These rules effective as of March 1, 2012
Table of Contents
This document establishes the fundamental standards for youth rapier activities in the East Kingdom. Youth rapier activities shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules of the Lists for the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (the “Society” or “SCA”), the SCA Corporate Rules for Rapier Combat (the “Society Rules”) and these East Kingdom Youth Rapier Combat Rules (the “Youth Rapier Rules”). All fencers, parents, guardians and marshals are responsible for knowing these rules.
The Youth Rapier Rules are designed to promote safe rapier combat in the East Kingdom. However, no matter how clear or accurate, rules cannot replace common sense, good judgment, and concern for the participants. If a question arises when applying these standards, choose the answer that promotes the greatest degree of safety for all participants.
The East Kingdom youth rapier program is divided into three divisional stages, structured by the age of the participants. Divisional equipment standards and regulations are detailed below. As always, a participant’s progress within their division and access to progressive weapon forms is at the discretion of the youth marshal in charge.
All divisions are required to be equipped with the following standards:
- A standard fencing mask.
- Puncture resistant hood or drape.
- Rigid gorget.
- Fencing jacket; or puncture resistant equivalent.
- Gloves, made with abrasion resistant material, with 3” overlap.
- Abrasion resistant pants. (preferably relaxed fitting to allow movement)
- Male combatants are required to wear rigid groin protection. (i.e. an athletic cup)
- Rigid chest protection for female combatants is recommended, but optional.
- Close-toed shoes.
Material definitions are listed in the equipment specifications section of this manual.
Division 1 Ages 6 – 9:
- Division 1 fencers may practice, spar, bout and authorize with foils.
- May authorize in rapier and dagger.
- May not participate in melees.
Division 2 Ages 10 – 13:
- Division 2 fencers may practice, spar, bout, and authorize with foils or epees.
- May authorize in all off-hand weapons forms.
- May not participate in melees.
Division 3 Ages 14 – 17:
- Division 3 fencers may practice, spar, bout, and authorize with foils and epees.
- May authorize in all off-hand weapons forms.
- May participate in youth melees.
- May become Marshals in Training.
A. GENERAL EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS
1. Sharp points, edges or corners are not allowed anywhere on any equipment.
2. All equipment must be able to safely withstand combat stresses.
3. Equipment that is likely to cause bodily injury or break a blade or damage other equipment is prohibited. Any equipment that has small rigid openings large enough to admit a rapier tip will not be used against light rapier blades (e.g. small holes in bell guards, small openings in a cage or swept hilts, any design which has acute angles where a blade could easily be wedged and bent). Knuckle bows are deemed safe and are therefore permitted.
B. PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (ARMOR)
a. Abrasion-Resistant Material – Material that will withstand normal combat stresses (such as being snagged by an unbroken blade) without tearing. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- a single layer of heavy poplin cloth (35% cotton, 65% polyester or “trigger” cloth)
- sweat pants
- opaque cotton, poly-cotton or lycra/spandex mix tights
- Nylon pantyhose and cotton gauze shirts are examples of unacceptable materials
b. Puncture-Resistant Material – Any material or combination of materials that will predictably withstand puncture. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Four ounce (2 mm) leather
- Four layers of heavy poplin cloth (35% cotton, 65% polyester or “trigger” cloth)
- Ballistic nylon rated to at least 550 Newtons
- Commercial fencing clothing rated to at least 550 Newtons
These materials need only be tested at the marshal’s discretion; all other materials must be tested the first time new gear is used, or if no marshal on the field knows a given piece of gear to have been tested. Kevlar is not an acceptable material, as it degrades rapidly.
Puncture resistant material shall be tested by delivering 1.5 joules energy to a fabric sample using a dull, flat 5/32” diameter surface with the sample stretched firmly over a frame, so that nothing is under the test sample but air. Details on how to construct a tester to these specifications have been provided by at the EK Rapier website (http://rapier.eastkingdom.org). For all tests, if the material in question has been completely penetrated, or penetrated in more than one layer, it fails. If only the top layer has been damaged, then it passes. A piece of armor that fails the punch test must be immediately retired, or re-made and re-tested.
All armor subject to testing as described above must be tested at least once every two years. Compliance is the responsibility of the fencer, and that fencer’s parent or legal guardian. A marshal may, at any time, direct that any armor be tested if there is concern that the gear may have lost protective ability.
c. Rigid Material – Puncture-resistant materials that will not significantly flex, spread apart, or deform under pressure of 12 kg applied repeatedly to any single point. Examples of rigid material are:
- 22 gauge stainless steel (0.8 mm)
- 20 gauge mild steel (1.0 mm)
- 16 gauge aluminum, copper or brass (1.6 mm)
- One layer of hardened heavy leather (8 oz., 4 mm)
- Resilient Padding – Material, or combination of materials, equivalent to .25 inch of closed cell foam.
2. General Defensive Equipment Requirements
a. No skin shall be bared. There shall be sufficient overlap (3” is suggested) between separate pieces of protective clothing, that the minimum protection for that body area is preserved, regardless of the combatant’s stance or movements. Openings which could admit entry of a blade, such as button holes or tunic closures, shall have a protective placket underneath which overlaps the opening by 3”.
b. Additional protective equipment (beyond what is required in the Youth Rapier Rules), clothing and/or garb may be worn as long as it does not interfere with the proper acknowledgment of blows. Skirts are to be no longer than ankle length.
