Barebow Recurve


For latest rules refer to World Archery (FITA) Rules.

The following is a summary of the rules and were correct at the time of publishing but always refer to World Archery for the latest version.


This lays down the type of equipment athletes are permitted to use when shooting in World Archery and Archery Australia competitions for the Barebow Recurve division.

It is the athlete’s responsibility to use equipment which is in accordance with the rules. 

Any athlete found to be using equipment contravening World Archery rules can have their scores disqualified.


A bow may be of any type, provided it subscribes to the accepted principle and meaning of the word ‘bow’ as used in target archery; i.e. an instrument consisting of a handle (grip), riser (NOTE: shoot-through types riser are permitted) and two flexible limbs each ending in a tip with a string nock. The bow is braced for use by a single string attached directly between the two string nocks, and in operation is held in one hand by its handle (grip) while the fingers of the other hand draw, hold back and release the string.

Risers including a brace are permitted provided the brace does not consistently touch the athlete’ s hand or wrist and is capable of passing through a hole or ring of 12.2cm inside diameter ± 0.5mm

The bow as described above must be bare, except for the arrow rest, and free from protrusions, sight marks, marks or blemishes or laminated pieces (within the bow window area) which could be of use in aiming. The un-braced bow, complete with permitted accessories must be capable of passing through a hole or ring of 12.2cm inside diameter ± 0.5mm.

A bowstring may have any number of strands.

The string strands may be of different colours and material chosen for the purpose. The string may have a centre serving to accommodate the drawing fingers, a nocking point to which may be added serving(s) to fit the arrow nock as necessary and, to locate this point, one or two nock locators may be positioned, and at each end of the bowstring, a loop to be placed in the string nocks of the bow when braced.

The serving on the string must not end within the athlete’s vision at full draw. The bowstring must not in any way assist aiming through the use of a peephole, marking, or any other means. No lip or nose mark is permitted.

An arrow rest, which can be adjustable, a movable Pressure Button, Pressure Point or Arrow plate may be used on the bow provided they are not electric or electronic and do not offer any additional aid in aiming.

The pressure point may not be placed any further back than 2cm (inside) from the throat of the handle (pivot point) of the bow.

No draw check device is permitted. 

No sight or sight mark(s) on the bow that could assist aiming are allowed; face and string walking is permitted.

No stabilisers are permitted.

Torque flight compensators fitted as part of the bow are permitted provided that they do not also have stabilisers.

Weight(s) may be added to the lower part of the riser. All weights, regardless of shape, must mount directly to the riser without rods, extensions, angular mounting connections or shock-absorbing devices.

Remember, the unstrung bow complete with permitted accessories must be able to pass through a hole or ring of 12.2cm inside diameter ± 0.5mm.




Arrows of any type may be used provided they subscribe to the accepted principle and meaning of the word ‘arrow’, as used in target archery and that such arrows do not cause undue damage to target faces or buttresses.

The maximum diameter of an arrow shaft must not exceed 9.3mm. The point for arrows may have a maximum diameter of 9.4mm. An arrow consists of a shaft with head (point), nock, fletching and, if desired, cresting. All arrows of every athlete will be marked with the athlete's name or initials on the shaft. All arrows used in any one end (target for field) shall be identical and will carry the same pattern and colour(s) of fletching, nocks and cresting (if any).


Finger protection in the form of finger stalls or tips, glove, or shooting tab or tape (plaster) to draw, hold back and release the string is permitted.

The following equipment is also permitted:

  • A separator between the fingers to prevent pinching the arrow
  • On the bow hand, an ordinary glove, mitten or similar item may be worn, but must not be attached to the grip of the bow.
  • An anchor plate or similar device attached to the finger protection (tab) for the purpose of anchoring.

The stitching on the tabs shall be uniform in colour. Marks or lines shall be uniform in size, shape and colour. Additional memoranda and markings are not permitted

Finger protection must not incorporate any device to hold, draw and release the string.


The following accessories are permitted, including:

Bracers (arm guards), dress shield (chest protector), bow (finger or wrist) sling, belt or ground quiver and tassel. Foot markers may not protrude more than 1cm from the ground. Limb savers may be used. Lightweight string material on the bow or stabiliser as a wind indicator is permitted.

The following equipment is not permitted:

Any electronic communication device, headsets or noise reduction devices in front of the waiting line on the practice field and at any time on the course.

On unmarked rounds, any type of range finders or any other means of estimating distances or angles not covered by the current rules regarding athletes' equipment. Any part of an athlete’s equipment that has been added or modified to serve the purpose of estimating distances or angles, nor may any regular piece of equipment be used explicitly for that purpose.

Any written memoranda or electronic storage device that may be used for calculating angles and distances apart from the athlete’s normal notations, the recording of personal scores or any part of the World Archery Rules.


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