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Traditional Equipment Rules

National Traditional Championships Equipment and Shooting Rules

Gender: Male and Female
Age Class: No separate categories. All shoot as "Senior."
Read This First


I. Five equipment divisions will be made:
a) Traditional longbow (TLB): all-wood British longbows/American flatbows/similar without arrow rests/shelves
b) Modern longbow (MLB): longbows made with wood, fiberglass or other modern man-made materials, except metal. Arrow rests or shelves are permitted.
c) Traditional recurve (TR): recurve bows with wood handles or risers.
d) Traditional horsebow style (THB): Wood Asian, Hungarian, Mongolian or similar
e) Modern horsebow style (MHB): Asian, Hungarian, Mongolian or similar made with modern materials.

II. All longbow and horsebow competitors must shoot wood arrows. Recurve shooters may shoot wood or aluminum. Maximum arrow diameter is 9.3mm.

III. Binoculars and spotting scopes are not permitted.


General Rules:
1. Longbow is defined as a wood bow without recurve in the limb tips, (i.e., the string must not rest on the upper or lower limb but rather must contact the bow only at the string nocks.)

2. Stabilizers or counterweights, or bows built up to serve the same function will not be allowed.

3. Protruding bow sights will not be allowed. However a movable band/"o-ring" or rubber band on the bow limbs will be permitted as long as this band is no larger than 1/8th inch wide or high. An alternative allowed reference method is the moveable "Point-of-Aim" on the ground. This cannot exceed a height of 6" above the ground or be larger than 3" in diameter.

4. No cushion plungers or similar mechanical or metal apparatus shall be used. However, the side of the bow where the arrow comes in contact with it may be built out slightly with a leather pad.

5. Arrows will be fletched with feathers. Points shall be of a type that will not inflict undue damage to target faces or buttresses. Point weight may be of any value.

6. Finger protection in the form of finger stalls or tips, gloves, shooting tab or tape (plaster) is allowed to draw, hold back and release the string, providing it does not incorporate any device to help in holding, drawing and releasing the string. (For example, mechanical releases or hooks are not permitted.) A separator between the fingers to prevent pinching the arrow may be used. On the bow hand a glove, mitten or similar item, may be worn.

A. Traditional Longbow Division Rules:
1. British Longbow or American flat all wood bows or similar, without arrow rests, shelves or center shot cut shelves are used in this division. The bow may be laminated, but no man-made materials (beyond glue) may be used as backing or in other layers of the laminate.

2. Horn string nocks are not required.

B. Modern Longbow Division Rules:
1. Longbows made with fiberglass laminates or other modern man-made materials are allowed in this division, with the exception of metal risers.

2. Arrow rests, shelves and center shot cut shelves are also allowed.

C. Traditional Recurve Division Rules:
1. Recurve bows with wood handles or risers are allowed in this division. Limbs may be wood or laminated with fiberglass. No carbon limb composites or foam limbs, just wooden core limbs with glass overlays. Vintage primitive all-metal recurves (not Olympic-style or 1st-generation metal risers) are permitted in this class.

2. Arrow rests, shelves and center shot cut shelves are also allowed.

3. Arrows may either be wood or aluminum but may not be carbon or aluminum carbon composites. Arrows must have feather fletching.

4. Bow sights are allowed that are either wood, plastic, steel or aluminum construction (no carbon) using a single adjustable sight aperture with no magnification or level and must be directly attached to the bow with no extension bar longer than 5 inches. A point of aim marker may also be used but not in the combination with a bow sight.

5. Bow stabilizers may also be used, but must be no longer than 10 inches in length and constructed either of wood, steel, brass, copper or aluminum. Rubber may be incorporated in the stabilizer but no carbon.

6. The use of a draw check mirror, level or string peep is not permitted. A spring steel clicker is allowed. Clickers to be used are the Hoyt stick-on or its equivalent, including the Cartel target clicker.

7. Bow string material shall be Dacron.

8. Arrow rests should not be used with a cushion plunger or Burger button. Arrow rests to be used are the Hoyt Super Pro Rest or equivalent or the Bear brush rest or equivalent.

D. Traditional Horsebow Division Rules:
1. Bows made primarily of wood without arrow rests or shelves. Siyahs must be of wood or horn and uncovered. Arrows must be wood or bamboo and have feather fletching. Shooting gloves, tabs or thumb rings may be used.

E. Modern Horsebow Division Rules:
2. Bows containing modern or man-materials such as carbon or plastic or made with modern biocomposite technology. Siyahs may be covered. Arrows must be wood or bamboo and have feather fletching. Shooting gloves, tabs or thumb rings may be used. A small arrow shelf or rest may be used. Bows with recurve-style grips and shelves will shoot in the Traditional Recurve division.




Revised March 2017


If in doubt about equipment qualifying and/or "meeting the spirit of the competition," feel free to contact us.

In the case of archer disability reasonable adaptive accommodations will be permitted. See USA Archery policy for wheelchair and stool use at events.





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