Interkingdom Combat Archery Competitions

The most recent version of the rules can be found at:

XII Annual Interkingdom Combat Archery Competition Updated 3/1/99

by Giovanni dell'Arco, Keeper of the Interkingdom Archery Competition

The Interkingdom Combat Archery Competition is a target competition shot with combat gear, which provides the combat archer of the SCA with an opportunity to compete with other archers from all Kingdoms of the Known World. It also provides an SCA wide standard of comparison for combat archery skills.

The IKCAC, like the IKAC, is won by the Kingdom with the highest average score for their top three archers. These top three combat archers will be awarded IKCAC medallions.

It is hoped that both Kingdoms and individuals will help support combat archery in each Kingdom, by providing additional awards for the winning three archers from their Kingdom, in addition to the medallions for the SCA wide winning trio.


The competition starts April 1, and ends December 1. The dates for the Southern hemisphere have been adjusted, and the competition will start there on December 1, and end on September 1.

The competition may be shot at any official Kingdom or local event (regular practice sessions which are periodically announced in the appropriate newsletter count as official events -- otherwise, official events are those duly announced in the appropriate Kingdom or Principality newsletter). Major events, such as Estrella War, or major local events, that are held before April 1, may be granted official scoring if requested in writing well in advance. Archers may shoot for official score at as many competitions as they can attend, and may shoot for official score once each day of a multi-day event. Archers may shoot more than once in a particular division per day, but only their top complete round of that day will be officially counted. Shooting need not be continuous (it may stop between ends as conditions require), but must be completed the same day in order to be counted. In order to be official, at least two people must be present at each shooting, one acting as the Archer-in-Charge. The Archer-in-Charge may or may not shoot.

In setting up and shooting the IKCAC, the officiating archer must take all necessary precautions to insure the safety of all archers and bystanders. Any archer using a technique which could be a safety hazard, such as shooting two or more arrows at one time, must satisfy the Archer-in-Charge that he or she is able to use the technique safely.

Scores must be postmarked within thirty days after they are shot, to be counted as official. The final score must be received by me, in writing, no later than December 31st. The results of each competition should be sent as soon as possible after they are shot, so they may be tabulated and each month's scores sent out to the Kingdom newsletters. The results must include: Name of event, date, and place; name, address and phone number of Archer-in-Charge; archers' names and scores by end, round and total; and type and weight of bow. Information must be typed or printed clearly, if I can not read your score it might not be counted. You should send copies of the scores to me and to your Kingdom archery officer, and save a copy for your files.

Any other information about the competition and archery in your area will be greatly appreciated.

Archers shooting for official score must be SCA members. Status may be confirmed with the Registry. In the case of a tie, the Kingdom with the narrowest point spread shall be declared the winner.

Send scores to the Keeper of the IKAC: Giovanni dell'Arco, c/o J. Satcher, 14828 Military Rd S #120, Seattle, WA, 98168 Phone (206) 248-3865 till 10:00 p.m. PST E-mail:


All protective gear, bows and combat arrows must meet the minimum SCA standards. Check with your Marshall if in doubt. All equipment must conform to the spirit of medieval archery.


Bows shall not exceed 30 pounds at 28 inches of draw, except when using the experimental "Golf Tube" arrows, in which case the bow shall not exceed the SCA maximum poundage for golf tubes. These heavy bows are to be used only with the golf tube arrows! To match the maximum poundage for golf tube hand bows only the golf tube & ABD crossbows can be 600 to 1000 inch pounds. Crossbows shooting wood or fiberglass shafts may not exceed 600 inch-pounds. This is determined by multiplying the pull at the nut by the distance from the string at rest, to the nut. For example, the pull (60 lb.) times draw (10 inches) = 600 inch-pounds. This is the approximate power equivalent of a 30 lb. recurve or longbow. Those shooting crossbows must indicate on the score sheet if they are shooting a period or contemporary style crossbow. This should be noted in the same space as the archer's name and area. The number of arrows shot in each speed end as well as the points must be listed (ex: 22/6).

