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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
what is legal at FITA field archery to estimate the range?
Obviously not a laser range finder, not a other range finder with two lenses which measure the angle (WWII-style), a telescope with a reticule of lines or a folding rule ;-)

But what about comparing the apparent size of the arrow-point which the apparent size of the target? Allowed or not?

What is allowed to use for this comparison? Only parts of the bow, arrow and tab or everything I can carry?

Must I shoot after the first bend of the bow or may I discontinue before the first shot and adjust the sight?

When will the time start, I'm allowed to use for the range finding?
4 min for range finding and shooting the arrows
4 min from the first shot to the last shot? => extra time for the range finding

Where can I read something about these roles and their actual interpretation?

Or some real experiences of someone?

thanks and regards

38,292 Posts
For a good overview of FITA field archery range estimation rules and techniques, download the FITA field guide from FITA at

There is more info at

The guide has detailed info on range estimation, including how to estimate range based on size relative to your sight ring. (You aren't allowed to "alter" your equipment to for range finding, but you can buy functional gear that "just happens" to be a convenient size.)

In spite of being downloadable directly from FITA, the manual is suprisingly frank about the rules:

The FITA Rules clearly state that the use of
range finding equipment is not allowed, and it
also indicates that the archer should not use his
equipment otherwise than intended when shoot-
ing - which means that you should pretend you
are trying to shoot when measuring. It is known
that trying to stop measuring by means of using
your equipment is not possible, but the rules are
trying to make sure that real range finders will
not find their way into the world of FITAField
competitions. This is why the rules will allow you
the above mentioned methods, but not allow you
to alter your equipment to become a range find-
er. In previous days there was a rule which pre-
vented you from adjusting the sight after having
drawn your bow against the target, and before
having shot the first arrow, but the rule was
changed as it caused more problems than it

So in order not to be stopped by a judge, or not
to annoy any competitor, you should lift your bow
pretending that you plan to shoot, when measur-
ing the distance. That way you are safely within
the rules and nobody can complain

6,667 Posts
The key as Warbow pointed out is that you need to appear that you're prepping and preparing to shoot the arrow. In other words you are not allowed to just hold objects out in front of you, including the undrawn bow, to try judging relative sizes. Most will first give the target a cursory guess and adjust their sights. After that most judging is done while you are at full draw on the target using either objects on the sight like the housing or sight ring, if using a scope the distance from the dot to the edge of the scope with the target face aligned at the edge of the scope, etc..

You are allowed to let down as many times as you wish and readjust your sights between let-downs.

Time technically starts from the moment the shooting stake is open (i.e. previous group of archers has safely left the target). The 4 minutes includes all ranging, let-downs, and shooting all 3 arrows.

Besides the FITA website, I would also suggest looking into John Dudley's website. John provides some good advice as well for judging distances on the unmarked FITA round.

Hope any of this helps..........:)

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