1949 • The first recorded international target crossbow competition in Europe took place at Saint Johann im Pongau, Austria on May 26-28, 1949. Crossbow shooters from Austria and Switzerland competed for the Ehrenpreis der Salzburger Nachcrihten Trophy. Because of differences in style between each nation’s crossbows and shooting distances (Austria 14 meters, Switzerland 30 meters), the Austrians and Swiss had to shoot scores in both styles and the combined scores were used to decide the winners. The Swiss were victorious in both the Team and Individual competitions (44 competitors).

• 3-Nations Crossbow Contests began in 1951 when Teams from Germany, Austria and Switzerland met in München, Germany. The initiative for this event came from Wilhelm Ruf (GER), Georg Windhofer (AUT) and Jakob Schildknecht (SUI). The 3-Nations event was held each year from 1951 to 1957. After a break of 9 years the 3-Nations Contest resumed in 1966 in Perg (AUT) and then continued annually until 1980.

The first IAU President Remy Häusermann (Zürich SUI)


1956 • The International Crossbow-shooting Union (Internationale Armbrustschützen Union IAU) was founded during the 3-Nations Contest in Landshut, Germany on June 24, 1956. The founding nations were Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Switzerland. The Sports Journalist Remy Häusermann (Zürich SUI) became the first President of the IAU and the new organisation began its work with the mission statement (translated from German) “Regular delivery of European Championships, the organization of World Championships and, as a long-term goal, the introduction of crossbow shooting at the Olympic Games”.

1957 • The first edition of the IAU 30 meter Competition Rules was adopted in 1957 during an International Contest in St. Johann im Pongau (AUT). The A4 document, which contained 25 articles on 24 pages, was signed by Wilhelm Ruf (GER), Georg Windhofer (AUT), Jakob Schildknecht (SUI), J. Van Aerts (NED), A. Briny (FRA) and Jakob Baarendse (BEL). The IAU’s annual joining fee was set at 100 Swiss Francs.

1958 • The 1st IAU European 30m Match-crossbow Championships took place at Gent, Belgium in 1958. At that time the IAU had 6 member nations (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland). The Team Championships were won by Switzerland (Kneeling and Combined) and Austria (Standing). In the Individual events H. Roth SUI (Kneeling and Combined), and H.Hammerer AUT (Standing) became the first IAU European Match-crossbow Champions.

1965 • By the mid 1960’s the development of the IAU had slowed. In an effort to revive matters the former President Jakob Schildknecht took on the responsibility for finding an organizer for the 1965 European Championships. On the recommendation of the Swiss Match Crossbow Federation (SAMV) Gottfried Diener (Lucerne SUI) joined the IAU as Secretary and Vice-President. As a result of meetings between G.Diener, Andreas Hartinger and Karl Heinz Weber in Germany, the IAU’s 5th European Championships could take place that year in Munich.

1967 • Gottfried Diener was elected President of the IAU during the IAU’s General Assembly at St. Johann im Pongau, Austria. This marked the beginning of a Presidential term which lasted for 24 years, during which Gottfried Diener drove the IAU forward as a globe-trotting ambassador for crossbow shooting (see separate story).

1976 • During 1976 the IAU President initiated the development of a new Match-crossbow for 10 meter shooting. Gottfried Diener’s concept was to make the IAU’s Match discipline more accessible to new nations through the world-wide activity of 10 meter air rifle shooting. Working together with the Swiss crossbow maker Ernst Wacker and target manufactures Polytronic and Grünig-Elmiger prototypes for 10 meter Match-crossbow shooting were produced in time for the 1977 European Championships.

1977 • The IAU’s new 10 meter Match event was launched during the 1977 European Championships in Frutigen SUI with 10 crossbows and targets being available for use. At the General Assembly in Frutigen President Diener proposed the introduction of a second IAU Division for crossbow archery, a sport which was already being practiced in many countries around the world, but was lacking a common set of regulations. This was the beginning for what was to become the IAU’s Field-crossbow discipline.

