Traditional Archery Rules

Rules and Regulations for Traditional Archery

Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association (BIGSA) is pleased to issue the following Rules and Regulations for conduct of Archery tournaments whether on Traditional or Imported equipment, and shall apply to every tournament organized by anyone in any part of the Kingdom:

Article I: Dimension of Bacho or archery field

  1. Ideally,      for safety reasons, the dimension of the archery range or Bacho      should be 200 meter long and 10 meters wide, thereby leaving a safe      distance of 25 meters behind each target area,   excluding the space for spectators on      either side;
  2. No public thoroughfares of any kind including parking of vehicles should be allowed within this area;
  3. If the 200-meter length cannot be obtained due to space constraint, then a wall of 6 meters high, on top of which a 2-meter high wire mesh with the smallest possible eyes should be erected behind each target area. The minimum width of the wall should be 7 meters;
  4. If provision for spectators are required, the width of the area shall be increased to a minimum of 20 meters;
  5. Archer safety barrier/wall of at least 2 meters long and 2 meters high should be erected on both sides of the Bacho preferably with materials which will protect the archers and at the same time the arrows will not be broken on hitting it;
  6. The outer perimeter of the archery range should be fenced off if it is located in urban or highly populated areas;
  7. Proper signboards should be erected to warn the public of existence of archery range in the area, and necessary precautions taken not to allow people to walk or drive or park vehicles within the above designated area;
  8. Other additional measures as required by the peculiarity of the location of the archery range should also be put in place;
  9. The      distance between the two targets shall be 140 meters for traditional equipment;
  10. The      distance between the two targets shall be 145 meters for compound      equipment;

Article II: The target

  1. The dimension of the target shall be 107 cm (3 and half feet) high at the longest point, 28 cm (11 inches) wide and 5 cm (2 inches) thick;
  2. The Gorthig or bull’s eye shall be 6 cm (2and half inches)in diameter and its center point marked at 30 cm (1 foot) distance from the crown of the target;
  3. The material or wood used for making targets shall preferably be blue pine with hard knots of the timber removed and the holes so created stuffed with soft wood;
  4. A piece of strong white cotton cloth shall be pasted with glue to cover the entire surfaces of the target which will be the base for painting  as well as for prevention of target from splitting with increasing number of Kareys or hits on the target;
  5. The painting on the target shall usually consist of rainbow colours around the bull’s eye, water and 5-petal lotus pattern at the bottom. Other permissible patterns may be allowed;

Article III: Composition of teams

  1. Each team shall consist of 13 players including two reserves;
  2. An archer who has already played for a team shall not be permitted to join another team for the same tournament;
  3. Each team shall be led by a team captain who will be the focal person for communication by the Thrimpon (Umpire).
  4. The names along with their CID numbers and most recent photograph of all the players of a team shall be submitted at the time of submission of entry application;
  5. If a team withdraws after paying the entry fees and names of players, then the players of such team shall not be permitted to participate in the tournament in any other team;
  6. All      members of participating teams of a match on a particular day shall arrive      the reporting area specified beforehand well before the reporting time for      a roll call but not enter the playfield failing which 3 points can be      deducted as penalty;
  7. Any      team arriving later than the specified reporting time shall be liable for      deduction of 1 point from their score;
  8. If any      substitute player is not able to report for the roll call, the team      captain shall inform the organizer in writing well before the roll call;
  9. Not      more than two seeded players shall be allowed in a team;
  10. Substitution      of players shall be done with the permission of the Thrimpon on duty only;

Article IV: Roll Call

  1. Each participating team shall ensure that the minimum number of players required to participate in a tournament match are present during the roll call, failing which the concerned team shall be disqualified as no LAGTHEB shall be allowed;
  2. In case      of absence of any player due to emergency situation, the team captain      shall submit the information in writing to the Tournament Director at      least a day before the scheduled match;
  3. Any      proposal for inclusion of a substitute player shall be decided by the      tournament committee;
  4. In case      of substitution being allowed, a seeded player can be allowed for      substitution of another seeded player only;

Article V: The Fixture

  1. The Fixture for the tournament shall be drawn in the presence of team captains/representatives and members of the executive/organizing committee;
  2. The winning and runner-up teams of the last tournament shall be seeded 1st and 2nd respectively so as to place them in different pools, after which the remaining teams shall be placed by draw of lots. However, if the team captains meeting so agrees, the preference given as above to the winning and runner-up teams may be waived off;
  3. Any change required to be made to the fixture so drawn can be made by the meeting of the team captains and executive/organizing committee only;

