Fighters' Handbook

Introduction

Scope

This book covers those disciplines which interact on the war field so these rules apply only to the field of armoured combat, including combat archery, siege, and heavy tournament combat. This book does not cover fencing, equestrian, or target archery activities; they are covered in separate manuals.

Feedback

Feedback on any aspect of the book is welcome and can be sent to the Lochac Earl Marshal (marshal@lochac.sca.org)

Classes of Participant and Combat

Combat Related Activities

In Lochac, combat related activities are defined as:

  1. Heavy Combat
  2. Combat archery*
  3. Period fencing*
  4. Siege warfare
  5. Equestrian activities*
  6. Banner bearing in combat
  7. Marshalling

Classes of Participant

General Notes

This section establishes the terminology used to refer to the roles participants may assume during combat- related activities. These are roles, not categories of authorisation. Authorisation categories are dealt with in Combatant authorisations.

The term "combatant" is used in this book to refer to people who are actually fighting, whether with melee or missile weapons. The term "participant" is used to refer to everyone taking an active role in combat-related activities. Everyone on the field, combatant, auxiliary or non-combatant, is a participant.

Plumed participants" refers to both plumed combatants and plumed auxiliaries.

Heavy Combatant

Heavy combatants are people who engage in combat with melee weapons. They:

  1. Can be targeted by all types of weapon.
  2. Can use all types of weapon, sub ject to appropriate authorisation.
  3. Must be at least 18 years of age, or at least 16 years of age with parental consent and subject to the completion of an appropriate medical release.
  4. Must obey the instructions of marshals.

Plumed Combatant

Plumed combatants are people who participate in combat-related activities but do not engage in combat with melee weapons. They:

  1. May not be targeted with melee weapons.
  2. Must wear a plume in their helmets to signify their status as plumed participants.
  3. Can use and be targeted by missile weapons.
  4. May not carry or use any melee weapon, including thrust-and-throw weapons.
  5. Must remain outside the 5m range of all plumed opponents.
  6. Must be at least 18 years of age, or at least 16 years of age with parental consent and subject to the completion of an appropriate medical release.
  7. Must obey the instructions of marshals.

Plumed Auxiliary

Plumed Auxiliaries are people who participate in a partisan fashion in combat-related activities but who may not engage in actual combat, e.g., banner-bearers, drummers, etc. They:

  1. May not be targeted with melee weapons.
  2. Must wear a plume in their helmets to signify their status as plumed participants.
  3. Can be targeted with missile weapons. May not carry or use any weapon or ammunition.
  4. Must remain outside the 5m range of all plumed opponents.
  5. Must be at least 18 years of age, or 14 years of age with parental consent and subject to the completion of an appropriate medical release.
  6. Must obey the instructions of marshals.

Non-Combatant

Non-combatants are people, such as marshals, who provide a supporting role to combat or who are present on the field during combat without being part of the combat itself. They:

  1. May not be targeted by any weapon, but should be prepared to be inadvertently struck by missiles.
  2. Must be appropriately armoured if they remain on the field during war combat with missiles.
  3. Must be at least 18 years of age, or 16 years of age with parental consent and subject to the completion of an appropriate medical release if they remain on the field during combat.
  4. Must be at least 18 years of age to act as marshals.
  5. Must obey the instructions of marshals.

Spectator

Anyone present in the general area where combat activities are taking place, but not on the field at the time combat is taking place, is deemed to be a spectator. This includes, but is not limited to, people such as chirurgeons and water bearers who enter the field during breaks in combat as well as fighters not currently on the field. They:

  1. Must obey the instructions of marshals.
  2. Must not enter the war field unless combat has ended and "helms off" has been called by the marshal of the field.
  3. May not enter or remain on the field while combat is taking place.

Classes of Combat

Tournament Single Combat

Tournament single combat shall occur between two combatants within the bounds of a list field.

Explicit engagement between combatants is not required in tournament single-combat bouts.

Missile weapons may not be used.

Unless specifically permitted by the terms of the tourney, helpless combatants may not be declared dead or forced to yield by their opponent — a hold is called if a combatant becomes helpless. Helpless combatants are defined in Behaviour upon the field

Single combat archery tournaments shall be considered a class of war combat with arrows.

Tournament Melee Combat

Tournament melee combat is a combat that begins with two or more teams of combatants, or three or more combatants fighting as individuals.

Combatants, including the final pair, must be engaged before they may strike at each other.

Missile weapons may not be used.

Unless specifically permitted by the terms of the tournament, helpless combatants may not be declared dead or forced to yield by their opponent — a hold is called if a combatant becomes helpless.

Unless specifically forbidden by the terms of the tournament, ad-hoc teams may be formed and dissolved during the bout.

Unless specifically forbidden by the terms of the tournament, engagements between groups of unequal number are allowed.

The kill from behind manoeuver may not be used unless explicitly notified to all combatants by the Marshal in Charge as part of the terms of the tournament. See Killing from behind for details of this manoeuver.

War Combat

War combat takes place on the field of war, not within the lists of a tournament.

Hand-to-hand combatants must be engaged before they may strike at each other.

Thrown missile weapons may be used.

Combatants may discharge missile weapons at targets that they are not explicitly engaged with (subject to the relevant minimum range requirements).

The kill from behind manoeuver may be used. See iv on page 22 for details of this manoeuver.

Helpless opponents may not be struck, but may be declared dead.

If missile weapons are used, all non-combatants who remain on the field during combat must wear armour complying with the standards set out in Non-combatant armour requirements.

Siege engines or structures may be used in war combat in accordance with the rules set forth in the Siege Engines Handbook.

War Combat Without Missile Weapons

As for War Combat, but no thrown or other missile weapons may be used.

Non-combatant participants, such as marshals, are not required to be armoured.

War Combat With Archery

As for War Combat, but includes plumed archers using wooden-shafted arrows and Riverhaven Blunts as described in Arrows and Bolts.

All participants who remain on the field during combat must wear screening as described in section Face Guards.

Properties of classes of combat
Combat Class Many vs one
engagement
Non-combatants
must wear armour
Screening required Killing from behind Grasping hafts
of pole-weapons
Tournament
single combat
No No No Forbidden Allowed
Tournament
melee combat
Yes No No Normally forbidden Allowed
War combat
without missile weapons
Yes No No Allowed Allowed
War combat
with missile weapons
Yes Yes No Allowed Allowed
War combat
with Archers
Yes Yes Yes Allowed Allowed

Combatant Authorisations

General

All persons who wish to participate in combat-related activities in the Kingdom of Lochac must have an appropriate authorisation.

Combat-related activities include, but are not limited to, armoured combat, period fencing, combat archery, marshalling, and banner-bearing in combat.

Procedures for the authorisation of marshals are set out in covering authorisation.

Equestrian mounted combat is a combat-related activity but is not controlled by these rules; it is covered in the Locac Equestrian Rules available at http://sca.org.nz/equestrian/.

Target archery and children's boffer combat are not combat-related activities and are not controlled by these rules.

The purpose of authorisation is to ensure the candidate is able to take the field without presenting a danger to themselves or others, and that they understand the basic rules of SCA combat. The candidate is not required to demonstrate great skill with their weapons, only enough to mount a minimally-credible attack and defence against a reasonably experienced opponent.

In general, to be authorised candidates must be able to:

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with, and the ability to apply, the following:
    1. Rules of The Lists of the SCA
    2. The armour and weapons standards of the SCA
    3. The Conventions of Combat of the SCA
    4. Lochac Conventions of Combat
    5. The use of weapons and shields
    6. Target areas and acknowledgement of blows
  2. Demonstrate familiarity with, and ability to reference, the Lochac armour and weapons standards.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to function on the field in a manner that is safe both to themselves and to other participants on the field.

Only a marshal authorised and rostered in Lochac and who holds a current membership of the SCA or one of its affiliate organisations may perform a Lochac authorisation. This marshal must witness the authorisation and must execute the appropriate paperwork to ensure the authorisation is registered with the Kingdom Lists Officer within three months of the authorisation taking place.

A copy of the authorisation paperwork may be used in lieu of an authorisation card by combatants, but not by marshals, for a period of up to three months from the date of the authorisation.

Authorisation paperwork will expire three months from the date of the authorisation test. Expired authorisation paperwork will not be processed by the Kingdom Lists Officer.

Authorisations shall be registered with, and kept on file by, the Lochac Kingdom Lists Officer. This officer, or their appointed deputy, shall be responsible for keeping properly completed indemnities and issuing combat authorisation cards. In addition to maintaining registration of authorisations, the kingdom lists officer shall provide the earl marshal with a list of all current authorisations upon request.

Authorisation cards shall include the name of the authorising marshal. They may be issued for a period of up to four years for adults and one year for minors.

Authorisation cards shall not be issued to persons residing in other kingdoms unless such persons are defined as subjects of Lochac by specific royalty treaty.

No authorisation card may be issued to Australian residents until a properly completed indemnity* is filed with the Lochac Kingdom Lists Officer.

Visitors to Australia engaging in combat-related activities must sign an Australian indemnity before participating in combat activities. This is not required in New Zealand.

Indemnities for SCA combat-related activities shall be kept on file by the lists office for seven years.

Valid authorisation cards from other kingdoms shall be accepted as proof of authorisation. To renew in Lochac, the candidate must complete a Lochac authorisation in accordance with the procedures set out in this chapter.

Authorisation Categories

General notes

Within the field of armoured combat in Lochac there are separate authorisations for classes of parti- cipant (Heavy or Plumed) and for specific weapon forms that require additional training or skills not covered by the Heavy Combatant authorisation. The Plumed Participant authorisation only allows the authorised participant to take the field in an auxilliary role such as banner-bearer. Candidates wishing to take the field in a Plumed Combatant role must combine the Plumed Participant authorisation with a weapon-specific authorisation such as Combat Archery. There are also separate authorisations for ranks of marshal.

Authorisation requirements for period fencing and equestrian activities are dealt with in their respective handbooks.

Participant authorisations

Heavy Combatant
allows the participant to engage in heavy combat with melee weapons and to take the field as Plumed Combatant or Auxilliary.
Plumed Participant
allows the participant to take the field as an unarmed Plumed Auxilliary, or as a plumed combatant when combined with a weapon authorisation such as thrown weapon, combat archery or siege engine.

Weapon-Specific Authorisations

Fibreglass Spear
allows authorised Heavy Combatants to use fibreglass spears.
Thrown Weapon
allows the holder to use thrown weapons if combined with a Plumed Participant authorisation; or thrown and thrust and throw weapons if combined with a Heavy Combatant authorisation.
Combat Archery
allows the holder to act as a Plumed Combat Archer when combined with a Plumed Particpant authorisation; or as Heavy Combat Archer when combined with a Heavy Combatant authorisation.
Siege Engine
allows the holder to operate, in combat, siege engines on which they have been trained. Requires either an existing Heavy Combatant or Plumed Participant authorisation.

Marshal Authorisations

Auxilliary Marshal
authorises the holder to assist with the oversight of combat and conduct pre-combat inspections under the supervision of a marshal.
Marshal
allows the holder to act as a marshal overseeing armoured combat and combat archery, but not to authorise combatants or marshals.
Siege Marshal
allows the holder to act as a marshal for siege weapons. Requires an existing Marshal or Senior Marshal authorisation.
Senior Marshal
allows the holder to act as a marshal overseeing combat and combat archery, as well as authorise combatants and marshals.

Age Restrictions

The following age restrictions apply to combat-related activities:/p>

  1. No person below the age of 18 may be authorised as a marshal or auxilliary marshal.
  2. No person below the age of 16 may be authorised as a combatant.
  3. Persons 14 years or older may be authorised as plumed auxilliaries.
  4. No person below the age of 14 may be authorised for any form of SCA combat-related activity.
  5. No person below the age of 14 may be involved or train in any form of SCA combat at official SCA events, including training and demos.*

Authorisation of Minors

For the purposes of combat-related activities in Lochac, a minor is someone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. Minors may not authorise as marshals or auxilliary marshals. Only the Earl Marshal, or senior marshals with specific written permission from the Earl Marshal to conduct minor authorisations, may authorise minors for SCA Combat-Related Activities. Email is acceptable as written permission, but a copy should be attached to the authorisation forms filed with the Lists Officer.

In addition to the requirement for experienced authorised combatants, minor authorisations must be carried out by two senior marshals. The following requirements must be met before the authorisation process is started:

  1. The parents or legal guardians of the minor must witness SCA combat, discuss with the au- thorising marshal how it relates to the participation of their child, and fill out the appropriate Combat Authorisation Form - Minor Participant.
  2. The parents or guardians of the minor must witness SCA combat, discuss with a witnessing marshal how it relates to the participation of their child, and fill out the appropriate* medical authorisation form. The witnessing marshal must countersign the indemnity. The form is available from the Lochac Marshallate website at http://lochac.sca.org/marshal/ there are two versions, one for New Zealand, and one for Australia.
  3. At least one of the authorising marshals must have discussed the authorisation of the specific candidate with the Kingdom Earl Marshal, sent copies of the completed Combat Authorisation Form - Minor Participant to the KEM, and received authority in writing from the KEM that they may conduct the authorisation of the minor in question.
  4. At any event in which the minor is involved in SCA Combat-Related Activities the minor must have either a parent or guardian present, or must be in possession of a properly executed Medical Authorisation Form for Minors designating an adult present at the event as able to authorise medical treatment in the case of an emergency. The form is available from the Lochac Constable's website at http://lochac.sca.org/constable/

Authorisation cards issued to minors will have MINOR clearly printed or stamped across the face of the card.

Authorisation Renewals

An authorisation renewal requires a current authorisation to be held by the candidate.

The procedure for renewal is the same as for a new authorisation, with the following exceptions:

  1. Renewals of existing authorisations may be conducted by a senior marshal alone; provided they also fulfil the requirements of an experienced authorised combatant who can act as an opponent for the renewing candidate.
  2. Candidates who have been active heavy combatants in the past 12 months may, at the discretion of the authorising experienced combatant and the authorising marshal, forego the low-speed called-blows portion of the authorisation bout.

All other requirements for authorisation, including the completion of the written test, remain the same for renewals as for new authorisations.

Completion and Submission of Authorisation Paperwork

It is the responsibility of the newly-authorised combatant to ensure the relevant paperwork is submitted to the correct lists officer or deputy within the required timeframes.

All authorisation tests and forms must be completed in accordance with the instructions on those forms. Forms that are incorrectly filled out, or incomplete, will not be processed by the lists officer and will have to be redone and submitted again.

Authorisation forms must arrive with the lists officer not more than three calendar months from the date of the authorisation. Forms that arrive later than this will not be processed, and the associated authorisation process(es) will have to be redone.

The newly-authorised combatant should keep a copy of the authorisation paperwork if they wish to participate in combat-related activities before they have received their authorisation card. If an authorisation card has not been received within one month of submitting the paperwork, the combatant should contact the relevant lists officer and ensure the paperwork has been received and is correct.

Deliberate forging of authorisation paperwork or test results is a serious matter and will result in severe sanctions against those involved.

Requirements and Tests Common to All Authorisations

The procedures in this chapter do not apply to fencing or equestrian authorisations.

Armoured combat authorisations in the Kingdom of Lochac must be carried out according to these procedures. No person may be granted a Lochac armoured combat authorisation, even by the Crown, until they have successfully completed the testing procedures set out in this chapte

Candidates must be at least 16 years old for combatant and weapon authorisations, or 14 for plumed participant authorisation. Candidates under 18 years of age must be authorised according to the Authorisation of Minors procedure in Authorisation of minors.

The purpose of authorisation is to ensure the candidate is able to take the field without presenting a danger to themselves or others, and that they understand the basic rules of SCA combat. The candidate is not required to demonstrate great skill with their weapons, only enough to mount a minimally-credible attack and defence against a reasonably experienced opponent.

Authorisations must be carried out at official events or practices.

The authorisation process must be administered by a rostered senior marshal and two experienced authorised combatants, one of whom may be the rostered senior marshal. One experienced combatant is to serve as the examining opponent for the candidate, and the other as an additional witness to the authorisation.

If the group lacks sufficient experienced combatants, the requirement for the second experienced authorised combatant to witness the authorisation process may be waived at the discretion of the Kingdom Earl Marshal.

For the purposes of the authorisation process, an "experienced combatant" is a currently active fighter with at least two years of regular fighting experience in the relevant combat forms.

For all authorisation processes, the examining experienced combatant must hold a current authorisation in the specific forms being examined.

In the event of there being no suitably qualified marshals to conduct the authorisation, such as in the situation where a new marshallate authorisation type is being bootstrapped in a group, or where all of the marshallate authorisations in a group have lapsed, the KEM may at their sole discretion forego the practical steps of the marshal authorisation process and instead grant the authorisation after conducting a thorough verbally administered theory test. This process may only be applied to combat authorisations under exceptional circumstances, and then only to experienced fighters with reasonably current combat experience.

In order to conduct authorisations, the authorising marshal must hold a current subscribing membership at the time of the authorisation. It is not required for the candidate to be a member in order to authorise, or for the experienced combatants to be members.

The candidate must present themselves on the field in armour for inspection. The armour must be inspected on the body and must pass the current armour requirements for combat. This inspection must be complete and exacting.

Any deficiencies in the candidate's armour and equipment must be permanently corrected before the person may authorise or renew, no temporary fixes are permitted.

Candidates must present a complete and signed authorisation form to the authorising marshal prior to the authorisation. In Australia this must include a properly completed waiver.

The authorising marshal must not countersign the authorisation paperwork until the authorisation process has been successfully completed.

The authorisation process shall be conducted in accordance with one of the following sections as appropriate to the type of authorisation being sought by the candidate.

The authorising marshal and examining authorised fighters shall confer to decide if the candidate exhibits adequate performance in the minimum criteria for authorisation listed below:

  1. Does the candidate know and understand the Rules of the Lists Does the candidate know and understand the Conventions of Combat as they apply in Lochac?
  2. Does the candidate exhibit safe behaviour on the field, for both themselves and others?
  3. How does the candidate react to pressure?
  4. Do they fight back or become disoriented and confused?
  5. Can the candidate defend themselves adequately?
  6. How does the candidate react to a call of "HOLD"?
  7. Can the candidate feel and judge received blows?
  8. Does the candidate have adequate calibration of thrown blows?
  9. Can the candidate repeatably accurately judge 5 metres range to a closing opponent?

Participant Authorisation Tests

Heavy Combat Authorisation Test

The heavy combat authorisation entitles the authorised fighter to fight both as a heavy combatant and as a plumed participant.

The candidate may authorise using any legal weapons form with the exception of fibreglass spear.

The examining combatant must be armed with sword and shield.

If any portion of the authorisation procedure is not satisfactorily completed, the procedure shall be stopped and the candidate shall be told of the problems observed and instructed as to how to correct the problems.

For the first few minutes of the bout for authorisation, the candidate and the authorised fighter shall fight at 1/2 to 3/4 speed and verbally acknowledge all blows landed. During this phase of the authorisation, the senior marshal and witnessing experienced fighter should get an impression of the new fighter's style, technique, ability to call blows, and ability to defend themselves.

If the first portion of the bout has progressed satisfactorily, then the combatants will proceed to full-speed list-type combat, properly enacting all received blows. The full-speed combat rounds must cover the following scenarios:

  • Candidate fights standing against a standing opponent; and
  • Candidate fights standing against a kneeling opponent; and
  • Candidate fights from their knees against a standing opponent; and
  • Candidate fights from their knees against a kneeling opponent.

During this phase, the authorising marshal and witnessing experienced fighter should observe the new fighter's control, reaction to blows, and ability to cope with pressure. At some point during this combat the examining marshal should call a hold without warning to ensure the candidate reacts appropriately.

The candidate must demonstrate that they can "die" defensively in a manner appropriate to war combat; i.e. On their side covering themselves with their shield with their legs pulled up as close as possible, as well as in a manner appropriate to tournament lists combat.

The candidate must demonstrate that they can correctly enact a kill from behind, as well as correctly respond to one. The candidate must be able to demonstrate an understanding of the different ways in which a kill from behind may be enacted.

After the authorisation bouts, the candidate and the examining fighter shall move at least 10-12 metres apart and shall repeatedly close with each other in turn, both at a walk and at a run, and the candidate shall be required to enact a called kill appropriate to a plumed combatant on their opponent when they have closed to 5 metres. The authorising marshal and the examining combatant must satisfy themselves that the candidate is able to repeatedly judge 5 m to a reasonable degree of accuracy.

If the authorising marshal and examining authorised fighters agree that the candidate meets these requirements, the authorising marshal will notify the fighter that they are now authorised and shall complete the relevant paperwork with the newly authorised fighter as per Completion and submission of authorisation paperwork.

Plumed Participant Authorisation Test

Plumed participant authorisations shall be conducted by an authorised senior marshal and an au- thorised heavy combatant armoured and equipped with sword and shield. Additionally an authorised experienced plumed participant is required if the heavy combatant is not also an experienced plumed participant.

