Demystifying Archery Organizations and Their Event Types
There is much confusion about the different kinds of tournaments that are available in archery, and the different rules or event sizes that can be found with those events. This article attempts to demystify differences, and provide guidance for archers on how to have fun in whatever type of archery they choose.
There are many, many events run at venues around Colorado, the United States and the world, but relatively few of them are run by the “official” organizations. Most, however, follow rules defined by the national organizations below.
Local events can be found at archeryincolorado.com as a service provided by Colorado based archers.
The Colorado State Archery Association (known as CSAA) is the local National Field Archery Association (NFAA). The NFAA hosts several larger events across the country, including the famous Vegas Shoot, Indoor Nationals, Outdoor Nationals and and a variety of local, regional and national tournaments.
NFAA membership confers CSAA membership.
Indoor tournaments run by the CSAA will generally use a blue and white target, single or 5-spot. A timed tournament allows 4 minutes to shoot 5 arrows.
Outdoor tournaments use larger targets at 30, 40 & 50 yards (multiple distances per tournament) with six arrow ends.
Local opportunities to shoot CSAA events happen at several places in Colorado including at High Altitude Archery.
Despite its focus on Olympic Archery, USA Archery and World Archery also sanction events for all archery types. Most of USA Archery’s events are fixed-distance paper target events (indoor 18 meters, or outdoor 50-70 meters for barebow, compound and Olympic recurve respectively). USA Archery also has unknown distance paper target tournaments in events known as Field Archery.
Indoor events are held at any range so long as the event has been sanctioned by USA Archery. At an indoor event, a single game consists of 10 rounds of 3 arrow ends on a target that has a maximum score of 10. Many tournaments will run 2 games for a total of 20 rounds of 3 arrows.
Any archer with a USA Archery (or other World Archery affiliated) membership can register for any World Archery events, except for a few invitationals like the Olympics. Big tournaments in the USA are Indoor Nationals (held in various places around the USA), the SoCal Showdown in Chula Vista California, the Gator Cup in Florida, the Arizona Cup in Phoenix Arizona, and many other events big and small everywhere worldwide.
The Archery Shooter’s Association is an organization dedicated to the practice of archery and oversees many 3D Archery events nationwide, but primarily in the southern United States.
3D Archery events are shot using animal-shaped foam targets with scoring rings worth 12, 10, 8 or 5 points. Archers typically shoot between 8 and 16 targets at various distances.
There are events at a variety of venues around the United States and Colorado.
These regional organizations do not hold large, or nationally important tournaments, but do provide a great environment for fun events with local athletes at places generally accessible for anyone. We encourage you to find an organization to join and find fellowship with other archers.
The Rocky Mountain Archery Association hosts events most commonly held along the Front Range. RMAA events generally use the same tournament formats as those run by NFAA – 5-spot indoor, Vegas indoor, and outdoors.
Big Thompson Bowhunter’s maintains the archery range at Lon Hagler Reservoir. They also host an annual outdoor 3D archery tournament.
Gamelines Archery Club is a private outdoor archery range outside of Boulder Colorado. They have a target archery course, as well as a hiking trail with targets along the route.
Gamelines also hosts a weekly 3D archery league at High Altitude Archery in the winter months.