3. Areas of Equipment
i. The front and top of the head must be covered by rigid material to below the jaw line and behind the ears. Standard 12 kg fencing masks are known to meet this standard. If built to this standard, fencing helms are also acceptable.
ii. The face must be covered by either 12kg mesh (e.g. a standard fencing mask) or perforated metal. Such metal must not have holes larger than 1/8” (3 mm) in diameter, with a minimum offset of 3/16” (5 mm) and shall also meet the definition of rigid material.
iii. Masks and helms must be secured so that they cannot be easily removed or dislodged during combat. The combination of snug fit and the spring-tongue in a conventional fencing mask is not sufficient, by itself, to secure the mask to the combatant.
iv. Both modern fencing masks and rapier helms shall show no evidence of impending failure (e.g., significant rust or dents, or other defects including spread open mesh, broken weld points, etc.). If there is concern about the face mesh of a modern fencing mask, it should be tested using a standard, commercial 12 kg mask punch. Marshals doing the testing must be trained in the use of the punch.
v. The rest of the head must be covered by at least puncture resistant material.
b. Neck and Throat – The neck and throat must be covered by at least puncture resistant material. The bib on a modern fencing mask is not sufficient by itself. The neck and throat must be additionally protected by some combination of rigid gorget, helm and/or hood insert that covers the neck from all sides, extending down to the collar bone in front and protecting the cervical vertebrae in the back. It is recommended that such rigid material be backed by resilient padding.
c. Torso and Other Incapacitating Zones
i. The entire torso (the chest, back, abdomen, groin, and sides up to and including the armpits) must be covered with puncture-resistant material.
ii. Acceptable minimum armpit coverage is provided by a triangle of puncture resistant material extending from the armpit seam, covering the lower half of the sleeve at the seam, and extending down the inner/under arm, one-third the distance to the combatant’s elbow.
iii. Male combatants shall also wear rigid groin protection. Any openings large enough to admit a broken blade must be covered from the outside with at least puncture resistant material.
d. Arms and Legs
i. Abrasion-resistant material is required on arms (save as noted above for armpits), legs, and any area not otherwise mentioned in these rules.
ii. Gloves made of abrasion resistant material shall protect hands and overlap any sleeve openings by approximately 3”. If gloves designed for electric equipment are used, the openings for wires must be sealed.
iii. The feet shall be covered by boots or shoes comprised of at least abrasion-resistant material. Footwear must completely enclose the foot, including the toes.
C. OFFENSIVE EQUIPMENT (WEAPONS)
1. General Blade Requirements
a. The following classes of blades shall be used in youth rapier activities:
1) The Nasycon “Aramis” plastic foil may be used in Division 1 if participant is unable to use a foil. Plastic foils may not be used against metal foils.
2) “Light Rapier” blades, including foil, epee and double-wide epee blades may be used according to divisional guidelines.
3) “Dagger” blades. Dagger blades approved for use in the East Kingdom are those approved for use by the Deputy Society Marshal for Rapier Combat and listed under “Daggers”, excepting that neither fiberglass nor rattan blades may be used.
A list of approved Light blades and Dagger blades may be found at: http://www.sca.org/officers/marshal/combat/rapier/bladetypes.html.
b. Blades must be of commercial manufacture. Artisans desiring an exception must apply to the Deputy Society Marshal for Rapier Combat and will be considered on a case by case basis.
c. Orthopedic (or “pistol”) grips will not be used unless the fencer has approval from the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal to do so for medical reasons, supported by documentation from his or her health care provider. Such documentation shall be maintained by the fencer and produced to the Youth Marshal-in-Charge upon request.
d. Blades may have a single, gradual curve. Any blade with kinks, sharp bends, or cracks shall not be used. Blades that develop these defects cannot be repaired and must be retired. Blades with “S” curves shall not be used unless they can be properly re-curved or re-straightened.
e. Quillion ends must be blunted and all edges rounded. Quillions must be fixed in place.
f. Blades will not be altered by grinding, cutting, heating, hammering, or other actions that could significantly alter their temper, flexibility or durability, excepting that the tang of the weapon may be altered. Normal combat stresses and blade care do not violate this rule.
g. All steel blades must be reasonably flexible. If doubt exists about a weapon’s flexibility, an acceptable field test is: Hold weapon parallel to the ground, supporting handle against table or bench if necessary. Hang a 3 ounce weight (85 grams) just behind the tip. If the blade of a dagger (out to 18” blade length) flexes visibly (more than 1/4 inch (6 mm)), the blade is sufficiently flexible. For any rapier blade (greater than 18”), the flex must be 1/2 inch (12 mm).
1. Blade Points
a. The Nasycon “Aramis” plastic foil already has a blunt striking surface. If manufactured without a blunt striking surface, it must be tipped in accordance with 2.b. below.
b. The Light Rapier and Dagger blades must be tipped by a blunt striking surface of at least 3/8” (9 mm) in diameter. A commercial fencing tip is known to meet this standard. The tip shall be taped or fastened in place using a bright color that contrasts with both the tip and the blade so that a broken blade or the loss of the tip will be readily apparent. The striking portion of the tip shall not be covered so that it may be inspected for excessive wear.
c. Tips exhibiting excessive wear must be replaced.
