether prescribed or not, which may affect their ability to compete in a safe manner.
4.6 Any person acting in an unsafe or unsociable manner may be required to leave the event, at the discretion of the chief referee.
4.7 Infringement of any provision of rules 4.1-4.6 may be penalised by warning, the deduction of points or disqualification. This shall be determined by the chief referee, who shall bear in mind the seriousness of the behaviour. Competitors thus penalised may appeal under rule 9.
5. Personal Dress and Equipment
5.1 Traditional costume is encouraged but is not mandatory.
5.2 Riding helmets are encouraged but are not mandatory. The exception is that competitors aged under 18 must wear a riding helmet at all times when mounted.
5.3 A competitor riding their own horse may use spurs, crop or other similar equipment. Competitors riding a horse that is not their own must have the permission of the horse’s owner before using such equipment.
5.4 Bows shall be of traditional form but may be of modern construction, including the use of modern materials. No arrow shelves, rests, cut-out windows, stablilisers, weights, pistol handles or mechanical releases shall be permitted. Any draw weight may be used.
5.5 Arrows may be of any material, including the nocks and fletchings. Only target points are permitted. Broadheads or any other point that causes excessive damage to the target shall not be permitted. Where blunts are required, they must be made of rubber, wood, plastic, leather or some other soft material.
6.1 Arrows shall be scored by target judges, who shall indicate the score to the score keeper. The target judge shall not touch the arrow or the target face until the score keeper has instructed the target judge to pull the arrow.
6.2 Arrows that bounce off or pass through the target shall score zero and do not count as “hits” for the purpose of bonus points.
6.3 An arrow that strikes and remains embedded in another arrow shall score the same as the arrow it struck.
6.4 An arrow that penetrates the paper target face but does not penetrate the boss and is left hanging from the paper face shall be scored as though it had penetrated the boss.
6.5 If the shaft of an arrow touches two different scoring zones or touches the line between two scoring zones then the arrow shall be scored as the higher of the two scores. If the tear in the paper face caused by the arrow touches the line (or higher scoring zone) but the shaft of the arrow does not then the lower score is recorded. The higher score is only awarded if the arrow itself touches the line or higher zone.
6.6 It is recommended, but not mandatory, that if an arrow is close to or just touching a line (i.e. it is a close decision as to which zone to score it in), the target judge should obtain a second opinion before announcing the score.
7. Refusals, Falls and Safety Exclusions
7.1 Once a competitor has been given the signal to go, they must enter the track within 60s. Failure to do so shall count as a refusal and the competitor shall not be permitted to enter the track once the 60s have elapsed. They shall score zero for that run.
7.2 If a horse leaves the track other than through the approved exit then the competitor shall score zero for that run.
7.3 If a competitor falls from their horse whilst on the track then they shall score zero for that run. A second such fall in the same event shall result in disqualification from that event. For the purpose of this rule, an “event” is a set of six runs scored together, such as the Hungarian event or the Korean event. The competitor may compete in other events at the same competition.
7.4 The chief referee may, at their discretion, rule that a competitor is not safe to continue, either through injury or through lack of competence. In such a situation the competitor shall not attempt any more runs but shall not be disqualified, so any runs already completed shall count towards results and rankings.
7.5 A competitor who is deemed unsafe to continue through injury under rule 7.4 may, at the discretion of the chief referee, be permitted to attempt further runs once the injury has been resolved.
7.6 The chief referee may, at their discretion, allow the competitor to complete any runs that they have missed whilst injured or for any other reason. The chief referee shall consider the extent to which the injury was self-inflicted, but other factors such as time and any necessary rearrangement of the track or targets may also be considered.
8. Protests and Timing Failures
8.1 A competitor may protest if they feel that their run was unfairly affected by some outside influence. Such influence may include, but is not limited to, undue distraction by spectators or others near the track.
8.2 Any protest under rule 8.1 must be lodged as soon as practicable after the run has concluded and in any event must be lodged before the competitor’s next run.
8.3 A protest under rule 8.1 may be lodged with any official, who shall communicate the protest to the chief referee as soon as possible.
8.4 If a competitor lodges a protest in good time and as a result of lodging the protest they are late for their next run then their lateness shall not count as a refusal under rule 7.1, so the competitor shall not forfeit such a run.
8.5 In the event of a protest under rule 8.1, the referee may, at his discretion, allow the competitor to attempt the run again. If this is allowed then the score on the rerun shall stand in place of any score achieved on the original run, even if the original run scored more highly.
8.6 When considering whether to allow a rerun following a protest, the referee shall consider the extent to which any outside influence was foreseeable or greater than that experienced by other competitors. In particular, if the protest stems from distraction by spectators or others near the track then the referee shall consider whether such distraction was no more than should have been expected, bearing in mind the event and the crowd conditions in general.
8.7 If a malfunction of timing equipment means that a competitor’s run is not timed then the competitor shall be entitled to repeat the run. If the run is not timed because the competitor entered the track before they received the correct starting signal then the run shall not be repeated unless the competitor shows, following a protest, that they were induced to start the run through some mistake on the part of the officials (e.g. the starting judge told the competitor to go despite the official signal not having been given).
9.1 A competitor may appeal against:
9.1.1 any ruling by the chief referee;
9.1.2 any decision as to whether a competitor drew their arrows early;
9.1.3 any score awarded by a target judge;
9.1.4 the time recorded for a run;
9.1.5 any other alleged infraction of the rules, save where an appeal is expressly forbidden by the rules.
9.2 A competitor may appeal in relation to those matters mentioned in rule 9.1 in relation to their own run or any other competitor’s run.
9.3 The competition organisers may (but need not) require a competitor to deposit a sum of money when lodging the appeal. If this is required then the sum shall be not more than US$100 or the equivalent in local currency. Such a requirement must be clearly stated in advance in the rules for that competition and must be enforced equally among the competitors. It is permissible to distinguish between senior and junior competitors for the purpose of this rule. Any such distinction must be specified in the rules in advance.
9.4 The appeal shall be decided by the referee or by an appeals committee, whose composition shall be specified in the rules of the competition.
9.5 Where a money deposit is required under rule 9.3, the entire sum must be returned to the competitor following a successful appeal.
9.6 Should an appeal be unsuccessful, any money deposited under rule 9.3 shall be disposed of as specified in the rules. If the rules do not specify otherwise then the money shall go to hosting organisation.
10. Equipment Failure
10.1 If a competitor’s equipment fails then they shall be permitted to replace it. This includes, but is not limited to, the bow coming unstrung, breaking of bows, bowstrings, other archery equipment or riding tack. In such circumstances the competitor shall be permitted a reasonable time to replace the equipment. The chief referee shall determine how long is reasonable.
10.2 A competitor’s failure to enter the track for their run shall not count as a refusal under rule 7.1 during the time allowed by the chief referee for the replacement of failed equipment under rule 10.1.
10.3 A competitor shall not be permitted a rerun solely on the grounds that their equipment failed during a run.
11. Competitors’ Meeting
11.1 There shall be a meeting for all competitors, to be held not more than 24 hours before the competition begins. At this meeting the rules and procedures for the competition shall be explained and competitors shall have the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.
11.2 All competitors must attend the competitors’ meeting unless excused by the chief referee. Any competitor who, without prior permission, does not attend the meeting may, at the chief referee’s discretion, be prevented from competing in the competition.