Compound bows are not allowed. Take-down bows with cut out risers (which allow you to see through the riser from the side) must be covered with cloth, leather, tape, etc., so as to present a solid surface and an appearance more in keeping with Medieval archery. No center-shot crossbows. Recurves or longbows of any material are allowed, this includes solid fiberglass and fiberglass and wood laminates. No archer may use any post 1600 material or technique that gives an unfair advantage to the user. No stabilizers or balance bars, no non-period string releases, no kissers, no clickers, no Berger buttons, no bow quivers, no form of string walking and no bow sights (except for crossbows which may have both front and rear sights). Berger buttons must be either removed or locked down. However, simple limb marks for sighting are allowed on recurves or longbows.


Any type of SCA legal combat arrow may be used. Both feather fletch and plastic vanes are allowed. A minimum of 12 arrows should be carried in a quiver.


The archers must shoot while wearing at least the minimum protection required by SCA rules for combat archery, except the requirements for groin and kidney protection are waived. For the Pavise Round, where kneeling is required, knee pads are strongly recommended.


Any period style of aiming from instinctive, to using marked bow limbs or crossbow sights, is allowed. Any period technique, from the Eastern holding of several arrows in the drawing hand or shooting two arrows at one time for rapid shooting, to the bow and pike method of William Neade's Double-Armed Man, are allowed, but documentation may be required in questionable cases. Any archer using a technique which could be a safety hazard to their self or to others must prove to the satisfaction of the Archer-in Charge their ability to use the technique safely.


Copies of the IKCAC score sheet should be used for recording scores. But, if they are not available, any score sheet that includes all the required information may be used. Save the attached score and record sheets and make copies from them. Choose an archer to act as score-keeper or Marker. A separate record sheet or card may be used for each archer, so long as the final scores are recorded on the IKCAC score sheet.

Because the Marker will be in the vicinity of the target, he or she must wear full protective gear when recording scores from the target side of the shooting line. For the additional safety and comfort of the Marker, a pavise or other form of cover, as well as a seat, may be provided near the target.

In order to approximate actual combat conditions, no one may inform the archer where his arrows are striking, either hits or misses, for during combat there would be no one to provide this information.


Each end has a maximum time limit. This is done to simulate some of the pressure of combat. At the end of the time limit, "Hold" is called and shooting stops and score is recorded. Any arrow in the air at "Hold" counts. There is no penalty for not completing an end. Times must be measured with a watch. You may use a tape recorded count down for timing ends.


There is one division. Recurves, longbows and crossbows compete in the same division.


The target is a free standing fighter-shaped plywood cut-out, six feet tall, facing front. It has a hinged face and heart (see diagram) which are used as high scoring areas. The movement of these areas is easily seen for scoring. The target is supported by a brace and is also secured to the ground at the base. The surface may be painted in any color or manner desired, except that the face and heart must contrast with the surrounding areas. It may be padded to reduce wear on arrows as long as the padding does not increase the scoring area of the target (i.e. it should not wrap around the edges and increase the width of the target). Closed cell foam, foam rubber or carpet covered by heavy cloth, all make a good surface.

The arms and legs may be of one piece with the head and torso, or may be separate and articulated for use in various positions (such as holding a shield and weapon) for other contests. Making the target in sections increases ease of transportation and storage. For durability use at least 5/8 inch plywood. The distances to the target must be measured, not paced.


The speed ends are intended to test an archer's ability to move rapidly, nock fast, and shoot quickly, while maintaining accuracy. The time limit provides some of the pressure of shooting under combat conditions. The archer must draw their own arrows, no one may hand them to the archer. Any archer who attempts to shoot slowly to gain more accuracy and a higher score in the speed ends will have the score for that end voided and must re-shoot it. If an honest effort to shoot for speed is not made, the score for that end must be recorded as zero. The Archer-in-Charge of the event shall determine when this rule is to be applied. This rule is not meant to be applied to anyone with an injury or disability which prevents rapid movement.

The time for both speed and regular rounds may be called in whatever manner is decided by the Archer-in Charge, including use of a tape recorder, as long as it is consistent and announced in advance to all the contestants.

In speed ends, any arrow in the air after the time limit shall be counted.



