IHAA competition rules

1.  Officials

1.1    Every competition shall have the following roles assigned: competition organiser, chief referee, target judge(s), time keeper, score keeper, and starter. Somebody will be tasked to keep the safety flag. 

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 organiser shall be responsible for providing the venue and where horses are being provided this shall also be the responsibility of the competition organiser.

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 6 (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.

1.8    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    Before each run the chief referee is responsible for checking that the range is clear and that the timing equipment is ready. He will indicate to the starter that the next competitor is permitted to start.

1.9.1    The starter should double check that the range is clear then signal to the next competitor that he may start.
1.9.2    Where there are both right and left-handed competitors in the same group the starter should have a clear method of communicating who may start, and who may not. Any flag or signage system should take into account the potential for confusion if any competitors have red/green colour-blindness.

1.9.3    The competitor should pass through the start gate within 60s as stated in rule 7.1

1.10    A nominated official, in the judges tent or a referee station near to the centre of the track, should be tasked with keeping the safety flag. Competitors should be know what the distinctive flag looks like and where it will be kept. If there is any reason for competition to be halted for a safety concern they alarm should be raised visually, as well as by shouting STOP.   

1.11    In addition, individual events may call for further officials, including start line judge (Korean event) and judges to determine whether arrows passed within the start- and finish lines (Hungarian). These may be done by the chief referee or delegated as the chief referee prefers.             


2.  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    If rope is used to mark the track then it shall be suspended in a way that does not present a hazard to horses or riders.  Any posts used for this purpose must be such as do not present significant risk of injury to a horse or rider who falls onto them. 

2.3    It is recommended, but not required, that the rope have break points to allow a horse to go through it.  

2.4    There shall be adequate space after the finish line for the horse to slow and stop safely. This is specified within the event rules, but for Korean and Hungarian is at least 25m of space (if the track is curved, the diameter of that circle should be no less than 20m), with 10-15m straight track at each end of the Hungarian track

2.5    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.

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

2.7    The team captains (or another nominated representative) and chief referee must check the track set up the day before competition and verbally acknowledge their acceptance of it. If necessary, due to extreme or changing ground conditions, this may be repeated the morning of competition.

2.7.1    This official check is the opportunity for teams to identify any problems in track set up and a tape measure and rules (for track set-up) should be available.

2.7.2    Should a mistake in track set-up be missed at this stage and instead noticed during the competition the chief referee and appeals committee together will decide what course of action is best for the competitors (and horses) and for the validity of the competition, and determine how to best proceed. 

2.8    Spectators must be required to maintain a safe distance from the track.  This distance shall be determined by the chief referee but a recommended minimum is 5m.

2.9    No horses other than those in the current group are allowed in the arena or in proximity to the track or within the spectator area.


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

3.3    Competition organisers 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    Those competitors who have not brought their own horse, or arranged a private hire or lending of a horse, shall be allocated a horse by the competition organiser.

3.5.1    A rider who is hiring a horse should communicate their preferred horse speed and type to the organiser when he/she is registering for the competition.

3.5.2    Competitors must be given reasonable opportunity to ride their horses before the competition, to warm up in a field/arena; to canter/gallop down the track and shoot from the potential horses. Only in exceptional circumstances, e.g. poor weather, should procedure deviate from this ideal situation.  It is the organisers’ responsibility to ensure that time for this is allocated in the competition timetable and that competitors are aware of when it will occur. It is a competitor’s responsibility to arrive in time for the horse selection (unless by prior arrangement)

3.5.3    The rider who is hiring a horse may express a preference of mount following horse trials. It is then the responsibility for the organiser to allocate horses appropriate to the ability, riding style, weight and preference of the competitor.  The decision of the competition organiser shall be final and shall not be appealable under rule 9.

3.5.4    The same horse should be used by a rider throughout the whole competition, unless the horse is retired from the competition due to injury or because it becomes apparent the rider is unsafe on that horse.

3.6    It is strongly recommended, but not mandatory, that no more than 2 competitors should ride a given horse in any one competition.

3.6.1    In the event that too many competitors wish to ride a particular horse (it being a horse available for allocation by the organiser), the final say shall go to the competition organiser and this decision shall not be appealable 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.  

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

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

3.8.1    Should significant problems arise during the competition (particularly if horses are being shared with another rider) there should be an allowance for discussion between rider, chief referee, competition organiser & horse owner for a reschooling run or a change of horse.

3.8.2    The chief referee has the final decision regarding changing horses, subject to 3.7.1

3.9    If a horse is withdrawn from the competition under rules 3.7.1  or 3.8 then:

3.9.1    The competition organiser shall attempt to make provision for an alternative horse;

3.9.2    If an alternative horse is being provided then the competitor shall be allowed a reasonable time to familiarise themselves with the horse and warm the horse up.  The referee shall determine how long is reasonable in the circumstances. 

