1 Safety

1.1 All shooting activities must be carried out in accordance with the SAHFTA rules.

1.2 Any air rifle compliant with current national legislation for airguns and with a power output less than 16,3J (12 ft/lbs) is allowed. The power output can be checked by random or compulsory chronograph test at any time before, during or after the competition. (Higher power air rifles up to what the hosting club allows are allowed to partake, but are not eligible for provincial or national colours.) When an air rifle is found to be above the power limits for the class, the shooter will be disqualified for the session.

1.3 Each course must have a safe place, the Sight-In Range, that is large enough to accommodate the number of participating shooters for checking and adjusting air rifles prior to the start of a session. It is necessary to register and sign a safety declaration form before entering the Sight-In Range. The Sight-In Range is only to be used by participating shooters. No air rifles may be handled during a cease fire at the Sight-In Range as per rule 1.5 and 1.6.

1.4 All shooters must familiarise themselves with the SAHFTA rules and attend a safety briefing held prior to the start of each session. SAHFTA members will be required to reconfirm (per signature) that they have read and understood the rules each year as part of their membership renewal. 

1.5 When a single blast of a whistle is heard all shooters  must immediately cease fire. Shooters must discharge their rifles into the ground, away from the target, at a safe distance (more than 7m) and angle. Each shooting group must confirm safety verbally or by hand. Targets may NOT be sighted or the air rifle handled during a ceasefire.

1.6 Shooting may commence/re-commence after hearing two blasts of the whistle and the shooter has visually confirmed it is safe to do so.

1.7 Air rifles must be cased or carried with the muzzle pointing down at all times when not in use, this includes rifles carried on a sling.

1.8 Do not cock your air rifle until you are ready to take the shot.

1.9 No air rifle should be cocked or loaded between lanes. Multi-shot air rifles must have the magazine removed. Every member of a group should ensure theirs & their shooting partner’s activities are carried out in a safe manner.

1.10 NEVER rest the air rifle muzzle on your foot. When moving around, always be aware of where your air rifle muzzle is pointing. It should remain pointing down or down-range at all times. Ask your shooting partner for their assistance in handling or taking your air rifle from you if you find it difficult getting up or down safely.

1.11 No air rifle may at any time be pointed in the direction of people or animals.

1.12 No alcohol, substance with a narcotic effect or substance on the prohibited list of the World Anti-Doping Agency may be consumed before or during a day’s competition until the last shot has been fired.

1.13 All participants under 18 years old must be under the direct supervision of their parent/guardian on the day. In the case of a guardian, said adult / team or Range Officer must be allocated and accept responsibility prior to the start of a competition. 

1.14 In the case of a dispute, the Chief Range Officer can be called, and their decision is final.

1.15 If you are approached by a Range Officer for any reason i.e. shooting technique or safety please do as they have asked as Range Officers are there to make sure the course is shot safely and fairly.

1.16 All shooters must remain behind the firing line (the shooting peg) for the duration of the session.

1.17 Groups should remain at their lane and not encroach on the next team until that team has safely moved on to their next open lane. 

2 Scoring

2.1 Each registered shooter will receive a scorecard which they must complete, prior to the shooting competition/session starting, with their personal and equipment (used for the competition) details (i.e. name, surname, manufacturer and type of air rifle, manufacturer and type of scope, magnification, etc.)

2.3 Competition categories / Class:

2.3.1 Open (All competitions must include this class, any below is optional)

2.3.2 Re-coil

2.3.3 Ladies

2.3.3 Veteran (age 60+, on the day of the event)

2.3.4 Junior (age under 18, on the day of the event)

2.3.5 U/13 Juniors (age under 13, on the day of the event)

2.3.6 Team (max. 6 shooters, top 4 scores of each day will count towards the team’s overall score)

2.3.7 Special (high powered air rifles up to what the hosting club allows, and other)

2.4 The scoring will be 1 point for a knockdown and 0 points for a faceplate or miss. The target MUST fall to earn 1 point. 

2.5 When there is more than 1 target per lane, targets must be shot in sequence from left to right and in target number order. The onus is on the shooter to follow the pull up ropes to ensure they are familiar with the sequence of targets and targets relevant to the lane they are shooting. Shooting targets out of sequence or shooting a target on another lane will result in a zero score for the shot, irrespective if that target is dropped. 

2.6 Under no circumstances may a target be shot at more than once by a shooter, nor are any practice shots to targets of any kind allowed during the competition. Except where a target was shot out of order per rule 2.5.

