[Horsebow] AFB/Horsebows acceptance in gnas

Rabid Hamster

Well-known member
Ironman
Having been instructed by Furface (in penance for starting an "archery babe" thread that ran for about 7 pages) to start a serious thread - here's my attempt.

As I understand it (please correct any misconceptions), GNAS has only longbow as a traditional classification totally ignoring the increasing numbers of American Flat bow (AFB) and horsebow shooters who are popping up. These bows count as barebows (or if using a thumb ring - using a release aid!!) and so have to compete with modern barebows putting them at a massive disadvantage and so suppressing their use in gnas competitions.

So why are gnas leaving this situation like this?

Surely it would not be impossible to include horsebows in the longbow category - they are, after all, compatriots from the same era. Secondly (assuming I'm right about this) why are thumb rings treated as release aids when tabs are not - they do the same job in the same way?
Flatbows with their arrow shelves might have to be treated slightly different but surely thats just a case of a slightly higher ratio of points to handicap in classification tables to offset the more regular rest for the arrow (as opposed to the side of your hand/thumb).

I have heard it suggested its a form of 'traditional snobbery' - that longbow is the traditional form of archery in this country and IT SHALL NOT be polluted by these "furrin" ways OR is it simply inertia from having to change the categories/handicap tables which gnas dont actually own. However as the growth of horse/afb archery increases it may be that ultimately gnas has no choice but to accept change or alienate a growing proportion of its members. In the two clubs I shoot at on a regular basis we must have at least a dozen afb/horse bows all shot by regularly practising archers who are increasingly turning to field archery.

How do the trad shooters here on AIUK feel about this?
Is gnas right to avoid the the traditional with the only sop to the past being the longbow or is this a conspiracy by the real ale and beard brigade ;) to keep traditional archery pure and untainted by those who think short, bandy legged, furry hat wearing horsemen were so [email protected] good?
 

steve Morley

New member
It's been a while since I shot GNAS Field but dont thet have a Recurve Traditional division?

AFB's v Horsebows I think the AFB would still have the edge on the more basic horsebows unless it's something like a Saluki, the Ibex is designed as a modern tourney Horsebow and more than a match for Trad Recurve division.

I've been shooting Fita 3D in Europe and the AFB is established as it's own Longbow division, you best argument is to request GNAS to come into line with Fita 3D shooting divisions as are supposed to be affiliated to Fita and it's logical that GNAS should mirror Fita rules.
 

Furface

Moderator
Supporter
Yes, RH, you have now done your penance!
You could go into more detail about what you think GNAS should be providing. You mention classifications (handicaps are usable for any bow style). I can tell you from first hand that, when we introduced barebow classifications there was only the bare minimum of performance information, so, in many areas, we had to simply guess what the correct levels should be. On the other hand, when we had done that, it did seem to stimulate an interest in barebow target archery and so we got more data. Chicken and egg, perhaps? Except that the data for the bow styles you support would be much, much less.
There is also a great deal of chatter about recognising bowstyles. This recognition is really about being able to claim national records in that style, and, once again, the critical mass of data comes into play. We have had long discussions here about whether a record should be claimed simply because that archer was the first to shoot that combination. One aspect of this is whether records should be set in bowstyles that currently have limited adherents. Again, the chicken and egg argument appears, as it could be argued that the possibility of holding national records stimulates interest in the bowstyle.
But there is also a common fallacy that AFB, Horsebow or other bowstyles cannot take part in competitions. So long as they meet the definition of a bow, and are shot to the RoS, then there is nothing to stop a tournament organiser having a category for them. If you want to shoot your horsebow in a competition, ask the organiser. You may not be given a medal or trophy, but your bowstyle would be visible. If you can persuade the rest of the Golden Horde to enter, you might even have competition. This must surely be the way forward, showing GNAS and the archery public that there is a significant demand.
 

Murray

The American
Ironman
American Shoot
GNAS has only longbow as a traditional classification totally ignoring the increasing numbers of American Flat bow (AFB) and horsebow shooters who are popping up.
Ok - question for you - how many are there in the UK, and how does this compare as a percentage with the total GNAS UK archery population?

Secondly (assuming I'm right about this) why are thumb rings treated as release aids when tabs are not - they do the same job in the same way?
Not quite - thumbrings often have a ledge which enhances release significantly.

it may be that ultimately gnas has no choice but to accept change or alienate a growing proportion of its members.
Goes back to my original question. If it's just a small bunch of slightly deranged hairy ar**d Scotsmen they'll not care. :)

Is gnas right to avoid the the traditional
It's not traditional though - not in THIS country. Now maybe if you were in outer mongolia or hungary... why should American, Hungarian, Mongolian, korean, etc. etc. etc. be rightfully classified as traditional when they aint?

