Archers that have not had the pleasure of shooting a field round often think of it as standing at a stake in an open field and shooting at a yonder target. Not so! A field round is a challenging course, generally placed in a woods, in varying terrain, at different distances from target to target. It is a proven fact that a proficient field archer is also a proficient 3-D and target archer.
There are a few basic differences between field archery and most 3-D courses. Most notably, that field courses have marked yardages. As it was so aptly put by one of our NFAA members: "Field archery is a game of shooting - not yardage estimation". The basic NFAA field round is made up of 28 targets. The round is two 14 targets units. There can be 28 targets one after the other, or you can have a 14 target course and shoot it twice to make the round. Each 14 target unit has the same shots, but not necessarily in the same order, on a 28 target field course. You shoot four arrows at each target, so you shoot a total of 112 arrows per field and hunter rounds. Some of the shooting positions let you shoot all four arrows from one marked stake; some shooting positions have stakes at four different positions where you walk toward the target on each shot, or in a fan position. The distances vary according to the round you are shooting. The standard NFAA field round has distances that vary from 20 feet to 240 feet. There are four different size faces, the further the target, the bigger the target. "Hey," you say, "I don't shoot at deer that are 80 yards away." No, neither do the rest of us. The idea is that it teaches you to aim at a spot and will make a better all around archer out of you. Now the younger folks get a break. If you're under 15, your longest distance is 50 yards; if you're under 12, the longest range is 30 yards. Targets are round, black and white faces. There is a possible 20 points per target and a perfect round is 560.
Other types of "field" rounds are offered, too. There's the hunter round, something like the above field round except that you shoot at an all black face with a white dot. The ranges on this round vary between 33 feet and 210 feet. Again, 2 fourteen target units make a round. There are four size faces to shoot at and different distances on the roving course. Scoring is identical to the field round.
The animal round is much like the 3-D round but the targets are 2-D, that is, an animal printed on a sheet of paper that is usually pasted to cardboard. Once again, distances are marked to give everyone an equal chance. Scoring is a bit different on this round. You take three of your arrows and mark them 1, 2, and 3. When you get to the shooting stake you shoot arrow number 1. If you hit the scoring area you need not shoot another arrow. If you miss the first shot you move up to the next shooting stake and shoot number 2. If you hit the scoring zone there's no need to shoot number 3. If you missed number one and two, move up and shoot number three. The scoring area is divided into two parts, the vital area and non-vital, with a bonus X-ring in the center of the vital area, and scored accordingly. Scoring is based on where you hit with which arrow. The first arrow shot is scored 21, 20 or 18. The second arrow is scored 17, 16 or 14, and the third arrow is scored 13, 12 or 10. The best score per target is 21 and the total possible score for the round, a 588.
Scoring on NFAA courses are identical throughout the US. No matter where you live you can compare your score, your level of proficiency, against an archer shooting in your division and style anywhere else in the country. You always shoot against your competition whether you prefer release, fingers, bowhunting equipment or whatever. Want to improve your 3-D scores - shoot field archery.