D. DEFENSIVE EQUIPMENT STANDARDS
1. General Requirements
a. Virtually any object may be used as a parrying device, provided that the object poses no threat to the safety of the combatants. Examples of acceptable objects include, but are not limited to, sword sheaths, hats, root beer mugs, etc.
b. The marshal’s discretion regarding the safety of the parrying device is the deciding factor as to whether or not it will be permitted into the list. Devices that entrap opponents (such that the opponent is blinded, bound or immobilized) or their equipment (such that the equipment cannot be withdrawn from the device), either by design or by repeated mishap, are not allowed.
2. Rigid Parry Device – Rigid parrying devices must be made of sturdy materials, resistant to breakage and splintering. Device edges shall not be jagged, rough, or sharp. If a device has the potential to splinter or develop sharp edges, then the device shall be covered in such a way as to minimize the risk of injury.
3. Non-Rigid Parry Device – Non-rigid parrying devices may be made of cloth, leather, foam or similar materials. They may be weighted with soft material such as rope or rolled cloth; they shall not be weighted with any rigid material, nor with materials that are heavy enough to turn the device into a flail or impact weapon.
A. RULES GOVERNING MINOR PARTICIPATION
1. Who May Participate – The East Kingdom will permit minors to authorize in Youth Rapier Combat at age 6. At age 18, all current youth authorizations automatically transfer to adult status. There are three divisions divided by age groups. Division 1 is age 6-9, Division 2 is 10-13, and Division 3 is 14-17. Lower divisions may bout, spar, practice, and authorize with higher divisions at the discretion of the presiding Youth Marshal.
2. Parental Approval and Attendance – No minor may participate in any martial activity, including practice and bouting at official SCA events and practices, without parental (or guardian) approval and supervision, as described below and in Section IV.B (4) of the Youth Rapier Rules.
3. Adult Supervision – For the protection of all parties present at a Youth Rapier activity, any such activities, where minors are present, shall always be conducted in the presence of a minimum of two adults (at or above the age of legal majority in the state, province, or country in which the activity occurs), unrelated to one another by blood, marriage, or relationship, one of whom may be the Youth Marshal in Charge. This policy does not relieve parents or guardians of their primary responsibility for the welfare and behavior of their children. No minors are to be released into the care of any adult at a Youth Rapier activity until such time as both required adults are present at that activity.
4. The Youth Marshal in Charge is required to enforce this policy, and failure to do so will result in revocation of warrant, and possible further sanctions pursuant to the SCA’s Uniform Sanction Procedure. When activities with minors present are or become out of compliance, the marshal discovering the lapse will correct it immediately or terminate the activity. The Youth Marshal in Charge is required to report to the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal when non-compliance has been discovered. Under emergency conditions it is expected that marshals will act to ensure safety first and compliance second.
5. Marshal Participation – At least one Youth Rapier Marshal (as defined herein) must be present at any official practice or SCA event at which youth rapier activities are taking place.
6. Minor vs. Minor – All sparring and bouting, at any official SCA practice or event, shall be limited to minor against minor. Adults who wish to train with minors may do so provided that any such training, (a) be done in the presence, and under the supervision, of a Youth Rapier Marshal, and (b), does not involve any technique which could result in a bruise or worse injury to the minor. For example, an adult may engage in footwork drills, and slow-speed blade work drills involving minimal contact with the minor participant. c) With the prior written consent of the parent(s) Youth Marshals may conduct full speed drills with Division 3 fencers.
7. Blade Type Limitation – Youth fencers in Division 1 from age 6 – 9 may practice, bout, spar and authorize with the Nasycon “Aramis” plastic foil and/or standard foils and off-hand dagger. Youth fencers in Division 2 from ages 10 -13 may practice, bout, spar and authorize with Light Rapier blades and any off hand parry weapon or blade only and Division 3 from age 14 – 17 may practice, bout, spar and authorize with Light Rapier and any off hand parry device or weapon, as defined herein.
8. Melees: Division 3 fencers are allowed to participate in youth melees.
B. PARENT/LEGAL GUARDIAN RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Parents or guardians who bring minors to an official SCA event must ensure their children’s activities are compliant with SCA Governing Documents, Laws, Policies, and site rules.
2. Parents/legal guardians must observe rapier combat, and be aware of the risk of injury inherent in this martial art. After observing rapier combat, at an official SCA event or practice, the parent or legal guardian must execute a Minor’s Consent to Participate and Hold Harmless Agreement.
3. Parents/legal guardians must understand that this is a contact sport and injuries may occur. Parents/legal guardians are strongly advised to have their child seen by their healthcare provider before allowing them to participate in this activity.
4. Parents/legal guardians are required to read and understand the Rules of the Lists for the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (the “Society” or “SCA”), the SCA Corporate Rules for Rapier Combat (the “Society Rules”) and these Youth Rapier Rules before executing any waiver concerning the participation of a minor in rapier activities.
5. At least one person, 18 years or older, responsible for an individual youth fencer must be present at the event or official practice while the minor is engaged in youth rapier activities. If a parent/legal guardian wishes to assign someone to act as the responsible party in their stead, the parent/guardian must execute a Medical Authorization for Minors (as provided by the SCA, Inc.) and provide the following information to the Youth Rapier Marshal in writing: Parent/Guardian name, child’s name, and responsible party’s name. The Youth Rapier Marshal may NOT be assigned as the responsible party.
6. Youth rapier marshals are not babysitters, and are not responsible for supervising minors participating in youth rapier activities.
C. CONDUCT ON THE FIELD
1. All combatants shall obey the commands of the marshals overseeing the field, or be removed from the field and subject to subsequent disciplinary action.