Article VI: Time of match

  1. Participating teams of the day shall report to the designated reporting area by 07:30 hours in summer and by 08:00 hours in winter or as specified by the Thrimpon. They shall enter the Bacho or archery ground simultaneously from the same direction at 07:45 hours and 08:15 hours respectively or as specified by the Thrimpon;
  2. The match shall start at exactly 08:00 hours in summer and 08:30 hours in winter, and shall close at 18:00 hours in summer and 17:00 hours in winter;
  3. There shall be one hour lunch break from 12:00 to 13:00 hours;
  4. In the event the match remains undecided at the closing time as above, the play for the day hall continue till such time all players of both teams have completed shooting;
  5. Any match remaining undecided till the closing time shall be continued the next day. If the match still remains undecided by 12:00 hours on the second day, any match fixed for the day at the same venue shall be postponed;
  6. In case of rainfall or snowfall during the match, the game shall be suspended at the discretion of the Thrimpon;
  7. No archer or team shall be permitted to practice on the Bacho designated for the tournament during the tenure of the tournament including the days of rest;
  8. A toss      of coin shall decide which team will get to choose the shooting end and      consequently the target end from which the match will be started;
  9. Once      the ends have been chosen by toss at the beginning of the match, the ends      chosen shall remain for the entire duration of the match;

Article VII: Score keeping

  1. The team captains shall identify two players each from their respective teams who in turn shall be appointed by the Thrimpon as scorers who shall between them determine the points scored by each team at every round;
  2. No      other player shall interfere in scoring of points;
  3. There      shall be a score keeper to keep the written record of the score and points      scored by individual players as well as the team as a whole;

Article VIII: Counting of points

  1. A KAREY is a hit with the point or Dachag of an arrow on the frontal side of the target properly stuck/penetrated through but with the arrow point clearly above the ground. A direct hit on the target where only the tip or Dachag remains on the target shall also be treated as a Karey. A Karey or hit on any frontal part of the target as above except inside the Gorthig shall be awarded 2 points;
  2.  A GORTHIGBU-KAREY or hit in the bull’s eye is a hit with the point of an arrow clearly inside the circle without touching the outline the Gorthig, and shall be awarded 3 points;
  3. A GYEGDI-PHOGPAI-KAREY is a hit resulting from an arrow skidding on the ground in front of the target and the point of the arrow getting stuck firmly on the target. Such a hit shall get 2 points provided the arrow is off the ground and the point embedded firmly on the target. If any part of the arrow such as the knock, fletch or shaft happens to rest on the ground, the Thrimpon shall lift the target vertically off the ground to check if the arrow still remains embedded on the target. If it remains on the target, it shall get 2 points but if it falls off the target, no point shall be awarded;
  4. A NAWPOG-KAREY is a hit which penetrates through the Naw or side of the target whether wood or cloth cover but the arrow remains hanging by the target. If the arrow is hanging free in the air, it shall be awarded 2 points. If any part of the arrow such as the knock, fletch or shaft touches the ground, then 1 point is deducted from the opponent’s Karey as in case of Sa-Karey. If, however, there is not a single Karey from the opponent team, this will also get 2 points;
  5. A SA-KAREY is a hit on the lower part of the target with the arrow piercing through the ground but with its point or Dacha firmly on the target, or if the arrow is above the ground but covered with traces of soil or stem of grass with root over the point or shaft of the arrow. To determine a Sa-Karey, the Thrimpon shall lift the target vertically off the ground without tampering the soil over/covering the arrow. If the arrow remains on the target, it shall get 1 point and such Karey shall also supersede Drorgy-Ureg;
  6. A ZHEYCHHA-GANGM is a direct hit on the target but the arrow or its Dachag does not rest or stay on the target for which only 1 point is awarded. Any hit from an arrow skidding against the ground but without the arrow or Dachag resting or staying on the target shall not be considered as Zheychha-Gangm;
  7. A DROREG-UREG is a hit by the arrow on the side of the target with the fletch/shaft/knock touching the target which shall be awarded 1 point;
  8. A DAYA is a hit on the ground (firmly embedded with the arrow’s shaft/fletch/knock clearly above the ground) close enough to the target that the distance between the target and the arrow is measurable with one’s own or a team-mate’s arrow (knock to tip). Any such Daya is eligible for 1 point provided there is no Daya belonging to the opponent team closer to the target than this one. However, in case of distances between two arrows, each belonging to players of different teams, are more or less equal, the traditional system of Chhumipai-Zam where a small stick is used to measure the exact distance and determine whose arrow is closer to the target and thus win the point shall be adopted. A Daya with an arrow piercing through the ground but with the point or Dachag fully exposed on the other side shall not be eligible for any point. If the lower shaft or Dachag of a Daya is covered with soil, grass or twigs, the distance to the target shall be measured from the point immediately above such material;
  9. If an archer scores a Karey or Daya but shot by an arrow belonging to the opponent team by mistake, no point shall be awarded to any of the teams;