2.7 Regardless of any circumstances such as forgetting to load a pellet, not shutting the loading bolt or if the trigger is pulled before you are locked on target, if the air rifle goes off (air is released), the shot is considered as having been taken and will be scored accordingly. If this does happen, the shooter should make sure the pellet has left the air rifle by dry firing safely into the ground over the firing line with the consent of their shooting partners.

2.8 When a target has been downed the shooter must gain confirmation of the knockdown from a fellow group member before the target is reset.

2.9 Only  members of your shooting group are permitted to record your scores on your scorecard. Under no circumstance is a shooter allowed to score his/her own scorecard. If an error is entered on any scorecard the shooting partner who made the mistake must seek a Range Officer who will amend this error for you and initial the correction.

2.10 Upon completion of the session all shooting partners should sign each other’s  scorecards to confirm they have checked the card and agree with the scoring.  A shooter should always check that their scorecard is correctly filled in and signed before handing it in, to prevent being penalised for any irregularities.

2.11 Shoot offs (not applicable for U/13 Junior):

– A shoot-off will always take place in the event of a tie for 1st to 3rd place in all classes.

– The targets used will be 1×15-20mm, 1×25-30mm and 1×35-40mm hit-zone target (each target being placed within the standard prone ranges for that hit-zone size). 

– Each person will shoot all three targets from the kneeling position. 

– If any competitors are still tied they will then shoot the targets in the standing position. 

– If after this no winner is established then there will be a sudden death shoot off.

3 Shooting positions

3.1 In general – illegal positions will result in a zero score for the shot.

3.1.1 Seated shots ARE NOT ALLOWED, this is defined as the shooter’s backside being in contact with the ground, or sitting on your foot folded under your bum as the shot is taken.

3.1.2 Crouching shots ARE NOT ALLOWED, this is defined as two feet on the ground with the upper part of the legs being supported by the calves or foot area.

3.1.3 The shooting peg must be touched by some part of the body/air rifle as the shot is taken (with the exception of U/13 shooters, see 5.16). Moving any of the course fixtures is not allowed, these include the shooting pegs or any supports (bails/tyres/structures). Anyone found doing so will be disqualified from the competition. 

3.1.4 The trigger finger must be behind the shooting peg when the shot is taken.

3.1.5 The air rifle butt must be outside your clothing when taking a shot and it cannot be supported by any straps/pockets etc.

3.1.6 No advantages are allowed for the Juniors (U/18) during kneeling or standing position.

3.1.7 Each course must contain 10% standing and 10% kneeling positions out of the total number of targets.

3.2 Prone

3.2.1 The only part of the air rifle allowed to touch the ground when taking a shot from the prone position is the bottom edge of the butt pad. If any part of the air rifle stock extends below this bottom edge then the rifle must not be grounded at all during a prone shot.

3.2.2 A course can have a maximum of 3 “off the peg” prone shots.   

3.2.3 There will be no ‘impossible’ off the peg prone shots. All off the peg prone shots must be accessible out to the right and out to the left of the peg for left handed and right handed competitors, remember juniors are also shooting these courses – so common sense should prevail here.

3.2.4 The front of the barrel must always be over the firing line.

3.2.5 Prone shots can be taken as a kneeling or standing shot

3.3 Kneeling

3.3.1 The kneeling position is defined as only 3 points of contact with the ground (2 feet & 1 knee) and shall be identified by a “kneeling shot” sign.

3.3.2 The rear foot shall be upright and straight in line with the knee. Sitting on a turned foot is not allowed, but ‘laces down’ is acceptable.

3.3.3 A bean bag may be used to support the knee, shin or foot area only, not the buttock.

3.3.4 The air rifle will only be supported with two hands and the rifle butt in the shoulder. No other part of the body can be used to support the rifle nor can the hands be supported on any other part of the body.

3.3.5 The hands cannot be dropped to allow the wrist joint, arm or any other part of the body to support the rifle. The leading hand should also be forward of the knee, to illustrate that the supporting hand should be dropped down vertically (90 degrees to the forearm), if it contacts any part of the knee/leg the supporting hand is deemed too far back and therefore not forward of the knee.

3.3.6 The leading leg cannot be pulled back so the calf is supported by the hamstrings or lower buttocks, this is classed as a crouching shot and is not allowed.

3.3.7 The un-supported kneeling shot will be clearly designated, no other forms of support are allowed for this shot (peg/tree etc).