2. All fencers, and the parent or guardian thereof, prior to every official practice or SCA event, shall ensure their equipment is safe, in good working order and has been inspected by a marshal.
3. Disagreements with the marshals overseeing the field shall be resolved through the established mechanisms of the Youth rapier marshallate, as described herein.
4. Combatants shall maintain control over their temper and behavior at all times.
5. Striking an opponent with excessive force, or with deliberate intent to injure, is forbidden.
6. “Hold” shall be called whenever a marshal, fencer or spectator, believe conditions require it. Such conditions include, but are not limited to, (a) a safety hazard, such as equipment failure or a non-combatant on the field and (b) violations of the Youth Rapier Rules. Upon hearing the call of “hold” all combat shall immediately stop. The combatants shall freeze, check for hazards in their immediate vicinity, and then assume a non-threatening position with their weapons pointed away from their opponents.
7. Conduct obstructive of rapier combat, such as consistently ignoring or incorrectly recognizing blows, or other deliberate misuse of the rules (such as calling “hold” whenever pressed), or the like, is forbidden.
8. The use of any uncontrolled attack (i.e. an attack that cannot be quickly stopped if “hold” is called or if an unsafe circumstance develops) is prohibited.
9. Wrestling with an opponent, or any form of body-to-body contact is prohibited.
10. All issues must be resolved on the field, or noted to the marshallate as soon as practicable if delay is necessary.
11. It is the responsibility of fencers to agree upon what weapons and/or optional blow calling conventions (such as fighting to “first blood” or “armor as worn”) shall be used, and to so inform the marshals prior to combat. If this agreement cannot be reached, the fencers may not engage in combat. The Youth Marshal-in-Charge will then make the determination as to how this situation will affect those fencers’ continued participation in that event’s activities.
D. USE OF WEAPONS AND PARRYING DEVICES
1. Use of Blades
a. Valid blows are struck by: thrusting with the point of the blade (thrust); sliding the edge of the blade by pulling (draw cut) or pushing (push cut) across the target; or by placing the tip of the blade upon, and then drawing it across the target (tip cut).
b. Chopping or hacking blows are never permitted.
2. Use of Parrying Devices
a. Though the gloved hand may be used to parry, it shall not be used to push, grasp or strike an opponent. Grasping, or sliding a hand along, the blade will result in the loss of the hand.
b. Striking a combatant with a parrying device, or with any part of a weapon not approved for that purpose, is prohibited, as is grabbing or trapping a combatant’s equipment.
c. Cloaks and other non-rigid parrying devices may be used to parry or foul an opponent’s weapon but shall not be used to entrap a weapon (i.e. entangle a weapon so that it may not be withdrawn from the device).
d. A valid blow to a non-rigid parrying device will be considered to have penetrated through to the body and to have done damage. Cloaks and other non-rigid parrying devices will be allowed to take multiple hits without being considered to have sustained ruinous damage to the material.
E. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF BLOWS
1. Calibration of Valid Blows
a. In judging blows, all fencers are deemed to be wearing common civil attire, not armor.
b. Blows will be counted as though they were struck with a real blade, extremely sharp on point and edge. Any valid blow that would have penetrated the skin shall be counted a good blow. In practice, this means that:
1) A valid thrust is an attack with the point of a blade that is firm enough that pressure in line with the thrust is felt against the body. A valid thrust is not negated or lessened due to the blade tip sliding after contact with the target.
2) A valid draw or push cut is made by placing the edge of a blade against an opponent and sliding 6” of the blade against the opponent’s body while maintaining noticeable and constant pressure. Merely laying the blade on the opponent without pressure or movement is insufficient.
3) A valid tip cut is made by dragging the tip of the blade a minimum of 6” across an opponent’s body. As with a thrust and draw, only pressure sufficient to make the blade felt need be maintained.
c. An attack must be acknowledged as valid if it is felt. There is no such thing as a “light” blow. Therefore, Eastern calibration shall tend toward the lightest touch that may reasonably be expected to be felt through armor constructed to the requirements set forth herein.
d. Any valid blow that strikes a mask, helm or gorget shall be counted as though it struck flesh.
2. Effect of Valid Blows
a. A valid blow to the
4) inner groin (to the combatant’s palm width down the inner leg)
5) armpit (to the combatant’s palm width down the arm), shall be judged incapacitating, rendering the combatant incapable of further combat
b. A valid blow to the arm will disable the arm. A valid blow to the hand will only disable the hand. A disabled hand may still be used to parry if left limp; a disabled arm may not be used to parry.
c. A valid blow to the foot or leg will disable the leg. The combatant must then fight kneeling, sitting, or standing on one leg, without placing weight on the injured foot. A disabled fencer may “knee walk” in order to gain engagement, but must remain stationary once engaged with an opponent.
d. A fencer is considered armed so long as one weapon is retained. If disarmed (not holding any weapon) a combatant may, at the discretion of his or her opponent, recover a weapon. If permission is refused the fencer must yield. When a fencer is disarmed, the marshal on the field shall call a hold until one of the above actions is settled upon.
F. CONVENTIONS OF MELEE COMBAT
1. A fencer must obtain engagement before attacking an opponent in melee. Engagement is obtained when a fencer acknowledges an opponent’s presence either verbally, physically (i.e. by a nod, a light beat to the blade, or turning to face the opponent), or has in some other way demonstrated awareness of the opponent. A combatant who deliberately ignores an opponent, or repeatedly maneuvers to keep his or her back to an attacker (thereby preventing the attacker from obtaining engagement) is abusing the rules of engagement, and will be subject to sanction.