Article IX: The Game

  1.  The team winning the toss may choose the target end as well as the tent prior to commencement of the play;
  2. Where there is more than one Bacho, the teams will first toss for the Bacho;
  3. Once the ends have been chosen by toss at the beginning of the match, the ends chosen shall remain for the day of the match only. If the match has to be continued to the following days, the teams will toss for the target end every morning before resumption of the match;
  4. The match will continue from the end at which it was discontinued for lunch break or any other break, or in case of an undecided match, carried over from the previous day;
  5. Each game shall be completed when one side attains 25 points;
  6. Whichever team wins 2 games shall be declared the winner (best of 3 system) of the match;
  7. The appointment of Thrimpons shall be the prerogative of the organizer;

Article X: Customary practices to preserve the rich cultural heritage

  1. The following practices shall be encouraged if not made mandatory:

(i)     Marchhang at the beginning of the match,

(ii)   Chhang-Phued before and after the match,

(iii)  Dhachham as per traditional practice and entitlement,

(iv)  Folk songs,

(v)   Bjibi Pawo,

(vi)   Victory ceremony

  1. The following are, however, prohibited:

(i)                  Nemsey-Phangsum,

(ii)                Chorthap-Dripthap,

(iii)               Drachhen-Korni and shooting of Drachhen arrows in any direction,

(iv)              Bringing religious items such as images, Dhar, Tsendar (flags), etc. to the Bacho,

(v)                Bringing or carrying any kind of Dhar in the Bacho area whether brought after invoking local deities or not,

(vi)              Inviting astrologers to the Bacho area,

(vii)             Any kind of disturbance/alteration to the Bacho area before and during the match,

(viii)           Any kind of physical contact purported to distract the archer during shooting,

(ix)              Any other prohibitions imposed by the local organizer to avoid disputes and quarrels

  1. Use of stabilizer, sights, release-aid, etc. which may be tend to comprise the traditional nature of archery shall not be allowed. Anyone found using such gadgets shall not be allowed to practice on public Bachos and also to participate  in tournaments;

Article XI: General Code of Conduct and Discipline

  1. All players shall wear the national dress during the play;
  2. Wearing of any sort of cap, hat or head dress shall not be allowed. Any violation of this rule will be penalized through deduction of 1 point on each occasion;
  3. All players shall stand on either side of the Bacho, and only the archer who is to shoot will step on the Bacho. Any violation of this rule shall be penalized by deduction of 1 point;
  4. Only archers participating in the match shall be allowed to enter the Bacho area;
  5. Physical violence or quarrelling on the Bacho is strictly prohibited failing which 2 points shall be deducted from that of the guilty team;
  6. Only 1 Dachham  is permitted per Karey, violation of which shall result in deduction of 1 point;
  7. Smoking and drinking is strictly prohibited in the play area;
  8. No player under influence of any kind of intoxication shall be allowed to participate in the match;
  9. Every player shall adhere to the code of conduct prescribed by BIGSA/organizer;
  10. Every player shall sign a Code of Conduct form prescribed by BIGSA/organizer before participating in the match/tournament;
  11. Any point not able to be decided by the 2 scorers shall be referred to the Thrimpon whose decision shall be final and binding;

Article XII: Safety

  1. Every player shall accord highest priority to one’s own and others’ safety including those of the spectators during the play;
  2. A player      shall release his arrow only after all players from both sides are outside      the flag poles or in the safe area;
  3. If a player      tries to remain inside the Bacho area so as to distract the opponent      archer shooting from the other end endangering his own life, he/she shall      be penalized by deducting one point from the team’s score;
  4. Any      player who becomes a serious safety threat to others shall be barred from      the match;
  5. Any      player who happens to hit other players or spectators repeatedly can be      banned for life;

Article XIII: Settlement of disputes

  1. Any dispute requiring a decision beyond the powers of the Thrimpon shall be referred to a dispute settlement committee;
  2. A      dispute settlement committee shall be constituted for every tournament prior      to start of the tournament;

Article XIV: Players’ Code of Conduct

  1. Respect the game of archery as part of our rich tradition and unique cultural heritage;
  2. Respect      and uphold the rules and regulations of the game at all times;
  3. Treat      officials, other players and spectators with respect and dignity;
  4. Show      true spirit of sportsmanship on and off the ground;
  5. Refrain      from any unsportsmanlike behavior such as using foul language, disrespect      to the game, officials, players and spectators;
  6. Refrain      from drinking and smoking in the public arena; and
  7. Foster      patriotism, team spirit and mutual respect.
© - Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association - ® : 2013