3.3.9 Kneeling shots can be taken as a standing shot

3.3.10 The shooting peg will not exceed 10cm (4”). 

3.4 Standing 

3.4.1 Only your feet may be in contact with the ground.

3.4.2 The shooting peg will not exceed 10cm (4”). 

3.4.4 The un-supported standing shot will be clearly designated; no other forms of support are allowed for this shot (peg/tree etc).

3.5 Supported Kneeling / Standing

3.5.1 The above rules apply with the exception that any part of the air rifle or body may be resting on the supporting object.  If a number of supporting objects are available, some part of the air rifle or body must be touching the support marked with the peg number as the shot is taken.  In addition to touching the numbered support, you may also make use of any other supporting objects

4 Timing

4.1 The given time limit per lane is 1 min setup and 1 min per target. This time starts when you approach the peg.

4.2 Under normal circumstances a shooter is not timed but if any group is causing a hold up or the session is taking too long due to slow shooters then we reserve the right to time individuals or groups of shooters.

4.3 Shooters may be timed by a Range Officer without their knowledge to ascertain if they are taking too long to shoot, no points will be deducted at this stage.

4.4 Should the Range Officer decide to officially time a shooter or group of shooters, they will inform them accordingly. The Range Officer will confirm the clock start time and the duration allocated to complete the shot/s. 

4.5 If a competition is stopped during timing, the clock will be paused and 10 seconds grace given upon restart of shooting before the clock is re-started.

5 Equipment

5.1 The front end hamster depth is limited to a maximum of 150mm. This is measured from the centre of the barrel to the lowest part of the air rifle, forward of the pistol grip.

5.2 Long butt hooks are not allowed, although the paddle style of butt pad is allowed.

5.3 The paddles of the butt pad must not exceed 57mm (2.25″) in length.

5.4 When standing or kneeling, no part of the rifle may be in contact with the ground.

5.5 The only part of the air rifle that may  touch the ground when taking a prone shot is the bottom edge of the butt pad. No other device, stock, hamster or butt pad extension may rest on the ground or on top of the shooting peg. You may however place your hand between the aforementioned items and the ground or top of the shooting peg.  

5.6 Windicators of any type ARE NOT ALLOWED.  Shooters are only allowed to use  natural objects (such as dry leaves, grass, dust, etc.) found on the course to measure wind. Artificial means of wind measurement (hunters’ white powder, tapes of any kind, etc.) ARE NOT ALLOWED and are prohibited on the course. 

5.7 Scope levels ARE NOT ALLOWED and must be removed or taped up before you start the course.

5.8 A standard rifle sling is allowed to be fitted to the stock/rifle but only as a means to carry the air rifle between lanes. Slings ARE NOT ALLOWED to be used as a shooting aid.

5.9 No device may be added or designed into a stock/rifle to specifically support the stock/rifle on the shooting peg or other objects. This includes brackets, ledges, spikes, straps, etc.

5.10 The objective and ocular aperture of the scope must be left as it was manufactured. It cannot be reduced in any way. Flip up scope caps must always be in an open position when taking a shot and any holes in the caps taped up while shooting the course.

5.11 Lasers ARE NOT ALLOWED and should be removed from the air rifle.

5.12 Use of any range or angle finding equipment IS NOT ALLOWED at any time anywhere near the course (including visitors) except for the course building team.

5.13 The use of mobile phones and other devices for communication between participants is prohibited. The use of mobile phones for taking photos is allowed. 

5.14 Beanbags may be carried to place guns between lanes and may be used for kneeling shots as specified in rule 3.3.3.

5.15 Once the first shot is taken, NO adjustments may be made, in any way, to the rifle, stock or scope. Any adjustments made after the first shot is taken will result in a zero score for the whole competition.

5.16 U/13 Juniors are allowed to take all shots from a front rest. When shooting with rests (or bipods), the rest/bipod must be positioned within and not further than 400mm  from the shooting peg.

5.17 An alternate, clearly marked, target can be placed/designated to accommodate U/13 Juniors.

6 Course

6.1 Shooting pegs

6.1.1 Minimal diameter of the peg is 25mm. Minimal dimensions of the square peg is 25x25mm.

6.2 Targets

6.2.1 Metal silhouette “fall when hit”.

6.2.2 Faceplate must be finished in a light color (white, silver, stainless steel or yellow).

6.2.3 Hit-zone (HZ) must be finished in a dark color (black, red, dark grey).

6.2.4 Faceplate for the un-supported kneeling / standing positions must extend at least 20mm from the edge of the hit-zone in all directions.