:running:
 

bkupris

The American
Supporter
American Shoot
RH

Bring your trad bows to our field club and you will be welcomed with open arms :) Oh yeah, you already know that :) Thank goodness for the GNAS Recurve Traditional bowstyle for field.

Target archers and tournament organisers are finally, grudgingly accepting barebow in these parts so don't expect much else for another 50 years or so ;)
 

grimsby archer

New member
It's not traditional though - not in THIS country. Now maybe if you were in outer mongolia or hungary... why should American, Hungarian, Mongolian, korean, etc. etc. etc. be rightfully classified as traditional when they aint?

:running:
As the number of immigrants rises and Britain becomes more multi-cultural, surely the boundaries of what is considered "traditional" in this country become steadily more blurred.
For instance, in an area of high Polish populations, can we consider the Hungarian bow "traditional"?
 

h20vrrq

Member
Interesting thread.

As TO for our easter record status tournament I have been trying to clarify the status of traditional bows and what bow style they fit into at RS shoots.

In the RoS the recognised bow styles are Recurve Barebow, Longbow and Recurve Traditional
204. Recurve Barebow
Recurve Barebow is generally as described for Recurve (Freestyle) in Rule 202 with the following variations:
(a) Bow
(i) The bow must be bare, except for items mentioned below, and free from protrusions, marks, blemishes or laminated pieces which could be of use in aiming. Multi-coloured risers are permitted.
(ii) Integrally fitted torque flight compensators are permitted provided that they are not fitted with stabilizers. Weights may be added to the lower part of the riser. All weights, regardless of shape, must mount directly to the riser without rods, extensions, angular mounting connections or shock absorbing devices.
(b) Bowstring. There shall be no attachment on the string to serve as a lip or nose mark.
(c) Arrowrest. The pressure point shall be placed no further than 2cm back (inside) from the throat of the handle (pivot point) of the bow
(d) Exclusions. Recurve barebow archers may not use:
(i) Sights.
(ii) Draw check indicator.
(iii) Stabilizers.
205. Recurve Traditional
The Recurve Traditional is generally as described for Recurve Barebow in Rule 204 but with the following variations:
(a) Arrows. Arrow shafts shall be made of wood but with no limit as to maximum diameter. Fletchings shall be of natural feather; metallic piles and plastic nocks may be used.
(b) Arrowrest. The arrowrest must not be adjustable. A pressure button is not permitted
(c) Shooting Style. Archers must adhere to one anchor point and one finger position on the string throughout a tournament.
206. Longbow
(a) Bow. The bow shall be the traditional longbow made from wood, either ?self?, ?backed?, or ?laminated? with cambered (stacked) belly and horn nocks. With the exception of the ?self? bow, each limb of the bow shall form a single simple curve from the handle to the nock when at full draw. The bow shall be not less than five feet in length for an arrow of less than 27 inches and; not less than five feet six inches in length for a 27? or longer arrow, this being measured along the back between the string nocks. At no point shall the depth of the bow, measured from back to belly, be less than 5/8 (five eighths) of the width of the bow at the same section. The bow may carry no support for the arrow. Bows of bamboo, constructed in conformity with the above, shall be permitted.
(b) String. Strings may be of either natural or man-made substance, and may, if desired, embody a ?kisser? at any point as required to facilitate a consistent draw position, but for no other purpose.
(c) Sights and Points of Aim. Sights, as such, are not permitted but one of the following may be used:
(i) Marks on the bow limb.
(ii) Rubber bands of no more than 1/8? in depth and thickness.
(iii) Artificial points of aim on the ground, provided they do not exceed a height from the ground of 6 inches or a diameter of 3 inches nor impede any other archer.
(d) Arrows. Arrows shall have wooden steles (shafts), shall be fitted with feather fletchings, and may have either horn-reinforced, self or applied nocks. There is no limit to the maximum shaft diameter. Piles shall not exceed the diameter of the shaft at the point of fitment. Shouldered piles, whilst not disallowed, should be avoided because of excess damage to targets. Arrows shall be properly marked, so that there shall be no difficulty in claiming them.
(e) Hand Protection
(i) Finger protection in the form of finger stalls or tips, gloves, or shooting tab or tape (plaster) to draw, hold back and release the string is permitted, provided that such protection does not incorporate any device to hold, draw and release the string.
(ii) A separator between the fingers to prevent pinching the arrow and/or a platform tab may be used. An extension so as to provide a greater angle, prior to release, other than that achieved by the use of a normal tab, glove or other form of finger protection, is not permitted.
(iii) On the bow hand an ordinary glove, mitten or similar item may be worn but shall not be attached to the grip
But for outdoor target shooting only the following appear to be recognised
303. Bowstyles
The description of bowstyles is given in Part 2. Bowstyles recognised for Target Archery and additional detail are as follows:
(a) Recurve (Freestyle) ? Equipment as defined in Rule 202.
(b) FITA Standard Bow (for FITA Standard Round only) ? Equipment as defined in Rule 203
(c) Recurve Barebow ? Equipment as defined in Rule 204
(d) Longbow ? Equipment as defined in Rule 206
(e) Compound Unlimited ? Equipment as defined Rule 207
(f) (deleted)
(g) Crossbow ? Equipment as defined in Rule 210.
(h) Exclusions. Archers are not permitted electronic communications devices and headsets in front of the waiting line.
So as a TO does this mean I have to group traditional archers with Recurve Barebow in record status shoots, or if I want to can I have traditional as a separate category?

