JOAD and USAT Divisions and Classes

For USA Archery that runs JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) and USAT (United States Archery Team), the classes are fewer than NFAA.

JOAD Classes

All archers are allowed to use:

  • Arm guard – plastic, cloth, leather material – to protect their arm from the bowstring and prevent string/arrow deflection during release
  • Finger protector – plastic, metal, leather material – protects the fingers that draw the bowstring back to shoot the bow
  • Finger Sling or Wrist Sling – if the hand holding the bow grips the bow tightly, the arrow will not fly true because tension in the hand affects the bow. If the archer correctly holds the bow with a relaxed hand, the bow actually will leap forward out of the hand. To prevent it from falling to the ground the archer will use a length of string or cloth or leather to encircle the bow grip loosely. This catches the bow after the arrow has left and before the bow hits the ground.
  • Chest protector – cloth or plastic material – this resembles the front panel of one side of a vest, with straps to hold it in place on the side of the chest closest to the bow. It provides a smooth, low-friction surface so that as the bowstring moves forward on arrow release, it does not snag painfully in the archer’s shirt or chest.
  • Weights – different weights can be attached to the bow to assist in release or compensate for a bow with a different center

Other equipment

  • Kisser button – is a plastic button that mounts on the bowstring above the nocking point, and is adjusted to touch the upper lip when the bow is drawn. This helps in forming a stable anchor point. It is a reference point used to provide an additional touch point for the anchor, like the hand on the jaw bone, or the string on the end of the nose.
  • Sight or scope – an adjustable plastic, metal, or carbon device that provides better accuracy without the use of magnifying optics or electronic enhancements (most commonly “sight” as “scope” implies some sort of optics)
  • Aperture – the opening on the sight through which the archer aims at the target. (no magnification or electronics allowed)
  • Clicker – a metal tab that makes a clicking noise when the arrow is drawn to a precise point. Advanced archers have trained themselves into a reflexive release of the arrow when the click is heard.
  • Stabilizer – plastic, metal, rubber, or carbon rods that attach to various points on the bow to help the bow remain still (stable) on arrow release. Vibrations are absorbed by stabilizer components as well. Can have several stabilizers
  • Doinkers/silencers – rubber, metal devices that attach to the bow and absorb vibrations and reduce shock on arrow release
  • Plunger/button – a metal and plastic device that mounts through the riser of the bow to touch the arrow while it is on the bow that helps tune the bow.
  • Release Aid – Attaches to the bow string and mechanically releases the string when the archer is ready to shoot generally through the use of a button but sometimes through specific body movement like back tension
  • Levels – Bubble levels are found on some bows to assist in shooting straighter
permitted weights, plunger
not permitted sights, scopes, stabilizers, clickers, doinkers, electronics, levels, release aid
permitted weights, plunger, sights, stabilizers, clickers, doinkers
not permitted scopes, release aids, levels, electronics
permitted weights, plunger, sights, stabilizers, clickers, doinkers, scopes, release aids, levels, electronics
not permitted

*  In general, barebows do not provide a level of accuracy sufficient to be competitive at the 70 meter distance (which is the Olympic distance for recurve archery).  As such, barebow is not an official class of USAT (said differently, it may be erratically recognized).  That may change in 2018 according to these guidelines.

JOAD Divisions

There are five age groups for JOAD.  More information can be found here.

Division Age
Junior 18, 19, 20
Cadet 15, 16, 17
Cub* 13, 14
Bowman* 10, 11, 12
Yeoman* 8, 9

* In outdoor USAT events, there are no divisions for Cub, Bowman, or Yeoman while at JOAD outdoor events, all divisions may be present.

USAT Divisions

There are four age groups for USAT. Additionally, another division exists which does not follow an age for Paralympics called Para

Division Age
Senior Any age
Master 50+ 50 or older
Junior 18, 19, 20
Cadet 15, 16, 17

JOAD and USAT Gender

  • Male
  • Female

6 thoughts on “JOAD and USAT Divisions and Classes

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