In order to more closely simulate combat conditions, the rounds must be shot in order of range: longest first, with the speed ends last in each round.


This round simulates shooting at a distant massed force. The term "underhand" was used to indicate that the target is seen under the bowhand when the archer is at full draw. Hence: shooting at long range. In this case, the range is only fifty yards. The target is placed at the front center of a nine foot wide by fifteen foot long rectangle. This represents the target area presented by three files of fighters, three ranks deep.

In the regular end, the archer stands at the fifty yard mark and shoots twelve arrows within a two minute time limit.

During the speed end, the archer starts drawn and aimed and shoots as many arrows as possible within a sixty second time limit.

In scoring the Underhand Round, hits to the face or heart count as twelve points, hits anywhere else on the target count as six points, and arrows striking within the rectangle or on the lines count as four points. The arrows do not have to stay within the area; they score even if they bounce out (markers: take note).

The border lines must be clearly indicated so that the Marker can tell if an arrow is in or out. One good method is to use a stake at each corner connected with twine at ground level.

For this round, the Marker must be located near to the target area in order to record scores accurately.


This round allows an archer to choose his or her range: either twenty, thirty or forty yards. For in combat an archer often has to make the choice between the sure shot at close range and the harder but more rewarding shot at long range.

In the regular end there are twelve arrows and a two minute time limit. And in the speed end, which is shot at the same distance as the regular, there is a sixty second time limit and unlimited arrows.

In scoring this round hits at forty yards count for four points. Hits at thirty yards count as three points. And hits at twenty count as two points. Hits to the face or heart double the score for that distance.


This round simulates the use of a pavise or similar protection while shooting. An actual pavise is not required for this round, as the intent is to put the archer through the movements needed to make use of cover of any kind. Two stakes two and one half to three feet apart and about four feet high can be driven into the ground and used to simulate the pavise. However, if a pavise or other form of cover is used, it should be secured so that it will not fall over, and it should not be so high that shorter archers are unable to shoot over the top.

In the regular end, the pavise is set at twenty yards. The archer starts kneeling directly behind the pavise with the arrow nocked. The archer should be situated so no part of their body would be exposed to arrows shot from the target. Upon the starting command, the archer leans out around either side of the pavise, while kneeling, and shoots. Upon shooting, the archer returns behind the pavise, nocks another arrow, leans out and shoots again. This continues for a total of twelve arrows or two minutes. The archer remains kneeling throughout the round.

In the speed end, the archer starts at fifteen yards in a kneeling position behind the pavise with the arrow nocked. Upon the starting command, the archer rises to a standing position, shoots one arrow and returns to a kneeling position before again rising and shooting. This continues for a total of sixty seconds and as many arrows as can be shot during that time. One or both knees must touch the ground between each shot.

In the pavise round, hits to the face count as five points. Hits to the heart count as three points. Hits anywhere else on the target count for two points.


Try to set up the field so that the sun will be behind the archers' backs.

If possible use a natural backstop, such as a steep hill or embankment. If this is not possible use old carpet, blanket, tarp, etc. hung between poles on rope to stop the arrows that miss the target.

In order to encourage more people to shoot, you should have some protective gear, bows and combat blunts on hand to loan.

When one archer is shooting inform the next archer to prepare, so there is no time lost.

As many archers as possible should shoot each end before stopping to recover arrows. They should pick up all arrows from the field and return them behind the shooting line for sorting.

With large numbers of archers time can be saved by dividing them into two groups at each target. One group shoots first, then when they are sorting and examining their arrow the second group shoots.

If large numbers of archers are shooting, you should have enough targets set up so that long waits can be avoided. If this is not possible, you should have a sign-up list with shooting times, so that the archers do not have to stand around waiting for a turn.

It is easier to run and score the competition with at least two officials at each target. The Archer-in-Charge acting as Scorer, recording total scores and calling time at the shooting line. And the Marker, recording hits at the target.

Encourage the archers to experiment with different styles of aiming and shooting techniques, as well as different types of combat arrows and methods of carrying them.

I would be grateful for any further suggestions you have for ease in setting up and running the competition.

Webbed by Gregory Blount of Isenfir (Greg Lindahl)