We have barebow archers at all of our open shoots but this is the first time we have had a traditional archer apply. All bow styles are welcome, I just want to know how they should be grouped.
 

bkupris

The American
Supporter
American Shoot
GNAS target archery does not recognise "Recurve Traditional" bowstyle, only GNAS Field does. I think you will have to lump them all into "barebow" if they want to be elegible for records etc...
 

Furface

Moderator
Supporter
...
So as a TO does this mean I have to group traditional archers with Recurve Barebow in record status shoots, or if I want to can I have traditional as a separate category?...
My understanding is that you can have at your RS tournament any category you like. However, for the purposes of claiming records, the bow would have to fall within the definition of one of the types in the rules you quote. Effectively this means that they would not be able to claim records, because, as you say, the only class that they would fit at all in would be recurve barebow, and it is unlikely (though not, of course, impossible) that they would achieve a record score.
 

h20vrrq

Member
GNAS target archery does not recognise "Recurve Traditional" bowstyle, only GNAS Field does. I think you will have to lump them all into "barebow" if they want to be elegible for records etc...
My understanding is that you can have at your RS tournament any category you like. However, for the purposes of claiming records, the bow would have to fall within the definition of one of the types in the rules you quote. Effectively this means that they would not be able to claim records, because, as you say, the only class that they would fit at all in would be recurve barebow, and it is unlikely (though not, of course, impossible) that they would achieve a record score.
So, its only a case of GNAS does not recognise 'Recurve Traditional' for records but they can still shoot within their own category in any GNAS Outdoor target shoot if the TO wants to allow this?
 

barney

Member
The problem with most horsebows and quite a few of the AFB?s on sale is they?re usually constructed from a wooden core under glass fibre laminates. In construction at least, they?re not really that traditional. All wood flatbows and especially horn/sinew composite horsebows can be prohibitively expensive for most people.

Having said that, most the laminated longbows that people shoot aren?t strictly traditional either ? they?re usually made from imported tropical hardwoods bonded together with synthetic resins and shot with synthetic strings.

Unless you shoot a selflongbow, or a laminated longbow utilising timber available before longbows became traditional, bonded together with natural animal glue, then you?re not shooting a truly traditional bow either.

(Being water based the provenance of traditional glue could be determined by removing any waterproof coating from the bow and immersing it in a bath of warm water. If, after several hours the bow separates into its component parts, you would be cleared for shooting).
 

mikeb0551

New member
(Being water based the provenance of traditional glue could be determined by removing any waterproof coating from the bow and immersing it in a bath of warm water. If, after several hours the bow separates into its component parts, you would be cleared for shooting).
Were your ancestors witch hunters by any chance???
:jaw-dropp
 

Rabid Hamster

Well-known member
Ironman
Ok ... while rabidly opinionated I dont have all the answers to those posed so far but lets see if I can add a bit:

Furface: I would move that gnas needs to be proactive in delivering a frame work to its members. We all know ;) gnas lives for the top 1% and the rest of us should just pay our cash and shut up. By delivering a framework for nascent styles, they will be encouraged and could entice more into archery. Personally I came to archery as I am a medieval military historian/hobbyist and I wanted to learn to shoot horsebow. As there was no real coaching/clubs I ended up shooting recurve till I got a grounding - had I been less confident or "shy hamster" I might not be an archer today (NO CHEERING!)