3.9.3    Should a rider change onto a new horse (due to lameness / safety concerns with their original horse), the organiser determines when the REMAINING runs are taken. They should join the next suitable group and prior to commencing their scoring runs, should get 1 warm up canter without and 1 run with shooting. They do not get to run the whole event again; their score will be the sum of the runs before, and the runs after, the horse change.


4.  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 behaviour 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. 

4.2.1    Bleeding caused by misuse of spurs will result in immediate elimination from the whole competition.

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 penalised 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 behaviour and (where applicable) the competitor’s response to a warning.  Competitors thus penalised may appeal under Rule 9.



5.  Personal Equipment, Dress and Tack

5.1    Safety equipment

5.1.1    Riding helmets are encouraged but are not mandatory for adults. 
5.1.2    Junior and Child competitors must wear a riding helmet at all times when mounted.
5.1.3    Some competitions may require helmets to be worn to fulfil their insurance requirements. If this is the case it should be stated clearly on the competition information at the time of entry applications.

5.1.4    Rigid body protectors may be worn.
5.1.5    The permission of the chief referee should be sought before wearing an inflatable air-vest

5.2    Modern or traditional costume may be worn, it is the individual’s or team’s decision.

5.2.1  If competitions have a specific dress requirement this should be clearly specified on the competition information at the time of entry applications.

5.2.2    Even if it is specified that traditional costume must be worn, organisers must allow individuals to wear riding helmets if riders wish to do so.

5.3    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, stablilisers, weights, pistol handles or mechanical releases shall be permitted.  Any draw weight may be used.  

5.4    Arrows may be of any material, including the nocks and fletchings.  Only target or field 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   These rules on quivers apply to all events in IHAA competitions when arrows are not being held in the hand

5.5.1   Arrows may be carried in a quiver or in a belt or sash

5.5.2   Quivers must be attached to the rider, they may not be attached to the horse, its tack or to the bow.

5.5.3   The quiver may be attached to a person's body, belt or upper leg. It may not be attached to the arm or lower leg (ie. no straps to be secured below the knee). 

5.5.4   Arrows may not be carried in the boot
5.5.5   Quiver types where arrow points are uncovered are permitted

5.5.6   If the chief referee has concerns that a particular quiver is dangerous or it irritating the horse (for example, by flapping) then the referee may request that a competitor adjusts or changes the quiver. If this is not done to the referee's satisfaction he may forbid the person from continuing to use that quiver.

5.6    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.

5.7    There are no restrictions on the type of saddle used. However a competitor may not use his own saddle on a hired horse without the permission of the owner and (where there is provision for this) the approval of a saddler
5.8    It is permitted to ride in a bitless bridle provided that the rider has adequate control of their horse.

5.8.1  Horses may only be ridden with a neck-strap / cordeo with the permission of the organiser. In this case the horse should still wear a halter in case the rider falls and the horse must be caught.

5.9    Horses should have a free head carriage. Any device or arrangement that pulls on a horse’s head or mouth during normal paces (whether used with the aim of slowing the horse or not) is not allowed
Examples include (but are not limited to) bearing, side, draw, running, balancing reins, or similar. No devices such as the Market Harborough or de Gogue may be used.
Reins may not be looped over the pommel so tight that they act to slow the horse.

5.10    Care should be taken that, when they are dropped, the reins do not hang so low that there is a risk of the horse stepping on them, or of them catching on anything. Short reins, knotted reins or rein keeps / quick release attachments may be employed as long as they do not contravene 5.8.

5.10.1 Rein extenders are permitted as long as they can be safely used by the individual.



6.  Scoring

6.1    Arrows shall be scored by target judges, who shall indicate the score to the score keeper. 

6.1.1    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.

6.1.2    Target judges should indicate the target point score for long enough that a rider’s representative based near the judges’ tent can note them and question results if necessary.

6.2    Arrows that bounce off or pass through the target shall score zero and do not count as “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. 

6.5.1   If a 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.

6.5.2 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. If it cannot be determined whether an arrow touches the line or not the higher score is given.

6.6    If the arrow is shot at an angle and lying flat against the target face, the score is based on where the arrow breaks the target face

6.7    Once properly scored (in accordance with rules 6.1-6.6), arrows should be removed from the targets after each run, so each competitor has a clear target faces to shoot at.

6.7.1 The arrows should not be removed until the competitors representative has been given adequate time to query the scores (see 6.1.2), though this should not be a lengthy enough delay to slow the flow of competition

6.8    If scoring is efficient enough then preliminary results for individual competitors may be announced while the next group is warming up.


