1.1 The track is a several hundred meters long cross country course. The details of the route will depend on the local terrain and/or ground conditions.
1.2 The organiser may nominate the number of runs made of the track(s). *
1.2.1 If there is to be just 1 single run of a long track then there must be a timing gate approximately halfway along the track (so that the distance and number of targets is similar on both halves).
1.2.2 There may be multiple runs of one track in the same direction, or one track in opposite directions, or different tracks.
1.3 The width of the track must be 3 – 5 m. Track width may vary along its length depending on terrain conditions.
1.3.1 The track doesn’t have to be fenced along its full length. The route may follow well worn tracks with or without natural barriers. It may consist of open fields in places.
1.3.2 The route must not be dangerous for horses. If there is such an area (for example with a steep incline or poor footing), competitors must not be timed while passing through this area so that horses can come through carefully at a slow pace without incurring time penalties.
1.4 The track must not be one big loop only in one direction, nor a long straight line. It must have changes of direction, both to the left and right. It is the choice of the course designer how many corners are included on the track, and now tight the bends are (this would be determined by the space available, the terrain, and how difficult the course designer wishes to make the track).
1.5 Riders must follow the designated route of the track, through its full distance – start to finish. No shortcuts may be taken. In open / unfenced areas the specified route must still be followed.
1.6 The track may be slightly uneven and may include small obstacles no higher than 50 cm (however jumping must always be optional, with an alternative route available).
1.7 For left handed competitors the track must be comparable to that for right handers. Terrain and conditions, especially slope, should be considered. Left handed competitors may run the track in the opposite direction (flat terrain) or in the same direction (sloped terrain). In the latter situation, targets must be repositioned in such a way that the mix and difficulty of shots is the same as for right handers.
1.8 The number of runs of the track(s) and target points available should allow a potential maximum Polish score that is comparable with other styles run in the competition
2.1 The minimum number of targets is 6, there is no specified maximum number.
2.1.1 On a long track (as 1.2.1) there must be a minimum of 6 targets on each half-track. Organisers must ensure there is a good mix of shots in each half track (if terrain and course layout allows, 2.2-2.4 should be applied to each half-track).
2.1.2 The size and shape of targets, their height above the ground and their distance from the track may vary.
2.2 One or two targets (but no more) must be set flat on the ground, near the edge of the track (for a downward shot).
2.3 At least one target must be set for an offside shot (ie. a right-side shot for a right-handed archer).
2.3.1 Offside targets must be positioned so that it is possible to shoot them without changing bow hand, ie. the angle of this target is not beyond a 45 degrees forward/offside angle from the direction of travel.
2.3.2 Offside shots must not account for more than 30% of all targets in a course.
2.4 There must be at least one long distance shot, ie. where the target is 30m or more from the track edge.
2.5 The first target must be 15m or more from the start line. The last target must not be within 15m of the finishing line.
2.6 The distance between two shots must be at least 30 m. This applies to the point at which the shot is taken, ie. the position on the track from which the archer views the target as perpendicular to them. In reality the targets themselves may be closer than 30m.
2.7 Merida targets are permitted and must only be shot with sharp fluflu arrows.
2.7.1 Merida targets are defined as raised targets where the angle of shot is approximately 45 degrees above the horizontal. They would normally be placed so that they are within 45 degrees left or right of the direction of forward travel (beware placing them above the track in case arrows bounce back onto the track towards the competitor). They may be placed so they are shot as the rider has passed under them and is riding away.
2.7.2 The Merida target should be 50-70cm in diameter.
2.7.3 Non-fluflu arrows that are shot at the Merida target will not be scored.
2.7.4 Organisers may require inspection of fluflus prior to competing, to ensure that the fluflu fletchings are in good condition and able to work effectively.
2.8 Qabaq targets must not be included on a Polish track.
3. Prior to competition
3.1 The organiser of a Polish event must communicate to competitors, well in advance of the competition, how many targets there will be on the track (or on the longest track if there are more than one), and whether there is a Merida target. This will allow competitors to bring sufficient arrows and fluflu fletched sharps if appropriate, and one or multiple quivers that can carry them all.