1979 • Originally scheduled to be the next European Championships, the 1979 event was up-graded and became the IAU’s 1st World Championships for 10 and 30 meter Match-crossbow shooting. The event took place at Linz in Austria and the entry list included first-time competitors from America and Great Britain. The team World Championships were won by Germany (30m) and France (10m). In the individual events P.Fink AUT (10m), R.Kuplwieser GER (30m Standing and Combined) and D.Nipkow SUI (30m Kneeling) became the first IAU Match-crossbow World Champions.

1982 • The 1st World Field-crossbow Championships took place at Mikkeli, Finland July 3-4, 1982. The event was organised by the Mikkeli Archery Club (Eero Laitinen and Kalevi Raatikainen) with support from the Finnish Archery Federation. Crossbow archers from 5 nations (America, Great Britain, Finland, Hungary and Sweden) took part. Finland (Men) and America (Women) won the team World Championships with V.Pöyry FIN (MEN) and C.Pelosi USA (Women) becoming the first World Field-crossbow World Champions. The Great Britain team was lead by Chris Aston who was later responsible for drafting the first edition of the IAU’s Field-crossbow Rule book, and the organizer of the 1984 World Championships at Himley Hall, England.

1983 • Following the success of the 10 meter events at the World Championships in Linz and Arosa, Switzerland in 1981, the IAU expanded their 10 meter programme for the 1983 World Match-crossbow Championships, in Bad Homburg, Germany, to include separate events for Men, Women and Junior U-21’s. New member nations taking part included Israel, Japan and Sweden. The 10m Team World Championships winners were USA (Women) Germany (Men) and Austria (Juniors). A. Bierringer GER (Men), J.Laubenheimer USA (Women) and A.Fink AUT (Junior U21’s) won Individual 10m World titles. On August 9, 1983 the IAU General Assembly approved the first edition of the Field-crossbow Regulations and Christopher Aston GBR was elected as Chairman of the Field Technical Committee.

1984 • The 2nd World Field-Championships took place at Himley Hall in Dudley, England. The event was sponsored by Barnett International UK who also produced 10 prototype Field-crossbows for use during the World Championships. The competitions were organized by Valley Crossbow Club, Wolverhampton (Chris Aston, Edward Hayward and George Amer). New member nations taking part included Ireland, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

1985 • The Netherlands Crossbow Association hosted the 1985 IAU Match World Championships in Zundert. The excellent range installations made for high scores –especially in the 10 meter events which attracted large numbers of spectators. The loss of the IAU flag to souvenir hunters was the only low-point of an otherwise memorable event.

1986 • The IAU celebrated their 30th anniversary in 1986 at the European Match-crossbow Championships in Sulgen, Switzerland. The seven founder nations (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland) were each presented with a Plaque of Honour to mark the occasion. The Swiss Crossbow Federation EASV arranged 80 targets for the 30m events – which were shot using a new, smaller target (6mm ring spacing). Meanwhile in America, the National Crossbowmen TNC (OC President, Rolfe Smith) organized the 3rd IAU World Field-crossbow Championships at Miami University Campus, Oxford, Ohio. The target size was reduced from 80cm to 60 at this World Championships and the program of events included a demonstration competition for factory made “Sporting” crossbows.

1987 • The 1987 World Match-crossbow Championships in Rohrbach, Austria was notable for the launch of a new portable 30m range installation by RIKA. Two years later, this equipment was shipped to England for the next World Championships. The Chinese Shooting Federation entered their first IAU Championships, winning silver and bronze medals in the 30m events.

1988 • By 1988 activity levels in the IAU Field Division had increased to the point where the organizers of the 4th World Field Championships, in Hässleholm Sweden, needed a shooting field nearly 300 meters wide to accommodate the numbers of competitors. After this event the rules were changed to limit the team sizes. A new category, Seniors Cup (for over 55’s) was won by Lasse Nio FIN. The German Shooting Federation (DSB) team included the 1988 European Match-crossbow Champion Jurgen Baumann. New nations taking part were Czechoslovakia, Estonia and Taiwan. TO BE CONTINUED…