Grading through the Australian Horse Archery Association is internationally recognised using the International Horseback Archery Alliance (IHAA) Grading System. AHAA is the sanctioned grade awarding body for Australia, and grading in Australia is available to current financial AHAA members for $20, or to non-members at a cost of $40 per instance.
The IHAA Grading System for assessing the skill level of horseback archers has been set up with the following aims:
- To allow mounted archers to have a fixed standard with which they can compare their ability from season to season, individually or against friends, so that they can monitor their improvement and find encouragement to practise and improve.
- To provide an achievable goal for anyone in the sport, from beginners to experts.
- As more people enter the sport grading provides a structure by which people may be grouped in competitions, so that they are competing against opponents of a similar standard, and all have a chance to win against their peers.
- To allow competition organisers to identify those with sufficient ability to compete at a particular event and potentially satisfy insurers of the competence of participants.
There are three levels of grading:
- Walk/Trot (W/T) levels for those starting out in the sport using the Korean/Raid Triple (K3), Aussie Triple (A3), and/or Arena30, tracks,
- Student (S) levels for those participating at canter, and uses the Raid tracks or Aussie track but only counting target scores and bonuses, without timing bonuses or penalties, and
- Horseback Archer (HA) levels for those with ambitions of international competition and taking their skills to the next level. A Tower and a Raid track must each be completed twice for these grades, using competition rules including timing bonuses and penalties.
Information, including a grading overview from the IHAA, track descriptions and rules, score sheets, and grading tables of scores required for each track at each grade are available on the “Grading” pages at http://ihaa.info/index.html
Procedure for grading with IHAA in Australia via AHAA:
1. Ensure that at least one of your witnesses is an AHAA current financial Member and a second witness over the age of 18 is present (ideally also a member). Grading can occur at competitions, or rally days, or even during practise at your own property if you are able to set up a track according to all the rules and requirements for that track, but there must be two witnesses present. Generally they will also be your ground crew, scorers, and time keepers (if timing is required for the grade)
2.Print out your paperwork for the tracks and grade you wish to attempt. You may wish to use a raw score sheet to record points and times and take other notes as you run the track so the information can be transcribed neatly onto the grading score sheet later to be submitted to the Grading Officer.
3. If you are practising before attempting a grading, ensure there is a minimum 30 minute break between practise and your grading attempt.
4. Declare your grading attempt. Your witnesses now know that everything that follows counts toward your grading.
5. Run and score the track according to the rules for grading that track. Official practise runs are permitted to the extent allowable for the specific track (usually up to two runs, but will be stated in the track rules). Your witnesses must be advised in advance of the run if you are ceasing official practise runs early and beginning a scoring run.
6. Fill out the grading scoresheet. Ensure all the fields are completed including the address to which you would like your grading pins posted, your signature, and your two witnesses’ signatures. Keep this paperwork safe until you have completed all the tracks required for the grade, according to the grading table. Some grades will require you to complete up to 4 tracks to the grade’s standard. You cannot grade the same track twice on the same day, so grading will take at least two separate sessions to achieve, and grading sheets are valid up to two years from the attempt date to give members ample opportunity to complete the tracks required for the grade.
7. Once you have completed all the tracks required for your grade to the grade’s standard digitise all your required grading score sheets. A clear .jpg image of each sheet is sufficient, conditional to all writing being clearly legible in the image, or create a PDF of each sheet with a document scanner.
8. Transfer your $20 or $40 grading fee to:
Australian Horse Archery Association
Account Number: 10157146
Reference: Grading [Name]
Be sure to save a receipt or screenshot of the transaction (EFT advice)
9. Email your digitised score sheets and EFT advice to firstname.lastname@example.org with “attn: Grading Officer” and your name in the subject heading.
Up to date grading tables can be found at http://ihaa.info/pages/grading/grades.html
Grading score sheets can be found at http://ihaa.info/pages/grading/grades.html click the “SCORESHEETS” link in the side panel.