NFAA Divisions and Classes

The National Field Archery Association (NFAA) has different definitions than USA Archery (USAT and JOAD) for age groups and classes.

NFAA Classes

  • Freestyle (coded FS) is virtually an unlimited class. You can shoot any bow with a movable sight, any length stabilizer, and use a release aid. The sight can have certain magnifications.
  • Freestyle Limited (coded FSL) is basically the same as FS with the exception that you cannot use a release aid. “Limited” means you shoot without a release aid.
  • Freestyle Limited Recurve (coded FSLR) are standard Olympic bows. You are allowed to use a recurve with sights, stabilizers, and clickers.
  • Barebow (coded BB) can use any bow including a compound. In addition you can use any length stabilizer, any rest, a level and you can “walk the string.” (“Walking the string” means your fingers can change position on the bow string during the tournament.) You cannot use a sight.
  • Competitive Bowhunter also called Bowhunter (coded BH) can use any bow including a compound. Your string finger must stay against the arrow nock and it must stay in one position below or above the arrow nock. You may not use a sight, clicker or level. You may use a stabilizer up to 12″ in length.
  • Bowhunter Freestyle (coded BHFS) bows can have up to 5 fixed sight pins (you cannot adjust your sight after you start shooting an official round), a stabilizer up to 12″ in length, and you can use a release aid. These are usually compound bows.
  • Bowhunter Freestyle Limited (coded BHFSL) is basically the same as BHFS with the exception that you cannot use a release aid. “Limited” means you shoot without a release aid.
  • Traditional (coded TRAD) bows are all bows without wheels or pulleys (no compounds). All longbows and recurve fit into this division until the longbow class was formed. Your string finger must stay against the arrow nock and it must stay in one position below or above the arrow nock. You may not use a sight or level on your bow. You can use a rest, front stabilizer up to 12 inches and a button. All of the arrows must be identical.
  • Longbows (coded LB) is determined by string not touching the bow limb. A recurve bow string lays on the limb in a limb grove. Not all longbows meet NFAA rules. Modern longbows that have a reflex are considered traditional bows not a longbow. In addition you must use wooden arrows that are all the same.
  • Crossbow (coded CB) is just that, a crossbow. Crossbows are a new class for NFAA and at present is only shot at indoor tournaments capable of handling the additional needs of such equipment. Ranges need fortified bales and may not be able to handle crossbows.

NFAA Divisions

Division Age
Master Senior 70+
Silver Senior 60+
Senior 50+
Adult Any Age
Young Adult 15-17
Youth 12-14
Cub Up to 11

Additionally, there is a “Pro” and “Pro Senior” classification which presumably has to do with becoming a professional (sponsors?) vs. amateur

NFAA Combinations

Pro or Pro Senior
FS, FSL, FSLR

Adult, Senior, Silver Senior or Master Senior
FS, FSL, FSLR, BB, BH, BHFS, BHFSL, TRAD, LB, CB

Young Adult, Youth or Cub
FS, FSL, BHFS, FSLR, BB

NFAA Gender

  • Male
  • Female

Determining NFAA Bow Class

  1. Gender
  2. Age -> Division
  3. Class

NFAA Example Bow Classes

  • Age 14, Female, shooting a recurve
  • Age code = Y
  • Gender code = F
  • Bow Style code = BB

Final Code would look like this: Y-F-BB

  • Age 17, Male, shooting a compound with pins and release aid
  • AGE code = Y/A
  • Gender code = M
  • Bow Style code = BHFS

Final Code would look like this: Y/A-M-BHFS

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One thought on “NFAA Divisions and Classes

  1. Pingback: Parsing USA Archery | archery parent

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