Please find below a handy summary of the rules governing all hand-bow styles.

(Ref. NFAS Rule Book 2019 edition, with additional rules for TD added 2022.)

Key to hand-bow styles:

  • AFB – American Flatbow
  • BB – Barebow
  • BH – Bowhunter
  • CL – Compound Limited
  • FS – Freestyle
  • HT – Hunting Tackle
  • LB – Longbow
  • PV – Primitive
  • TB – Traditional Bowhunter
  • TD – Thumb Draw
  • UL – Compound Unlimited
NFAS Style rules for hand-bows (not crossbow (XB))
AFB BB BH CL FS HT LB PV TB TD UL
One-piece bow, braced limbs curve in one direction, oval to rectangular limbs        
Bow of wood only, D or oval section, braced limbs curve in one direction, wood/ horn limb nocks, hand grip not shaped        
Bow incl. limb nocks of natural materials only (glues, finishes and string excepted)        
Recurve bow          
Compound bow                
Brush button allowed    
Silencers allowed  
Sight allowed                
Multi pin sight (up to 5 pins) only (non-adjustable unless equipment failure)                
Spirit level allowed                  
Pinguard allowed                
Peep sight/ kisser button allowed (not both)                
AFB BB BH CL FS HT LB PV TB TD UL
Vibration damper allowed              
Mediterranean loose only            
Any hand loose allowed                  
Thumb loose allowed                    
Thumb loose only                    
Thumb protection allowed                    
Index finger must touch the nock at full draw                  
One anchor point only used throughout the shoot      
No face/ string walking                
No arrow-rest or arrow shelf allowed                
Arrow must be shot off the shelf or hand, no rest is allowed                    
Arrow must be shot off the hand only                    
AFB BB BH CL FS HT LB PV TB TD UL
Arrow rest must not overdraw more than 2 inches behind throat of handgrip              
No draw-check allowed        
No draw-check allowed above manufacturer’s specification                  
Single stabiliser allowed – any length                    
Single stabiliser allowed – max length 12 inches/ 30cm                    
Full stabiliser system allowed                
Release aid allowed                    
Aiming marks allowed                  
Wooden arrows only (natural feather fletching)              
Arrows must be of non-wooden and non-bamboo materials, fletched with natural feather                    
Any arrow permitted            
Reference memoranda allowed