The candidate must demonstrate that they know how to "die" safely both in response to kills called from 5 metres range, and to kills from behind.

The candidate and the examining fighter shall move at least 10-12 metres apart and shall repeatedly close with each other in turn, both at a walk and at a run, and the candidate shall be required to call out when they have closed to 5 metres of their opponent. The authorising marshal and the examining combatant must satisfy themselves that the candidate is able to repeatedly judge 5 m to a reasonable degree of accuracy.

Candidates must be informed that, even with plumes, they may still be targeted and struck by siege missile fire and thrown weapons on the war field, and that these can be capable of hitting with force equal to a good blow from a heavy fighter but do not warrant calling a hold. They must be aware that they may also be struck by accident and that a plume is no guarantee of avoiding such strikes.

Weapon-specific Authorisation Tests

Fibreglass Spear Authorisation Test

Fibreglass spear authorisation may not be undertaken unless the fighter is already holds a heavy-combat authorisation.

No combatant may use a fibreglass spear outside of practice until they have successfully completed this authorisation.

Fibreglass spear authorisations shall be conducted by a marshal and an experienced authorised combatant who holds a current fibreglass spear authorisation. These may be the same person. Additional witnessing marshals and combatants may be required at the discretion of the authorising marshal.

The candidate shall be verbally examined to ensure they understand the nature of the weapon they are using before the authorisation may proceed. The key things the candidate must know are:

  1. what types of strikes are permitted with fibreglass spears; and
  2. what the kill and wound zones for that weapon are; and
  3. what, if any, specific risks are inherent in their maintenance and use.

The candidate and the authorised fighter shall then fight authorisation bouts as per Heavy combat authorisation test.

These bouts shall be fought twice, once with both fighters using fibreglass spears, and once with the examining authorised combatant using sword and shield.

After the bouts are concluded, the marshal and examining authorised fighter shall confer to decide if the candidate exhibits adequate performance in the minimum criteria for authorisation listed below:

  1. Does the candidate understand the particular nature of the weapon they are using?
  2. Does the candidate exhibit safe behaviour on the field, for both self and others?
  3. How does the candidate react to pressure?
  4. Can the candidate defend themselves without blocking with the spear haft etc.
  5. Is the authorising fighter able to feel and judge blows, both those received and those thrown?

If the marshal and examining authorised fighter agree that the candidate meets these requirements, the marshal will notify the fighter that they are now authorised in the new weapons form and shall complete the relevant paperwork with the newly authorised combatant as per Completion and submission of authorisation paperwork.

Combat Archery Authorisation Test

In order to authorise as a combat archer the candidate must first be authorised as either a heavy combatant or a plumed combatant.

Combat archer authorisation may be conducted in the same authorisation session as the candidate's heavy combatant or plumed combatant authorisation, provided they pass those requirements.

The candidate shall demonstrate an understanding of the construction requirements for combat archery ammunition and that they are able to check ammunition and correctly identify any issues with it.

The candidate shall demonstrate that they are able to nock, draw and loose arrows in a reliable and safe manner while armoured. The authorising marshal should assess the candidate's ability to do so without accidentally loosing an unaimed shot.

The candidate and the examining heavy combatant shall move approximately 20 metres apart and the examining combatant shall attempt to close on the candidate while they fire at least three rounds and attempt to remain outside of 5 m range of the closing heavy combatant. The authorising marshal and examining plumed combatant shall assess the ability of the candidate to handle their weapons in a safe manner while moving.

If the candidate is authorising as a heavy archer they must demonstrate the ability to safely dis- card their bow and arm themselves with melee weapons while under pressure from a closing heavy combatant. The candidate must demonstrate that they understand appropriate circumstances under which to yield to a heavy combatant if they are caught within range part way through the transition.

If the candidate is authorising as a plumed archer, they must demonstrate the ability to "die" safely and appropriately in response to called-kills a heavy combatant. They must also demonstrate when and how to yield safely so as to avoid being struck by a heavy combatant.

Siege Engine Authorisation Test

In order to authorise as a siege engineer the candidate must first be authorised as either a heavy combatant or a plumed combatant.

Siege engineers must be authorised invidually, not as crews.

Siege engineer authorisation may be conducted in the same authorisation session as the candidate's heavy combatant or plumed combatant authorisation, provided the pass those requirements.

The following are required for a siege engineer authorisation:

  1. either a rostered Senior Marshal who is also an authorised Siege Marshal; or
  2. both a rostered Senior Marshal and a rostered Siege Marshal; and
  3. a siege engine available to be used during the authorisation with sufficient experienced authorised crew for that engine; and
  4. at least one experienced authorised armoured heavy combatant armed with a melee weapon.

In the event that there are no experienced or authorised engineers available the authorising mar- shals shall discuss the authorisation in detail with the Kingdom Earl Marshal who may waive the requirement at their sole discretion.

The candidate must demonstrate an understanding of the rules governing siege weapons in Lochac, how they must be engaged and how they may be destroyed.

Having presented themselves armoured appropriately and having passed inspection, the candidate must successfully conduct an unassisted safety inspection of the engine. The authorising marshals should question the candidate after this process to ensure they understand any issues specific to other types of engine than the one being inspected.

The candidate must demonstrate that they understand the different types of siege weapons and the general risks and hazards specific to each type.

The candidate must demonstrate a thorough understanding of how to make the engine safe, how safely to load and discharge the engine, and be able to accurately describe the hazards specific to the engine they are using. If the engine requires multiple crew, the candidate must clearly verbally direct the crew through these processes without asistance.

If the candidate is authorising as a plumed siege engineer, they must demonstrate an understanding of how to "die" appropriately in response to called kills from heavy combatants.

If the candidate is authorising as a heavy siege engineer, who will defend their engine with melee weapons, they must demonstrate the ability to make their engine safe, arm themselves appropriately and defend their engine safely when pressed by an approaching heavy combatant. They must also demonstrate an understanding of how to "die" appropriately if they are unable to defend themselves during the process of making the engine safe and arming themselves.

It is strongly recommended, but not required, that engineers be observed for at least 1 battle before authorisations are made final.

Rules of The Lists

Introduction

The basic rules for SCA combat are contained in the Rules of the Lists. These rules were not originally designed to cover non-tourney field activities such as wars, combat archery, and period fencing, but have been extended to cover these activities. The observance of honour and chivalry and the safety of the combatants are considered over-riding elements. The following is intended to bring together the appropriate rules for conducting both tourney field combat and other SCA combat activities.

Rules of the lists below is reproduced verbatim from section IX.B of the April 2006 revision of the Corpora of the SCA Inc. It is reproduced here for convenience. Changes to Corpora shall override the rules in this section.

Application of the rules of the list below is reproduced verbatim from section II.C of the August 2006 revision of the Society Marshal's Handbook. It is reproduced here for convenience. Changes to the Society Marshal's Handbook shall override the rules in this section.

Rules of the Lists

Each combatant, recognising the possibilities of physical injury to him/herself in such combat, shall assume unto him/herself all risk and liability for harm suffered by means of such combat. No com- batant shall engage in combat unless and until he/she has inspected the field of combat and satisfied him/herself that it is suitable for combat. Other participants shall likewise recognise the risks in- volved in their presence on or near the field of combat, and shall assume unto themselves the liabilities thereof.

No person shall participate in Combat-Related Activities (including armoured combat, period fencing, combat archery, scouting and banner bearing in combat) outside of formal training sessions unless he/she shall have been properly authorised under Society and Kingdom procedures.

All combatants must be presented to, and acceptable to, the Sovereign or his/her representative.

All combatants shall adhere to the appropriate armour and weapons standards of the Society, and to any additional standards of the Kingdom in which the event takes place. The Sovereign may waive the additional Kingdom standards.

The Sovereign or the Marshallate may bar any weapon or armour from use upon the field of combat. Should a rostered marshal bar any weapon or armour, an appeal may be made to the Sovereign to allow the weapon or armour.

Combatants shall behave in knightly and chivalrous manner, and shall fight according to the appropriate Society and Kingdom Conventions of Combat.

No one may be required to participate in Combat-Related Activities. Any combatant may, without dishonour or penalty, reject any challenge without specifying a reason. A fight in a tournament lists is not to be considered a challenge, and therefore may not be declined or rejected without forfeiting the bout.

Fighting with real weapons, whether fast or slow, is strictly forbidden at any Society event. This rule does not consider approved weaponry which meets the Society and Kingdom Standards for traditional Society combat and/or Society period rapier combat, used in the context of mutual sport, to be real weaponry.

No projectile weapon shall be allowed and no weapons shall be thrown within the Lists of a tourna- ment. The use of approved projectile weapons for melee, war, or combat archery shall conform to the appropriate Society and Kingdom Conventions of Combat.

Applications of the Rules of the List

Application of Rule 1:
"Other participants" include Marshals and also support personnel whose activities bring them close to fighting in a situation where boundaries are not clearly defined. Heralds, List Pages, and similar officers who leave the field entirely before combat begins are exempt from this requirement, as are water-bearers and chirurgeons who remain in fixed support points outside the tournament field or battle area. Water-bearers and chirurgeons who take part in mobile support groups within the overall boundaries of a battle area must receive a basic orientation in field safety.
Application of Rule 2:
The Crown and/or Marshallate of each Kingdom shall establish standards and procedures for the authorisation of fighters to participate in combat. These procedures shall adhere to the Combat Authorisation Procedures in this handbook. At Kingdom option, these procedures may involve either a general authorisation to participate in armoured combat or a set of separate authorisation procedures for the use of (or for combat AGAINST) specific weapons or classes of weapons.
The Crown and/or Marshallate of each Kingdom shall establish standards and procedures for the authorisation of combat archers and missile users to participate in combat. Kingdoms may establish such additional limitations on the participation of minors as may be deemed necessary. It is usual for authorisations from other Kingdoms to be accepted, although exceptions may prove necessary in the case of specific individuals.
The Crown may not simply grant an authorisation, unless the recipient has successfully completed the authorisation process as delineated in Society and Kingdom law.
Application of Rule 4:
Kingdoms may apply armour and weapons standards that are stricter than the Society standards, should they be deemed necessary, but may not reduce or waive any Society standard.
Application of Rule 5:
If a fighter regards an opponent's weapon or armour as unduly dangerous to self or opponent, he or she can request that the Marshal on the field re-inspect the item. Either fighter has the option of appealing the decision of the re-inspection Marshal to the Marshal in Charge and ultimately to the Sovereign.
Application of Rule 6:
Engaging in any Society combat activity with the deliberate intent to inflict bodily harm to an opponent is strictly forbidden.
Application of Rule 7:
No one is required to engage in SCA combat should he or she prefer not to do so.
Application of Rule 8:
Since fighting with real weapons is forbidden at any Society event, threatening the use of such weapons is likewise expressly forbidden. At the discretion of the Sovereign and the Marshal in Charge, recognised experts may be permitted to present choreographed demonstrations with real weapons under strictly controlled conditions. No one may wear any real weapon onto the field while participating in combat or present during combat. At the discretion of the Sovereign and the Marshal in Charge, an exception may be made for marshals or other noncombatants to wear knives bonded with peace straps. Posing for still photographs with real weapons is permitted.
Application of Rule 9:
The prohibition on thrown weapons refers to weapons thrown in combat or thrown in a hostile manner. It does not apply to "tossing", defined as a gentle, short-range method of transferring or removing a tournament weapon or item from the list field or area of combat. The use of bows and arrows, firearms, slings, javelins, throwing axes, throwing knives, or any other projectile weapon is forbidden within Tournament Lists, or in any other situation where spectators cannot be separated from the potential line of fire by more than the effective range of the weapon.

Conventions of Combat

General Information

All SCA combat-related activities in the Kingdom of Lochac shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules of the Lists, these conventions of combat, the weapon and equipment standards set out in this book, and such event rules as are established by the marshal in charge of the event.

Depending on the severity and circumstances, violation of these rules may result in warnings to the fighters concerned or removal from the field. Extreme cases will result in loss of authorisation and potential further sanctions.

All combatants, prior to taking part in combat at each and every SCA sponsored event or fighting practice in the kingdom, shall ensure that their armour and weapons are inspected by a rostered member of the kingdom marshallate.

Even though a rostered member of the kingdom marshallate has inspected their armour and weapons, all combatants must accept full responsibility for the condition of their own equipment. All combatants have the obligation to themselves, their opponents, and the marshals to ensure that their equipment meets all society and kingdom requirements.

Prior to taking the field at an event all participants in combat, including marshals, must present proof of current relevant authorisation, and membership if appropriate, to the lists officer or inspecting marshal as required.

When not otherwise directed by the Crown, the Crown's representative upon the field and in all matters dealing with society combat is the Kingdom Earl Marshal, and by delegation, any rostered member of the kingdom marshallate.

Minors combating with adults must bear a single yellow diamond not larger than 25 mm or smaller than 13mm in any dimension, on the front of the helm, on or near the inspection sticker if present.

All rostered marshals have the peremptory authority to remove from combat and from the field any combatant who violates the rules or scenario limits or who acts in an unsafe or dishonourable manner. Such removal may not be discussed during the combat unless the marshal permits it. The marshals ruling may be appealed to the Marshal in Charge.

Marshals have the authority to regulate the movement of non-combatants on the field and to control the location of spectators.

Behaviour on the Field

General rules

Extend the utmost courtesy to your opponent. You do each other honour by meeting on the field. If there is a question regarding a point of honour (such as blow strength), give your opponent the benefit of the doubt as far as is reasonable.

All combatants shall obey the commands of the marshals on the field, or shall be removed from the field subject to disciplinary action. Disagreements with the marshals shall be resolved off the field in accordance with the procedures set out in Procedures for sanctions and appeals.

Striking at an opponent with excessive force is forbidden and may result in disciplinary action. This rule applies both to hand-held melee weapons and thrown weapons.

Combatants using two-handed weapons must exercise additional vigilance that they use appropriate restraint to avoid striking with excessive force as the nature of these weapons makes the inadvertent generation of excessive power more likely.

All participants shall maintain control over their temper at all times. Participants losing control of their tempers will be removed from the field and may be subject to disciplinary action.

No person shall enter the lists or participate in any form of SCA combat related activity while in a mentally impaired state, including impairment by injury such as concussion or impairment by alcohol, or drugs including but not limited to:*

  1. Drugs prescribed by a licensed health care provider.
  2. Over the counter medications.
  3. Illegal or controlled substances.

Any combatant who has an injury involving free flowing blood must leave the field immediately and may not return until the flow of blood has ceased.

Any behaviour that takes deliberate advantage of an opponent's chivalry or safety-consciousness, or that takes deliberate unfair advantage of an opponent is prohibited.

It is forbidden to deliberately strike a helpless opponent. Helpless opponents may only be killed according to the procedures set out in Helpless opponents

Any combatant who obtains an unfair advantage by repeatedly becoming "helpless" (eg. by falling down, or losing their weapon) may, after being duly warned by the marshal on the field, be forced to yield the fight at the next occurrence of such behaviour. The onus of this is on the marshals, not on the opponent. However the opponent may ask the marshals to let the fight continue.

Intentional contact of a fighter's person (hands/feet/limbs/body/head) to an opponent's person is prohibited. Brief incidental contact is expected and acceptable during engagement.

Deliberately striking an opponent with a shield, weapon haft, bow, or any part of the body is forbidden.

Grasping an opponent's person, shield, weapon's blade or striking surface, or bow is prohibited.

Contacting any part of an opponent's body with a shield, or using any part of the body to manipulate an opponents shield is forbidden.

Intentionally tripping an opponent is prohibited.

It is forbidden to trap the blade of your opponent's weapon in contact with your limbs or body as a means of preventing their use of the weapon. However it is acceptable to grasp or trap the haft of an opponent's weapon.

The striking surface of a weapon in motion may not be grasped or blocked by the hands or limbs as a means of impeding a blow. If a combatant intentionally places an illegal target area such as an empty hand or lower leg in the path of a blow, the combatant forfeits that attached limb as if it had been struck in a legal target area.

Inadvertently bringing the hands in contact with the striking surface of a weapon in motion, as when attempting to block a blow with another weapon, shall not be considered to be in violation of this convention.

Intentionally striking an opponent outside the legal target areas is forbidden. Combatants who repeatedly throw such blows shall be duly warned by the marshals. If such blows continue to be thrown, the combatant can be caused to forfeit the bout, and may be subject to further disciplinary action.

Any combatant whose helmet or chinstrap fails in combat will be considered dead and must immediately leave the field.

The groin is not to be deliberately targeted. However, a good blow to the groin is to be taken as a kill.

Charges are allowed, but with reference to rules set out in Thrusting weapons, combatants are reminded that thrusting with any weapon while running is prohibited, even in a charge.

Kneeling Opponents

Wherever reasonably possible, a kneeling combatant shall be offered the courtesy of turning so that they are not facing into the sun.

When one combatant is kneeling and the other is standing, it is forbidden for the standing combatant to circle, turn or "corkscrew" the kneeling combatant.

The standing combatant may not move any part of their front foot past the kneeling combatant's centre, perpendicular to their line of approach (the passing line). This may be explained by imagining a line passing through the centre of the two combatants and then one at right angles to this line, centred on the kneeling combatant, see line 'c' in Approaching kneeling oppoent - right.

The standing combatant may not place any part of their rear foot any further past the forward-most part of the kneeling combatant that is in contact with the ground, shown by line 'f' in Approaching kneeling opponent - right.

Example of correct foot positioning approaching a kneeling fighter #1
Example of correct foot positioning approaching a kneeling fighter #2
Example of incorrect foot positioning approaching a kneeling fighter

If during a bout the kneeling combatant voluntarily turns so that their passing line moves behind the front foot of the standing combatant, the passing line is deemed to remain in its original position.

It is forbidden for a standing combatant to run over or press (with body, weapon or shield) a kneeling combatant to the point that the kneeling combatant cannot straighten his upper body perpendicular to the ground*.

Rules of Engagement

Unit engagement

Unit engagement happens when two or more coherent units of opposing heavy combatants meet in combat.

In unit engagement, all combatants who are part of each unit are considered to be engaged with all combatants who are part of of the other unit(s).

In unit engagement combatants who are part of a unit may strike at members of opposing units, who are to their front or side, without being considered to be "behind" or on their "blind side".

If a unit loses coherency, combatants from that unit are considered to have left the unit engagement and must be engaged as an individual, as per Individual engagement.

In any circumstance other than that outlined in Individual engagement, striking an opponent from behind is cause for ejection from the field, and may be cause for further disciplinary action.

Individual engagement

In tournament melee combat, a combatant shall engage their opponent by moving into the line of sight of the opponent they wish to engage and stating loudly "my lord/lady I am engaging you" or words to that effect.

In war combat, a combatant shall engage their opponent by moving into range in clear sight of the opponent they wish to engage and adopting an attacking posture. If a combatant has reason to believe that their opponent may not have seen them approach they should verbally engage them as per the procedure above.

It is forbidden to strike at an opponent with whom you are not engaged.

A combatant who turns their back on an opponent with whom they are engaged while remaining within weapons range is subject to being struck by that opponent until they leave weapons range.

Missile weapon and siege engine engagement

All missile combatants and siege engine operators are considered to be engaged with all other combatants and may target them without any explicit engagement.

Missile blows may strike from any angle regardless of the opponent's awareness of the missile combatant or siege engine.

Missile combatants must be engaged by non-missile combatants as specified in Individual engagement.

Killing Conventions

Heavy combatants killing heavy combatants

Heavy combatants will kill other heavy combatants with whom they are engaged by delivering a "good" blow with their weapon to a killing target area on their opponent. Target areas are detailed in Target areas.

Combatants who note that their own blows strike with anything other than the striking surface should call "Haft!" or "Flat!" as appropriate to their opponent.

In war scenarios heavy combatants may kill heavy combatants with whom they are not engaged by using the "killing from behind" manoeuver as detailed in Killing from behind.

Missile combatants killing plumed or heavy combatants

Missile combatants will kill heavy combatants or plumed participants by delivering a "good" blow with their missile weapon to a killing target area on their opponent. Target areas are detailed in Target areas.

Missile combatants must not discharge or throw their missiles when they are closer than 5 metres to their target.

A blow from any missile that strikes properly oriented i.e. with the point, blade or striking surface, shall be considered good and need not strike with equivalent force to a melee weapon.

Combatants should be aware that missiles thrown with little force or missiles launched against especially heavy armour may not be noticed by their target. In such cases the target should be given the benefit of doubt.

Missile combatants who note that their own blows strike with anything other than the striking surface should call "Haft!" to their opponent.

Heavy combatants killing plumed participants.

Plumed participants are not to be struck with any melee weapon.

Plumed participants are subject to missile fire from all missile weapons, including hand-thrown and siege weapons.

