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There is only tournament - the World championship, in which the strongest rider of the East and West compete together - based on the rules of WHAF. At 2020 first world Federation created a new set of rules to unify the system, so that it is convenient for all athletes around the world. You can find more information on the official site or download official rules document here:


On the official site of IHAA (International Horseback Archery Alliance) - - you can find accurate description of most known horseback archery routes, even variations of the well-known routes from the different countries. 

There you can find the new Postal Matches routes and schemes too for the every month sertification.



There is also a special system of Kassai, that became a basement for another World Federation - WFEA. Talented horseback archer Lajos Kassai and his followers created a system of variative routes, where the archer skill is the most important, but also athletes can choose the speed of the horse and even the manner of reloading from the quiver, which affect the scoring of their performance. Despite the fact that Kassai was one of the pioneers of the resurrection of horseback archery as a sport, the World Federation founded by him is currently the youngest.


Age categories


Child: Up to and including 13 years old
Junior: 14 to 17 years old
Senior 18 years or older

In major championships only the Junior and Senior age categories will be recognised.

Organizers can change age categories. In this way they must add this to the competition information.


A competitor may choose to move up one age category (i.e. from child to junior, or junior to senior, but not from child to senior).

They must advise their national governing body by email or in writing. In the event that this is an international competitor the national governing should advise the IHAA.

Competitions for children will be run without timing rules. They must maintain the pace of canter or gallop, but they will not receive any points or penalties for speed; only target points and multi-hit bonuses (where applicable) will determine their score.           




Riding helmets are encouraged but are not mandatory for adults. Junior and Child competitors must wear a riding helmet at all times when mounted.

Some competitions may require helmets to be worn to fulfill their insurance requirements. If this is the case it should be stated clearly on the competition information at the time of entry applications.


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

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

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.  


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, stabilisers, weights or mechanical releases shall be permitted. Any draw weight may be used.



Arrows may be of any material, including the nocks and fletching. 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.



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

Quivers must be attached to the rider (except the arm or lower leg), they may not be attached to the horse, its tack or to the bow.

Arrows may not be carried in the boot.


Spurs and crops

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.



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.



All horses must be adequately trained and experienced in horseback archery and must be fit enough to complete all their required runs at canter or gallop.

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.  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.

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

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. The owner of a horse may at any time withdraw their horse from the competition for any reason. If a horse is withdrawn from the competition, then the competition organiser shall attempt to make provision for an alternative horse. 


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.


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.

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 not present a significant risk of injury to a horse or rider should they fall onto them.

There shall be adequate space after the finish line for the horse to slow and stop safely. Where specific rules exist these are included within the event rules.

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.

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

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.

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.

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