Murray: there is ONE longbow in the two clubs I frequent, 2 AFB and almost 12 horsebows. NOw I very much doubt that the same lack of longbow numbers down south but I bet you there are more horse bows out there than you suspect.
Secondly theres a groove in my tab that helps me position the string and a platform for positioning on my face and a notch for the nock to further regulate nocking. I think it can easily be argued that a thumb ring is just a very small tab when you look at what the more sophisticated tabs get up to.
Thirdly grimsby archer makes a great point. Arent you being a tad 'racist' by refusing to support immigrant archers and their traditions? (;) JOKE JOKE! :D)

Brian: thank you for the invite and I'll be up on sunday with my SKB50. Currently trying to make up arrows to replace recent casualties so better have the lost arrow ferrets on standby.

Barney: you make a great (and very amusing) point re materials. I think the materials should not matter much as its more the method of shooting that matters. Ok, I would draw the line at a foam carbon mongol horse bows with titanium thumb ring but as long as its not too outrageous, style should be encouraged over a pedantic, snootyness re the correct materials/glue.

Woodsplitter: Got my 10 posts so :raspberry:raspberry:raspberry:raspberry to you longbow boy!

Just as a footnote ... our end of indoor season shoot is next week and there will be a 'traditional' category because of all the horsebows. Also I intend to run a small friendly interclub traditional shoot sometime in may and I very much doubt that 'my' 2 clubs are unique or even uncommon. However with the gnas top down method of control I doubt that gnas will do anything proactive till a small horde turns up at lilleshall and burns their filing cabinets to the ground!:melodrama
 

Uller

The American
Fonz Awardee
American Shoot
but I bet you there are more horse bows out there than you suspect.
Then why don't we find out... I'm sure the forum has a wide spread of people from all over the country, so why not make a Poll to find out who has an AFB/ELB/Horsebow, even as a 2nd bow and if they'd like to try shooting it in competition or whether they only see it as a bit of a distraction.

Reading that back, it looks like that question couldn't really be answered in a simple poll...:dizzy:
 

The Meggy

New member
I have nothing against people shooting any of the wide variety of bow types out there. But I can see the problems that having too many categories can cause. It is very unlikely that horse bows, or AFB's, would shoot to exactly the same levels as longbows. So that means that to bring them in fairly, they need separate categories, and presumably separate classification/handicap levels, plus their own awards etc. for tournaments. It is often already the case at some tournaments that there is only one, or sometimes no longbows shooting.

What I'm really saying is that there is a diluting effect if there are too many categories - instead of having a good competition between reasonable numbers shooting in each division, we end up with a bit of a hotch-potch. I speak incidentally as someone who shoots AFB style, but who does not want this style to be recognised for target archery. In international (i.e. FITA) target archery there are just two styles: recurve and compound. In the UK we also have longbow - fair enough, this reflects our particular history. But I'm afraid a line has to be drawn somewhere, sorry!
 

Furface

Moderator
Supporter
... I would move that gnas needs to be proactive in delivering a frame work to its members. We all know ;) gnas lives for the top 1% and the rest of us should just pay our cash and shut up. By delivering a framework for nascent styles, they will be encouraged and could entice more into archery.....
But then we have to ask the question "What constitutes a horsebow?" (About to reveal ignorance here :() Should Magyars compete against,or be assessed in the same class as Native American or Japanese? Heavens, there are still factions arguing what constitutes a longbow (and we do not mention the People's Front for the liberation of Judea). I think that simply making it clear just on what basis such bows compete would be the best first step
 

Rabid Hamster

Well-known member
Ironman
But then we have to ask the question "What constitutes a horsebow?" (About to reveal ignorance here :() Should Magyars compete against,or be assessed in the same class as Native American or Japanese? Heavens, there are still factions arguing what constitutes a longbow (and we do not mention the People's Front for the liberation of Judea). I think that simply making it clear just on what basis such bows compete would be the best first step
SPLITTER!

To be honest (excluding the AFB for a moment), I'd be all for having a single "traditional" (ie no sights, back of the hand/thumb rest & ring, woodie arrow) class encompassing all the old school archery bows from 6th century BC assyrian to 17th century japanese and let them fight it out for supremacy!
Let the real ale and beardy types (no offence intended if you like real ale) prove their assertion the longbow was that [email protected] good!
Unlike medieval swordsmanship (which had to deal with huge changes fairly quickly), over 2000 years of archery things arent that different - it has to address the same issues.
 

grimsby archer

New member
But then we have to ask the question "What constitutes a horsebow?" (About to reveal ignorance here :() Should Magyars compete against,or be assessed in the same class as Native American or Japanese?
Perhaps the category just needs an appropriate name like "novelty" or "other":devil: to include any format not already catered for
 
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