Heavy combatants will kill plumed participants by closing to within 5 metres of their opponent, presenting (not pointing) their weapon and loudly calling "You are dead, my Lord/Lady", or equivalent phrase. This may not be done while running past the plumed participant, and the heavy combatant must exhibit control over their weapon and have an unimpeded path to the plumed participant without intervening walls or other obstructions.

This action must be repeated for every opponent to be killed.

Plumed participants killed in this manner should acknowledge kills by heavy combatants by immediately falling to the ground, or dropping to one knee and holding their weapon over their heads, and loudly calling "Good".

If in doubt about whether the heavy combatant is within 5 metres range, the plumed participant should consider giving the heavy combatant the benefit of the doubt.

Killing from behind

Heavy combatants will kill other heavy combatants from behind by placing a weapon across the faceplate or on the shoulder of the opponent and loudly calling "You are slain from behind" or an equivalent phrase. This technique will also be used for other heavy combatants with which they are not engaged. This action must be repeated for every opponent to be killed in this manner and may not be done while running past the opponent.

As with killing from the front, it is up to the defendant as to whether a kill from behind was good or not, but the overriding rule for killing from behind, killing helpless opponents and killing plumed opponents is that if the defender believes the attacker could have struck them but instead declared them dead, they should accept the kill.

Helpless Opponents

It is forbidden to strike a helpless opponent, such as a combatant who has fallen down or a heavy combatant who is unable to defend themself, but it is not required to allow the opponent to regain their footing or weapon.

Helpless opponents shall be killed by placing your weapon on the opponent and saying in a loud voice "You are dead, my lord" or an equivalent phrase.

A combatant is considered to have fallen down if any part of their torso is in contact with the ground or they need to use an arm or hand in contact with the ground to hold themselves up. In a war situation a fallen combatant may only try to escape, and may not fight from the ground. In a tournament bout a hold shall be called for a fallen combatant.

It is acceptable for an opponent to try to escape from a helpless situation only in war situations. They will be considered dead if, at any time during their attempt to regain their footing or their melee weapon, they are killed in the above manner.

Unarmed fighters in war scenarios may not necessarily be helpless, for example gauntleted spear grabbers, though if in doubt they should be treated as helpless.

Siege Engines and Their Crews

Seige engines and structures must not be struck with melee weapons. Anyone intentionally striking a siege engine or structure with a melee weapon will be removed from the field and may be subject to further sanctions.

Great care must be taken when approaching siege engines. Participants approaching them must be aware that they are machines with energetically moving parts and must approach them from a safe direction.

Combatants destroying siege engines shall do so by approaching the engine from a safe direction, placing a weapon on the engine's support structure or legs and declaring "this weapon is destroyed" in the manner of a declared kill from behind. This action must be done in a safe and deliberate manner and may not be carried out while the combatant destroying the engine is engaged with any other combatant.

Siege engines may be crewed by plumed combatants or heavy combatants. Siege engine crew must be individually engaged as appropriate per the procedures set out in Rules of engagement.

Siege weapons will kill any combatant in any scenario or battle by delivering a "good" blow with their projectiles to any legal target area.

Projectiles fired from siege weapons must strike appropriately oriented and unimpeded, but need not strike with force equivalent to a melee weapon to be considered a good blow.

If fighting occurs within 2 metres of an engine that is cocked or loaded, a hold shall be called and the engine shall be declared destroyed, made safe and removed from the combat area.

Siege engines whose crews are reduced beyond the minimum number required to operate the engine shall be considered destroyed. Remaining crew may join the combat with other weapons if appropriately armoured and authorised.

Siege engines that have been destroyed must be made safe and removed from the combat area.

Holds

A call of "Hold!" is a call for an immediate cessation of all activity on the field.

Holds may be called by anyone, including spectators, for any of the following reasons:

  1. Broken weapons *
  2. Broken armour*
  3. Broken people (i.e., injuries)
  4. Broken tempers
  5. Broken ground (i.e., hazardous terrain)
  6. Broken boundaries (i.e., someone/thing coming onto the field that should not be there or combatants leaving the bounds of combat)

Upon hearing the call of "Hold!" all participants must immediately:

  1. Stop all activity; and
  2. Repeat the call of "Hold!"; and
  3. Check whether they are in danger, or causing the danger; and
  4. Continue to call "Hold!" until all action ceases after which remain silent so the directions of marshals can be heard; and
  5. Remain in place, unless a marshal gives explicit directions to the contrary.
  6. All combatants must drop to one knee, if it is safe to do so, holding their weapons unthreateningly overhead.
  7. Missile combatants and siege engineers must unload and make safe their weapons.

Until "helms off" is called all non-marshals on the field must remain silent and listen for the commands of the marshals. The scenario in progress may not be discussed during holds.

Helms must remain on and all visors must remain closed unless the marshals have instructed that it is safe to remove them with a call of "helms off".

A hold, once called, can only be lifted by a marshal. The marshal will warn the combatants to prepare to continue by commanding "all rise", at which time all who are able to do so will stand back up and take up the positions that they held prior to the hold being called. Bows may be nocked, but not drawn, at a call of "all rise". All other missile weapons and siege engines must remain unloaded until "lay on!" is called.

If a "helms off" has been called after the hold, "helms on" must be called, and at the call of "ready?", all combatants must raise their weapon above their head to signify their readiness to continue. This must be visually checked by the marshals, and combatants, before "lay on!" can be called. At this point bows may be nocked, but NOT drawn. Any combatant who is not ready at this call should yell "Hold!".

Combat may only resume with the cry of "lay on!".

The end of battle will be signalled by a call of "hold!" followed by a a verbal signal from the marshal in charge that the battle has ended and a call of "Helms off".

Boundaries

Battlefield boundaries and terrain will be described to all participants before each battle or set of battles. Ideally they will be marked by physical boundaries made of natural terrain or of some clearly identifiable substance.

Individual combatants leaving the battlefield by going outside of the designated boundary during a scenario, either purposely or inadvertently, will be considered routed and may not re-enter the field.

Groups of combatants who have inadvertently "fought" their way outside a designated boundary, may be moved back onto the field of combat at the marshal's discretion.

In scenarios where no missile weapons are used, there must be at least 2 metres between the boundaries of the field and the spectators. In scenarios where missile weapons are used, the spectators should be placed far enough from the boundaries of combat that they will not be struck by errant missile fire, including deflected shots. Spectator safety is more important than their ability to see the action. It is the responsibility of the marshal in charge to ensure that safe boundaries and buffer zones are set to ensure the safety of spectators.

Managing Injuries

General Notes

The first priorities in the event of an injury on the field are accessing and assisting the injured party, and ensuring the safety of the remaining participants on the field. All other considerations, including the continuation of combat, are secondary to these.

All injuries must be reported as per the injury reporting procedures set out in Reporting injuries.

It should always be remembered that, when an injury occurs on the field, the primary concern is getting to and assisting the injured party. Secondary to this objective, but no less important, is the safety of persons entering the field to help and the well-being of anyone already on the field, e.g, fighters standing around in armour in the sun could be subject to heat problems.

In the event of an emergency, all participants on the field, including marshals, are required to cooperate with people responding to the emergency and keep the area clear of spectators.

In the event of any suspected injury on the field, the marshal shall halt all fighting in the area and determine the proper course of action. The hold may be a local hold as long as the safety of the injured person can be maintained. The overall situation should be assessed, and, as the injured party is tended to, every effort shall be made to release as much of the field as possible so that combat may proceed.

If the injured person is conscious, they may be asked if they would like assistance. No conscious person will be forced to accept treatment without consent. No non-combatant shall enter the combat area until summoned by a marshal.

A marshal shall call for assistance if they suspect that a participant is experiencing more than momentary distress. It is an extremely serious matter to delay the application of first aid when it is needed, and marshals who ignore injuries may be subject to revocation of their authorisation to supervise combat-related activities.

Reporting Injuries

Injury reporting is not a grievance or disciplinary process. The sole reason for injury reporting is to provide accurate information on the nature and circumstances of injuries occurring during combat-related activities.

Reporting of injuries is not optional; any injury, irrespective of severity, must be reported in accordance with this process if it:

  1. requires a combatant to retire from the field, even temporarily; or
  2. requires a combatant to take a break from fighting to heal; or
  3. involves an experimental weapon; or
  4. involves a noncombatant on the field; or
  5. involves a spectator or bystander.

If it is thought the events leading up to an injury merit investigation or disciplinary proceedings against any party, the incident should be reported separately through the appropriate channels.

Notification of any incident requiring off-site medical treatment must be made verbally, by telephone or in person, to the Kingdom Earl Marshal or their appointed deputy as soon as is practically possible. A complete written report of the incident must be supplied to the Kingdom Earl Marshal as soon as practically possible and no later than 72 hours after the close of the event.

At a minimum injury reports must state:

  1. The name of the injured party.
  2. The nature and severity of the injury.
  3. The actions taken in response to the injury at the time.
  4. Whether the injury involved concussion/suspected concussion, or loss of consciousness.
  5. Any relevant weapons involved, including details of their construction, age, condition etc.
  6. worn by the injured party, its type, age, condition, etc.
  7. Whether equipment failure contributed to the injury, with details of the equipment and how it contributed.
  8. How long the injured party was/is expected to have to refrain from combat-related activities as a result.

The injury report form can be found in Appendix [chap:Forms][chap:Forms] and as a stand-alone file on the marshallate website.

The Use of Weapons and Shields

Weapons

Weapons may only be used in accordance with their design, i.e. spears may only be used for thrusting, axes for striking with the edge of the blade, etc.

Blows repeatedly blocked by a weapon in contact with a fighter's helm, body, or shield at the moment of impact may, at the Sovereign's or Marshal's discretion, be considered to have broken the blocking weapon. This will force a fighter to forfeit the fight, unless a secondary weapon is carried or the opponent chooses to allow the fighter to rearm with another weapon.

A shield or weapon may be used to displace, deflect, or immobilise an opponent's shield or weapon, so long as such use does not endanger the safety of the combatants. A shield or haft may be safely placed against the opponent's body to restrict their ability to strike or defend.

In a tournament combat bout, combatants may only use weapons they have brought onto the field at the beginning of the round, but may freely change between those weapons. An exception shall be made to this rule for combatants whose weapons physically break in the course of a bout. In such circumstances the combatant may rearm with the same type of weapon to complete the bout.

Thrusting weapons

Only weapons approved for thrusting may be used for that purpose. Feinting as if to thrust with a weapon not approved for that purpose is prohibited.

Thrusting with any weapon in the direction of travel while running is prohibited.

Bracing thrusting weapons against the ground or other immovable objects is prohibited. Cupping the butt of a thrusting weapon in the palm of the hand is also prohibited.

Before any tournament bout in which a thrusting weapon is going to be used the opponent and marshals shall be informed that such a weapon is on the field, and the thrusting tip shall be shown to the opponent.

Missile Weapons

Combat archers may carry a backup weapon but must not draw it until their bow has been safely discarded by being removed from the field, placed in a clearly visible position in a low-traffic area, or handed to another combatant. It is permissible to ask a 'dead' combat archer to hold a discarded bow.

Bows held by another combatant may be used by the combat archer again in the scenario without reinspection provided they have not been dropped, struck, etc.

Combat archers entering combat with melee weapons are subject to the normal armour requirements for such combat, in particular they must have appropriate hand armour as per Hand armour.

Shields

Shields must have a grip held in the hand. They may also be strapped to the arm, but shields that do not have a grip in the hand are to be considered assumed armour, and good blows falling on them must be taken.

Pavises may be placed on the field prior to the start of a scenario.

To prevent confusion with heavy combatants, it is prohibited for plumed participants to carry shields or pavises in mixed scenarios.

Heavy archers may carry and place pavises but must not span or fire their weapon, or carry a loaded or cocked weapon while doing so.

In scenarios containing only plumed participants, plumed combatants may carry a light buckler up to 250mm in diameter, or equivalent surface area, for warding off missiles.

Siege Engine Operation

Direct fire siege engines must not be discharged when they are closer than 10 metres to their target.

Anyone operating a siege engine in combat will be armored in accordance with the requirements set out in Armour requirements.

Siege engine crews shall be made up of members who are authorized in siege and are familiar with the engine that they are operating.

Siege engine crews shall inspect their engine for wear, stress, and fatigue before each battle and, if possible, during holds.

During holds, siege engine crews may not cock, load, move, or in any other way make their engine ready.

Siege engine crews shall immediately secure their engine should it become unsafe. They will remove the engine from the field at their earliest opportunity.

Siege engine crews are responsible for the safe operation of their engine during combat. They are to make sure that crew members are clear of moving parts and that non-crew personnel are not directly in front of the engine and not within 1.5 metres of the travel path of moving parts before discharging their weapon.

Siege engine crews are responsible for the safety and condition of their ammunition, and shall visually inspect each round for damage before it is fired. (Ammunition that has been inspected prior to the battle does not need to be re-inspected before it is fired, but any ammunition that has been retrieved from the field must be re-inspected. Engines will not fire ammunition that is not designed for their weapon.

It is recommended that siege engine crews give verbal commands for each phase of engine operation.

Target Areas and Acknowledgement of Blows

Judging Blows

Judging the effects of blows is left to the honour of the combatant being struck by the weapon, unless they relinquish this responsibility, with the exception of clear violations of the Rules of the Lists or the Conventions of Combat.

Effectiveness of a blow may not be judged by the opposing combatant, the marshal, or other observers. Information unavailable to the combatant being struck may be supplied by the opposing combatant or the marshal, including blade orientation upon impact, apparent force transmitted, or apparent location and angle of the blow's impact based upon the observer's angle of observation.

Target Areas

The following target areas apply to all SCA armoured combat:

Torso:
All of the body (excluding the head and arms) above the points of the hips, the groin, shoulder blades and the area between the neck and the shoulders will be considered part of the torso.
Face:
The area between the chin and the middle of the forehead and between the ear openings.
Head:
The whole head and neck except the face as defined above.
Thighs:
The leg from 26mm (1 inch) above the top of the knee to a line even with the bottom of the hip socket.
Hips:
Area between the bottom of the hip socket to the point of the hip (iliac crest).
Shoulder:
From the point of the shoulder down to a line even with the top of the underarm.
Arms:
From the shoulder to 26mm (1 inch) above the wrist joint.

Blows that land outside the legal target area shall not be counted unless an illegal target area has been intentionally placed in the path of an impending blow.

Combatants may not intentionally strike areas outside the legal target areas. It is recognised that missile combatants may inadvertently strike outside target areas because of the nature of the weapon used.

Illegal Target Areas (shaded)

Presumed Armour

When judging the effect of blows, all combatants are presumed to be fully armoured. Subject to the conditions set out in Acknowledgement of blows, special tournaments or combat may be held that redefine which areas of the body are armoured, and to what extent, so long as all the participants are made aware of the special conditions prior to the start of combat.

All "fully armoured" combatants are presumed to be wearing a hauberk over a padded gambeson, with boiled leather arm and leg defences, and an open faced iron helm with a nasal. The helm is presumed to include a very light chain mail drape, permitting vision and resisting cuts by the mere touch of a bladed weapon.

  1. Areas deemed illegal for attack --- the wrists from 26mm (1 inch) above the hands, and the legs below 26mm (1 inch) above the knees --- shall be considered safe from all attack.
  2. A good blow from a missile is considered to puncture all presumed armour.
Assumed Head/Face Armour
Front
Side

Effects of Blow

Blows must be delivered with effective technique for the particular type of weapon used, and must strike properly oriented and with sufficient force, to be considered an effective, or good, blow.

The effect of a blow shall be dependent on the manner in which it strikes a combatant. The effects of blows to various areas of the body are as follows:

  1. Any effective blow to head, neck or torso shall be judged fatal or totally disabling, rendering the combatant incapable of further combat. Combatants are reminded that as per Target areas, the area between the neck and point of the shoulder is considered part of the torso and blows to this area are fatal.
  2. An effective swung blow to the face shall be considered fatal and shall be lighter than to other portions of the head or body.
  3. An effective thrust to the face shall be considered fatal. An effective thrust to the face is defined as directed touch; that is, contact with the face guard with movement of the weapon in the direction of the face.
  4. Thrusts to the face should not be significantly harder than a directed touch, and must be substantially lighter than to other parts of the body.
  5. An effective swung blow from an axe, mace, polearm, great sword or other mass weapon which lands on the hip above the hip socket, or strikes the shoulder inside the shoulder socket, shall be judged fatal or totally disabling.
  6. An effective swung blow from any other weapon which lands on the hip above the hip socket, or strikes the shoulder inside the shoulder socket shall be considered to have disabled the limb.
  7. An effective thrust to the hip or shoulder is not considered fatal, only disabling to the limb, regardless of the type of weapon delivering the blow.
  8. Any effective blow to the thigh will disable the leg.
  9. Any effective blow to the arm above the wrist will disable the arm.
  10. A blow from a siege missile to any legal target area, including the limbs, will be considered fatal.

If a wounded limb blocks an otherwise effective blow, that blow shall be counted as though the limb were not there.

A combatant is not required to stop a combination when an opponent is wounded. Thus, if a blow to the limb of a combatant is followed immediately by a killing blow to the same combatant, the killing blow will be counted as good.

A killing blow occurs instantaneously and therefore no new offensive action can be started. Blows begun prior to the killing blow may be completed. A killing blow started before receiving a killing blow is good and is known as a double kill. A blow started after receiving a killing blow should not be counted.

Kill/Wound Zones for Different Weapon Types
Single-handed sword kill / wound zones
Single-handed mass weapon kill / wound zones
Two-handed weapon kill / wound zones
Siege weapon kill zones
Kill
Wound
Illegal Target

Effects of missile weapons

A shield or pavise provides protection against all missile weapons except siege missiles such as rocks or cannon shot.

A siege missile that strikes a combatant or the shield or pavise sheltering them is considered to have killed that combatant.

If a siege missile strikes a free-standing pavise, the pavise shall be considered destroyed.

Hand-held weapons struck by siege-class munitions shall be considered destroyed.

Small-arms munitions fired from siege engines shall be treated as combat archery projectiles.

Siege munitions are considered spent upon striking a target, the ground, or a battlefield structure.

Pre-scenario rules may stipulate any changes to the effects of missile weapons provided those changes do not contravene the rules or materially compromise the safety of the participants.

Effects of Weapons on Target Areas
Target Area Single Hand Two Hand Mass Thrust Missile Siege
Face kill kill kill kill kill kill
Head kill kill kill kill kill kill
Torso kill kill kill kill kill kill
Shoulder wound kill kill wound wound kill
Hip wound kill kill wound wound kill
Arm wound wound wound wound wound kill
Thigh wound wound wound wound wound kill
Shield no effect no effect no effect no effect no effect kill
Hand no effect no effect no effect no effect no effect no effect
Lower leg no effect no effect no effect no effect no effect no effect
Weapon/shield no effect no effect no effect no effect no effect destroyed

Acknowledgement of blows

Changes to blow acknowledgement standards may be made on a per-combat, per-scenario, or per-tournament basis, but will revert to these standards thereafter.

Alternate acknowledgement standards may not alter the allowed target areas, nor shall they increase the basic force level for a good blow. All combatants must be informed of any changes to standard blow acknowledgement before they participate in the combat.

In a tournament, a combatant who is killed must fall down or otherwise unambiguously indicate their defeat.

In war scenarios, heavy combatants will fall to the ground immediately upon being killed, and remain prone, provided it is safe to do so. If it is not safe to do so, the combatant will loudly call out "good" or "dead" to make opponents aware, and then leave the field.

In war scenarios plumed participants will loudly call out "good" or "dead", and then immediately leave the field.

All "dead" archers should immediately leave the field to minimise the risk to archery equipment.

When leaving the field, combatants must hold their weapons or banners over their heads in a non-threatening posture.

All "dead" combatants will behave as such and shall not impart tactical information to "live" combatants.

Armoured participants leaving the field must remain fully armoured until completely clear of the combat area.

A combatant with a disabled leg must fight kneeling, sitting, or standing the one, uninjured, leg. If fighting from their knees, the combatant may still rise up and may still move. A combatant with two disabled legs may move, but only without rising up onto the knees, i.e. "waddling" where the combatant's bottom must remain on their heels.

A disabled arm shall be considered useless to the combatant, and may not be used for either offence or defence.

Arm substitution is not permitted, if a combatant's arm is struck they may not elect to lose the use of the other arm and continue using the arm which was struck. However, a combatant having taken a blow to the arm may continue to fight with their remaining uninjured arm.

Other Considerations

All fighters are expected to take into account the nature of the weapon being used by their opponent and the location of the point of impact of that weapon when judging the outcome of a blow delivered. A blow that strikes with sufficient force and proper orientation shall be considered effective, regardless of what it hits prior to striking the combatant.

A blow which lands after a "hold" is called need not be counted.

Fighters must have direct control over their weapons for blows struck with them to be counted. Blows struck with a weapon a fighter has lost control of, even momentarily, shall not be counted.

