EXPLAINED: World Archery 3D Championship Classes

The World Archery 3D Championships features competition in four classes, each with separate divisions for men and women.

In this video, we explain the basic rules that separate the Barebow, Compound, Instinctive and Longbow classes. These classes exist within other organizations, but the World Archery rules for each are unique.

World Archery’s 3D Championships are held every other year in different parts of the world. A competition round features 24 3D animal targets, which archers must shoot two arrows at per round.

Competitive Barebow Archery Continues to Expand

A push to promote recurve barebow archery at the 2018 Lancaster Archery Classic seems to be spreading across the globe.

World Archery, National Field Archery Association and Archery Shooters Association all recently announced new opportunities for recurve barebow archers at 2018-19 tournaments.


World Archery on Sept. 15 opened entries for its 2018 Indoor Archery World Series events. This is a series of six indoor, 18-meter tournaments held in different locations around the world in late 2018 and early 2019.

Formerly known as World Cup tournaments, these competitions previously required archers to be part of a national team in order to enter. World Archery has changed that rule this year to allow any archer to enter, and at least one of the competitions will feature recurve barebow classes. None of the events previously had barebow divisions.

The Roma Trophy tournament, scheduled for Dec. 14-16 in Rome, has competition classes for recurve barebow archers. Barebow archers are hoping the same classes will be added to the World Series event attached to The Vegas Shoot, though they had not as of late September.


Run by NFAA, The Vegas Shoot Feb. 8-10 in Las Vegas will feature for the first time Recurve Barebow Flights. Rules for that division will mirror World Archery’s barebow guidelines.

NFAA has always had Championship Barebow at The Vegas Shoot, but that barebow division differs from World Archery barebow in that the bows that are allowed can be recurve or compound, and the use of stabilizers and draw checks are permitted. A draw check is a device that allows an archer to know exactly how far they have drawn their bow in order to release arrows from a consistent point in the draw cycle.

World Archery barebow is limited to recurve bows that must fit through a narrow ring, which basically eliminates the use of stabilizers, but does allow for additional weights to be added to the riser. Draw checks cannot be used in World Archery barebow competitions.


Neither organization allows the use of sights in its barebow divisions.

ASA has added two new classes to its slate of competition divisions – Barebow Recurve and Olympic Recurve. Both follow the USA Archery rules for these classes – which mirror World Archery’s – to support the participation of USA Archery college teams in 3-D tournaments. The move also facilitates the International 3-D Championship qualifying event that will be part of the ASA Kentucky Pro/AM scheduled for June 20-23, 2019.

All of these new recurve barebow opportunities follow changes made to the barebow division at the 2018 Lancaster Archery Classic. After noticing an exciting growth in interest in recurve barebow archery, Classic organizers increased the prize money and added new trophies awarded to archers competing in the barebow division at the 2018 event. They also changed the equipment rules so that the Classic barebow rules mirror World Archery’s.

With the tournament changes in place, registration among barebow archers doubled from the 2017 Classic to 2018.


Field Archery: What You Need to Know

Field archery is considered by many archers to be one of the most challenging and enjoyable archery formats out there.

It’s been dubbed “archery golf,” because it requires an archer to navigate an outdoor course, featuring shots at targets set at varying distances.

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The target sizes also vary, with smaller target faces being shot at shorter distances and larger ones at longer distances.

Since the course is outside, archers have to deal with weather, changing light conditions if the course moves from open fields to woods, and potentially uphill and downhill shot angles, depending on the course terrain.

Field archers shoot a lot of arrows during a typical round. Where a 28-target 3-D course would require 28 shots, a 28-target field round might require shooting 112 arrows – four per target – depending on the format.

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Speaking of format, there are two basic types of field archery in the U.S. – World Archery and National Field Archery Association (NFAA).

The World Archery format, which is employed at all USA Archery field events, consists of shooting 48 targets over two days – 24 per day. On one day, the target distances are unknown, requiring barebow archers to shoot from 5-45 meters, and compound and Olympic recurve archers to shoot 10-55 meters. Target faces are either 20, 40, 60 or 80 cm. Scoring rings are worth 1-6 points.

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Here are the 20cm, 40cm and 60cm World Archery field faces.

The second day of competition involves shooting at targets set at marked distances anywhere from 5-50 meters or 10-60 meters for the three respective classes of archers, which are broken up into several age categories.

For the USA Archery National Field Championships, the top three, two-day scores are rewarded with medals. In even years, when there’s a World Archery Field Championship, USA Archery picks the top eight archers after two days of scoring. Those archers shoot an additional 12 targets, and the top three finishers are selected to represent the U.S. at the world championships.

Under the NFAA format, archers shoot a 14-target course twice. Two types of NFAA rounds require shooting four arrows at each target face, which vary in size among 20, 35, 50 and 65 cm. Scoring rings are worth 3-5 points. The third type requires a varying number of shots at 2-D animal targets of varying sizes. Shot distances to targets in all three types of rounds are known.

The field round requires archers to shoot at distances ending in either 0 or 5, from 20 feet to 80 yards for adults and young adults – 50 yards max for youth archers and 30 yards max for cubs. The field target faces feature a black center, surrounded by two white scoring rings and then two outer black scoring rings.

The hunter round requires archers to shoot at odd-number distances from 11-70 yards. Hunter target faces feature a white center, surrounded by black scoring rings.

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A selection of NFAA field and hunter target faces.

NFAA sometimes holds field events, where archers shoot two, 14-target field rounds; hunter events, where archers shoot two, 14-target hunter rounds; or field/hunter events, where archers shoot one 14-target round of each type.

In the NFAA animal round, a course of 14 paper animal targets is set, with archers shooting 10-60 yards. Archers shoot up to three arrows at each target until they hit a scoring ring. If the first arrow hits a scoring ring, then the archer shoots no more.

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Here’s a selection of NFAA animal round targets.

Each target features a center bonus dot worth the most points, a large scoring ring surrounding the dot that’s worth the second-most points, and a larger ring surrounding that one that’s worth the least points. Scoring per target varies from 10-21 points depending on where the arrow hits, and how many arrows it takes to hit a scoring ring.

NFAA has many competition classes for archers using compound bows, recurves and longbows. And each of those classes is broken down further by age, so that archers of similar age, shooting similar equipment, compete against one another.

At the annual NFAA Outdoor Field National Championships, competitors shoot one field round, one hunter round and one animal round. The archers with the top cumulative scores in each respective division and age class are declared the winners.

USA Archery typically holds its national championship field archery tournament in early June, while NFAA has its in late July.

Field archery events held through the spring and summer at the club level across the U.S. typically follow either the World Archery or NFAA formats.

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Easton X10 arrows break another archery record in Turkey

The Easton X10 arrow continued its dominance of Olympic archery by helping the Korean women’s team break another World Archery record in June 2016.


The Korean women scored a combined 2045 points at the third stage of the 2016 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalaya, Turkey, to beat the recurve women’s team ranking round world record by seven points.

Ki Bo Bae, Choi Misun and Chang Hye Jin all used Easton X10 arrows to break the world record mark, which was set in 2015 by the Korean women’s team. A perfect score is 2,160.


Every current recurve world record was set with Easton’s X10 arrow, which has also won every Olympic title since its introduction at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.