7.  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.

7.2.1    In the Polish Track, event specific rules apply, instead of 7.2 above

7.3    If a competitor falls from their horse whilst on the track then they shall score zero for that run.  If a competitor falls twice in the same event then that competitor shall be required to withdraw and shall not attempt any more runs but. Any runs already completed shall count towards results and rankings.  For the purpose of this rule, an “event” is a set of runs scored together, such as the Hungarian-99 event or the Korean 235 event.  The competitor may compete in other events at the same competition.

7.3.1    In the Polish Track, event specific rules apply, instead of 7.3 above

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. 

7.5    The chief referee may request that an competitor is examined by a medic if they have fallen. If there are concerns regarding concussion this should be mandatory.

7.5.1    If it is determined that the competitor must withdraw on health grounds, any runs already completed shall count towards results and rankings.

7.5.2    If the injury has resolved or the competitor is passed as fit to continue by the medic they may, at the discretion of the chief referee, be permitted to attempt their remaining runs

7.6    The chief referee may, at their discretion, allow the competitor to complete any runs that they have missed for any other reason, including injury.  The chief referee shall consider the extent to which the problem was self-inflicted, but other factors such as time and any necessary rearrangement of the track or targets may also be considered.

8.  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 Chief 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 either be entitled to repeat the run, or the time for that run may be given as the average time of their other runs.  Which of these two courses of action is to be used shall be decided by the Chief Referee before the competition begins and the same rule shall be applied to all competitors.  If the competitor has a rerun 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.

8.8    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.  Appeals

9.1    Prior to the start of competition an Appeals committee should be selected. It should consist of 6 people: the 2 judges (Chief Referee and one other), 2 people nominated by the organiser, and 2 people nominated by the competitors. All should be well versed in the rules.  

9.1.1    In the event of an appeal a panel of 3 persons from the appeals committee will be convened. The requirement to use 3 people from the committee means that if any of the appeals committee has a conflict of interest (they are the subject of the appeal, or the same club or national team as the complainant) they can remove themselves from potential selection for that panel.

9. 2    The appeals committee with deal with any queries regarding the validity of scores, or refereeing decisions. Including, but not limited to:

a. Any ruling by the Chief Referee
b. Any decision as to whether a competitor drew their arrows early
c. Any score awarded by a target judge
d. The time recorded for a run
e. Any other alleged infraction of the rules, save where an appeal is expressly forbidden by the rules.

9.2.1    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.

9.3    Should a rider disagree with the chief referee’s decision regarding changing a lame or dangerous horse, that decision may be challenged via the appeals committee.
9.4    To lodge an appeal the concern should be announced immediately and then written down and given to the chief referee.

9.5    The competition organisers 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 E50 or the equivalent in local currency. 

9.5.1    Whether a deposit is required must be clearly stated in advance in the rules for that competition and must be enforced equally among the competitors. 

9.5.2    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.

9.5.3    Where a money deposit is required under rule 9.5, the entire sum must be returned to the competitor following a successful appeal. 

9.5.4    Should an appeal be unsuccessful, any money deposited under rule 9.5 shall be disposed of as specified in the rules.  If the rules do not specify otherwise then the money shall go to hosting organisation.


10.  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.  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. Warm up runs
12.1    There should be provision for competitors to warm up properly, including ground shooting 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.

12.2.1    For the 8 run Hungarian-110, each competitor gets 2 warm up canters on the track (without / with shooting as they wish)

12.2.2   For the 6 run Hungarian-90, each competitor gets 2 warm up canters on the track (without / with shooting as they wish)

12.2.3    Korean style:  Prior to starting their scored runs, competitors get 2 warm up canters (without / with shooting as they wish) 

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 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 competition runs. If any team captains have issue with the number of warm up runs offered it should be discussed between the organiser and all team captains at the earliest opportunity.

12.5    If a rider has changing onto a new horse (due to lameness / safety concerns with their original horse)... Prior to restarting their scoring runs they should get 1 warm up canter without and 1 run with shooting.

12.6    For the Polish track there should be clear information available to all competitors on:
a. When the track will be open for walking by competitors
b. When the track will be open for familiarisation rides by horses and the frequency / speed of riding that is permissible
c. What the warm up procedure will be on competition day ie. what will be allowed and when this is timetabled to occur


13. Procedure within the competition

13.1    At the start of each group competitors should be introduced to spectators if time and audio equipment allow

13.2    Results sheets must be issued to competitors before the final results of an event are announced. Competitors will have 15 minutes to appeal perceived errors.
13.3    At the end of a competition team points and placings should be provided for team captains to check before the results are formally announced by the organiser.

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