Engines of war and their crews

Siege engines and structures must not be struck with melee weapons. Anyone intentionally striking a siege engine or structure with a melee weapon will be removed from the field and may be subject to further sanctions.

Great care must be taken when approaching siege engines. Participants approaching them must be aware that they are machines with energetically moving parts and must approach them from a safe direction.

Siege engines may be crewed by plumed combatants or heavy combatants. Siege engine crew must be individually engaged as per the procedures set out in Rules of engagement.

Siege engine crews wishing to join melee combat must first make their engine safe and remove it from the combat area.

Engines of war will kill any combatant in any scenario or battle by delivering a "good" blow with their projectiles to any legal target area.

With the exception of small arms munitions launched from siege engines, siege projectiles striking a combatant's shield will kill that combatant. Small arms munitions are defined in Siege munitions.

Projectiles fired from siege weapons must strike appropriately oriented and unimpeded, but need not strike with force equivalent to a melee weapon to be considered a good blow.

Direct fire siege engines must not be discharged when they are closer than 10 metres to their target.

Combatants destroying siege engines shall do so by approaching the engine from a safe direction, placing a weapon on the engine's support structure or legs and declaring "this weapon is destroyed" in the manner of a declared kill from behind. This action must be done in a safe and deliberate manner and may not be carried out while the combatant destroying the engine is engaged with any other combatant.

If fighting occurs within 2 metres of an engine that is cocked or loaded, a hold shall be called and the engine shall be declared destroyed, made safe and removed from the combat area.

Siege engines whose crews are reduced beyond the minimum number required to operate the engine shall be considered destroyed. Remaining crew may join the combat with other weapons if appropriately armoured and authorised.

Siege engines that have been destroyed must be made safe and removed from the combat area.

Siege Projectile Damage

Blows from siege munitions will be judged fatal upon striking any legal target area. Additionally blows from siege munitions striking a combatant's shield will be judged fatal.

Any weapon hit by a siege munition will be judged destroyed.

Anyone intentionally blocking or deflecting siege munitions will be considered to have been struck by the projectile and killed.

Siege munitions are considered spent upon striking a target, the ground, or a battlefield structure. Siege munitions that strike a tree will not be considered spent until striking a target, the ground, or a battlefield structure.

Arrows may not be fired from siege engines.

Small siege munitions, as defined in section [sub:Small-Siege-Munitions] will also be capable of damaging or destroying light structures such as other siege engines and pavises.

Large siege munitions, in addition to all of the above, will also be capable of damaging or destroying any type of structure such as castle walls, towers, redoubts, etc.

Scenario rules may vary the number of hits required from siege muitions to destroy engines or other structures. Appendix [chap:Recommendations-for-Damage] contains suggestions on how this may be managed.

Armour Requirements

General Notes

Metric measurement is the legal system of measurement in Australia and New Zealand. Imperial measurements used in the Society Marshal's Handbook have been converted to metric units in this book.

Armour must be licensed where required by mundane law.

Armour shall be fastened in a way that prevents it from being dislodged during normal use.

Armour shall cover the areas that are required to be armoured throughout the normal range of movement.

All armour shall be free of sharp edges.

Appearance

All participants are reminded that the requirement to for attendees at SCA events to wear an attempt at pre-17th century clothing also applies to armour.

The wearing of armour and clothing that gives as period an appearance as possible is strongly encouraged. Special attention should be paid to appearance and the atmosphere of a medieval event should be maintained.

All participants must disguise, cover, or remove modern equipment, sport gear, and all branding unless the equipment is necessary for medical reasons and cannot be covered.

Responsibilities

Every participant is responsible for obtaining, and wearing in combat, armour which complies with the minimum standards set out in these rules for their role in any class of combat they participate in.

To reduce the risk of combat-related activities to an acceptable level, it is the responsibility of the individual to determine their requirements for additional armour above the minimum standards and to ensure such armour meets the appropriate standards as set out in these rules.

Prior to combat at each and every SCA event, every participant shall ensure that a rostered member of the kingdom marshallate inspects and approves any armour and weapons which that participant will use.

Even though amour and weapons have been inspected, all participants accept full responsibility for the condition and safety of their equipment.

Participants have an obligation to themselves, the marshals, and their opponents to ensure that their equipment meets all society and kingdom requirements.

Equipment Inspection

In Lochac, the purpose of inspection is to check for compliance with the Lochac rules and standards; responsibility and liability for safety of the equipment lies solely with the user.

To pass inspection, equipment must be in a condition that will allow it to remain compliant throughout the duration of the event. Any issues identified by the inspecting marshal should be queried with the participant using the equipment.

At each event, the Marshal in Charge must arrange for the inspection of all equipment to be used in combat, including but not limited to: armour, weapons, and siege engines and structures.

Equipment inspection must take place before combat starts. No combatant or armoured participant - including marshals in scenarios involving missile weapons - may participate without first having passed inspection.

Inspection does not absolve individual participants of responsibility for the condition of their equipment and its continuing compliance with the relevant rules.

Any participant discovered to have deliberately taken the field with equipment that has not passed inspection, or to have falsified inspection markings or statements, will be subject to serious sanctions.

Armour inspection must be done with all of the armour on the body of the fighter who is going to wear it and, if necessary, holding any weapon the armour is designed to interact with.

Failed inspections may only be appealed to the Marshal in Charge, followed by the Kingdom Earl Marshal (if present), then the Crown (if present). Once a weapon or equipment has failed inspection it may not be used unless passed by one of the aforementioned parties after following that process. It is prohibited for a participant to bypass this process and take a failed item to any other marshal in an attempt to have it passed.

Abuse of marshals is unacceptable and may lead to suspension or revocation of authorisation or other sanctions.

Summary of Areas to be Armoured

Areas of the body which must be armoured are:

  1. The head and neck, including the face, throat, and the cervical and first thoracic vertebrae*.
  2. The kidneys and floating ribs.
  3. The elbow joints.
  4. The hands and wrists.
  5. The groin.
  6. The knee joints.
  7. The feet.
Required Armour Coverage Areas
Front, Female
Front - Male
Side
Back

Head

General

During combat the head must be protected by a helmet constructed in compliance with these rules.

Helms, including the face guard, shall have sufficient coverage to protect the bones of the skull and face*.

Helms, including face guards shall be constructed of steel no less than 1.6mm thickness, or of equivalent material. Steel of less than 1.6mm is too thin, even if it is sold as "16 gauge".

1.3mm/18ga "light" helms may not be used by any combatants, whether plumed or non-plumed. They may only be used by marshals who remain on the field during war combat with missile weapons, in accordance with the requirements set out in Non-combatant armour requirements.

If a spun metal topspun metal top is to be used in the construction of the helm, it shall be spun from a minimum of 2.0mm steel*.

Alternative materials such as stainless steelstainless steel, brassbrass, bronzebronze or like materials are permissible as long as the material provides protection equivalent to 1.6mm thick steel.

Because mass is an important part of the protective qualities of a helm, titanium, fibreglass, or other materials may not be used in the construction of a helm if they render it lighter in weight than an equivalent helm constructed of 1.6mm steel1.6mm steel . Proof of construction technique, materials, and equivalency must be provided to the KEM for approval.

All joints or seams shall be constructed in one or a combination of the following ways:

  1. Welded on the inside and outside.
  2. Welded with a single bead that extends through both surfaces.
  3. Lap joints welded or brazedbrazed at the edges of both pieces.
  4. Riveted with iron or steel rivets, no more than 63.5mm (2½ inches) apart, or with equivalent riveting techniques. Screw and/or pop type rivets, along with other light-weight rivets, are not to be used.

There shall be no major projections on the inside of the helm.

Minor projections of necessary structural components are permitted, but must be padded.

All parts of the helm that might come into contact with the wearer's head shall be paddedpadded with a minimum of 12.7mm (½ inch) of resilient materialresilient material, or shall be suspendedsuspended in such a way as to prevent injurious contact with the wearer. Similarly, parts of the helm, which might come in contact with the wearer's neck or body, should be padded.

All helms shall be equipped with a chin strapchin strap or other means of preventing the helm from being dislodged during combat. An equivalent might be, for example, a strap from the helm to breast plate or a chin cupchin cup suspension system. A "snug fit" is not an equivalent. The chin strap shall be a minimum 13mm in width and shall not be placed in a manner that could strangle the wearer.

Plumes

Plume Attachment to Helm

Helms worn by plumed participantsplumed participants must have a plume of a high-visibility colour extending at least 30cm vertically above the highest point of the helm. Plumes must have sufficient bulk through its entire height to be easily visible from all angles. Sticks, arrowsArrows, or other tall but thin objects are not acceptable. Plume attachment is shown in Plume attachment to helmet.

Heavy combatants and noncombatants must not wear any kind of plume during war combat.

The plume must be able to flex to close to 90° and return to its original position if struck or bent without becoming detached from the helm.

Plumes must be securely attached in such a way that there is minimal chance they will become detached in combat.

Plumes should attach to the rear or top of the helm.

Face Guards

The face guard must completely cover the face opening of the helm and extend at least 25.4mm (1 inch) below the bottom of the chin and jaw line when the head is held erect.

Face guards must be constructed in a manner which will prevent a 25.4mm (1 inch) dowel from contacting the wearer's face.

Where screening itself is not equivalent to 1.6mm steel it must be underlain by a legal plate or bar grille face guard that would conform to the requirements for a legal face guard were the screening to be removed. This rule shall apply both to permanently attached screening and removable screening.

Bars used in the face guard shall be steel of not less than 4.76mm (316 in) in diameter, or equivalent. If the gap between supporting cross-bars is less than 50.8mm (2 in), 3.18mm (⅛ in) diameter bars may be used.

All face guards must be attached and secured closed in such a way that there is minimal chance that they will become detached or come open in normal combat use.

Face guard bars or screening should not attach to the interior of the helm unless the design and workmanship is of a standard that provides strength and reisistance to blows equal to that of a face guard attached to the exterior of the helm and can be guaranteed not to be dislodged by an excessive blow.

In scenarios involving missile combat using arrows or bolts, all openings in the helm larger than 5mm across must be covered by well-secured screening.

In scenarios where wooden arrows or bolts are in use the areas of the face, ears, base of the skull and cervical spine must be covered by either well-secured screening or rigid materialrigid material underlain by a minimum of 6mm of resilient materialresilient material .

The screening must be one of:

  1. Perforated steelPerforated steel no less than 1.6mm thick. Perforations will be no more than 5 mm, with less than 50% open surface area. See Archery screening examples .
  2. Stout woven steel meshsteel mesh of minimum 1.6mm wire with openings of no more than 5mm. See Archery screening examples .
  3. Crimsafe brand security mesh*.
  4. With the exception of "crimsafe" noted above, window screen or galvanised hardware cloth is unacceptable for use as screening.

All screening must be attached and secured in such a way that there is minimal chance that it will become detached in normal combat use.

Archery Screening Examples
Perforated Plate, 4mm Holes, 50 Open Area (1:1)
Perforated Plate, 5mm Holes, 50 Open Area (1:1)
1.6mm Wire Mesh, 5mm Spacing, 57 Open Area (1:1)

Eyewear

The lenses of all eyewear must be shatterproof industrial safety glass or plastic.

Ordinary glass lenses are prohibited.

For those who require corrective eyewearcorrective eyewear, the wearing of contact lenses or "sports glasses" is strongly recommended.

Neck

During typical combat situations including turning the head, lifting the chin etc, the neck, including the larynx, cervical vertebrae, and first thoracic vertebra must be covered by one or a combination of:

  1. The helm; or
  2. A gorget of rigid material padded with a minimum of 6mm of resilient material; or
  3. A mail or heavy leather camail or aventail that hangs or drapes to absorb the force of a blow. If the camail or aventail lays against the larynx, cervical vertebrae, or first thoracic vertebra or can be pushed into contact with those areas by a blow from a weapon, that section must be padded with a minimum of 6mm of resilient material.
  4. A collar of heavy leather lined with a minimum of 6mm of resilient material.

Groin

Male combatants must have their groin covered by a minimum of a rigid athletic box (eg. a karate or cricket box), worn in a supporter or fighting garment designed to hold the box in place, or equivalent armour.

Female combatants must have their pubic bone area covered by a minimum of 12mm of resilient material, heavy leather, or equivalent armour. Commercially available female groin protection is considered equivalent, eg. female martial arts groin guard.

The wearing of groin protection designed for the opposite sex is prohibited.

Body

The kidney area and floating ribs shall be covered by a minimum of heavy leather worn over 6mm of closed cell foam or equivalent padding.

It is highly recommended, but not required, that women wear breast protection of rigid material.

If breast protection is worn, separate floating breast cups are prohibited unless they are connected by an interconnecting rigid piece such as a heavy leather or metal breastplate.

Arm

The elbow, including the point and both sides of the elbow joint must be covered by rigid materialrigid material underlain by at least 6.35mm (¼ inch) of resilient material or equivalent padding. This armour shall be attached in such a way that the elbow remains covered during combat.

Elbow protection must be worn on both arms, regardless of whether a shield is also used. A shield alone is not sufficient.

Hand

1. The outer surfaces of the hand and wrist including the wrist, fingers and thumb, the back and sides of the hand, and the inner points of the wrist bones of both arms* must be protected by one or a combination of the following:
  1. A rigid basket or cup hilt with sufficient coverage to prevent a blow from striking the fingers or the back of the hand. If a basket or cup hilt, shield basket, or centre-grip shield is used, a vambrace and/or half gauntlet shall cover the remaining exposed portions of the hand and wrist.
  2. A gauntlet of rigid materialrigid material, either:
    1. lined with 6mm of resilient materialresilient material or equivalent padding, or;
    2. designed to transfer potentially injurious impact to the surfaces being grasped.
  3. A gauntlet of heavy leather lined with 12mm of resilient material or or equivalent*.
  4. A shield with a shield basket or equivalent. A shield alone is not sufficient, since it covers only the back of the hand but not the wrist, fingers or thumb.

While operating archery or siege equipment, combat archers and siege engineers may use as a minimum hand protection half gauntlets made of rigid material, lined with 6mm (¼ inch) of resilient material, or equivalent.

Leg

The knee, including the knee cap, the areas 26mm (1 inch) above and below the kneecap, and both sides of the knee joint must be covered by rigid materialrigid material lined with at least 6.35mm (¼ inch) of resilient materialresilient material or equivalent. This armour shall be attached in such a way that the knee remains covered during combat.

A minimum of heavy padding over the thighs is strongly recommended, but not required.

Footwear

All participants, including combatants and non-combatants such as marshals, must wear sturdy footwear which provides adequate protection and support of the foot and ankle for the terrain and activity of combat.

Period-style footwear is strongly encouraged.

Footwear with soles that provide good traction is strongly recommended.

The wearing of footwear equipped with cleats, spikes, hobnails or studs is prohibited.

Shields

Shields shall be edged with leather, padding or other covering, or constructed in such a way as to minimize damage to rattan weapons or other fighters.

No bolts, wires or other objects may project more than 9mm (3/8 inch) from any part of a shield without being padded. Rounded shield bosses are not considered to be projections.

Nails may not be used in shield construction unless they are peened or clenched as per Acceptable use of nails in shield construction.

Acceptable use of nails in shield construction
Acceptable: Nail is peened to a smooth dome over a washer.
Unacceptable: Nail is badly peened with exposed edges
Acceptable: Nail is bent twice at 90° and the point is hammered back into the shield.
Unacceptable: Nail is only bent 90° once, point is exposed.

Noncombatant Armour Requirements

General Notes

During war combat with missile weapons and war combat with arrows noncombatants who remain on the field, such as marshals, must be armoured in accordance with the standards set out in this section.

This section only contains exceptions from the combatant armour requirements above. The areas required to be armoured are the same as for combatants as set out in section Summary of areas, any areas not specifically mentioned here must be armoured in accordance with the requirements for combatants.

Banner-bearers are not considered noncombatants, and must be armoured as combatants.

Head

During war combat with missile weapons, noncombatants who remain on the field, such as marshals, must wear a helm. Additionally, during war combat with arrows the helm must be equipped with screening as set out in section Face guards .

Helms worn by noncombatants must be constructed according to the standards set out above, with the sole exceptions that they may be constructed from 1.3mm (18ga) steel and have fewer bars underlying permanently attached screening.

Helms constructed of 1.3mm steel must be clearly and permanently marked as marshals helms with a large yellow cross on the rear of the helm. No other helms may carry such marking.

Helms constructed of 1.3mm steel may not be used for any combat-related activity other than marshalling. Use of such helms by combatants may result in serious sanction, including loss of authorisation.

Arm

The elbow, including the point and both sides of the elbow joint must be covered by at least 6mm of resilient materialresilient material or equivalent padding, attached in such a way that the elbow remains covered during combat.

Noncombatants may not carry shields.

Hand

Noncombatant participants do not require hand armour.

Body

The kidney area and floating ribs shall be covered by a minimum of 6mm of closed cell foam or equivalent padding.

Leg

The knee, including the knee cap, the areas 25mm above and below the kneecap, and both sides of the knee joint must be covered by at least 6mm of resilient material or equivalent, attached in such a way that the knee remains covered during combat.

Melee Weapon Standards

General Notes

All combatants bear final responsibility for the condition and safety of their own equipment.

Weapons must be licensed if required by mundane law.

Shields are not considered weapons, and may not be used as such.

With the exception of the hilts, guards and pommels, no metal or non-approved rigid, granular, or liquid material may be used in the construction of single or two-handed weapons including spears.

Primary weapons used single-handed shall have a wrist strap, lanyard or equivalent restraint which will prevent the weapon becoming detatched from the user. Restraints must be no longer than 30cm. Restraints are not required on great weapons or spears used single-handed, or on single-handed back-up weapons less than 45 centimetres in length.

The edges and tips of all striking surfaces, including surfaces underneath thrusting tips and heads, shall be rounded.

No part of a weapon shall have sharp edges or protrusions with cross-section of less than 32mm (1¼ inch) in diameter.

All components of a weapon such as guards, pommels, thrusting tips and heads, etc, shall be firmly and securely affixed to the weapon haft.

No weapon may exceed 2.73kg (6 lbs) in total mass.

No weapon may have a cutting and/or smashing head at both ends.

Weapons shorter than 122 cm or longer than 2.3 m may not have a thrusting tip at both ends.

The use of flails and quarterstaves for combat in the SCA is expressly forbidden.

Nails may not be used anywhere in the construction of any weapon. They may be used in shield construction in accordance with Shields.

Thrusting weapons must have their blade and thrusting tip axis more parallel than perpendicular to the grip. Weapons such as push daggers and thrusting bucklers are prohibited.

Shovel/spade handles and T-bar grips are prohibited on all weapons.

On weapons with a built-up striking head such as hammers and axes, the head must be separated from the top of the hand by at least 30cm of haft*.

Weapon heads may not be constructed solely of rigid materials and must provide at least 13 mm of progressive give between the striking surface and any underlying rigid material.

It must not be possible to force any part of the weapon which may reasonably be expected to contact an opponent during combat more than 12.7mm (½ inch) into a legal face guard. Rattan weapons may have a handle section which is less than 32mm (1¼ inches) in diameter, so long as it meets this criterion.

The user of a weapon must be prepared to face that weapon if wielded by their opponent. Irrespective of compliance with construction standards, if the user is not willing to receive an unimpeded good blow from a weapon, it may not be used.

Rattan Weapons

General Notes

The hafts and blades of rattan weapons shall be not less than 32mm (1¼ inches) in total diameter, including tape, along the entire length of the weapon.

Rattan used in weapon construction shall not be treated in any way that will substantially reduce its flexibility, e.g., treated with wax, resin, fibreglass, etc.

All rattan striking surfaces including tips, rattan "clackers" etc, shall be wrapped with tape in a manner that shall prevent rattan splinters from protruding.

All cutting edges and thrusting tips shall be marked with contrasting tape.

Semi-rigid ultra-lightweight shaped foam heads, and heads using laminated or split rattan constructions do not require 13 mm of progressive give, so long as their construction imparts striking characteristics similar to an unpadded weapon constructed of a single piece of rattan.

Laminated rattan weapon heads shall be constructed of a piece of rattan attached to the weapon with a short overlap bound with tape or other suitable material. The overlap must be the shorter of 450mm, or half the length of the added piece of rattan. It is forbidden to use epoxies, glues or other adhesives that substantially reduce the flexibility of the rattan.

Split rattan weapon heads shall be constructed of rattan which has been split lengthwise and securely attached to the haft in such a way that the flexion of the split rattan provides give to the head of the weapon.

Single-handed Swords

Single-handed swords shall be constructed of rattan, or rattan-cored Siloflex or Siloflex equivalent, and shall be not less than 32mm (1¼ inches) total diameter (including tape) along its entire length excepting the handle.

Periodic inspection shall be made of rattan-cored Siloflex or Siloflex equivalent swords to determine the condition of the inner core.

Single-handed swords shall have a hand guard such as a basket hilt, quillions, or equivalent.

