Your first tourney or event - what to bring

Fighters at tourneyA tourney is an outdoor fighting event where heavy fighters fight in an Eric. If you are not fighting yourself then you can still enjoy on the sidelines. Take a chair or rug to sit on, a picnic lunch (if the Autocrat isn't providing it) and enjoy.   You can play period board games, sing, work on your latest craft project, talk to your friends, or simply sit back and enjoy the fighting.

If you prefer to help out rather than simply enjoy there are many things you can do.  Ask the fighters if they need help with their armour and weapons. Often they will need help with straps or pieces of armour.  This is also a good way to learn about armour and fighting.

The List Master/Mistress can usually use extra warm bodies to run messages and help out.  The heralds can always use fresh voices for announcements.  Field heraldry is very easy to learn and can be fun.  The marshals are often willing to help train a new marshal at tourneys.

It is an SCA tradition that we leave a site cleaner than when we came. To this end it is asked that you are careful with your rubbish (including cigarette butts) and leave it wither in a bin on site or take it away with you.  Also it is asked that if you find rubbish on site when you arrive you clean it up before you leave.


When you hear this word stop and pay attention.  It is only ever used in a situation where safety is an issue. It is most often heard in the Eric, but can be used for dangers anywhere.


Tourneys Language

ERIC - a roped off area where combat occurs

LISTS - can refer to the Eric, or can refer to the person running the fighting (see below).

LIST OFFICER - is the person who organises the actual bouts and keeps track of wins and losses.

CHIRURGEONS - sometimes at a tourney there is a person who has first aid experiences.  They can help if an injury occurs.  The SCA does not undertake to provide a first aid person, but chirurgeons may provide assistance on request off their own bat.

TROLL - is the person responsible for collection of any money charged for the event.  They sit at the Troll Booth (get it?).


What to bring and what to wear... A Tourney

A  tourney is an outdoor event so dress appropriately.  The weather in River Haven is windy and cold in winter, hot and sticky in summer, and sunburn can be a problem all year round.  Usually people don't wear their best clothes to a tourney, they wear what is comfortable.  A hat is important if you are going to be out in the sun.

Wear light comfortable clothes in summer, bring extra warm gear in winter and make sure you remember to always wear some sort of foot covering.


  • Feasting Kit
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen & Insect Repellent
  • Something to occupy you in between the fighting - i.e. games, craft items, other period amusements
  • Something to drink - most events will have drinks available, but not always
  • Food (the autocrat can tell you if food will be provided) A Feast

  • A Feasting kit (see below)
  • Candles & Candle holder - not always required
  • Insect repellent
  • games, craft items, other period amusements
  • Something to drink - most events will have drinks available, but not always

A Feasting Kit:

This is a basic kit of utensils that you will need if you wish to eat or drink at events. If you are packing for a family, simply multiply the list. Find a cloth bag (box, picnic hamper, whatever) and put in the following items:-

  • A knife - to cut your food
  • A Bowl - (or two) for eating soups and other things
  • A Plate - (a bowl will often do) for putting your food on
  • A Cup - to drink out of
  • A Spoon - for soups or messy foods
  • A Tea Towel - for cleaning your gear
  • A Plastic Bag - for putting messy gear in to clean when you get home