Rules for Professional Archers

Over the last three months there have been various discussions about the definition of a professional archer and whether the new definition does cover professionalism sufficiently without adding many pages to the IFAA rules.

The first thing to realise is that professionalism as defined in the IFAA rules only affects the Adult Freestyle Unlimited and the two Adult Freestyle Limited shooting styles.

The IFAA does not recognise professionalism in any of the other shooting styles, even if archers in those styles shoot for professional awards or money in any archery tournament.

Until the IFAA General Assembly accepts a proposal by a full member to extend professionalism to one or more other shooting styles, professionalism is only recognised in the three styles mentioned above.

The second thing to realise is that only IFAA sanctioned events must allow for the professional division. Other events under IFAA rules, such as National events, may not allow for the professional division. In that case professional archers will shoot with the amateur archers in the same division.

The third thing to realise is that other international associations no longer have a distinction between professional and amateur archers, even though they have “professional” events.

One of the purposes of the IFAA states:
The IFAA shall adopt a set of standards which will differentiate between the amateur status and the professional status of archers.

The rules also state that:
Every archer registered as a member of an IFAA member association will be recognised as an Amateur until such time as they become Professionals under the IFAA rules.

Based on these two rules the IFAA cannot simply remove the distinction. It is one of the cornerstones of the IFAA.

Our membership with TAFISA will also complicate the removal of such rules.

The original rule on professionalism ever to be written in the IFAA Book of Rules state:

A Professional is one who claims to be a Professional, or who registers as a Professional at any shoot, or who competes for a Professional cash prize or Professional award at a tournament.

It was always argued that this rule applied for IFAA events only and did not rule on what the archer earned outside the IFAA. This means in fact that we were working with dual standards: An archer could earn thousands of Dollars or Euros as a professional in events that were not hosted by the IFAA, but shoot as an amateur in an IFAA event.

The term Professionalism should be seen as “absolute”. A professional archer shoots for financial gain or professional awards, irrespective if this archer shoots IFAA events or any other event. There should not be a dual standard depending on associations.

The new rule therefore is much simplified:
An archer is considered to be a Professional Archer when this archer actively competes in the Professional Archery Circuit.

Where “Circuit” is be seen to be:
“A series of competitions or tournaments in which the same group of players regularly participate.”

The rule is not intended to limit professionalism in our sport, but to allow archers with amateur status the opportunity to occasionally shoot in these “professional” events without losing their amateur status.

Therefore the term “actively” is not defined as a globally fixed number. The circuit differs from region to region. The IFAA Executive will rule on each protest and so build up a “standard”.

Neither does the rule prevent an archer to register as a professional at an IFAA tournament without previous “professional” experience.

Although registration with the IFAA as a professional archer is not mandatory in terms of the IFAA rules, Professional archers are expected to register with the IFAA Executive Secretary. This can be done by contacting the IFAA or by filling in the IFAA Pro form at the start of a tournament.

It will make our work much easier when the IFAA has built up a list of names for easy reference.

A list of our professional archers will be regularly updated on the IFAA web page.

At registration for a tournament each amateur archer must sign a statement that he/she is not a professional archer under the IFAA rules.

The rule allows an amateur archer to protest against the signed statement of an archer who in his/her opinion is a “professional”. But as with a normal protest at IFAA tournaments, the person who files the protest must supply the necessary proof or reason, which will be evaluated and ruled on in a similar manner as a normal protest. If the protest is judged to be fair, the archers will be reclassified as a professional.

Archers who are registered with the IFAA as Pro archers will remain so for at least one year from registration. Thereafter that archer may request amateur status again.

Such a request will only be accepted if the archer did not attend IFAA shoots as a Pro or the “Professional Archery Circuit” for at least a year.

IFAA President

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