No single-handed sword may exceed 122 cm in total length.

Daggers are considered to be very short single-handed swords.

Single handed swords may be equipped with thrusting tips as defined in Low-profile thrusting tips.

Single-handed Mass Weapons

The total weight of a single-handed mass weapon shall not exceed 2.7kg (6 pounds)*.

The total length of a single-handed mass weapon shall not exceed 1.22m (48 inches).

Mass weapons may be equipped with thrusting tips as defined in Low-profile thrusting tips.

Two-handed Weapons

Two-handed weapons include two-handed swords, glaives, great-axes, and any other weapon that is designed to be used with two hands, excluding spears.

Two-handed weapons shall not be excessively flexible or whippy so as to impart an unfair advantage by bending and striking around blocks that would have prevented a blow from a rigid weapon.

Two-handed weapons may be equipped with low-profile thrusting tips, as defined in section [sub:High-profile-Thrusting-Tips], at one or both ends.

The total length of a two-handed weapon shall not exceed 2.28m (7½ feet).

Spears

Spears must have high-profile thrusting tips, as defined in High-profile thrusting tips, on at least one end. Spears between 122 cm and 2.3 m long may have a high-profile thrusting tip on each end.

Spears must not have a cutting or smashing head.

Counterweights, or any other addition which materially increase the weight of the spear, are prohibited.

Total spear length shall not exceed 3.65m (12 feet).

Mechanical devices that are used to guide or propel spears (known as sliders) are prohibited.

Polypropylene Weapons

Single handed weapons may be constructed from natural polypropylene round rod with a maximum diameter of 31.8mm (1¼ inches).

The finished diameter of the weapon, including tape must be no less than 32mm (1¼ inches).

All other properties of polypropylene weapons are the same as for their rattan counterparts.

Fibreglass Spears

Fibreglass spears may only be equipped with fibreglass spear thrusting tips, as defined in section Fibreglass spear thrusting tips, or 2 inch Mandrake rubber tips. If Mandrake tips are used they must be installed in accordance with the instructions.

Fibreglass spears may only be used as thrusting weapons and must not be equipped with cutting or smashing heads. Shield hooks are acceptable.

Pultruded fibreglass piping is the only permissable material for the construction of fibreglass spear shafts. No other material may be used.

Fiberglass spears shall be constructed with pultruded fiberglass shafts with an outside diameter of no less than 31.75mm (1¼ inches) and no greater than 33.38mm (1 5/16 inches). Minimum manufacturer-specified wall thickness shall be 3.2mm (18 inch) and the minimum measurable wall thickness shall be 2.38mm (332 inch).

The end of the shaft to which the thrusting tip is attached must be covered with a schedule-40 PVC cap. This cap must have an interior diameter equal to the outside diameter of the shaft (32mm or 1¼ inches). The thrusting tip will then be attached over this cap.

Counterweights, or any other addition that significantly increases the weight of the spear, are prohibited.

The butt end of the shaft shall be smooth and free of cracks or frayed fibres. The butt shall be taped over or otherwise sealed.

It is recommended, but not required, that the entire length of the shaft be taped, because prolonged exposure to sunlight will shorten the lifespan of the shaft. If a weapon is completely taped, a marshal may require one section be untaped enough to determine that pultruded fibreglass has been used in the construction of the shaft.

Total spear length shall not exceed 3.65m (12 feet).

Fibreglass spears must be clearly marked with their owner's name and group.

Mechanical devices that are used to guide or propel spears (known as sliders) are prohibited.

The shafts of fibreglass spears may contain up to two splices. Splices must be made according to the following standards:

  1. in length.
  2. Each end to be spliced shall be cut square and must be clean of cracks or frayed fibres.
  3. into each spliced end.
  4. One or both of these two methods shall secure the splice:
    1. Epoxying both ends of the fibreglass rod before insertion.
    2. Epoxying one end of the fibreglass rod before insertion, and thoroughly taping the splice over with fibre tape.
Weapon Construction summary
Weapon Minimum
Diameter
Maximum
Length
Maximum
Weight
Thrusting tip
Single-handed weapon 32mm 122cm 2.73kg 1-handed Low or High profile
Two-handed weapon 32mm 2.28m 2.73kg 2-handed Low or High profile
Thrown weapon 32mm Not specified 600g High profile
Rattan spear 32mm 3.658m 2.73kg High profile
Fibreglass spear 32mm 3.658m 2.73kg Fibreglass spear or
2" Mandrake

Thrusting Tips

General Notes

See Thrusting tip construction for a summary of thrusting tip requirements.

The progressive give of a thrusting tip must be across the entire face of the tip. Pressing with the thumb into the centre of the thrusting tip is not an adequate test.

The entire thrusting tip must be a contrasting colour to the non-striking surfaces of the weapon. They may be the same colour as other striking surfaces.

Low-profile Thrusting Tips

Low Profile Thrusting Tip Construction
Single-handed Weapons (1:1)
Two-handed Weapons (1:1)

Low-profile thrusting tips must be at least the same diameter as the haft they are mounted on.

Low-profile thrusting tips on single-handed weapons must be constructed of at least 19.1 mm (34 inch) of resilient materialresilient material. They shall provide at least 9.53 mm (38 inch) of progressive give across the face of the thrusting tip without allowing contact with the rigid tip of the weapon.

Low-profile thrusting tips on two handed weapons 2.28 m (7½ ft) or less in length must be constructed of at least 38.1 mm (1½ inches) of resilient material in front of the rigid tip of the weapon. They shall provide at least 18 mm of progressive give across the face of the thrusting tip without allowing contact with the rigid tip of the weapon.

Low-profile thrusting tips may not be mounted on weapons greater than 2.28 m (7½ ft) in length.

High-profile Thrusting Tips

High-profile Thrusting Tip Construction (1:1)

High-profile thrusting tips may be mounted on single-handed or two-handed weapons.

Where thrusting tips are used on weapons greater than 2.28 m (7½ ft) in length they must be high-profile thrusting tips.

High-profile thrusting tips shall be no less than 50.8mm (2 inches) in diameter or cross section.

High-profile thrusting tips must have at least 50.8mm (2 inches) of resilient materialresilient material in front of the weapon tip and shall provide at least 20mm of progressively resistant "give" under pressure without allowing contact with the rigid tip of the weapon.

Rubberised towball covers of at least 46mm diameter are acceptable in the construction of high-profile thrusting tips, provided that they conform to society rules for progressive give and ability to thrust into a legal face guard.*. Rubberised towball covers of a lesser diameter must be enlarged to conform to Society standards.

Fibreglass Spear Thrusting Tips

Fibreglass Spear Thrusting Tip Construction (1:2)

Fibreglass spear thrusting tips shall be no less than 76.2mm (3 inches) in diameter or cross section.

Fibreglass spear thrusting tips must be constructed so that there is a minimum of 76.2mm (3 inches) of resilient materialresilient material in front of the end cap, and shall provide at least 30mm of progressively resistant "give" under pressure without allowing contact with the PVC endcap.

Commercially produced "Mandrake style" 2" rubber tips (black and red) may be used on fiberglass spears up to 274cm (9') in length. They must be attached exactly as per the instructions accompanying the tip, and all included foam discs must be used as directed in the instructions. They may not be taped or attached in such a way that the mechanical properties of the tip are altered significantly.

Thrusting Tip Construction Summary
Type Diameter Thickness
Low-profile (1-hand) Same as haft 19.1mm 9.5mm Single-handed weapons
Low-profile (2-hand) Same as haft 38.1mm 18mm Two-handed weapons under 2.28m long
High-profile 50.8mm 50.8mm 20mm Any rattan weapon
Towball cover 46mm 32mm 20mm Any rattan weapon
Fibreglass spear 76.2 76.2 30mm Fibreglass spear

Throwing Weapon Standards

General Information

Throwing weapons may be used hand-held for striking and may also be thrown in scenarios where thrown weapons are allowed. Examples include thrust-and-throw javelins, axes, and knives.

Hand-held mechanically launched missile weapons such as hand-held staff slings and spear/dart throwers are prohibited.

Weapons used hand-held for striking as well as throwing must be constructed according to the requirements for that style of melee weapon and the requirements set out in this section.

The total mass of throwing weapons may not exceed 600g.

Shafts shall be constructed of either:

  1. rattan not less than 32mm (1¼inches) diameter along its entire length; or
  2. two layers of Siloflex or equivalent. The outer layer shall be 25.4mm (1 inch) inner diameter Siloflex ( 32mm (114 inch ) OD) and the inner layer shall be 19.1mm (34 inch) inner diameter Siloflex.

If Siloflex is used, both ends of the shaft shall be covered with either a schedule-40 PVC cap with an interior diameter the same as the outside diameter of the shaft (32mm (114 inch)), or with a rubber stopper or equivalent means to prevent the tubing from penetrating the thrusting tip(s), fastened securely in place by tape and/or glue.

Throwing axe handles may not not exceed 450mm in length.

High-profile thrusting tips meeting the specifications in High-profile thrusting tip shall be used on any tip that can be reasonably assumed to contact a fighter when the weapon is used or thrown.

Throwing weapons with a thrusting tip on only one end shall be constructed so that when thrown they will always strike with that tip. If necessary, fins, fletchings, streamers, etc. shall be used to prevent the weapon from turning and striking with any other tip. The fins must be constructed of a non-rigid material, such as closed-cell foam or un-hardened leather.

If the weapon has a head, it shall not be constructed of solely rigid materials. The head shall be firmly and securely attached to the haft or handle. The head shall allow at least 13mm of progressive give between the striking surface and the weapon haft or handle.

Throwing weapons must have the owner's name, kingdom, and group clearly and legibly printed on it in English characters for identification.

Throwing weapons may be picked up, field-inspected for damage, and re-used by any appropriately authorised combatant on the field.

Missile Weapon Standards

General Rules

All combatants bear final responsibility for the condition and safety of their own equipment.

Weapons must be licensed if required by mundane law.

No metal or unapproved rigid plastic may be used on any striking surface of a weapon.

No weapon may use the combustion of flammable materials as an energy source.

No weapon may use compressed gas as an energy source.

All projectiles must have the owner's name, kingdom, and group clearly and legibly printed on it in English characters for identification.

Missiles must not contain any material which could enter a combatant's eyes if the missile breaks open e.g. beans, sand, etc.

No weapon may be thrown or discharged at targets within 5 metres.

It is forbidden to discharge any missile from a missile weapon other than those types of missiles which have been approved for use in that type of weapon. Doing so may be considered grounds for removing the combatant from the field. The combatant may be subject to further disciplinary action.

Bows

Combat archers may use any recurve or long bow that is in a safe and usable condition, so long as the bow does not exceed 30 pounds draw weight at 28 inches of draw.

Compound bows and compound crossbows are not permitted.

The draw weight of combat bows is to be measured with a maximum legal length combat arrow nocked and drawn to the point where the back of the blunt becomes level with the bow riser.

Combat archers may use a crossbow provided that it is in a safe and usable condition and does not exceed 600 inch-pounds in power.

The possession and/or use of crossbows is illegal in some jurisdictions. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that their weapons are legal*.

The power of a crossbow is determined by multiplying the length of the power stroke in inches by the draw weight in pounds at the locked position on the string. The draw weight is to be measured at the nut, ie. the string position when the crossbow is nocked. The power stroke is the distance from the string's rest position to the locked position.

Bows shall be inspected before use by a marshal who is knowledgeable regarding archery equipment and safety.

The use of bows and crossbows that have a period appearance is strongly encouraged.

It is forbidden to draw or use melee weapons while holding a bow or crossbow.

Siege Engines

Siege engines are weapons designed to deliver missiles larger than the already established small arms ammunition.

All engines must be free-standing and may not use an operator as part of their support structure. Operators will not be included in measuring the footprint of an engine.

All engines shall have a maximum range of 73 metres. This is especially important in direct-fire weapons, where range greater than this often results in safety concerns involving extreme minimum-range impact.

Direct-fire engines shall not be discharged against targets within a range of 10 metres.

Engines and their projectiles shall be inspected by a warranted Siege Marshal before being used at that event and after any modifications are made to the engine during the course of an event.

No engine will be discharged while any non-crew person is within 1.5 metres of the travel path of moving parts (e.g., a trebuchet will not be discharged while a fighter is standing anywhere in the path of the arm, front or back).

Engines must be equipped with a safety device sufficient to prevent accidental firing if they are to be relocated while cocked. Any engine without such a device shall only be relocated while un-cocked.

Except for man-powered trebuchets, all siege engines will be fitted with an appropriate mechanical trigger mechanism that shall be used for every shot.

Siege engines may not use compressed or ignited gasses or liquids or combusting materials of any kind to power projectiles.

Builders should attempt to visually and functionally recreate period siege engines. Engines shall be powered in a manner functionally consistent with their period counterparts. When period power methods are unsafe or not feasible, alternative sources of power may be used.

Engines shall be durable enough to survive the rigors of combat and, while they should not be struck with hand weapons, should withstand either being struck with a full-force blow or being run into by a combatant.

Engines must not have any bolts other projections able to penetrate more than 13mm into a legal face grille which may reasonably be expected to contact a person should they fall on, or run into, the engine. Any such projections must be covered with sufficient rigid material, a Tennis Ball, or a suitable rubber stopper, to prevent them from entering a legal face grill more than 13 mm. Triggers, release hooks, or other firing mechanism components, that would not normally be in a position that could cause injury should someone accidentally fall on the engine, are exempt from this.

All engines and ammunition must be clearly labeled with the name of owner, group, and kingdom, for the purpose of identification.

Siege Engine Categories

Siege engines are broken down into two categories:

  1. Type A engines shall be designed to deliver large ammunition to a range between 36 and 73 metres. Type A engines can use all approved ammunition classes. Type B engines shall be designed to deliver small siege munitions to a range between 36 and 73 metres.
  2. Type B engines may not use anything larger than small siege ammunition. For the purposes of administration, any device not designed to deliver these types of ammunition will not be considered a siege engine and unless acceptable for use as combat archery, shall not be usable.

Man-powered trebuchets will be considered Type B engines and must meet the requirements stated, with the exception that they shall not be required to have a mechanical release or cocking device. These engines may fire up to 2 small siege projectiles, or 2—8 small arms projectiles, per shot.

Type A engines shall:

  1. Have a minimum footprint of 1.6 m2.
  2. Be able to deliver a large siege missile at least 36 metres.
  3. Have a mechanical cocking device, such as a winch or windlass and trigger and may not be cocked by hand.
  4. Have a minimum crew of 3 people. Should crew size fall below minimum, the engine will not be operated.
  5. Be able to fire 1 large siege projectile, or up to 5 small siege projectiles, or 2-20 small arms projectiles, per shot.
  6. In Lochac, wooden combat arrows are considered small arms projectiles.

Type B engines shall:

  1. Have a minimum footprint of 1.1 m2.
  2. Be able to deliver a small siege missile at least 36 metres.
  3. Have a mechanical cocking device, such as a winch or windlass and trigger and may not be cocked by hand. Man powered trebuchets are exempt from this requirement.
  4. Have a minimum crew of 2 people. Should crew size fall below minimum, the engine will not be operated.
  5. Be able to fire 1 small siege projectile, or 2-4 small arms projectiles, per shot.

Siege Engine Materials

Any material approved for use in devices on the battlefield may be used in the construction of engines, provided that the materials are sufficient to ensure the safety of the engine.

For safety, the following materials have special requirements:

Turnbuckles and eye bolts:
When used in or attached to the source of power for an engine, these items shall have a rated breaking strain of 150% of the forces produced (e.g., if the cable attached to a turnbuckle will support 50 kg of tension, the turnbuckle will be rated at 75 kg rated breaking strain). Hardware store and home center hardware is often of low quality and rating, while aircraft or marine hardware is generally more appropriate.
Steel cable:
Metal ropes or cables may not be used as bowstrings or torsion coils in any type of engine.
Softwoods and non-laminated hardwoods:
When used as throwing arms or ballista arms must be secured with a minimum of a length of natural-fibre rope of at least 10mm diameter glued along the full length of the arm and wrapped with at least 6mm diameter natural-fibre rope. The wraps must be at least 50mm wide and spaced not more than 150mm apart. Irrespective of the minimum diameters specified, the rope reinforcement should be sufficient to prevent the arm from leaving the machine in the event that it breaks.

Missile Weapon Ammunition

Arrows and Bolts

New designs for materials for blunts, shafts, etc. must first be tested at kingdom level for safety and durability in consultation with the Lochac Earl Marshal and the Society Marshal.

Shafts must have a diameter no less than 7.5 mm and no greater than 8.5 mm.

Shafts must be made from one of the following woods:

  1. Port Orford Cedar/Lawson's Cypress
  2. Silver Ash
  3. Tasmanian Oak

Arrows constructed before July 1st 2012 with Ramin* shafts may continue to be used but after this date no new arrows may use this wood.

The maximum length for an arrow is 711mm (28 inches), measured from the bottom of the nock slot to where the blunt joins the shaft.

Arrows must be tipped with a mark II or III Riverhaven black rubber blunt affixed to the shaft.

The front end of the shaft must be flat, not pointed. Metal points, if any, must be removed prior to mounting the blunts.

The shaft of the arrow shall be spirally or longitudinally wrapped with fibreglass filament tape, totally covering the surface from the front of the fletching to the tip of the shaft. The taping must be in good condition without any sign of the fibres lifting from the shaft.

Blunts must be secured using a strip of good quality 13mm-wide electrical or fibre tape wound down around the sides of the blunt for at least 13mm, and then up onto the shaft of the arrow for 25mm as per Correct attachment of blunts. Blunts must be firmly secured to the shaft so that they cannot come off on impact or if the shaft is broken. To allow inspection of possible punch-through the face of the blunt must not be covered.

Arrows and bolts may only be used as missiles launched from a bow, crossbow or approved siege weapon. They may not be used as hand-held thrusting weapons. Such use will be considered grounds for removing a combatant from the field and may lead to further disciplinary action, including revocation of authorisation.

If an archer falls on their quiver, or spills arrows, the arrows must be inspected off the field under the supervision of a marshal prior to use.

If a bow or non-rigid quiver containing arrows or bolts is struck by missile fire the bow or missiles must be inspected off the field before being used again. If a rigid quiver is struck the arrows or bolts may be used without re-inspection.

Correct Attachment of Blunt to Shaft
Without tape (1:1)
With tape (1:1)

Ammunition Inspection

Arrows may be used only after inspection supervised by a marshal. Archers shall be responsible for re-checking the safety of their arrows at the time of use.

Arrows may not be picked up from the field and immediately re-used, they must be re-inspected off the field prior to re-use. In resurrection battles arrows may be collected by "dead" combatants returning to the resurrection point.

Missile combatants may not have both inspected and un-inspected missiles stored or carried together. If un-inspected and inspected missiles become mixed then the entire group of missiles shall be re-inspected under the supervision of a marshal prior to use.

Other thrown weapons and ammunition, including siege ammunition but excluding wooden-shafted combat arrows, may be field inspected and re-used.

Siege Munitions

All siege munitions must be colored with yellow tape in the following manner to denote them as siege munitions:

  1. Rocks, both 450 gram foam and 4-tennis-ball, must have at least 50% of their surface covered with yellow tape.
  2. Ballista bolts made with PE pipe that is not yellow in color must have their striking surfaces, and the first and last 30cm of the shaft, covered completely with yellow tape.

No siege engine ammunition may exceed 450 grams in weight.

Siege munitions may not be fired from small arms or thrown by hand.

Materials for Constructing Siege Munitions

Siege ammunition shall be constructed of the following materials:

  1. Open-cell or closed-cell foam.
  2. Tennis balls. Tennis balls may be punctured with a hole, not to exceed 1.5 mm in diameter, to relieve internal pressure.
  3. AS/NZS 4130 compliant, Series 1, 32mm outside diameter, SDR 11 polyethylene water pipe*, referred to in these rules as "32mm SDR 11 PE pipe".
  4. Cord.
  5. Duct and filament tape.
  6. 35mm film canisters or similar items to cap tubing.
  7. PVC reinforcement rings. Rings may not exceed 50 mm in length. Missile shafts may not be made from PVC.
  8. Leather.
  9. Canvas, cotton drill or similar non-plasticised fabric.

Large Siege Munitions

Large siege ammunition is intended to simulate large, heavy projectiles normally used as anti-structure missiles. These missiles are simulated with 450 gram "rocks" which must be constructed of fabric spheres filled with light-density foam and taped with filament and duct tape for protection and must be a minimum of 16 cm in diameter.

Small Siege Projectiles

Small siege ammunition is intended to simulate smaller, lighter projectiles used as light anti-structure and antipersonnel missiles (e.g., ballista javelins and 5kg stones as used in Perriers).

Standard small-siege munitions are:

  1. single tennis balls
  2. SDR 11 PE pipe bolts/javelins constructed in accordance with Ballista bolts.
  3. 4 tennis ball clusters secured with filament tape and duct tape or punctured and tied with cord.

