NFAS proposal votes – in 2 minds

It is that time of year again when the NFAS or National Field Archery Society to give its full title open the doors to voting by its members on various rule changes or amendments. It is a great way for the membership to contribute and offer ideas for change. This year is a little different though as the NFAS committee has called on its members to support one rules change or rather, as the committee have put it, a rules clarification.

The amendment is to the shooting rules and is to clarify that archers are not allowed to use binoculars. It is this which I am a little conflicted over.
I want to show my support for the committee, who are all volunteers and are doing what they believe is in the best interests of the society. They want to remove any possible confusion concerning the rules which does make sense.

However, I have for a number of years been supportive to the idea of using binoculars. This I know is unpopular with some in the society who have a different opinion. It is my belief that with the tendency for some course layers to push targets further and further back, making it harder and harder to see if the arrow is scoring or not. I see this being a particular problem with paper faces as with a 3D you can normally tell if you are in by the sound of the arrow hitting the 3D. After all the sound of an arrow impacting a paper face is the same if it’s in the scoring area or not.
My feeling is that binoculars could help this by removing some of the ambiguity allowing an archer to see if they are in or not and potentially resulting in archers not having to take multiple arrows. I know some say it will slow a shoot down, but having shot at the 3DA competition where binoculars are allowed it didn’t appear to slow anyone down.

Can you see it?

Can you see it?

So there is my quandary do I support the committee and vote for the proposal or against the committee and vote to reject the proposal and in turn possibly have binoculars in the society.
I’m really not sure.

Thanks for reading

Responses and feedback on binoculars in archery

Big thanks to all the readers and followers of this site for their comments, thoughts and opinions on the topic of binoculars in archery. The original post can be read here.
It has been very interesting to hear what the views of the advantages and disadvantages are of their use along with peoples’ experience of using them.
As far as their use in the NFAS, well following what might be seen by some as quite a heated debate at the NFAS AGM, the proposal was dropped by the proposer.
My understanding of the reason for this decision was that following the debate  the NFAS committee decided it was not a style change for sighted archers but something that affected all members of the society and therefore would need to be an open vote for all in the society. The proposer of the motion did not agree with this and for this reason withdrew the proposal.
I think that is correct but if anyone wishes to correct me feel free.
Personally I can see both merits and flaws with the use of binoculars as I said in my previous post and would have liked to see them brought in on a trial basis to see how they might affect shoots but people didn’t appear to like that suggestion when I made it.
Just as a point of order on this. Whilst I  might not necessarily agree with the NFAS committee’s decision I’m not having a dig at them. They are all unpaid volunteers and work exceedingly hard in supporting the society. Doing their best in an environment that is not always friendly or supportive.
Another person who works exceedingly hard and in my view goes above and beyond to help the society as a whole as well as individuals is Dave Haynes of Pride Park Archers in Derby.
Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

I like many others were delighted to see him awarded the NFAS Presidents trophy in recognition of all the time and effort he devotes to the society. Congratulations mate you deserve it.
Anyway thanks for all the comments.
Thanks for reading. Happy Christmas to you all.

What you see is what you hit?

First view from Red peg

First view from Red peg

In the NFAS archers are not allowed to use any spotting scopes or binoculars before or after they have shot. Some classes are allowed sights on their bows but no binoculars or spotting scopes.
In the upcoming AGM this is going to be discussed as there is a proposal for sighted classes to be allowed to use binos but lose the option of target cards (small book showing target faces which they allowed to review prior to shooting).
The topic is being hotly debated in club houses, forums and on the Facebook site by some so I thought it worth putting a few views across and invite readers thoughts.

Firstly some brief history

To my knowledge binoculars have never been allowed as an aid to the archer. Marshalls have used them when assisting on a course but not the archers.
A few years ago there had been a similar proposal put forward to the membership to allow binos for all classes. The membership voted against this following some very vocal and active negative campaigning run by some members who opposed the idea. I was one of the cosigners on this proposal as I believed the issue had been discussed and argued so many times I thought it fair for the membership to decide.
Now it has been proposed for only the sighted archers classes (crossbow compound limited, unlimited and freestyle) Only those that shoot these classes can vote on the proposal as it affects their style and it is therefore a style rule change and not a general rule change. So it’s not an open vote for all members this time.

Back to the main topic of this post. I’m going to try and give a positive and negative perspective for each argument so here goes. Jump in and have your say by all means.

Why do some not want binos?

Concerns about their use slowing down the day as there is a belief by some that archers will want to check each arrow and spend time analysing it before taking their next shot.
The counter argument to this could be that it might speed the day as archers wouldn’t have to shoot a second or third arrow if they could identify they were in with an earlier arrow.

Range finding

There have been comments on how binos can be used for range finding. In the NFAS archers shoot over unmarked distances with any use of range finding technology being against the rules.
An archer I know uses his thumb to judge distances to target hopefully they won’t want to chop his thumb off ☺(yes that is an attempt at humour)

Know your target

There is an argument that archers should learn the faces and 3ds, memorising the scoring zones of each.
Well there are a lot of faces on the market with more appearing constantly with some clubs drawing on or highlighting specific ones. This means what might be used in one shoot could be different on the next, especially a factor when it comes to repaired 3D targets.

This is the target face from the earlier picture.

JVD Boar

JVD Boar

Animals in the wild don’t have scoring zones

Some say that animals don’t have scoring zones on when hunting so why should they be easily identified for archery targets ?
Archers would traditionally have to have learned where to aim and yes that might be true but wouldn’t these same newbie hunters be taught by experienced archers and told where to aim?

Just for fun

Some say they shoot for fun and don’t need to know where the 24s are, fair enough.
I’ve heard others say that because they shoot traditional or wooden arrows it doesn’t matter. Well I shoot traditional with wooden arrows and I still like to know what I’m shooting at and where to aim for on the target and know others who feel the same.

As it is this proposal is only for sighted classes so wouldn’t affect me.

So let’s hear what you think?
Thanks for reading.