3.2 The organiser must inform all competitors when the Polish track is open for viewing/walking on foot and whether horses may be lead or ridden around the track to familiarise them. The opportunities must be the same for all competitors.
3.3 If there is an obstacle within the track the organiser must provide a jump in the practice area so that competitors on hire horses can practise jumping during the days preceding the Polish event.
3.4 Before the competition, the competitors will be granted the possibility of at least one test run on the track in walk, trot or gallop, although no shooting is allowed.
4.1 Riders may start with one arrow nocked or held in the bow hand or string hand, all other arrows must be in quivers or a belt/sash.
4.1.1 Quivers permitted are as per the IHAA standard (IHAA general rules 3.5) ie. quivers attached to the rider's body, belt or upper leg.
4.1.2 Once through the start gate, riders may retrieve arrows from the quiver or belt; either one at a time for immediate shooting, or several at once to be held in either hand.
4.1.3 The only exception to 4.1 is if there is a Merida target near the start. In this case the chief referee for that event may specify that riders are allowed to start with a fluflu in the hand in addition to having a regular arrow nocked.
4.2 Arrows may not be shot before the start or after the finish (determined by when the rider's body passes the start/finish line).
4.3 All shots MUST be taken at canter or gallop.
4.3.1 If arrows are shot whilst at a slower pace they will not be scored.
4.3.2 It is permitted to ride at a slower pace between shots.
4.4 There is no limit to the number of arrows which may be shot at a target.
4.4.1 Generally, only a single arrow may score on a target. If more than one hits, the highest scoring arrow will be counted.
4.4.2 The exception to 4.4.1 is for long distance shots (over 30m distance) where all arrows to hit the target will be scored.
4.5 A fall (by the rider and/or horse) will result in elimination of the competitor and zero points for that run.
4.5.1 The chief referee may require that the rider see a medic or for the horse to be trotted up/vetted (if it fell too) before they continue on subsequent runs. (This is as IHAA general rule 11.5).
4.5.2 If a rider falls twice during the Polish event they must retire from the rest of the event. They may keep any points from runs successfully completed up till that point (but as per 4.5 they will score zero for runs on which they fell).
4.6 A horse and rider committing a run-out, or deviating from the route in an open section of track, will result in elimination and zero points for that run.
4.6.1 It is intended that the judge should use their discretion regarding run-outs. Loss of control of the horse in an open area, jumping over or running through and breaking the fence is definitely a run-out. More minor errors such as putting a hoof under the fence, or putting some tension on the fence but regaining control of the horse's direction and bringing him back on track before the fence is broken, should not be classed as a run-out.
4.7 Should a competitor have a significant equipment failure (eg. unstrung bow, broken tack) or difficulty with their horse, they should decide whether they can just ride to the end without further shooting and keep what points they have; or whether they must retire from that run and score zero.
4.7.1 If on a long single track see rule 4.9.
4.7.2 It is permitted for a rider to stop and dismount if necessary to correct their equipment failure, then to remount and complete their run. No penalty will be applied other than the time penalties incurred (the clock should continue to run). There must be no outside assistance in rectifying the problem or remounting.
4.8 If a rider's horse is lame they should stop and consult the chief referee. If he is satisfied that there is a problem he may grant them permission to start that run again on a new horse.
4.9 If the Polish event of a competition consists of a single run of a long track there must be a halfway gate (see 1.2.1). This provision allows competitors that are eliminated and score zero in the first half of the track to have the opportunity to score in the second half of the track; as they would have done had the competition consisted of 2 runs of a shorter track.
4.9.1 This applies for falls (4.5) and run-outs (4.6).
4.9.2 It also applies when a competitor has retired due to significant equipment failure (4.7).
4.9.3 Unless there are medical concerns to attend to (a fall or lame horse) or equipment to fix/replace, competitors should advance immediately to the area before the halfway gate and wait for a signal from the referee that the judges are ready for the competitor to restart.
