Handicaps and Classifications

Handicaps and classifications are maintained for both indoor and outdoor seasons, the two remain entirely separate, but in general the same rules apply to both Outdoor and Indoor handicaps and classifications,

An archer can only have a handicap or classification if they have shot at least three Qualifying rounds that have been recorded in the clubs records.


Initial assessment

A beginner, or archer not in possession of a handicap will not receive a handicap until they have shot three complete rounds which are recognised Archery GB rounds.

(Please be aware that Frostbite and Club 252 rounds do not count for handicapping purpose)

The handicap awarded will be the average of the handicap rating for the 3 completed rounds, rounded up to the next larger whole number.


First 3 completed rounds of 79, 71 & 68, (average 72.6) giving an initial handicap of 73.

First 3 completed rounds of 76, 75 & 77, (average 76) giving an initial handicap of 76.

First 3 completed rounds of 86, 87 & 81, (average 84.6) giving an initial handicap of 85.

If any of the rounds do not qualify for a handicap, the archer will be given a handicap of 100 until they improve.

Ongoing Reduction of handicaps.

The process of handicap reduction is continuous, and will be reduced every time an archer shoots a round to a better standard than their current handicap. The new handicap will be an average of their current handicap, plus handicap for the round shot, rounded up to the next larger whole number. (The archer’s handicap cannot go back up, if the average rounded up, is higher than the current handicap, then the current handicap will remain)



An archer with a handicap of 45 who shoots a round with a handicap of 44 (average 89) retains a handicap of 45.

An archer with a handicap of 45 who shoots a round with a handicap of 45 (average 90) retains a handicap of 45.

An archer with a handicap of 45 who shoots a round with a handicap of 46 (average 91) retains a handicap of 45. (The handicap cannot go back up)

An archer with a handicap of 45 who shoots a round with a handicap of 43 (average 88) has a new handicap 44.

An archer with a handicap of 45 who shoots a round with a handicap of 42 (average 87) has a new handicap 44.

An archer with a handicap of 45 who shoots a round with a handicap of 40 (average 85) has a new handicap 43.

An archer must shoot a round with a handicap at least 2 better than their current handicap for their handicap to improve.


Annual re-assessment of Handicaps.


At the beginning of each season, 1st January for outdoor season, and 1st July for Indoor season, the Clubs record officer will re-assess the handicaps of all the archers in the club.

The handicaps allocated at the beginning of each season will be equal to the average of the archers best three scores shot during the previous season, and rounded up to the next larger whole number.


The GNAS handicap and classification schemes are run by the club records officer and no records are maintained by GNAS.


The Outdoor season runs from 1st January to 31st December and the Indoor season runs from 1st July to 30 June.


GNAS Classification Scheme.


The classification scheme gives the archer goals to aim for, and there are achievement badges for each classification that will be presented by the club each year.

Archers can monitor their own achievements, but records are maintained by the club’s Record Officer.


Outdoor classification: 3rd, 2nd, 1st Class, Bowman, Master Bowman, Junior Master Bowman, and Master Bowman.


Indoor Classifications: H, G, F, E, D, C, B, and A.


The qualifying scores you need to achieve depend on the round being shot, bow type, age group and gender, and these are set out in the GNAS Classification tables.



Gents shooting recurve bows can achieve a 2nd class shooting a Windsor, but only a 3rd class shooting a short Windsor, whereas Ladies can achieve a 1st class shooting a Windsor and 2nd class shooting a short Windsor.

A boy under 14 shooting recurve bow, scoring 527 on a short Windsor would achieve a 2nd class score. He would then need to shoot 2 more rounds, for example a Bristol III scoring more than 477 and a Short national scoring more than 200 and he would achieve his 2ndClass.

An archer must shoot three qualifying rounds in a season to attain the classification.


Initial classifications and subsequent upgrading occurs immediately after the necessary scores have been shot.


The highest classification obtained shall be kept by the archer for the remainder of the current season, and will be the classification they hold for the following season.


As your classification improves, the rounds you can shoot to achieve a higher classification become more limited,


Copies of the classification tables are available from the GNAS website.


As with handicaps, all qualifying rounds must be shot to GNAS rules.


For outdoor rounds, Classifications up to Bowman are administered by the club records officer.     Master Bowman, Junior Master Bowman and Grand Master Bowman are administered by GNAS.


If you have any problems with handicaps or classifications please do not hesitate to contact the records officer.