6.2.5 Faceplate for other positions must extend at least 10mm from the edge of the hit zones in all directions.

6.3 Visitors and spectators are allowed and welcome on the course during the competition.

6.4 Visiting the course BEFORE competition starts is NOT PERMITTED for shooters and visitors.

6.5 The course will consist of a minimum of 30 targets (including forced positions) with a firing point (shooting peg) for a maximum of 3 targets per lane.

6.6 All shooting lanes and targets must be clearly marked, numbered from 1 to max. amount of lanes and targets. Positional targets must be clearly indicated. 

6.7 Distances for different diameters of hit-zone (HZ):

6.7.1 HZ 15-19mm        12-23m

6.7.2 HZ 20-24mm   7-28m

6.7.3 HZ 25-34mm   7-37m

6.7.4 HZ 35-40mm   7-42m 

6.8 Un-supported standing shots:

6.8.1 HZ 35-40mm          7-32m

6.8.2 Angle of shooting must be under +30 / -30 degrees.

6.9 Un-supported kneeling shots:

6.9.1 HZ 35-40mm          7-32m

6.9.2 Angle of shooting must be under +30 / -30 degrees.

6.9.3 Kneeling shots are allowed to be shot standing.

6.10 Supported standing shots:

6.10.1 HZ 25-34mm      7-28m

6.10.2 HZ 35-40mm      7-32m

6.11 Supported kneeling shots:

6.11.1 HZ 25-34mm      7-28m

6.11.2 HZ 35-40mm      7-32m

6.11.3 Kneeling shots are allowed to shoot standing.

7 Provincial League Series

7.1 Each province will host a series of league matches. The calendar for such series must be submitted to the Committee for prior approval. A minimum of 6 and maximum of 14 shoots per region will be allowed.

7.2 Each province may determine the commencement of its League Series accordingly with the SAHFTA.

7.3 The Committee may combine the League Series of two or more provinces, where it is deemed to be in the best interest of the sport.

7.4 Participation is open to all SAHFTA and SAFTAA affiliated members or members of a national body affiliated to the World Hunter Field Target Organization. This requirement will be abandoned in the instances of first participation in a league series.

7.5 The SAHFTA Technical Officer may set a standard of difficulty required for league series matches. The difficulty standard is available from the SAHFTA website (

7.6 The responsible member of the club hosting the league series match, shall complete a certificate of compliance, stating that the course complies with the rules and that the standard of difficulty set according to rule 7.5 has been met. Such certificate shall be displayed at the competition and must be submitted to the Technical Officer within 7 days after the match. The certificate of compliance is available from the SAHFTA website (

7.7 In the event of failure to comply with the rules (the standard set according to rule 7.5) by the hosting club, the Committee may revoke the League Series status of the match. In such an instance no result will stand.

7.8 The hosting club shall deliver the scores from the competition to the member responsible for the logs within 3 days. The hosting club shall keep all scorecards for a period of 1 year.

7.9 If a League Series match is suspended by the Chief Range Officer due to hazardous weather conditions, and the match cannot be resumed, no result will follow if less than 50% of the course has been completed by any competitor.
7.10 A provincial log will be kept in respect of each province. The results from League Series competitions will be recorded on the log. The winning score will be reflected as 100% and all other scores will be expressed as a percentage thereof. A shooter’s 6 highest scores in a specific class / competition category will be reflected on the log, and the average thereof. Any query regarding a score, as reflected on the log, must be raised within 2 weeks of its publication with the member responsible for the logs.

7.12 Each province, which has a separate League Series, will host an annual provincial championship for that province. Such provincial championships shall consist of 2 40 target sessions. The results of each session of the provincial championship will be recorded as a provincial league series competition. The naming of such provincial championships is at the discretion of the province concerned.

8 National Trials 

National Trials will be held annually to select a national team to represent South Africa at the World Hunter Field Target Organisation Championships.

8.1 A national trials log, separate from the provincial League Series logs, will be kept. The national trials log will record shooters’ scores at provincial league events in the 12-month period preceding the national trials. The 6 highest scores in a class / category will be recorded as well as the average.

8.2 Team selection is only open to South African citizens.

8.3 The minimum qualification for entry into the National Trials, to be in standing for the National trial results, is a 60% average on the national trials log.

8.4 The minimum qualification standard for the national team (and Protea colours) is the following:

8.4.1 An average of 80% or more on the national trials log, and

8.4.2 At least one contributing score (one of the group of 6 scores used to calculate the average in 8.4.1) must be achieved at a provincial championship.

8.5 The National Team shall consist of the top 6 finishers (which have the means to attend the World Championships) at the National Trials, subject to rules  8.4 and 8.2.