2. Combatants may strike any opponent with whom they have engagement if they are within the 180° arc of the opponent’s front, as measured from the plane of the opponent’s shoulders. A combatant who approaches an opponent from behind shall not deliver a blow until he or she is within this arc. A combatant may never strike an opponent from behind except as provided herein. Engagement is broken when a fencer turns his or her back and steps out of range. While in range, the fencer may still be struck, even with his or her back turned. Once combatants are out of range of each other, engagement must be renewed. For purposes of this rule, “range” is defined as the distance a fencer can attack with a single action of footwork (i.e. a single lunge, advance, or cross-step).
3. At the discretion of the Marshal-in-Charge, killing from behind may be allowed, but must be announced beforehand. “Death from behind” is performed by laying a blade over the opponent’s shoulder, to at least a third of the blade, while calling “Dead, my lord” (or other short, courteous phrases) in a loud, clear voice. Reaching around the neck is forbidden. The opponent will be deemed “killed” from the instant the blade touches his or her shoulder. “Death from behind” may not be avoided or negated by spinning, ducking or dodging away after contact with the blade is made as described above.
4. Running from place to place in a melee is permitted. Running attacks, against a line or an individual, are prohibited.
5. A fencer positioned behind an opponent may, without obtaining engagement, bind or foul the opponent’s weapons using his or her own weapons. Care should be taken to avoid body-to-body contact in this circumstance.
6. If combatants are fighting in a line and they engage another line then all members of the line are considered to be engaged with all the opponents on the opposite line.
7. All defeated or disabled fencers should remove themselves from the melee field or die defensively, depending on the conditions of the field. Fencers withdrawing from the field should do so with weapons held above their head to indicate non-combatant status.
8. Any fencer affected by a call of “hold” should immediately drop to one knee. During a hold, fencers are not permitted to take any action which may confer a tactical advantage (e.g. moving, discussing tactics with teammates, resurrecting, etc.).
9. A fencer whose equipment fails in any way (e.g. a blade breaks, a mask becomes dislodged, a tip falls off, torn clothing reveals bare skin) during a melee must immediately yield and promptly leave the field. Before re-entering the field (whether the melee is ongoing or not), the fencer must pass a re-inspection and receive permission to re-enter from a marshal on the field.
10. Special scenario melees, such as bridge or town battles, may impose additional restrictions as needed by the marshals.
A. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
1. No one may use a weapons form in a tournament or melee held at an official SCA event unless they have been properly authorized in that form. Weapons forms for which authorization may be granted are:
a. Rapier – The form shall consist of a single light rapier, with the off-hand empty.
b. Case of Rapier – The form shall consist of two light rapiers.
c. Rapier and Rigid Parrying Device – The form shall consist of one light rapier and one rigid parrying device, such as buckler, mug, etc. Daggers are excluded from this form.
d. Rapier and Dagger – The form shall consist of one light rapier and one dagger.
e. Rapier and Non-Rigid Parrying Device – The form shall consist of one light rapier and one non-rigid parrying device, such as a cloak, hat, etc.
f. Melee Combat – Division 3 may participate in youth melees, however in Youth Rapier melee combat will be authorized separately from general authorizations.
2. A fencer must authorize in Single Rapier before authorizing in any other weapons form.
3. A fencer who is not authorized in a particular weapons form may use that form at official practices and at SCA events for informal bouting, sparring or practice, at the discretion of the Youth Marshal-in-Charge.
4. Authorizations may be conducted only at SCA events or official practices.
5. Authorizations are conducted by two warranted rapier marshals, one of which must be a youth marshal, who are themselves authorized in the weapons form that is the subject of the authorization. An experienced, authorized youth fencer may be employed to bout with the candidate to demonstrate proper blow calling while in a combat situation. Use of the experienced, authorized youth fencer is at the discretion of the authorizing youth marshals. The required format for authorizations is set out in section V.D. of the Youth Rapier Rules. Each authorization must be renewed every 2 years. Formal authorization procedures may be waived at the discretion of the authorizing marshals if the subject fencer has been actively fencing within the prior six months.
B. GENERAL CRITERIA FOR AUTHORIZATION
1. An authorization may only be granted where a candidate can demonstrate (a) that he or she is familiar with the Youth Rapier Rules and (b) that he or she can fence safely and competently within the boundaries of those rules. It is important to note that BOTH safety and competence must be demonstrated. For purposes of this rule, competence requires that a candidate possess the control necessary to abide by East Kingdom calibration standards, and to avoid injury to both the candidate and his or her opponents.
2. In order to authorize in any weapons form, the candidate must demonstrate:
- Knowledge and understanding of the Youth Rapier Rules, especially those rules that apply to the particular weapons form authorization being attempted;
- The ability to safely execute and properly acknowledge blows;
- The safe and effective execution of the offensive and defensive techniques appropriate to that weapons form, in the setting of an actual bout;
- An ability to handle special circumstances (i.e. properly responding to a called ‘Hold’, fighting from the ground, fighting a legged opponent, use of the blade in the off hand, etc.).