Ballista Bolts

Ballista bolts must have a shaft made from SDR 11 PE pipe and be tipped with a striking tip of at least 65mm diameter with at least 75mm of resilient materialresilient material between the end of the shaft and the striking surface.

The striking tip end of the shaft must be capped with a minimum of 4mm thick heavy leather, a 35mm film canister, or equivalent shatterproof cap that will prevent the shaft penetrating into the striking tip material. This cap must be securely fastened with filament tape.

The striking tip must provide at least 25mm of progressive give across the face of the tip without allowing contact with the end of the shaft and must be securely fastened to the shaft with filament tape.

Half tennis balls may be attached to the foam tip to cover the striking surface as long as they are an integral part of the tip and there remains at least 25 mm of progressive give after the half tennis ball is attached.

Tennis balls alone are not legal for use as bolt tips.

The tail end of the bolt maybe reinforced with a short (5cm or under) piece of PVC pipe or other similar non- brittle, non-metallic, lightweight material. Such reinforcements must be permanently and securely attached.

Bolts must be stable in flight or have fletching made from flexible material to make them stable in flight.

Bolts must be at least 1.2 m in length and clearly marked with yellow tape as per Siege munitions.

Speciality Siege Projectiles

Specialty siege ammunition is intended to simulate ammunition other than rocks or bolts such as flaming oil pots, flaming javelins, or area effect weapons such as diseased animal corpses or the heads of decapitated messengers.

Area effects of any ammunition must be determined in the scenario rules; if not specified otherwise in the scenario no ammunition will have an area effect.

Specialty siege ammunition must conform to the weight and construction limitations of approved standard ammunition.

Siege Structures

Any fixed or mobile structure on the field from which combatants fight or which supports any participant during combat is considered a siege structure, irrespective of the actual scenario in play.

Siege structures must:

  1. Be able to support 366 kg per square metre of platform area.
  2. Be equipped with railings or walls at least 1 metre tall and sufficiently strong to prevent a 150kg fighter from falling if the platform is 1 metre or more from the ground.
  3. Battering rams and battering structures are permitted, but should be durable enough to withstand repeated impacts and light enough to be safe when carried or if dropped.
  4. Siege structures that have a platform must have a base with a width and depth equal to or greater than 80% of the platform height.
  5. The platform may not be larger than the base, and may not extend past the base footprint in any direction.
  6. Structures that have a platform height of over 2.7 metres from standing surface to ground may not have a platform that exceeds 75% of the base dimensions. For example, a tower that has a platform height of 3 metres must have a base that is no less than 2.4 metres in either direction.
  7. Siege structures may not be made from industrial scaffolding, as it is not designed for the applications in which SCA combat operates.

Marshals' Handbook

Introduction

Scope

This book covers those disciplines which interact on the war field so these rules apply only to the field of armoured combat, including combat archery, siege, and "heavy" tournament combat. This book does not cover fencing, equestrian, or target archery activities; they are covered in separate manuals.

Feedback

Feedback on any aspect of the book is welcome and can be sent to the Lochac Earl Marshal (marshal@lochac.sca.org)

Structure of the Marshallate

Outline

The Kingdom Earl Marshal has overall responsibility for the Lochac marshallate.

There are three hierarchies that go by the name "marshal": authorised marshals, marshals who are group officers, and marshals who have specific roles at events.

"Rostered marshal" is a general term for authorised Marshals and Senior Marshals who are current SCA members (subscribing members, not just event members). It doesn't include Auxiliary Marshals.

Types of authorised marshal:

  1. Auxiliary Marshal
  2. Marshal
  3. Senior Marshal

Marshals as officers:

  1. Group Marshals for local groups (Baronies, Shires, Cantons and Colleges).
  2. The deputies of the Earl Marshal (e.g. Kingdom Rapier or Equestrian Marshal)
  3. The Kingdom Earl Marshal

Marshals for Events:

  1. Field Marshals
  2. Marshal in Charge for a list or war field
  3. Marshal in Charge of an event

Ranks of authorised marshal

Summary of Roles

Marshallate roles
Rostered Marshals
Auxiliary Marshal Marshal Senior Marshal
Subscribing Membership required N Y Y
Inspect N Y Y
Field Marshal Y Y Y
Marshal in Charge (field) N Y Y
Marshal in Charge (event) N Y Y
Authorise fighters N N Y
Authorise Marshals N N Y

A Marshal or Senior Marshal whose Subscribing Membership has lapsed counts as an Auxiliary Marshal until their membership is renewed.

Auxiliary Marshal*

An auxiliary marshal is a person who knows the basics of observing combat and how to move around safely on the combat field. They are not expected to be able to operate independently as a marshal.*

If you are an authorised combatant you are automatically an Auxiliary Marshal as well (unless you are under 18). You can authorise as an Auxiliary Marshal without being a combatant; see: Authorisation of auxilliary marshals.

Auxiliary Marshal authorisations are separate for each type of combat (eg armoured combat, rapier, etc). For example, an armoured combat authorisation grants an Armoured Combat Auxiliary Marshal authorisation, but not a Rapier Auxiliary Marshal authorisation.

Auxiliary marshals are not Rostered Marshals

An auxiliary marshal may:

  1. Be a Field Marshal
  2. Inspect armour and weapons under the direct supervision of a Rostered Marshal.

An auxiliary marshal may not:

  1. Be Marshal in Charge of a field, or event
  2. Inspect armour and weapons (except under the supervision of a Rostered Marshal)
  3. Make rulings on equipment, revoke authorisations, or act in any marshallate capacity not specifically allowed in the rule above

Marshal

A Rostered Marshal may:

  1. Inspect armour and weapons
  2. Be Marshal in Charge (field or event)
  3. Be a Field Marshal

Senior Marshal

A Senior Marshal is a Rostered Marshal who may also:

  1. Authorise combatants and auxiliaries.
  2. Authorise marshals.
  3. Be Kingdom Earl Marshal.

Marshals as Officers

Local Group Marshal, or Knight Marshal

Baronies must have a Group Marshal as one of their officers, and Shires, Cantons and Colleges often do.

The term Knight Marshal can be used for the Group marshal of any official branch smaller than a kingdom, and whether or not the officer is a knight, or even an authorised fighter.

Group Marshals must be members.

Group Marshals do not have to be authorised Marshals, or authorised Fighters.

The Group Marshal is responsible for the administration of the marshallate in their group. They are not necessarily required to organise marshalling for any specific event (that is the responsibility of the Marshal in Charge for the event, who is appointed by the event steward).

Group marshals report to the Kingdom Earl Marshal. (see section: Chain of command and procedures for reporting).

The Group Marshal has a role in the chain of appeals, if they are a Rostered Marshal in that area (see section: Chain of Appeals at Events).

Deputy Marshal to the Earl Marshal

A deputy of the Earl Marshal who is responsible for a specific area of combat (e.g. Kingdom Rapier Marshal, or Kingdom Archery Marshal).

They are appointed by the Kingdom Earl Marshal for a two-year term, as described in Lochac Law.

A deputy marshal must be a Senior Marshal (or the equivalent for disciplines which do not have Senior Marshals) in the area for which they are responsible, and must be a member.

Kingdom Earl Marshal

The Kingdom Earl Marshal (KEM) is responsible for overseeing all combat-related activities in Lochac.

They are appointed by the Crown.

They must be a member.

They must be a Senior Marshal (or equivalent) in at least one of the following fields: armoured combat, rapier, equestrian.

The KEM must have deputies with responsibility for any combat-related activities for which they are not themselves a Senior Marshal. They may have warranted deputies for other areas (e.g. a KEM who is a Senior Marshal for both heavy and fencing may still choose to have deputies for one, or both, of those areas).

In addition to their warranted deputies, the Kingdom Earl Marshal may appoint other deputies, for various purposes as they see fit, e.g. running test programs, maintaining the combat handbook, or maintaining the marshallate website.

The Kingdom Earl Marshal must appoint a deputy within six months of assuming office, capable of assuming the office in case of emergency.

Marshals for Events

Roles

One person may fill several of the roles listed below. For example, it is common for the Marshal in Charge for the event, Marshal in Charge for a field of combat, and one of the Field Marshals to be the same person.

Field Marshals

Field Marshals:

  1. may not be combatants at the same time as they are marshalling
  2. are appointed by the Marshal in Charge of the field
  3. declare the beginning and end of a passage of combat
  4. report to the Marshal in Charge and/or the Earl Marshal as required
  5. must see that the results of combat are carried to the list-keeper.

Marshal in Charge of a field of combat (any area where combat is taking place)

For every area where combat is taking place, there must be a Marshal in Charge for that field who has overall responsibility for that combat.

The Marshal in Charge of a field may be a different person for different bouts or scenarios in the same tournament or war.

The Marshal in Charge of a field:

  1. must be satisfied that there are sufficient Field Marshals
  2. must not participate as a combatant if the combat involves more than two people (e.g. melees and wars); in this case they must be on the field as a Field Marshal
  3. may participate as a combatant for one-on-one pick-up fighting or tournament lists

Marshal in Charge of an event

Different people can be Marshal in Charge for armoured combat, rapier, equestrian and archery at the same event: they are separate roles.

The Marshal in Charge of an event:

  1. must be a Rostered Marshal (in that area of combat)
  2. organises marshalling at the event, and must make sure there are sufficient marshals to oversee whatever combat takes place
  3. reports on all combat activities at the event, as required by the event steward, Knight Marshal, or Earl Marshal

Requirements to Act as a Marshal

  1. You must be at least 18
  2. You must be be an authorised marshal (and your authorisation must be current)
  3. To act as a Rostered Marshal you must also be a member. You don't need to be a current member to act as an Auxiliary marshal.
  4. You must show your authorisation card and proof of membership to the lists officer or Marshal in Charge if required.

Authorisation of Marshals

General Notes

Combatant authorisation procedures can be found in Combatant Authorisations.

The Earl Marshal may, at their discretion, allow alternative authorisation procedures if those described below would be impractical.

You must complete and send the authorisation form, signed by the authorising marshal(s) to the Kingdom Lists Officer. It is the candidate's responsibility to see that the Lists Officer receives the completed paperwork in a timely manner.

Renewing marshal authorisations

If your authorisation has expired in the last 4 weeks, your authorisation may be renewed rather than needing to be done as a new authorisation.

An Auxiliary Marshal authorisation is automatically renewed as part of a combat (re)authorisation (if held), unless the authorising marshal has a reason to withold it.

At the discretion of the marshal performing the renewal, recent marshal activity by the candidate (eg marshalling a tournament or war) may be counted as demonstrating marshalling ability; holding a separate bout or scenario purely for renewal purposes does not need to happen.

The authorising marshal must be satisfied that you are aware of any changes which have happened in the rules since your last authorisation or renewal.

The authorising marshal must not perform a "tick-box" authorisation; they must be take the time to check that you know the rules and can safely function as a marshal.

Authorising as an Auxiliary Marshal

Only a Senior Marshal can authorise an Auxiliary Marshal.

If you are authorised for armoured combat, you are automatically authorised as an auxiliary marshal (unless you are under 18).

Auxiliary Marshal authorisations are separate for each type of combat (eg armoured combat, rapier, etc).

You must show the authorising Senior Marshal that:

  1. You are familiar with:
    1. Rules of The Lists
    2. The Lochac armour and weapons standards
    3. Lochac Conventions of Combat
    4. The use of weapons and shields
    5. Target areas and acknowledgement of blows
  2. You can use the Lochac handbooks to find the details of Lochac armour and weapons standards, when you need them
  3. You can function safely on the field.

Authorising as a Marshal

Only a Senior Marshal can authorise a Marshal.

You must have been authorised as an Auxiliary Marshal in that field (e.g. Armoured Combat) before you are authorised as a Marshal.

You must show the authorising Senior Marshal that you:

  1. Understand the responsibilities of the role
  2. Have good working knowledge of, and willingness and confidence to enforce:
    1. the Rules of the Lists
    2. the Lochac rules and conventions of combat
    3. the Lochac armour and weapon standards
    4. the way disputes are dealt with by the Lochac Marshallate
    5. the injury-reporting procedures
  3. Can inspect armour and a variety of weapons. You should conduct an armour inspection, and weapons inspection of the major common weapon types, under the supervision of the authorising Senior Marshal and to their satisfaction.
  4. Can safely control SCA combat, whether it is single combat, team combat, general melee, or part of a war environment. The authorising marshal must have personally observed the you functioning as a marshal in a variety of situations.

Authorisation of Senior Marshals

It takes two Senior Marshals to authorise another Senior Marshal.

Only one senior marshal is required to renew an authorisation for another Senior Marshal.

You must have been authorised as a Marshal before you are authorised as a Senior Marshal.

You must show the authorising Senior Marshals that you have a thorough knowledge of, and willingness and confidence to enforce:

  1. the Rules of the Lists
  2. the Lochac rules and conventions of combat
  3. the Lochac armour and weapon standards
  4. the procedures for authorising combatants and marshals
  5. the way disputes are dealt with by the Lochac Marshallate
  6. the injury-reporting procedures

The authorising Senior Marshals must have personally observed you functioning as a marshal in a variety of situations.

The Kingdom Earl Marshal may, at their discretion, waive the requirement for the second Senior Marshal or may grant the authorisation themselves after conducting a thorough test of the candidate by phone*.

A new Senior marshal may not conduct authorisations until they have received their card from the lists officer (signed paperwork isn't enough) *.

Authorisation of Siege Marshals

It takes a Senior Marshal and a Siege Marshal, or a Senior Marshal who is themselves a Siege Marshal, to authorise another Siege Marshal.

You must have been authorised as a Marshal to be authorised as a Siege Marshal.

You must show the authorising Marshals that you know:

  1. The rules governing siege combat in Lochac. (You also need to be aware that different countries and states in Lochac have different real-world laws that affect SCA siege combat.)
  2. The different types of siege engine and ammunition (Ballista/Arbalest, Catapult/Onager, and Trebuchets both counterweight and man-powered)
  3. The inspection processes and hazards specific to each type of engine.
and show the ability to:
  1. Inspect different types of siege engine.
  2. Identify and inspect different types of siege ammunition.

A new Siege Marshal may not conduct authorisations until they have received their card from the lists officer (signed paperwork isn't enough) *.

Inspecting Equipment

General Notes

The standards which armour and weapons must meet are set out in Equipment inspection.

Multi-day events

At events where there is fighting on several days, equipment inspections may be conducted once and recorded for the rest of the event. Usually this is done by putting a sticker on a mandatory piece of equipment. The Marshal in Charge may organise another method for recording inspections.

The Marshal in Charge must notify all relevant marshals, combatants and lists officers of the marking or recording system before inspections. Ideally the system used should be announced before the event, as well as at the event itself.

It must be possible to tell which marshal carried out a given inspection, whatever the system used for recording it.

Everyone must make sure that their equipment continues to meet the armour and weapons standards throughout the event. If in doubt: get it inspected again.

For long events consider whether borderline equipment will still be in sufficiently good condition to pass an inspection at the end of the event.

Armour and Weapon inspection

Each combination of weapons and armour someone will use must be inspected.

If participant wants to use any item or equipment combination that was not checked at the time of their inspection, they must have that item and/or equipment inspected as appropriate (i.e. in combination with the rest of their armour and weapons) by a marshal prior to it being used.*.

Each time someone takes the field their equipment and weapons must be briefly inspected for missing items or obvious failure.

Equipment must be inspected again after repairs or modifications.

Siege Engine and Structure Inspection

Inspecting Siege Engines

Any event allowing siege engines for combat must have an engine inspection station. The inspection station must have a field with a firing line and range markers at 40 and 80 yards (36 and 73 metres) from the firing position.

Siege engine inspection has two parts, which are to be done before combat use: the Marshal inspects the engine and ammunition, and the crew demonstrates the engine in action.

The inspection procedures must include at least the following:

  1. Before any shots are fired the Marshal should check:
    1. That engine is constructed in accordance with the Lochac rules for siege engines
    2. The structural integrity of the components of the engine.
    3. That there are no bolts or other projections that could intrude more than 13mm into a legal face grill in positions where someone could fall on them.
    4. That the ammunition to be used in the engine complies with these rules.
  2. The crew should fire at least 4 shots with engine configured for the maximum power it will use on the field at that event. The inspecting marshal must check that:
    1. All 4 shots deliver the ammunition between 36 and 73 metres, at a firing angle of between 40 and 45 degrees elevation
    2. The path of the projectiles downrange is reasonably straight and stable, allowing for cross wind.
    3. There are no mechanical failures of any part of the engine or the ammunition
    4. The engine is stable during all phases of operation
    The crews of direct fire engines must be willing to receive a shot from their engine at minimum range, while in armor, should it be requested.
  3. After the demonstration, the Marshal should inspect the engine again, to check that it remains in good condition and compliant with these rules.

Inspecting Siege Structures

Siege structures must be inspected before being used at an event.

The inpecting Marshal should check structural integrity, stability, condition of hardware, and condition of any safety devices (barriers, walls, etc.). If possible, inspect seige structures with a maximum load of armored combatants on board. If the structure is designed to move, the movement should be demonstrated during the inspection.

Marshalling Combat

General Notes

When the term "war" is used in the Society Marshal's Handbook it refers to wars between kingdoms. Some material about negotiations between kingdoms has been omitted from these rules because it is so unlikely that we will have an inter-kingdom war in Lochac in the foreseeable future.

Aside from the enforcement of the rules and conventions of combat, there are three near-equal priorities in marshalling; safety, fair witness, and showmanship. Overemphasising any one at the expense of the others will tend to make the fighting less enjoyable for everyone. In other words, do not forget that you as marshal are part of the spectacle as the tournament and must act accordingly, but equally you are there to watch for hazards.

Before Combat

Inspect the field: The Marshal in Charge or the Marshal of the Field should inspect the field for hazards such as slippery ground, holes, snakes, etc. Reduce such hazards as far as possible before combat (move the field if you need to).

Brief the marshals: The marshals for a scenario or battle should be briefed separately from the combatants and before the meetings of all participants. Emphasis at this briefing should be on communicating the rules and scenario limits for each battle and on preventing accidents that could arise from hazards during the scenario such as terrain, weather and surrounding noncombatants.

Brief everyone: Gather all the participants, including marshals and combatants, and explain the format and limits for the tournament or scenario. Answer any questions. One briefing is enough for a series of similar scenarios; if they vary radically repeat this before each battle or tournament.

Alternative signals: Alternative means to signal "Hold" or "Lay On", such as whistles, air horns or other such devices, may be used in large battles. The alternative system must have been explained to all participants before the combat, and everyone must be able to hear it.

Number of Marshals Required

All combat at official events must be overseen by at least one Rostered Marshal.

There is no upper limit on the number of marshals who may be marshalling a combat, but care should be taken that when many marshals are present, they do not get in each other's way, or unnecessarily block the view for spectators.

It is the responsibility of the Marshal of the Field to ensure that there are enough marshals for the scenario.

For melee and war scenarios, the society marshals' handbook recommends a minimum of 3 marshals for the first 20 fighters, and one additional marshal for every 15 fighters.

Guideline for number of marshals required
Number of combatants 2-5 6-9 10-25 26-40 41-55 etc
Recommended number of marshals 1 2 3 4 5

Auxiliary Marshals can be used to make up the number of marshals (as long as there is a Marshal of the Field, and they are content that with the number of Rostered Marshals present).

Marshals should station themselves around the edges of the fight to allow control of boundaries while keeping as much of the fighting as possible in view.

In very large melees, it may be desirable to have some marshals in the middle of the field, in addition to those around the edge. If you are mid-field, be careful that you do not get so interested in the fight in front of you that you back into or forget to watch another bout moving around behind.

When missile weapons are being used, there should be marshals around the edges specifically watching the paths of missiles and making sure they are not coming close to the combat boundaries or spectators.

For a given bout or scenario you can either marshal or fight (or participate in another way), not both.

Holds

A call of "Hold!" is a call for an immediate cessation of all activity on the field.

Holds may be called by anyone, including spectators, for any of the following reasons:

  1. Broken weapons *
  2. Broken armour*
  3. Broken people (i.e., injuries)
  4. Broken tempers
  5. Broken ground (i.e., hazardous terrain)
  6. Broken boundaries (i.e., someone/thing coming onto the field that should not be there or combatants leaving the bounds of combat)

For more details about Holds, please see the section on Holds in the Fighter's Handbook.

Marshalling Siege Combat

When siege engines are being used there must be a Siege Marshal on the field to oversee them.

During combat, each end of the field that has a siege engine must have at least one Siege Marshal. It is recommended that there be a siege marshal for every 3 engines.

Non-combatant participants (which includes marshals) on the field during siege combat must be armoured to the standards for marshals overseeing war combat with arrows, set out in Non-combatant armour requirements.

