Revised January 14, 2020

1.0  Officials


1.1       Every competition shall have the following roles assigned: competition organizer, 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 organizer shall be responsible for providing the venue and where horses are being provided this shall also be the responsibility of the competition organizer.


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.


     1.7.1     There must be at least two scorers with at least one being an MA3 member.


     1.7.2     NO competitor may be a scorer.


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).


2.0  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       Any posts used as barriers must be bendable, under 100 pounds, such that does not present significant risk of injury to a horse or rider who falls on them. The top of the post must be covered by a non-metal T-shaped fitting, ball, or rounded object to prevent injury. Wood or metal posts including steel "T-posts" are strictly prohibited for use as track boundaries.


2.3       It is 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       As a safety check, all tracks including Straight Tracks, Polish, Hunt, Cross Country, or otherwise, will be ridden at suggested course speed prior to warm-up day by competition organizers or members of host chapter. If track must be changed for safety reasons, it must be re-run at suggested course speed by at least two riders/horses before continuing competition. 


2.5       The track shall be inspected for hazards before each day of competition.


2.6       There shall be at least 15 meters’ space after the finish line for the horse to slow and stop



2.7       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.


2.8       All spectators must be at least 15 feet from the course at all times. Volunteers, Scorers, Photographers, Competitors and other crew shall not be within 10 feet of the course while a competitor is running.


2.9       State equine laws must be posted.


2.10      Emergency contacts must be posted.


3.0  Horses


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 organizers and national bodies may make such rules regarding the horses’ age, vaccinations, health records, veterinary examinations and fitness as are reasonable.


3.3       Competition organizers 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       No more than 2 competitors shall be pre-assigned a given horse in any one competition. Three competitors may share a single horse in the case of a necessary switch for safety or soundness reasons per track marshal discretion. No more than 3 competitors shall ride a given horse in any one competition for any reason.


3.6       In the event that too many competitors wish to ride a particular horse (it being a horse available for allocation by the organizer), the final say shall go to the competition organizer and this decision shall not be appealed under rule 9.


3.7       Rules 3.5-3.6 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.


3.8       Competitors must be given reasonable opportunity to ride the horses before the competition, in order to familiarize themselves with their horse and ensure that all competitors are satisfied (insofar as practicable) with their appointed horse.


3.9       The chief referee may, at any time and at their discretion, decide that a horse is not safe to continue, either through injury or for any other reason.


3.10      The owner of a horse may at any time withdraw their horse from the competition for any reason.


     3.10     If a horse is withdrawn from the competition under rules 3.9 or 3.10 then:


     3.10.1   The competition organizer shall attempt to make provision for an alternative



     3.10.2   If an alternative horse is being provided then the competitor shall be allowed a

     reasonable time to familiarize themselves with the horse and warm the horse up. The

     referee shall determine how long is reasonable in the circumstances.


     3.10.3   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.


     3.10.4   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 own fault.


3.11      All competitors MUST use a saddle with stirrups, and a bridle, bit-less bridle or bosal. All horses must have reins. There will be no liberty riding or riding with only a nylon halter allowed.


4.0       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 behavior 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 penalized 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 behavior. Competitors thus penalized may

appeal under rule 9.


4.8       Guns or ammunition are prohibited.


4.9       No minors allowed to participate without a parent/guardian present.


5.0  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, stabilizers, 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 fletching. 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.


     5.5.1     Qabac arrows MUST BE rubber blunted Flu Flus.


5.6       A quiver or sash is required unless otherwise specified in the course description. When not required, arrows may be carried in the bow hand. Quivers may be attached to the hip, thigh or back.


6.0  Scoring


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 6 ‘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.


6.7       Maximum Speed Rule - No competitor shall be awarded bonus points for riding faster

than 10 meters per second, unless competing a) on an approved IHAA course with a faster

speed allowance, or b) on a course that has been pre-approved at a faster speed allowance

by the MA3 Board of Directors.


7.0  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.


8.0  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).


9.0  Appeals


9.1       Prior to the start of the competition an appeals committee shall be formed. The committee shall be comprised of no less than 3 persons (one of whom shall be the chief referee).  Whenever possible the committee should not consist of more than one person from any given club or chapter. In the case of an appeals committee which the competitor feels is biased or conflict of interest exists the MA3 Board of Directors may be consulted and some types of rulings may be overturned, or results may be revised.  


9.2       A competitor may appeal against:


     9.2.1     any ruling by the chief referee;


     9.2.2     any decision as to whether a competitor drew their arrows early;


     9.2.3     any score awarded by a target judge;


     9.2.4     the time recorded for a run;


     9.2.5     any other alleged infraction of the rules, save where an appeal is expressly

     forbidden by the rules.


9.3       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.


9.4       The competition organizers 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$50 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.


9.5       The appeal shall be decided by the referee or by an appeals committee, whose composition shall be specified in the rules of the competition.


9.6       Where a financial deposit is required under rule 9.3, the entire sum must be returned to the competitor following a successful appeal.


9.7       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 organization.


10.0  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.


11.0  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.


12.0  Warm Up Runs 


12.1      There should be provision for competitors to warm up properly, including ground archery and horse schooling/warming up (without shooting) before each event. Separate areas should be provided for this.


12.2     The number of warm up runs is specified under the Korean and Hungarian rules.


12.3     At least one of the warm up runs should be timed and the time of the run communicated to the rider.


12.4     If there are concerns regarding either the fatigue of horses, especially in heavy going conditions, or the competition timetable, warm up runs may be decreased to a minimum of 1 canter without/with shooting, prior to starting the competition runs. If any team captains have issue with the number of warm up runs offered it should be discussed between the organizer and all team captains at the earliest opportunity.  


12.5     If a rider has changed horses during the event (due to lameness/safety concerns with their original horse), prior to restarting their scoring runs, they should get 1 warm up canter run without shooting and 1 canter run with shooting.  


12.6     For the Polish track there should be clear information available to all competitors on:


     12.6.1   When the track will be open for walking by competitors.


     12.6.2   When the track will be open for familiarization rides by horses, the number of rides allowed and speed of riding that is                  permissible.


     12.6.3   What the warm up procedure will be on competition day, (ie: what will be allowed and when this is timetabled to occur).


13.0  Open Competition


13.1     All Competitions will be open to any current MA3 member, at the discretion of the host or chapter leader.


MA3 Rules & Regulations

for Competitions

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