C. AUTHORIZATION CRITERIA FOR PARTICULAR WEAPONS FORMS
1. Single Rapier – The candidate must be able to demonstrate the following safely and competently:
- The ability to advance, retreat, maneuver, and lunge with balance and proper distance
- Simple, straight line attacks to several different target areas
- Basic parries
- A selection of complex attacks, such as feints or beat attacks
- Performing draw cuts and tip cuts
- Reasonable point control
- Calibration and blow-calling according to East Kingdom standards
- An understanding of, and ability to use, the off-hand
2. Rapier and Rigid Parrying Device – The candidate must be able to demonstrate safely and competently all elements listed under Single Rapier, above, as well as the following:
- A variety of parries with the rigid parry object;
- Preventing the rapier and the parry object from becoming entangled;
- Avoiding striking or attacking with the parry object;
- Taking blades or making openings with the parry object; and
- Use of the parry object in concert with the rapier.
- At the marshal’s discretion, a candidate may also be required to demonstrate safety with a variety of rigid parry objects.
3. Rapier and Non-Rigid Parrying Device – the candidate must be able to demonstrate safely and competently all elements listed under Single Rapier, above, as well as the following:
- A variety of parries with the non-rigid parry object;
- Preventing the rapier and the parry object from becoming entangled;
- Avoiding striking or attacking with the parry object;
- Taking blades or making openings with the parry object; and
- Use of the parry object in concert with the rapier.
- At the marshal’s discretion, a candidate may also be required to demonstrate safety with a variety of non-rigid parry objects.
4. Rapier and Dagger – the candidate must be able to demonstrate safely and competently all elements listed under Single Rapier, above, as well as the following:
- A variety of attacks with the dagger;
- Parries (or blocks) of attacks with the dagger;
- Preventing the rapier and the dagger from becoming entangled;
- Taking blades or making openings with the dagger;
- Use of the dagger alone (i.e. single dagger with no rapier); and
- Use of the dagger in concert with the rapier.
5. Case of Rapier – the candidate must be able to demonstrate safely and competently all elements listed under Single Rapier, above, as well as the following:
- A variety of attacks and parries with both blades;
- Preventing the two blades from becoming entangled; and
- Use of both blades in concert.
6. Melee Combat – the candidate must be able to demonstrate knowledge of East Kingdom melee conventions as well as the following:
- How to properly deliver a death from behind.
- Proper use of RBGs and rules governing their usage.
- Use of blades to safely foul an opponent’s blades.
- How to safely gain engagement with already engaged opponents.
D. CONDUCT OF AUTHORIZATION PROCEDURES
1. Following is the procedure for authorizations. Marshals may, at their discretion, spend more or less time on a given element as needed to properly assess a candidate. Before attempting to authorize, a fencer should review these procedures, and should be aware of the expectations of the marshallate, as described below.
a. The candidate’s weapons and armor must be inspected.
b. The youth marshals should assess the candidate’s knowledge of the Youth Rapier Rules through verbal questioning. Rules to be covered by such questions should include, but are not limited to: (a) armor requirements, (b) blow calling, and (c) calibration standards. For a first authorization, the candidate should be more thoroughly questioned about the rules in general. For later authorizations, the candidate should be questioned about rules applicable to the particular weapons form being attempted.
c. The candidate then spars with a youth marshal conducting the authorization. It is required that the youth marshal fighting the authorization adhere to the contact limitations outlined in Section IV Paragraph A.6 of this document. The youth marshal should use tempo, distance, and deliberate presentation of openings to draw attacks from the authorizing fencer while employing feints, parries, and cuts to make them demonstrate their defensive abilities.
The emphasis in the authorization is on (a) the demonstration of a variety of parries and blocks, (b) recognition of opportunities to riposte and, (c) the demonstration of a variety of different attacks, while (d) maintaining control. Special attention should be paid to the candidate’s calibration. The youth marshal fighting the authorization should make an effort to: (a) perform a variety of simple and complex feint attacks at various targets on the candidate’s body, and (b) intentionally present the candidate with opportunities to stop thrust or riposte. The authorizing youth marshal should verbally acknowledge valid blows.
d. During the course of sparring or bouting, the youth marshals should assess the candidate’s performance in a variety of situations, including: (a) fighting from his or her knees, (b) fighting an opponent on his or her knees, and (c) fighting with the off hand. Candidates should also demonstrate an ability to respond to potentially hazardous situations safely. Such situations may include an aggressive press attack, or a dropped or entrapped weapon. If a candidate is not displaying a skill about which the marshal is concerned, the marshal should ask the candidate make an effort to demonstrate such skill, (e.g. asking a candidate to demonstrate use of the off hand, or different types of attack or parry).
2. Once the sparring and bouting are completed, the two marshals performing the authorization should then, outside the presence of the candidate, discuss the strengths and weakness demonstrated in the course of the authorization. They may accept suggestions and observations from other marshals, marshals-in-training, or observers, but they must make the final decision regarding authorization. Options available to the youth marshals include:
a. Declining to Grant Authorization. It is the responsibility of the marshallate to decline authorization to those persons who are unable to demonstrate safe and competent fencing. Marshals declining authorization should provide candidates with detailed reasons for doing so, and with advice regarding further work that may be done to prepare for authorization. Candidates who are declined authorizations should be informed of their right to appeal this decision to the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal.
b. Granting Authorization. If the candidate is successful, the necessary paperwork must be completed by the marshals. This paperwork, and the procedure for filling it out, is available from the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal or Youth Marshal-in-Charge. It is advisable to make a copy of all paperwork sent to the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal, in case it is lost, misplaced, or needs verification.
c. Provisional Authorization. In certain instances, with the permission of the Youth Marshal-in-Charge, a candidate may be authorized for the purposes of a particular day, event, or tournament only, in order to provide the marshals with additional time to evaluate the candidate. This option should be used only (a) when the marshals are certain they will have adequate opportunity to observe the candidate throughout the rest of the day, event or tournament, and (b) where the candidate has adequately demonstrated the ability to safely use the form in which the provisional authorization has been granted.