Experimental Weapons and Materials Procedures

The Society Marshal's Handbook states the following:

"Before any unapproved weapon or material can be used at Society activities, a test plan and a sample of the proposed weapon or material must be submitted to and approved by the Society Marshal or a designated deputy."

In Lochac, the designated deputy shall be the Lochac Kingdom Earl Marshal or the warranted deputy marshal responsible for the discipline in which the test is being carried out.

Before any unapproved weapon, material or equipment can be used at events, a test plan must have been approved by the Kingdom Earl Marshal. The plan must include:

  1. specific details of the construction of the item being tested including relevant assembly instructions; and
  2. details of all of the participants who will be testing the item; and
  3. an outline of the testing procedure that will be used and the information that will be gathered; and
  4. the duration of the test; and
  5. restrictions that will be imposed on the test; and
  6. samples of the item being tested.

If it is impractical to send physical samples of the item, the Kingdom Earl Marshal may at their discretion accept detailed documentation, which must include photographs, sufficient for the KEM to understand and judge the nature and proposed application of the weapon, material or equipment to be tested.

Unless otherwise specified, physical samples sent for evaluation will be returned no later than the conclusion of the test period.

Items under test may be used at fighter practices, tourneys, and in small melees. A small melee is one where there are few enough combatants to gain their individual consent to use the experimental weapon/material without delaying the combat.

Before any combat where an experimental item is to be used, all combatants and marshals must be informed of the test and that the item is not approved for general SCA use. All combatants and marshals must consent to the use of the item before combat begins. If any marshal or combatant involved objects , the experimental item may not be used.

All items under test shall be marked with alternating bands of red and green tape totalling 15 cm in length. The markings must be visible during normal use. Participants in the test should bear the appearance of these markings in mind and give consideration to whether their appearance is appropriate to a given event.

The Kingdom Earl Marshal must update the Society Earl Marshal on the progress and results of any testing that has occurred in their quarterly report.

At the end of the test period, the Kingdom Earl Marshal will provide the Society Marshal with a test summary. This summary shall include a list of any injuries reslting from the use of the weapon, material or equipment and any concerns from fighters and marshals raised during the testing.

The Society Marshal, after consultation with the Earls Marshal, shall determine if the weapon, material or equipment is suitable for SCA combat-related activities.

Chain of Command and Procedures for Reporting

Marshallate Chain of Command

The general Chain of Command of the marshallate in Lochac is as follows:

  • The SCAA and SCANZ Committees
  • the Society Earl Marshal
  • the Crown of Lochac
  • the Kingdom Earl Marshal
  • warranted deputies of the Kingdom Earl Marshal
  • Knights Marshal of Baronies and Shires
  • Knights Marshal of subsidiary groups such as cantons and colleges
  • the Marshal in Charge of an event
  • the Marshal in Charge of the Field
  • Field Marshals.

As per Corpora, real-world law always takes precedence over all SCA laws.

Reporting and Authority Hierarchy of the Lochac Marshallate

Reporting Requirements

General

Reporting is an important function of the marshallate. The flow of information from individual marshals through group marshals to the Kingdom Earl Marshal, and ultimately to the Society Earl Marshal is what allows those officers to make informed decisions about the game.

Reporting of incidents as required by these procedures does not constitute formal escalation, and will not be accepted as such. Incidents can be entirely and satisfactorily resolved at a lower level of the marshallate, but must still be reported to the Kingdom Earl Marshal. If formal escalation of any incident is required it must be done in accordance with the procedures set out in Sanctions.

Failure to report as required may be grounds for actions such the removal of a group marshal, or the suspension of a marshal's marshallate authorisation.

Failure to report on injuries or disciplinary incidents may be grounds for revocation of authorisations or further sanctions.

Reports are to be submitted electronically.

Injury Reporting

Injury reporting procedures are set out in Managing Injuries.

Reporting Dates

Group marshals of stand-alone groups must report to the Kingdom Earl Marshal quarterly between the 1st and 15th of February, May, August and November.

Canton and college group marshals must report to the knight marshal of their parent group six-monthly between the 1st and 15th of April and October.

The dates on which officers, including marshals, shall report are set out in Lochac Kingdom Law. The laws of Lochac can be found on the Kingdom Seneschal's website at http://lochac.sca.org/laws/ . All marshals who are required to report on a regular basis should familiarise themselves with the schedule set out in those laws. In the event of discrepancies between Kingdom Law and this document, Kingdom Law takes precedence.

Marshal in Charge of an Event

Other than reports of revocation of authorisation per Revocation of authorisations or serious injury reports as outlined in Reporting injuries, reports should be supplied to the knight marshal of the group sponsoring the event within 30 days of the date of the event.

Reports must note any incidents where:

  1. Someone was injured (refer to Managing Injuries); or
  2. A fighter or marshal had to be disciplined; or
  3. Disputes occurred over understanding of rules, acceptability of equipment, or personal conduct which did not require disciplinary action.

In the event that an incident occurs, a brief report should be gathered from all involved, including other marshals on the field, chirurgeons etc.

These reports should be noted in writing and taken as soon as practical after the incident.

Knight Marshal of a Branch

Reports from Baronial or Shire Knights Marshal of groups who have subsidiary branches, including colleges and cantons should include a summary of the reports received from the Knight Marshal of the subsidiary group(s).

Reports should contain a brief summary of the state of fighting in the group and details of any incidents or injuries incurred at official events or practices.

In addition to the regular reports, Knights Marshal of groups must provide such additional reports as required by the Kingdom Earl Marshal.

Deputy Kingdom Earl Marshal

Warranted Deputies to the Kingdom Earl Marshal shall report to the Kingdom Earl Marshal quarterly.

Other Deputies to the Kingdom Earl Marshal shall provide reports as requested by the Kingdom Earl Marshal.

The reports of Deputy Kingdom Earl Marshals shall contain a summary of the state of the area of combat for which they are responsible, and details of any incidents, injuries or sanctions that occurred during the quarter.

Kingdom Earl Marshali

The Kingdom Earl Marshal must report to the Crown of Lochac, Lochac Kingdom Seneschal and the Society Earl Marshal quarterly as required by Kingdom Law. The laws of Lochac can be found on the Kingdom Seneschal's website at http://lochac.sca.org/laws/ .

The report of the Kingdom Earl Marshal shall contain:

  1. a summary of the state of all combat-related activities in the kingdom; and
  2. a summary of the current authorisations in the kingdom; and
  3. details of any sanctions and disciplinary actions with a span greater than a single event; and
  4. a summary of all injuries reported in that quarter; and
  5. a summary of all test programmes underway or completed in that quarter.

Sanctions and Appeals

Chain of Appeals at Events

Marshals may only accept appeals in those areas for which they are Rostered Marshals. In the event that a group knight marshal, for example, is not a Rostered Marshal, they may not hear an appeal; and an armoured combat marshal may not hear an appeal on a ruling from a rapier marshal.

Any individual wishing to appeal a marshal's ruling at an event for any reason must do so through the appropriate chain of appeals, beginning with the marshal immediately superior to the marshal who made the initial ruling.

The chain of appeals is as follows:

  1. The Marshal in Charge of the Field
  2. The Marshal in Charge of the event
  3. The Knight Marshal of the group in which the event is held (if appropriate)
  4. The Kingdom Earl Marshal
  5. The Crown
  6. The Society Earl Marshal

If any of those marshals are not at the event, the appeal may be made to the next marshal in the chain.

For rulings which apply only at the event, such as the compliance of weapons or armour, the chain of appeal ends with the highest-ranking marshal from the list above who is at the event.

Appeals on rulings which apply beyond the event at which they were made, such as revocation of authorisation, must be made directly to the Kingdom Earl Marshal.

Revocation of Authorisation

A marshal from any kingdom may revoke any authorisation card from any kingdom for just and stated cause.

If your authorisation has been revoked, you may appeal the sanction, but you must surrender your card and abide by the sanction until the appeals process is complete.

The chain of appeals for revocation of authorisation is as follows:

  1. the Kingdom Earl Marshal
  2. the Crown
  3. the Society Earl Marshal

Any marshal who revokes an authorisation must report this, in writing, to their superior officer and the Kingdom Earl Marshal as soon as possible.

Any marshal who revokes an authorisation without due cause may be subject to sanctions themselves.

The Kingdom Earl Marshal must notify the Society Earl Marshal of any revocation of authorisations.

Breaches of real-world law must be referred immediately to the appropriate authorities, in addition to any steps taken by the marshallate.

Managing Incidents

The dispute procedures in Kingdom Law must be followed at all times.

The preferred solution is to resolve any incidents as quickly and with as little fuss as possible, by asking those involved to voluntarily correct any issues with their conduct or equipment.

In the event that formal action must be taken by a marshal in response to an incident, the following procedure shall be followed:

  1. Point out the violation (missing armour, grappling during combat, etc.) and ask the person to correct it.
  2. In the case of missing or inadequate armour, do not allow the person onto the field until it has been fixed.
  3. In the case of violation of the rules during combat, ask the combatant to leave the field, and do not allow combat to resume until they have cooled off. This particularly includes removing from the field anyone who has lost his or her temper.

In the event that an issue cannot be resolved and must be escalated, or the marshal attempting to resolve the issue requires support, they shall call on, in order of preference:

  1. Any other marshals who are present (especially the Marshal in Charge).
  2. A Regional, Deputy, or Principality Earl or Knight Marshal.
  3. The Kingdom Earl Marshal
  4. The local Seneschal
  5. The Principality or Kingdom Seneschal
  6. The Crown

If the violation cannot be stopped, and participants continue to engage in combat-related activities, the Marshal in Charge and the Event Steward and/or local Seneschal shall end the event.

In any case where voluntary correction is not made after the problem has been pointed out, a written report shall be made to the Earl Marshal as soon as possible after the event.

Sanctions

In addition to removing a combatant from the field at the time, long-term sanctions are available.

Sanctions with effects lasting more than a single event shall be applied by the Kingdom Earl Marshal after the conduct of a court of chivalry at which the sanctioned individual will be given the opportunity to defend themselves.

Possible sanctions include:

  1. Revoking the authorisation of the individual to fight with a particular weapon. This sanction may be applied as a revocation of a weapon-specific authorisation, or a prohibition from using a weapon normally covered by the usual Heavy Combatant authorisation, e.g, barring fighter from using any two-handed weapon.
  2. Revoking the authorisation of the individual to fight at all.

Further sanctions which may be applied as a result of serious violations include banishment by the Crown, and ultimately revocation and denial of membership by the Boards of Directors.

If any of these long-term sanctions are in progress, the Society Marshal must be informed.

If authorisation has been revoked, it is acceptable to inform the Earls Marshal of any Kingdoms to which the sanctioned individual might travel. Once long-term sanctions have been applied, a report shall be made to the Society Marshal.

An authorisation from any Kingdom may be suspended/revoked in another Kingdom, should it prove necessary and appropriate. Such suspension/revocation means that the fighter may not fight anywhere in the Society until and unless the issue is resolved. Accordingly, the Earl Marshal shall inform the Earls Marshal of the neighbouring Kingdoms.

Furthermore, if the fighter is subsequently reauthorised, the neighbouring Earls Marshal shall again be notified.

Changing These Rules

These rules shall have precedence as set out in section I.A of Corpora. Real-world law always has precedence over any SCA rules.

Temporary changes may be made to these rules by proclamation of the Crown. See section II of Lochac Law (http://lochac.sca.org/laws/)

Permanent changes to Lochac standards and conventions may only be made using the following procedure, and shall only come into effect after all of the following steps are complete:*

  1. The change must be proclaimed by the Crown at an official event; and
  2. all group marshals have been notified, for example, by an email to the Marshals' mailing list
  3. the Handbook (this document) will be updated to include the approved changes; and
  4. notification of the changes will be published in Pegasus.
  5. [K: does society need to approve changes?] [K: check law/procedures manual for process for handbooks.]

The procedure for requesting changes to these rules is as follows:

  1. Discuss proposed changes with your Branch Marshal or on the Lochac Marshals' mailing list
  2. Discuss proposed changes with Lochac Earl Marshal.
  3. The Earl Marshal's may approve testing, if appropriate
  4. If the Earl Marshal agrees to proposed changes, they will approve the change or seek approval for the changes from Society Marshal as necessary.

The Earl Marshal may make typographical corrections and minor changes clarifying wording of a rule without going through the process above if the meaning or intent of the rule isn't changed.

Appendices

Guidelines for Marshalling on the Field

General Notes

The guidelines outlined in this section are not rigid requirements, but are placed here in an attempt to help clarify and to provide examples of acceptable methods and procedures.

Prior to combat the marshal in charge of the event should organise for the following things to happen, either by doing so in person or by delegating to another marshal:

  1. Check that the field can be safely fought upon, preferably before the site is reserved for the event. Can someone in armor, with restricted vision, cross it safely (i.e., without injury; simple tripping is an inherent hazard of combat in rough terrain)? At minimum, check at the beginning of the day to see if there are holes, soft spots, rocks, etc. If they are serious and cannot be worked around, move the fighting somewhere else.
  2. Arrange for equipment inspection.
  3. Arrange for marshals for all of the combat. That means an absolute minimum of one marshal per single combat (preferably two or three) and enough marshals for group combat (melees and war battles). For group combat there need to be sufficient marshals to both surround the fighting (to keep an eye on the boundaries) and keep most of the fights under general surveillance (for detached armor, broken weapons, etc.). If volunteers are in short supply, point out to the fighters that they do not get to start until sufficient marshals are available.

When it is all over, write up a report on the event (see the Paperwork section under VII. Chain of Command).

Marshaling Single Combat

At minimum, there should be one marshal for single combat. Two or three will be able to see more of the fight. Four or more will get in each other's way and block the view from the sidelines without providing noticeably better marshaling.

As noted earlier, marshaling has three parts of nearly equal importance: safety, fair witness, and showmanship. Excessive concern for any of these, to the neglect of the other two, will make fighting less enjoyable for all concerned. While these concerns apply to all marshaling, they are most detailed and balanced in single combat.

Safety

The field itself can cause safety problems. Before you begin, look over the area where the fighting will take place. Look particularly for large holes, soft spots, and rocks. (The fighters will generally accept small holes, rocks, etc. as part of the terrain.) Once the fight starts, try to keep it away from these areas. If the hazards are serious, move the fight.

As the fighters come out onto the field, take a quick look to see that they have remembered their full armor, especially elbow, neck, and hand armor. These are the likeliest to be removed and then forgotten. This should not take any time at all; it is neither a full inspection nor an attempt to catch someone trying to play silly games with the rules--just a quick double-check to help someone who may have been distracted by the excitement of the day.

Once the fight has started, watch particularly for broken armor, lost tempers, injuries, and unauthorized people/pets/objects on the field. (Outsiders, especially small children and pets, do not always realize that they are supposed to stay off of the field during combat.) If there is a problem, shout "Hold!", several times if necessary. (Fortunately, most fighters will hear and respond to a cry of "Hold!" even when they won't notice their own names.)

If the first cry of "Hold!" does not cause the fighters to stop, get in between the fighters (or between the fighters and whoever has wandered onto the field) and block the weapons with your staff until the fighting does stop. (Keep yelling "Hold!" while you do--eventually they may notice.) That is one reason why marshals routinely carry staffs on the field.

Marshals have a responsibility to themselves and the combatants they are overseeing to keep their opinions on the conduct of the combat to themselves unless specifically asked for input from one of the combatants or another marshal involved. Marshals should only actively intrude into the combat in the case of safety hazards.

Witness

You are expected to be an impartial witness to exactly what happens during a fight. Ideally, you should be able to describe the last 3--4 blows on your side of the fight: where they started, their angle of approach, how they were blocked or where they landed; but do not be afraid to say, "I don't know" if your angle was bad or you were looking at one part of the fight when something [allegedly] happened in another part.

Do not try to impose your view unless you see what appears to be major and repeated problems. Leave the blow counting to the participants unless you see clear reason to intervene; usually, they have a much clearer perspective than the marshals do.

If the fighters do ask you what happened (or you feel compelled to volunteer), try to do so tactfully. Prefacing your statements with "It looked to me like..." or "It appeared..." is preferable to a dogmatic assertion of what happened. Similarly, it is preferable to ask "Was that dent in your helm before?" rather than saying, "That blow put a 6-inch dent in the side of your helm." The latter may be 100% accurate, but it is unnecessarily antagonistic to someone who may honestly have thought the blow too light.

How to observe combat:

In order to be able to answer as accurately as possible, you need as clear a view as possible. This means being close to the fight. You need to strike a balance between getting closer to see better and staying back out of range of the blows. Just what the appropriate distance is for you will depend on your level of experience with fighting (e.g., how well you can judge what the range of the weapons is and whether you are in or near it).

In general, for single combat, 20 metres is too far and 2 metres is too close. In the absence of a better idea, consider 5 m for weapons less than 1 metre in length and 8 metres if either combatant has a longer weapon.

Try to keep moving so that the combatants are roughly centered between you and the other marshals for the fight.

Showmanship

Keep an eye on the audience. SCA combat is a spectator sport, just as medieval tournaments were. (A spectator sport for members of the Society and our guests, but a spectator sport nonetheless.) Your part of the show is to keep things moving and avoid blocking the view from the sidelines except where unavoidable. This means fast pre-fight checks and announcements, a minimum of holds and discussions during the fight,and a strenuous effort to stay out of the way and keep moving. (If it's cold, wear several layers of tunics and move even more; one person in a cloak can interfere with the view of many).

Marshaling Melees

When marshaling a melee, the witness function is necessarily relegated to a very low priority. (It is not unimportant, but it is impossible for a handful of marshals to be accurate witnesses to the details of a couple of dozen separate combats.)

Marshals should station themselves around the edges of the fight. This allows them to control the borders while keeping as much of the fighting as possible in view. It also keeps prevents fights from running into them from behind. As always, keep moving and stay close enough to spot safety problems.

In very large melees, it may be desirable to have some marshals in the middle of the field, in addition to those around the edge. If you are mid-field, be careful that you do not get so interested in the fight in front of you that you back into or forget to watch another bout moving around behind.

When marshalling combat where missile weapons are being used it is a good idea to have at least a couple of marshals around the edges specifically monitoring the trajectories of missiles and ensuring they are not approaching the combat boundaries, or worse, the spectators.

Recommendations for Damage to Structures from Siege Engines

Since some structures are not easily modifiable during the course of combat, these recommendations should only be applied in situations where they would be practicable. It is also recommended that any of the numbers given below be modified based on the number of engines participating in any given scenario.

  1. Breaching walls, destroying towers, and other permanent structures: It is recommended that this be accomplished by hitting the structure 5 times with large siege munitions, and that these structures are immune from damage by small siege projectiles.
  2. Gates: It is recommended that these be destroyed upon 3 hits from large siege munitions, and that they are immune to small siege munitions.
  3. Temporary siege structures and siege engines should be considered destroyed by 1 hit from a large siege munitions and by 3 hits from small siege munitions.
  4. If a manned tower or siege structure is destroyed, it is recommended that all occupants of the structure be considered killed as well. If a siege engine is destroyed, it is recommended that any crew in physical contact with the engine be considered killed as well.
  5. Maximum rates of fire: While it would be preferable to not have to impose any arbitrary maximum rate of fire, if there are a large number of siege engines at an event, it may be necessary for reasons of fair game play. If so, the following is recommended: Type A engines should be allowed to fire no more than 1 time per minute, and Type B engines should be allowed to fire no more than 2—3 times per minute.

Equipment Inspection Guidelines

Armor Inspection Procedure

General Notes

See CROSSREF for the Kingdom of Lochac armour requirements. Marshals conducting inspections are expected to be initmately familiar with the current rules.

Armour and weapons must be inspected on the wearer's body in the configuration in which they will be used on the field.

An armour inspection must verify two things, firstly that the required minimum armour standards are met, and secondly that any armour worn in addition to the required minima is compliant with the rules in terms of being in good repair, absent of sharp edges or dangerous protrusions etc. This means that all armour worn, not just the mandatory armour, must recieve some attention during the inspection.

Inspection should begin with a general check of the appearance of the armour and equipment for visible branding, modern sports equipment etc. Any undisguised modern equipment that is not medically necessary, and all branding must be covered up in accordance with Armour appearance.

Head

  1. Check that the face guard is firmly closed and cannot come open during combat
  2. Check the size of openings in the face guard and elsewhere on the helm. Pay particular attention to face guard bars that may be bent.
  3. Check that the face guard comes sufficiently below the line of the chin.
  4. If screening is used, check that it is securely attached and will not move or come loose
  5. Tell the wearer to make sure their tounge is clear of their teeth, and when they have responded attempt to pull the helm straight up off their head, making careful note of how much it moves and that the chin strap is not choking them.
  6. With the wearer's head upright, attempt to tilt the helm on the their head as far back, forwards, and to each side, as possible. It should not be possible to move the helm significantly on the head. Check for unacceptable gapping, or contact with their head/face/neck on the inside and that it is not possible to tilt the helm forward to blind them. Repeat but rotating the helm left and right rather than tilting it.
  7. . Visually check if possible that the wearer's nose etc do not contact the helm on the inside. If visual check is impossible, ask them to confirm.
  8. Check the general condition of the helm for age, rust, loose rivets, etc. If there is any doubt about an aspect of the helm's construction ask the wearer to remove it and carefully inspect it off their head, taking measurements if necessary.
  9. Ask the wearer when they last checked and replaced the padding in their helm. It is not mandatory to inspect the padding at every inspection but a marshal can require the wearer to remove their helm and allow the padding to be inspected.
  10. If the wearer is wearing corrective eyewear ask them to confirm that they are not glass lenses and are shatterproof.

