My thanks to Continental Judge, the lovely Katy Lipscomb, for providing some clarification on the recent FITA rule changes. Katy has kindly agreed to let me reproduce the contents of an email below, so as to avoid any confusion on the shooting line over what was at first sight, some bizarre rule changes.
I have just seen the article on the Essex Website about recent FITA Rule changes and I think they might be a bit misleading to your normal archer.
For example the Rule about shoes is numbered 188.8.131.52 – however it is worth pointing out that the ‘title’ rule for this is 3.22.1 which refers to FITA Championships.
Please see the below extract from the FITA Rule Book : -
3.22.1 FITA Championships are majestic occasions, honoured by the attendance of many dignitaries. It is therefore respectful and fitting that all athletes, Team Captains, Officials, etc., participating in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, should be properly and fully dressed in the uniform dress of their respective Member Associations.
So from my point of view (as a Continental Judge) I think the rule is just referring to footwear at FITA Championships / Olympic Games etc, and FITA have not meant it to apply at FITA Stars at a lower level.
As a Judge I would have no problem with an archer turning up on the field wearing boots or stilettos, or anything else they felt comfortable in. My only concern would be that they are wearing footwear and that the toes were covered i.e. not sandals etc. This is only from a safety point of view, just in case they walked into an arrow or a peg in the ground.
Also the bit about Dacron strings – you may want to make it a bit clearer that this refers to the FITA Standard bow, and that the rule has been removed.
Sorry to be a bit picky, but I don’t want archers getting confused, or changing things when they do not have to.
I also asked Katy about the rather odd 'armpit' rule and as a keen photographer, Katy's response makes good sense . RM
The armpit rule is so the television cameras and photographers can get really good close ups – obviously a real issue at most FITA Stars in England
Unfortunately the rule is worded in such a way that it is technically a proper rule that should be enforced at WRS FITA Events. There is no penalty for it in the rules (such as having to remove the scope or losing arrows etc), the only penalty would be to disqualify the archer under the rule that states an archer breaking any of the rules can be disqualified.