3. Candidates should be promptly informed of the outcome of the authorization, and the marshals’ reasons for the grant or denial of authorization. Marshals are encouraged to discuss with the candidate the strengths and weaknesses demonstrated in the authorization, as well as to provide suggestions for improvement.
A. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE YOUTH RAPIER MARSHALLATE
1. In General
a. Marshals are responsible for seeing that rapier combat is conducted as safely as possible. To this end, marshals are required to enforce the Youth Rapier Rules. However, no set of rules can be all-inclusive and foresee every possible situation. Therefore, marshals are not only encouraged, but also expected to exercise their discretion to apply the intent of the Youth Rapier Rules to such situations. Further, it is the duty of all marshals to remain up-to-date on all rules changes.
b. A Youth Rapier Marshal’s first and foremost concern is to safeguard, to the best of his or her ability, the wellbeing of the youth that are in his or her care. A Youth Rapier Marshal shall neither allow nor be a party to any inappropriate behavior at a Youth Fighter Program activity at which he/she is present.
c. The study and recreation of period techniques are to be encouraged, and emphasis should be placed on the practice of the art of defense, not on competition.
d. At no time shall a Youth Rapier Marshal allow any youth rapier activities to occur outside of a designated and properly supervised youth fencer list or practice area.
e. At no time shall a Youth Rapier Marshal strike any youth fencer with a weapon of any type, except as provided in Sec. II.A(5), above.
f. At no time shall a Youth Rapier Marshal allow any adult at a Youth Rapier activity (including parents) to strike any youth fighter at this activity with a weapon of any type, expect as provided in Sec. II.A(5), above.
g. A Youth Rapier Marshal shall encourage & instruct (but not direct) youth in the use of honorable and chivalrous behavior on and off of the youth fighter list area.
h. As is appropriate for the age group with which he/she is dealing, a Youth Rapier Marshal shall encourage those individuals that he/she is training to discuss and resolve problems with their peers through a courteous discussion and resolution of the problem amongst those involved.
2. Marshal Function at Events
a. Equipment Inspection – Before fencing at any event, each fencer must have his or her armor and weapons inspected by a marshal to ensure compliance with the Youth Rapier Rules. All weapons or items a fighter intends to use must be inspected. In addition, the fencer’s armor must be inspected while all parts are being worn on his or her body.
b. Marshaling the Bout
i. There should be at least one warranted Youth Rapier Marshal for every bout. Where list space is restricted, additional marshals should be present to observe the boundaries of the list.
ii. It is the responsibility of each marshal on the field is to ensure the safety of the fencers, the spectators, and the other marshals. A marshal is only secondarily a referee of the bout, and then only if requested by the combatants, or in the event of a serious safety problem or rules violation. While active marshaling is discouraged, a marshal observing a serious infraction should not hesitate to step in and deal with the problem.
iii. Before fencing begins, the marshal should examine the terrain for problems such as large rocks, holes, wet areas, soft spots, etc. Fields and floors that are slippery or otherwise lack traction can contribute to injuries. If there are unavoidable problem areas, marshals should try to keep fencers clear of them or otherwise block them off. A marshal has the right and responsibility to restrict the list field, particularly for safety reasons.
iv. When the fencers come onto the field, the marshal must make sure that they are fully armored and equipped. Even though fencers must be inspected before taking the field, equipment, particularly blades and tips, should be quickly examined to ensure that no problems have developed since inspection.
v. Before the bout begins, it is recommended that fencers calibrate. The standard Eastern calibration practice is for fencers to exchange a variety of blows (e.g. thrusts, cuts and draws to various parts of the body) which each fencer believes meets, but does not exceed, the East Kingdom standard for calibration defined elsewhere in these rules. Fencers must understand East Kingdom calibration before the start of the bout, and thorough calibration is particularly important when one fencer is not from the East Kingdom. Fencers may not request from their opponents a calibration standard in excess of that defined in these rules. Instead, it is the duty of each fencer to be able to fight at East Kingdom calibration standards.
vi. Once a bout begins, a marshal should observe in order to (a) watch for any unsafe conduct or conditions during the course of the bout, and (b) render an opinion, if required, on the particulars of the bout. Generally, marshals should not express an opinion on a blow unless asked by the fencers. If asked for an opinion, the marshal should give a complete and honest account of what he or she witnessed, and should try to help the fencers reach an amicable (or at least acceptable) outcome. The marshal may, at his or her discretion, suggest that the fencers re-fight a disputed bout.
vii. At the end of each bout, before the result of the bout is heralded, the marshal shall ask each fighter if they are satisfied with the conduct of the bout. If either combatant is dissatisfied with the conduct of the bout, they must state any grievances before walking off the field. Any fighter who leaves the field without stating grievances is declaring his/herself satisfied with the bout.