8.6 In the event that any member of the National Team is, for any reason, unable to attend the World Championships, the Committee may, after considering performance at the National Trials, performance during the provincial league series and previous experience, invite a replacement shooter to join the National Team.

8.7 The Committee may, in its discretion, extend invitations to specific international shooters to attend the National Trials.

8.8 A series of 2 40 target sessions will be shot at the National Trials.

9 Other Awards

9.1 SAHFTA colours are awarded at the conclusion of the National Trials in recognition of performance.

9.1.1 The shooter who placed in the top 6 shooters at the National Trials, who are not members of the National Team and have not been awarded national or SAHFTA colours previously, will be recognized with SAHFTA colours.

9.2 Award of Recognition are awarded at the conclusion of the National Trials in recognition of performance.

9.2.1 The shooters who placed within 10% of the 6th placed shooter, up to a maximum of 6 shooters.

9.2.2 When more than 6 shooters are eligible, then only the top 6 will receive this award.

9.3 The top junior U18 and U13 shooter at the National Trials will be recognized as the U18 and U13 junior champions, with medals awarded up to 3rd place.

9.4 The top special class at the National Trials will be recognized as the special class champions, with medals awarded up to 3rd place. 

Appendix A

Additional clarification applicable to SAHFTA clubs/provinces only


These rules are applicable to all clubs/provinces that utilises SAHFTA rules and are to be considered as addendum rules to the normal SAHFTA rules. If any of the addendum rules are in conflict with the core rules of the SAHFTA/WHFTO, the core rules takes precedence.

A.1 Range Officer

A Chief Range Officer and a sufficient number of Range Officers shall be appointed for all HFT events. All Range Officers shall be well versed in shooting safety, SAHFTA rules and especially the understanding and handling of knockdown target failures. There must be enough Range Officers to cover the complete range within view of each. In the event that a dedicated Range Officer is not available, one competitor shall act as the Range Officer for the competition.  

The Range Officer shall ensure that all participants have been inducted and briefed on the safety aspects pertaining to HFT.

A.2 Shooting Positions

Competitors that cannot, for whatever physical or medical reason, comply with a particular shooting position, shall inform the Range Officer before commencement of a competition, and obtain permission to use an alternative position or aid, providing that no unfair advantage is gained. All Range Officers shall be made aware of such arrangement. Such competitors shall be scored in the Special Category.

A.3 Target Failures/Disputes and Inadequate Placement Guideline

3.1 Target Failure or inadequate placement:

  1. Any disputed score must be challenged immediately after a shot is fired. Under no circumstances should the competitor touch the reset cord until the dispute has been resolved.
  2. The competitor shall remain on the ground when the Range Officer is called. 
  3. The closest accessible Range Officer shall be called & situation will be handled as per guideline in the sections below (this guide will be available on site the day of competition).
  4. A range ceasefire will be called by Range Officer to access range if needed (as per SAHFTA rules, refer to item 1.5 & 1.6).
  5. If for any reason the closest Range Officer that is called cannot handle the situation the Chief Range Officer shall be called.
  6. Under no circumstances may any changes be made to course or targets by a Range Officer or competitor during a competition after the first shot has been taken (as per SAHFTA rules, refer to item 3.1.3).
  7. Decision & action shall then be taken by the Range Officer individually unless assistance is asked for.
  8. The Range Officer decision is final & will not be disputed during competition. Shooters can however log written complaints to the governing body via email after the competition has ended. 

3.2 Procedure for checking targets

Checking of targets must involve a visual check and, if necessary, use of the official WFTF target checking device.

Visual checks:

1. Make sure the shooter hasn’t touched the reset string.

2. Check that the reset string isn’t stuck or in tension preventing the target from falling.

3. Check that the target inclination is appropriate.

4. Check that there isn’t anything in the target surroundings that prevents the target from working correctly (bush, tree, branch etc.).

5. If the dispute is at the beginning of a session, validate splits;

After passing all of the visual checks, the target will be tested at least 3 times in different kill zone target areas (i.e. top, middle and bottom) using the Official WFTF target checking device by the Range Officer.

3.3 Target Pulled & Scoring:

  1. The Chief Range Officer decision to pull the target or not from the overall competition for whatever reason (be it failure to pass the target check procedure) is final.
  2. The Chief Range Officer will make his decision according to his knowledge and experience without any outside influences unless called for.
  3. When a target is pulled for the whole field, all competitors will be allocated 1 point for the target in question.