Will Wonders Never Cease?

For decades, competitive rules did not allow finger tabs to be marked in any way to guide those of us who string walked while shooting Barebow. You were allowed to use stitching on a tab if manufactured in, but not allowed to add any marks.

Well … New Rules! Consider what World Archery has adopted:

A separator between the fingers to prevent pinching the arrow may be used. An anchor plate or similar device attached to the finger protection (tab) for the purpose of anchoring is permitted. The stitching shall be uniform in size and colour. Marks or lines may be added directly to the tab or on a tape placed on the face of the tab. These marks shall be uniform in size, shape and colour. Additional memoranda is not permitted. On the bow hand an ordinary glove, mitten or similar item may be worn but shall not be attached to the grip of the bow.

Leave it to them that the marks on the tab must be “uniform in size and colour.” Why? Who cares? One archer can use blue marks and one can use green but an archer may not use blue and green at the same time? Does this offend the aesthetic senses of the WA Pecksniffs?

If you are going to allow archers with sights to put any sight marks they want on their sight (I color code the odd and even numbers of yards/meters in ten yd/m increments, to prevent mis-setting my sight (see photo).) why not let Barebow archers have the same ability? John Demmer’s tab as simple black marks on a white piece of table from 5 m to 50 m in regular increments. He knows which is which but why allow Recurve archers color coding support, even to the point of printed numbers on their sight tapes, but Barebow archers get little monochrome tick marks only?

I guess we should be thankful for small favors.

The lesson I take home and you probably should do, is to always check the rules before your archer competes. Things do change, occasionally for the better.

PS Memoranda is plural so the sentence “Additional memoranda is not permitted.” should be “Additional memoranda are not permitted.” Or “Consulting written memoranda is not allowed,” or … sniff.


Filed under For All Coaches

6 responses to “Will Wonders Never Cease?

  1. Hooray for this rule change. Barebow is becoming much more popular as far as I have seen here in Florida and on the Internet. Glad for that as many recurve archers who have been recreational only are deciding to give competitions a try and train for tournament shoots. Glad to see the rules reflect the times. Now, if only we can get compound archery into the Olympics!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barebow is indeed experiencing a resurgence. (Hooray!)

      As to compound archery in the Olympics, the current barrier is that there are not enough countries with competitive archers shooting compound right now. (Of course if it were in the Olympics, more countries would … etc.)

      There is also an anti-compound bias that is clearly visible. Olympic archery officials have been and are clearly are acting to avoid the “embarrassment” of having Compound archers shoot better scores than Recurve archers, as if that were some failure of ability on the part of Recurve archers and not a matter of equipment. Signs of this were the X-10 rule that was used outdoors for two years and still is used indoors (you must shoot an X to get a score of 10, any other 10 is a 9 if you shoot compound). Also you can see this is the competitive distances shot in some events. Recurve archers shooting 70 m, compound archers shooting 50 m and the experiments with “hit or miss” targets, in effect trying to create scores for compound archery that cannot be compared with Recurve scores.

      They have this now. Scores for the Ranking Round are just scores for the Ranking Round, they don’t mean anything otherwise. And the set scoring system has head-to-heads decided by scores of 6-0 or 6-2, the arrow scores being irrelevant except to award set points.

      The usual case is that WA officials are almost never archers and have little direct experience, so you come up with sillinesses like split harness compounds were banned because of the fear that the cable nearest the archer could be used to brace the hold(!) and not allowing shoot through risers on Recurve bows for unfathomable reasons (possible because they don’t look like the idealized bows in their minds).

      Sorry, rant over.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stephen Williams

    It gets weirder. In WA the marks on the tab must be equal size and shape, but can be whatever uneven spacing you need. No written notes. In NFAA, they must be an *evenly spaced* pattern and John Demmer’s tab would not pass inspection BUT you can have written notes. So now we have the situation where we have NFAA/IFAA barebow tabs and WA barebow tabs. I just don’t know what to tell my students these days;-)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Like most laws being the equivalent of Full Employment for Lawyers Acts, these seem to be a full employment for tab makers regulations. We need to arrange for our Barebow students to have a tab prepared for each type of contest … and then backup tabs for each and … I gotta go buy some stock in tab makers.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. David Beeton

    Comments on a tab? I have a job to read the small print at the best of times without trying to write notes on a tab! I note that you mention the wearing of a glove on the bow hand, so does that mean that, over with you or under WA rules, barebow prohibits the use of an arrow rest? I have an American flatbow that has an arrow shelf, but the only other bow that I shoot without a rest is my longbow, and with that, I have a superb deer-skin glove that I bought over the pond in SD, from our local farm supplies outlet. For barebow, I use my old faithful SF takedown, with a simple Cartel magnetic rest, and a set of Easton Jazz shafts (so I can find the misses more easily!)


    • Comments like a “5” next to the mark corresponding to the 5 m mark. I saw Demmer’s tab and it just had black hash marks on a piece of white tape, no numbers or any other identifying marks.

      The glove referred to in that rule is a shooting glove, not a glove for the bow hand. FITA Barebow is “Modern Traditional” and allows carbon arrows, tunable modern bows, risers with slots for extra weights, the whole magilla, just no stabs or a bow sight. Otherwise, very close to Olympic Recurve bows.


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