FITA is the world's standard setter for target/Olympic style archery competitions.   It was not until FITA was formed and became prominent that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided that standards were reliable enough that archery was allowed BACK into the Olympics.   And to the world's astonishment, once archery was again an Olympic sport, the US pretty well dominated the medal stands for a number of Olympiads before the rest of the world "caught up" (and in some ways, surpassed) the US. 

Why did the IOC decide to remove archery?  

For the full story of the Olympics, I recommend perusing Wikipedia's entry on the Olympics.  Briefly, the Olympics were initiated in Greece in ancient times, and after a period of centuries (!)  they lapsed.  The last games of the old era is generally thought to have been in 393A.D. when a Roman emperor, Theodesius, was motivated by his christian ethic to declare them pagan rituals - they did have significant theological meaning to the Greeks, for example, who literally worshipped the human body's "divinity" in attempting to achieve pure excellence in form and function - they were the first "fans" of athletic excellence.   

Fortunately throughout the last few centuries, from time to time an "olympian" effort in sports occurred, just enough to keep the awareness of what the world had lost, alive.  Generally acknowledged as the father of the "modern era" of the Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin called together a body of men, who became the IOC, and two years after that, in 1896, the first games of the new era were held (of course, in Greece).   The Olympiad cycle of "every four years" was a part of the ancient games and carried through to the new era.  Certain sports have come and gone, but the fundamental focus of the Olympics can be explained in their motto:  Citius, Altius, Fortius - which means: Faster, Higher, Stronger.  Furthermore and completely in line with the manner with which archery competitions are conducted with the highest sportsmanship, is the Baron's words expressed in the Creed of the Olympics Movement: The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius,  a latin expression meaning "Faster, Higher, Stronger". Coubertin's ideals are further expressed in the Olympic creed:

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

Despite these honorable intentions, there was a time in the early 1900's when each host country used archery as a tool to secure medals in contravention to the stated philosophy of the Olympics.  One country, for example, decided that all archers would shoot pop-in-jay events! They stacked the odds in distinct favor to their archers who specialized in shooting flu-flu arrows at fake birds atop a 50 foot pole. Back then there were no international landlines, other than telegraph-style messaging, so many countries arrived completely unprepared for that unique competition.  Archery was dismissed from the games because it had become so vague and non-standardized, at that time there was NO worldwide governing body for archery rules.  So without the FITA body effort, archery would not be in the Olympics!   

STAR is the designation FITA uses to denote that the organizers of a tournament have agreed to follow the FITA rules. 

This means that scores from a tournament of 20 archers in Uvalde, Texas can be compared to those at the world championships held in say, Brussells in Belgium because the judges at both events were all using the same book of rules, and therefore every aspect of the tournament were the same.  Apples to Apples.  

Obtaining "Star" status is easy - the National Governing Body (NGB, in the United States it is the USA Archery Association) in a country collects a fee, and sends a form into FITA headquarters some 45 days or more ahead of the event.  The judges have become critical to this process of insuring that all archers shoot on the same plane of competition. 

 The rule books for FITA are readily available on the internet on the FITA website (http://www.archery.org), and any tournament director can download a copy to help to insure his/her tournament meets the rules.  Before any STAR competiton arrow flies, the judges will have literally measured everything and certified all archer bows, arrows, etc. meet the FITA rules, as well as additional rules the NGB might have.  An example is that in the US, excepting the "Field Tournament", all archers are forbidden to wear blue jeans or camoflauge.  So the dress code at national and lower level events follows the NGB's dress code.  ABOVE the national tournament level, at say, World Cup events, all are subject only to the rules/dress code of FITA. 

These (Star FITA) records can only be achieved at events properly registered either with USA Archery or any other FITA-recognized organization as a "Star" FITA tournaments.  Star FITA Records include any scores shot by U.S. archers (NAA members) anywhere in the world. So if a U.S. archer shoots a record at a European Grand Prix or World Championship, it can and should be listed in our Star FITA Records. It does not have to be limited to events within the U.S. or sanctioned only by the USAA.

Also, no JOAD score can be a Star FITA record unless the tournament was registered as a STAR event through the USA Archery offices. Note that not all of the JOAD divisions designated by USA Archery are recognized by FITA, and for those there can be no "World Records".  Examples are "cubs" and bowmen".

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