15 motions passed on first day of World Archery Congress in 2019

  • The World Archery Indoor Championships will no longer be held
  • Barebow to be recognised in rules as bowstyle in target archery
  • Term limits introduced as part of motion improving governance 

The 53rd World Archery Congress in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands started on Saturday 1 June 2019 with voting delegates and proxies representing 85 national member associations.

As well as reports from the president and secretary general on World Archery’s activities over the last two years – there were updates on the World Archery Excellence Centre, the progress of the World Archery Plan and presentations from the International School Sports Federation and International Military Sports Council.

The secretary general of the latter, Colonel Dorah Mamby Koita, signed a memorandum of understanding for closer cooperation with World Archery President Prof Dr Ugur Erdener during proceedings.

Member associations in Syria, Jordan and Lesotho were affiliated, and Palau re-affiliated.

Liberia, Kiribati and Burkina Faso were expelled. Senegal was given an extension until the end of 2019 to resolve governance and activity issues – with a view to stabilising the federation ahead of the Youth Olympic Games in 2022. Central African Republic was also given a deadline of the end of this year to fix their constitutional issues.

Ghana, Kuwait, Mali, Norfolk Islands, Rwanda and Togo were given warnings.

Congress delegates were also informed of ASOIF’s report on the future of sports federations and encouraged to evaluate an approach to the digital reality of the modern world and embrace business initiatives relevant to the sport.

Key motions

The following explanations are not official rules. Except where otherwise noted, motions come into effect on 15 January 2020.

Good governance

A comprehensive motion to solidify World Archery’s constitution around the principles of good governance included introductions of term limitation and updated definitions.

Persons of the World Archery Executive Board will be permitted a maximum of three terms in the same position; committee members must have a two-year break after two terms in a position and can have a maximum of four terms in a single position.

Clearer definitions of independence, interest and conflict of interest will be added to the constitution. Federations who are active will be rewarded with more voting power at congresses – with new weighting.

There will also be independent members on the board of justice and ethics, and finance and audit board. A new electoral board will oversee candidatures and future elections.

Indoor championships

The World Archery Indoor Championships will no longer be held so that the resources can be invested into the popular Indoor Archery World Series.

Declining participation in the championships has contrasted with significant and steady growth in mass participation indoor tournaments. The Indoor Archery World Series gives an open pathway for athletes of all levels into world-class competition and offers more opportunities for elite archers to earn a professional income.

The priority for indoor archery is now to strengthen and grow this annual calendar of key events, rather than just one every two years.

Athletes committee

Rather than electing four athlete representatives to the athletes’ committee every four years, two will be elected every two years. This rule change came into immediate effect.

Shooting rules

Previously, shooting rules could only be changed in the congress held in the year immediately after each Olympic Games.

This will remain the case for disciplines included in the Olympic and Paralympic Games – but all other shooting rules, like field and indoor, can change at every congress. This rule change came into immediate effect.


World Archery’s biennial congress will no longer be linked solely to the world championships – and is now also permitted to take place alongside the Archery World Cup Final.

Barebow recognition

Barebow was only listed in the rules as a bowstyle for field and 3D competitions. It has now been added to the rules for indoor and outdoor target competitions.

This change recognises the increasing number of barebow athletes shooting target disciplines – and opens the door for potential official world records for barebow archers.

There was also a number of changes to the field rules to optimise the competition format during eliminations.

Congress continues on Sunday 2 June with elections, workshops and reports from major upcoming events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The 53rd World Archery Congress takes place on 1-2 June 2019 ahead of the World Archery Para Championships and Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.