4.9.4 If restarting must be delayed the competitor should speak to the chief referee and they should agree a realistic restart time. See IHAA general rules 11.5 (medical attention), 12.1 (equipment failures), 4.9 (change of horse).
4.10 In the event of a rider being eliminated (for any reason) in the 2nd half of a single long track, they may retain the points and time score for the first half of the track.
5.1 Arrow hits are scored as follows:
5.1.1 For 80cm round targets with 5 concentric rings (preference for traditional design, but alternatively WA80/FITA80 face): 7 – 5 – 4 – 2 – 1 points.
5.1.2 Long distance shots, ie. over 30m (any big visible target, set upon the ground or raised slightly): any hit on target = 10 pts.
The organiser may decide to have a zone around this target, usually 5x5m; arrows landing in this zone = 5pts.
5.1.3 2D hunter targets: inner kill zone = 7 pts, kill zone = 5 pts, anywhere on the animal = 3 pts, elsewhere on the front of the target = 2 pts.
5.1.4 3D target: scoring depends on the type of target; the chief referee should inform competitors of how the targets will be scored, and where the kill zones are (unless this is obvious), before the competition starts.
5.1.5 Merida target: hit = 5 pts, miss = 0 pts, (hit with a non-fluflu arrow = 0 pts)
5.2 Whatever the type of the target, if it is within 30m of the track edge, only one arrow will be scored (if several arrows hit, the highest scoring arrow will be counted).
5.2.1 For long distance shots (over 30m) all arrows to hit the target will be scored. If a zone on the ground is being scored, all arrows to hit within this zone will be counted.
5.3 The average speed for riding the track is 350m/min.
5.3.1 The par time for the course (in minutes) is calculated by dividing the length of the track (in metres) by 350 m/min.
5.3.2 Where a single long track has a timing gate in the middle, the par time for each half track is calculated in the same manner; 350 m/min.
5.3.3 The chief referee can extend the par time for the course in the case of adverse ground conditions, or difficult terrain.
5.4 Time points are awarded at a rate of 0.5pts for every second that a competitor's time is faster than the par time.
5.4.1 A time penalty is deducted at a rate of 0.5pts for every second that a competitor's time is slower than the par time.
5.4.2 Times are recorded to the nearest 0.01s for electronic timing or to the nearest 0.1s for manual timing.
5.5 In order to collect their time points a competitor must hit a minimum number of targets.
If 6-8 targets - 2 hits required,
If 9-12 targets - 3 hits required,
If 13 or more targets - 4 hits required.
5.5.1 Time penalties are deducted irrespective of how many targets were hit.
5.5.2 Where a single long track has a timing gate in the middle, the number of targets that should be hit in a half run is relative to the number of targets within that half run, according to the table in 5.5.
5.6 Target points are awarded irrespective of how many targets were hit.
5.7 Bonus points are awarded when a competitor jumps an obstacle
a. 3 points if it is a simple jump - ie not associated with a target
b. Where an obstacle is paired with a target; 5 points if the jump is taken AND the target is shot at (this bonus is in addition to the target score and is not dependent on hitting the target)
c. Where an obstacle is paired with a target; no points are awarded for the jump if the competitor did not attempt to shoot the target associated with that jump
5.7.1 There is no penalty for avoiding or refusing an obstacle.
5.8 A competitor's score is the sum of the target points and bonus points for jumping an obstacle (if applicable), plus any time bonus or minus any time penalty.
5.8.1 The total score for a run cannot be less than zero.
5.9 If two or more competitors have the same result, the one with more target points will win.
1.2 The length and number of runs on 1 or more tracks should be appropriate to how many days of competition the horses have had, and how many riders there are per horse.
2.7 Organisers should ensure that Merida targets are only included in the course if there is certainty of having a safe overshoot zone, that is still safe should somebody accidentally shoot a normal sharp arrow (ie. one with regular fletching, rather than fluflu fletching) at the target and miss. A suggested guideline for this would be a 120m empty overshoot zone.
Merida targets should be in good repair and made of a material that is unlikely to cause bouncers. Arrow nets should be used as necessary to catch misses.