Neck

  1. Neck armour must be inspected in conjunction with the helm the wearer will use on the field.
  2. Ask the wearer to turn their head as far as they can to each side. Check that no required coverage areas become exposed and that the helm is not contacting the skin of the neck or face.
  3. Ask the wearer to tilt their head back as far as possible. Visually check for any gaps which may allow the bones of the jaw, or the throat, to be struck. Be realistic, but take tip shots into account. If a thrust can impact the larynx unimpeded by helm or gorget, the inspection must fail.
  4. If the helm has a camail, ensure that there is either a gorget protecting the larynx, or that the camail is held sufficiently away from the throat and is of sufficient mass to absorb the force of blows to the throat by pushing the camail until it comes into gentle contact with the throat.
  5. Ask the wearer to tilt their head as far as they can to each side. Check that the helm isn't coming into contact with the skin of their neck on the side they tilt their head towards, and that gaps which would admit a weapon do not open up on the side they tilt their head away from.
  6. Ask the wearer to tilt their head as far forward as they can. Check that there is still complete coverage of the cervical verterbrae from either the gorget or the helm.
  7. Check that the gorget extends to cover the first thoracic vertebra and cannot lift up during combat to expose the area to be protected.
  8. If the wearer is not using a gorget, but is using a camail to protect their neck check that it cannot be pushed into contact with any of the areas required to be protected, even when the wearer is tilting their head to the extremes of their movement.
  9. With the head tilted ensure the helm cannot be pushed further to expose areas required to be armoured.

Elbows

  1. Check that the point and sides of each elbow are covered in accordance with the requirements of these rules.
  2. Check that the armour itself is sufficiently rigid, paying particular attention to the condition of hardened leather.
  3. With the arm fully extended check that the armour cannot twist or slide to expose the areas required to be armoured. Repeat with the arm fully flexed.
  4. With the arm fully flexed verify that any articulation doesn't gap in ways that would expose the area to a blow.
  5. Check the condition of any straps or points, ensure they are all fastened and in good repair.
  6. Check for sharp edges, broken or missing rivets, or other signs that the equipment is faulty.
  7. Check any other arm armour for condition, protrusions, sharp edges etc.

Hands

  1. Hand armour must be inspected in conjunction with the weapons and shield the wearer will take on to the field. If the wearer has multiple weapons, the hand armour must be inspected with each one in turn.
  2. Check that the required areas are covered.
  3. Carefully check that the armour is of sufficient rigidity. Pay particular attention to hardened leather, which must be rigid or very stiff. If not rigid it must be underlain by 12mm of resilient material. It should not be possible to squash a rigid gauntlet out of shape by hand.
  4. If the wearer has full gauntlets carefully check that force will be transmitted to the weapon haft or that there is sufficient combination of rigid plate and padding to protect the fingers.
  5. Check that the fingers of full gauntlets won't pinch the fingers, especially at the fingertips.
  6. Check that shield baskets have sufficient coverage and rigidity.
  7. Check that the wrist is protected at all extremes of movement.
  8. Check the armour condition for corrosion, sharp edges, etc.

Torso

  1. Torso armour is not required but if it is worn it should be checked for condition, protrusions, sharp edges etc.
  2. Chest armour is not mandatory for female fighters, but if it is not obvious, ask them to verbally confirm that they are not wearing separate 'floating' breast cups. Do not attempt to physically check.

Kidneys

  1. Check for kidney armor of sufficient rigidity covering the kidney area and floating ribs. The armour should at a minimum cover the wearers back from just above the floating rib to just above the point of the pelvis and should extend around the sides at least to the centreline of the body but need not extend around the front of the torso.
  2. If the wearer is wearing plate armour ask them to verify that they have at least 6mm of padding underneath it over the required area.

Groin

  1. Do NOT attempt to physically check for groin protection.
  2. Ask the fighter if they are wearing their groin protection.
  3. Suggest that it's a good idea if they check to make really sure.

Knees

  1. Check that the point and sides of each knee are covered in accordance with the requirements of these rules.
  2. Check that the armour itself is sufficiently rigid, paying particular attention to the condition of hardened leather.
  3. With the leg fully extended check that the armour cannot twist or slide to expose the areas required to be armoured.
  4. Repeat with the leg fully flexed.
  5. With the leg fully flexed verify that any articulation doesn't gap in ways that would expose the knee to a blow.
  6. Check the condition of any straps or points, ensure they are all fastened and in good repair.
  7. Check for sharp edges, broken or missing rivets, or other signs that the equipment is faulty.

Feet

  1. Ensure the wearer has sufficiently sturdy shoes on.

Shield

  1. Check the rim for exposed sharp edges. (For this purpose, a 90-degree angle is a sharp edge.)
  2. Check the rest of the shield for sharp edges, cracks, broken or missing rivets, any nails, or other signs that it is faulty.

Sample Weapon Inspection

See CROSSREF for requirements of melee weapon construction.

Check that the weapon is not of a banned type (e.g. a flail)

Check that the cutting edges and any thrusting tips are clearly marked with contrasting tape.

The test for give on thrusting tips should be done by holding the the weapon in one hand just below the tip and pressing with the heel of the hand on the face of the thrusting tip. The weapon should not be braced against anything and the tip should be compressed using only hand/arm strength.

Single-handed Weapons

  1. Check that they meet the minimum diameter along their full length. A gauge will speed up this process greatly.
  2. Check that thrusting tips still have the required depth and give.
  3. Check that the tape covering the weapon is in reasonable condition and that there is no exposed rattan or polypropylene.
  4. Check the general condition of the weapon that the rattan is still sound and not spongy or fraying.
  5. If the weapon is polypropylene, ensure that there are no chips with sharp edges.
  6. Check the quillions or basket hilts for sharp edges, broken or missing rivets, or other signs that they are coming apart.
  7. Holding the haft or blade of the weapon ask the user to let go of it. Make sure there is a lanyard and that it is secure and not too long.
  8. If the weapon is a mass weapon, check the condition of the head. Ensure there is sufficient progressive give where required.
  9. Particularly for mass weapons, consider the weight distribution. If the weapon is new, ask the user if they have tested it. Ask if they have been hit by it, and if they would be willing to? If there is any doubt get a second opinion and have an experienced authorised fighter hit them with a good blow in the torso with the weapon. If the user is not willing to face the weapon, they may not use it. If their opponents aren't willing to face the weapon they probably shouldn't use it either.

Two Handed Weapons

  1. As for single-handed weapons, bar the lanyard. additionally:
  2. Check the length of the weapon.
  3. Carefully consider the mass of the weapon, weigh it if in doubt.
  4. Check the flex of the weapon. Is it so flexible that it will bend around an opponent's block?
  5. If the head is laminated or split rattan construction check for flex.

Throwing Weapons

  1. As for single-handed weapons (except for the lanyard). Additionally:
  2. Check the length of axe handles
  3. Check that the weapon is clearly named
  4. Carefully consider the weight of the weapon. Does it weigh more than a 600ml bottle of soft drink?

Fibreglass Spears

  1. Check for cracks and fraying in the fibreglass.
  2. Check that the thrusting tip is in good condition and with appropriate give.

Glossary

Notes

The primary source for definitions of terms used in the rules is the text of the rules themselves. This glossary contains definitions for other terms not explictly defined in the rule text. Unlike the glossary of the society Marshal's Handbook this glossary is intended to contain only definitions, not rule text or clarifications.

General Definitions

Helms off
The normal call used by marshals after a call of hold to indicate that a period of combat has ended. This call, not the call of hold, ends a period of combat. Sometimes called as "hats off" or other equivalent phrase indicating that participants are now allowed to remove their helmets.
Approved materials
Materials that have undergone formal testing and have been approved by the Society Earl Marshal.
Armoured combat
Recreation of medieval and renaissance combat between participants assumed to be wearing a certain minimum standard of armour and using weapons of war as opposed to civilian weapons.
Authorisation
The 'license' to take part in specific combat related activities.
Authorization test
The mandatory process by which a candidate is tested to ensure they are familiar with the rules and do not present an unacceptable saftey hazard to themselves or others before their authorisation is granted.
Battle
A single war combat event in which a specific scenario is enacted.
Bout
A passage of combat. This term is usually used in a tournament setting. One round of a tournament may consist of several bouts between two combatants. For example, a "best of three" round requires at least two bouts to be fought.
Chirurgeon
Medic or first aid provider.
Closed-cell foam
Foam in which the bubbles forming the foam are intact and isolated from each other, making the foam non-absorbent and less compressible than open-cell foam. Campers sleeping mat and ensolite are two examples of closed-cell foams.
Combatant
Someone who is actually fighting, whether with melee or missile weapons.
Combat archer
A combatant using a bow or crossbow in SCA Armoured Combat.
Combat archery
The use of approved bows and crossbows in the context of SCA Armoured Combat.
Conventions of combat
The rules governing behaviour during combat-related activities.
Earl marshal
Assumed to refer to the Kingdom Earl Marshal if Society or Kingdom is not explicitly specified.
Engagement
The process by which combatants make their presence known to their opponents and indicate their intention to begin hand-to-hand combat with them.
Equestrian activities
Activities involving horses.
Equivalent
Identical in all practical ways to the specified material in effect or function, but not necessarily in physical dimensions.
Heavy combat
Recreation of medieval and renaissance armoured foot combat between armoured combatants utilising non-metallic weapons simulators.
Helpless combatant
A combatant is helpless if they are involuntarily incapable of mounting a defence, e.g. someone who has fallen over or dropped their weapon/shield. Unarmed combatants, such as people behind a shield wall whose job it is to grab the hafts of opposing spears, are not necessarily helpless.
Hold
The word shouted to make combat stop. Also used to refer to the break in combat before it is restarted or ended with a shout of "helms off".
Kingdom earl marshal
The Kingdom Earl Marshal is the warranted kingdom officer responsible for the marshallate of a kingdom.
Lists
Lists can mean either: the list of combatants taking part in a specific set of combat-related activities; or a synonym for list field. Rules of the Lists The most basic rules of behaviour for SCA combat.
List field
The bounded area in which tournament combat takes place.
Lists officer
The Kingdom Lists Officer is the officer who maintains marshallate authorisations, validates authorisation paperwork and issues authorisation cards. The database held by the Kingdom Lists Officer is the canonical record of authorisations in the kingdom. In Lochac there are two - one for New Zealand and one for Australia.
Marshal
An individual who holds a marshals authorisation and a current subscribing membership of the SCA or one of its affiliates. On the field, marshals are those people controlling the combat.
Marshalling
The act of controlling combat-related activities, checking for compliance with these rules, performing authorisations, etc. Generally, any action involved in managing or administering combat-related activities is 'marshalling'.
Medical release
Specific paperwork completed by the legal guardian of a minor which allows medical treatment to be provided to that minor. Differs between countries.
Melee
Combat between more than two combatants, without teams, ocurring within the lists of a tournament. Open-cell foam Reticulated foam in which there are few, if any, intact faces between the bubbles in the foam making is absorbent and easily compressible (contrast with "closed-cell foam", above). Bath sponge and normal mattress foam are examples of open-cell foams.
Participant
Everyone on the field while combat-related activities are ocurring, regardless of their role. Includes combatants, noncombatants, and marshals.
Passage of combat
In tournaments the passage of combat is a bout, it begins with the call of "Lay On!" and ends with the defeat of an opponent or when a "Hold!" is called. In wars, the passage of combat is normally a scenario. it begins with the call of "Lay On!" or other agreed signal, and ends with a call of "Hold!" or other agreed signal.
Period fencing
Recreation of medieval and renaissance unarmoured foot combat using rebated steel weapons.
Roster
In Lochac the roster is that list of marshals who hold both a current marshallate authorisation and a current membership of the SCA or an affiliated body.
Scenario limits
The body of rules and definitions which apply to a specific battle, such as the description of real or imaginary terrain features, obstacles, weapons limitations, allowable conduct, and scoring.
Siloflex
A US brand-name for PE3408 polyethylene tubing made to standard ASTM D2239.
Siloflex equivalent
Polyethylene water pipe manufactured to AS/NZS 4130 standards: specifically AS/NZS 4130, series 1, 32mm outside diameter, SDR 11.
Single combat
Combat between two combatants.
Society earl marshal
The warranted officer of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. in the USA responsible for combat-related activities throughout the SCA and its affiliates.
Team
Melee Combat between groups of combatants comprising
teams, ocurring within the lists of a tournament.
Tournament lists
See List Field
War
A declared state of feigned hostility between two or more kingdoms, branches, or other recognized SCA groups, for the express intent of holding group combat.
Warranted
An officer who has been appointed by a Warrant of Appointment to Office of the SCA Inc., signed by the appropriate Royalty and the responsible superior officer.
Water bearer
People who bring drinks to combatants on the field
during breaks in combat.

Weapons

Flail
A weapon with a striking surface attached to the handle via a flexible arm or pivot
Mass weapon
A melee weapon simulating weapons designed to inflict damage through concentrated weight of impact, such as axes, maces and war hammers, rather than by a cutting action as with swords. Axes are explicitly considered mass weapons in SCA combat.
Melee weapon
Simulated weapons, such as swords, spears, axes, etc which are used in hand-to-hand combat. Made from rattan, fibreglass (spears only) or polypropylene (single-handed weapons only) with marked edges and sometimes built-up and padded heads.
Missile weapon
A weapon, such as a bow or crossbow, designed to project a missile towards a target using mechanical energy or advantage.
Progressively resistant
Resistance that increases steadily with compression of the material, as opposed to resistance that is constant through the compression range and suddenly ends when the material becomes rigid at its compression limit.
Resilient material
Padding such as closed-cell foam or neoprene that absorbs and spreads impact.
Rigid material (weapons)
Material without significant inherent 'give' to it, such as rattan, polypropylene, fibreglass etc.
Slider
A prohibited device consisting of tube or similar object that wraps around the shaft of a spear and is held in one hand, allowing the spear to slide through it.
Thrown weapon
A weapon such as a javelin or throwing axe, thrown by hand at a target without the use of stored mechanical energy or advantage.

Armour

Aventail
See camail.
Camail
A curtain of mail suspended from the a helm and decending to the shoulders, helping to protect the throat and neck. Sometimes referred to as an aventail.
Gauge
Imperial standard for sheet metal thickness. In Lochac sheet guage measurements are not used, sheet metal thickness is specified in millimetres.
Gauntlet
An armoured glove protecting the wrist, hand, fingers and thumb.
Gorget
Armour protecting the neck and throat.
Half gauntlet
A fingerless armoured glove protecting the wrist, basal thumb joint, and hand up to the first knuckle of the fingers and thumb, but not including the digits.
Heavy leather
Stiff leather at least 4.5mm thick.
Mail
Armour made from small interlocking metal rings.
Plate
Large pieces of rigid material. The exact definition of "large" depends on the context, and will be different for e.g. gauntlet fingers and knee cops.
Polearm
A two-handed weapon having a long haft with a striking blade on the end. Glaives and halberds are examples of polearms.
Quillions
The cross guards of a sword
Resilient material
Padding such as closed-cell foam or neoprene that absorbs and spreads impact by deforming and rapidly returning to its original shape.
Rigid material (armour)
Material with sufficient rigidity and surface area to provide protection from blows by spreading the impact over a wider area (often through underlying padding), or by transferring it to an underlying weapon grip. The reference "rigid material" for the purposes of this document is 1.3mm thick mild steel plate or 1.9mm thick aluminium plate, but other materials such as plastics with sufficient thickness to provide equivalent rigidity and impact spread/transfer are considered equivalent.
Spear
A two-handed weapon having a long haft with a thrusting tip and no striking surfaces.

Siege

Arbalest
A tension-powered direct-fire weapon similar to a giant crossbow.
Ballista
A torsion-powered direct-fire weapon. Unlike an arbalest the arms are rigid and the power is generated from rope or sinew coils.
Ballista bolt
A spear-like projectile shot from a ballista. May or may not be equipped with fins.
Catapult
A mechanism used to hurl projectiles by mechanical force.
Direct fire
Delivery of a missile in a flat trajectory directly into the target, such as from a crossbow (contrast with "Indirect fire" below).
Effect weapons
Novelty missiles, such as simulated animal parts whose effect is determined by the scenario.
Engine of war
See 'siege engine'
Eyebolts
A screw or bolt with threads on one end and a loop on the other.
Footprint
Ground area covered by an engine as viewed from directly above.
Indirect fire
Delivery of a missile in a high arcing trajectory to the target, such as from a trebuchet (contrast with "Direct fire", above)
Light-density foam
Foam weighing up to 8kg/m{}^{3}
Man
Powered An engine in which the mechanical energy is supplied directly by people at the time of firing, rather than being stored mechanically for later release.
Mangonel
A catapult with a rigid throwing arm having a cup on the end for the projectile. Mangonels can be powered in a variety of ways.
Mechanical trigger device
A device used to hold the engine in a braced or cocked state and to activate (shoot) the weapon
Medium-density foam
Foam weighing between 8kg/m3 and 64kg/m3 .
Onager
A torsion-powered rock throwing catapult with a sling on the end of the arm.
PET
Polyethylene terephthalate, (C10H8O4)n. A type of plastic commonly used to manufacture bottles for carbonated drinks. PET bottles have a recycling code of 1.
Perrier
A man-powered trebuchet.
Siege engine
Large missile weapons operated by a crew of siege engineers. May be mobile or fixed, but are not portable 'small arms'. In the context of SCA combat all such weapons are referred to as "siege engines" regardless of whether their use is anti-personel or anti-structure.
Siege engineer
A combatant operating a siege engine.
Siege structures
Structures such as towers or ramps that are used to support people, but which are not fitted with active weaponry.
Siege warfare
Combat involving large missile weapons such as trebuchets and ballistae or structures such as castles and towers. Referred to as "siege" warfare wether or not the actual scenario involves a siege. May or may not be mixed with hand-to-hand heavy combat.
Specialty ammunition
Special-purpose ammunition, such as simulated flaming missiles whose effect is determined by the scenario rules.
Trebuchet
A gravity-powered, sling-type, rock-throwing, indirect-fire siege engine.
Turnbuckle
A device for adjusting the length of cables consisting of two eye bolts fitted to a threaded barrel.
Winch
A mechanical device for pulling in rope or chain by wrapping it around a drum having a ratchet and pawl to prevent unwanted spooling out of the rope or chain.
Windlass
A device for pulling in rope or chain by wrapping it around a horizontal cylinder turned by a crank. Differs from a winch in the lack of ratchet.

Commentary and TODO

Fighters' Handbook

  • Review 5m range exclusion around plumed opponents.
  • Authorisation Renewals - low speed potion/written test (remove/rewrite; need only to ensure current rule knowledge)
  • Permanent corrections to armor deficiencies for auth/renew; why?
  • Trapping weapons
  • Thrusting while running; excessive force is already prohibited. Running might not be in the direction of the thrust. [ll: per the use of weapons and shields the prohibition is only on thrusting in the direction of travel. charges is kinda confusingly inconsistent with this.]
  • Allow engaging by striking the opponent's shield?
  • Redraft injury reporting threshold.
  • Consider prohibition on thrusting in direction of running, or on bracing/cupping
  • Thrusts to face; what's a "directed touch"; has the rewritten wording improved things from Society?
  • Expected behaviour when hit twice in the same leg.
  • Metric vs imperial units
  • SEM ruling re must disguise/cover etc modern equipment; is this published/reasonable/the marshallate's problem
  • Is it reasonably possible to permit some types of plumes for wearing by combatants as part of one's costume [wdc: updated to say what I actually mean by this point]]
  • Why do single-handed backup weapons that are less than 45cm in length not require restraints, but longer than that they do
  • Clarify "rounded edges" on striking surfaces
  • Why can't weapons be thrown or discharged at less than 5m? Would clearing the bow (for example) be sufficient?
  • Arrow wrapping - remove dictates on wrapping methods?[ll: of blunt or shaft?]
  • Bows and non-rigid quivers being shot - is reinspection warranted[ll: I vote no - this is a pretty good candidate for 'let's take it out and see if there are actual, reported problems']
  • Siege structure dimesions - check example is well worded (it's not)[LL: !!]
  • Remove need to declare thrusting tips - still a Society Rule, but have asked for exemption