The rulebook lists more than 30 different classes divided by age, gender, equipment, and proficiency. See the IBO class list or the printout in the clubhouse. Each class is assigned a stake color with a maximum distance: Blue (50 yds), Green (45 yds), Red (40 yds), Yellow (35 yds), Orange (30 yds), and White (25 yds). There is also a Fun class, which can shoot from any position and a Known Distance class which shoots from the Blue Stake (K50). A 3-D course usually consists of 25-30 target animals, each with scoring rings allowing for 11, 10, 8, 5, or 0 points. NORVA’s course has 25 lanes with 30 targets.
During a tournament, groups of 3 to 6 shooters head out to the course. Bigger tournaments may begin via a shotgun start where all groups head out to different targets and then start simultaneously on a signal. Each shooter has 2 minutes to execute the shot with no more than 3 letdowns. The shooter needs to touch the stake with some part of his body and clear the stake immediately after the shot. The shooting order should be rotated at each target. Hand-held Binoculars with no limitations on magnification can be used; they should not have any markings that help to judge the distance though. Archers with re-adjustable sights may not adjust their sights after using binoculars. Range finders are only permitted in the Fun or Known Distance classes. Any discussion about yardage has to be done after all arrows are scored and in a manner that prevents archers, who have not yet shot, to be assisted.
The arrows cannot be touched or removed until all scores are agreed upon amongst the group. The innermost and smallest rings count for 11 points, the bigger circle around it for 10 points, and the kill zone for 8 points. Any other hit on the animal, except for the antlers, counts for 5 points. Misses or bounce-offs do not count. The arrow is allowed to skip to the target. It only has to touch the line to get a higher score. In case the animal has more than one visual scoring area and there is no sign posted on which area to use, either scoring area can be used.