c. Reporting Injuries
i. Should a fencing-related injury of any kind occur at an SCA event or official practice, the Youth Marshal-in-Charge must submit a detailed report of the injury to the Earl Marshal, the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal, and the Kingdom Chirurgeon. This report should include: (a) the SCA and legal name(s), addresses and phone numbers of the injured party and all persons directly involved in the injury; (b) the SCA and legal name(s), addresses and phone numbers of the parents and/or guardians of the injured party and all persons directly involved in the injury; (c) the date and place of the injury; (d) the nature of the injury; (e) detailed circumstances of the injury; (f) a description of the action(s) taken by the marshals, the chirurgeonate, or by any other officer or representative of the SCA; (g) the name(s) of the warranted chirurgeon(s) in attendance, if any; (h) any other details of the injury which might be relevant.
ii. It is important that injury reports are submitted promptly and contain a complete and accurate description of the injury and related circumstances. An informal report, via telephone or e-mail, may be made prior to preparing a written report, in order to inform the marshallate of the incident as quickly as possible.
d. Handling Disputes
i. When a dispute arises on the field, the marshal acts as mediator. Tact and firmness are essential to this role. The marshal’s ultimate goal as mediator is to ensure that disputes are not taken off of the field to fester.
ii. The marshal should listen to both sides of a dispute, adding his or her own observations if applicable, and then should attempt to help the fencers come to an agreement. The marshal, at his or her discretion, may also solicit opinions from other marshals or from witnesses to disputed events, if such opinions would aid in resolving the dispute. Fencers who lose their tempers or are unwilling to resolve their differences may be asked to step out of the tournament or the melee until they regain their composure. If the marshal feels that he or she is unable to impartially mediate the fencers’ dispute, another marshal should be brought in to help.
1. Disciplinary Actions
a. Sanctions against Fencers
i. Violation of the Youth Rapier Rules should be reported to the Marshal-in-Charge. Depending on the severity of the incident, the report may be passed up the chain of command, and may result in further sanctions. Before a sanction is imposed by the marshallate, the marshal taking the action should discuss the sanction with the fencer and his or her parent or guardian. For all sanctions, the ability to appeal the sanction to the next marshallate level should be made clear to the fencer and his or her parent or guardian.
ii. Sanctions available to the marshallate include, from least to most severe:
a) Reprimand – After an incident which a marshal on the field considers to be unsafe or a violation of the Youth Rapier Rules, the marshal should warn or reprimand the fencer against such action. The marshal should discuss the incident with the fencer and his or her parent or guardian, preferably in a private setting, and make sure that the fencer understands the relevant rules or conventions that have been violated. The fencer and his or her parent or guardian should be made to understand that continuing such behavior could result in more serious sanctions. A marshal who reprimands or warns a fencer should inform the Marshal-in-Charge that a warning or reprimand was issued, and briefly explain the reasons for the reprimand or warning.
b) Removal from the Bout – If, in the opinion of the marshal on the field, a fencer is unable to continue fencing safely, the marshal may remove the fencer from the bout. The fencer and his or her parent or guardian must be told why such action is being taken, with reference to the specific rules or conventions that have been violated. Once removed from the bout, the fencer may, at the option of the marshals involved, continue to fence for the rest of the day. A marshal who removes a fencer from a bout must make a written report to the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal and should inform the Marshal-in-Charge that the fencer was removed from a bout. The report should briefly explain the reasons for the removal.
c) Removal from the Field – The Youth Marshal-in-Charge may, upon his or her discretion or with the advice of other marshals, determine that a fencer should be removed from fencing for the day or event. Removal from the field should be imposed for serious violations of the Youth Rapier Rules. The fencer must be informed why the action is being taken, with reference to the specific rules or conventions which have been violated. The Youth Marshal-in-Charge must make a written report documenting this action to his or her immediate superior, including the name of the sanctioned fencer, all the details of the incident, and any other relevant information.
d) Probation – If a fencer engages in repeated and extreme violations of the Youth Rapier Rules the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal may impose a probationary period on that fencer. The duration of the probation is within the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal. During that time, the fencer will be under close scrutiny to ensure that there is no repetition of the offending behavior. The fencer and his or her parent or guardian must be notified in writing of the imposition of and reasons for the probation, and its duration. If, at the end of the probation, the fencer has shown improvement, the probation should be lifted. A written report reflecting the fencer’s return to good standing should be sent to the fencer, and his or her parent or guardian. If, however, the fencer has not improved the probationary period may be extended, or more serious sanctions may be imposed.
e) Suspension – The Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal may immediately hand out a thirty-day suspension, during which time the suspended fencer may not participate in fencing activities at any SCA event or official practice. This is only done in severe cases, such as where a combatant’s conduct poses a safety risk to himself or others, or where a combatant refuses to follow the instructions of the marshals on the field. Suspension will always be followed by an investigation by the marshallate.
f) Removal of Authorizations and Further Sanction – The Earl Marshal, Kingdom Marshal of Fence, or the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal may, upon their discretion, remove a fencer’s authorization. A written statement of removal and the reasons for the removal must be provided to the fencer and his or her parent or guardian. In addition, the Earl Marshal, Kingdom Marshal of Fence, or Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal may recommend to the Crown that further sanction be imposed upon the fencer and his or her parent or guardian, up to and including banishment.
b. Sanctions Against Marshals
i. Only the Earl Marshal, Kingdom Marshal of Fence, or the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal, acting upon their discretion, may remove a marshal’s warrant. Causes for removal of a warrant include, without limitation, actions detrimental to the goals, ideals, and responsibilities of the SCA, Inc., the Kingdom of the East, and/or the marshallate.
ii. Before sanctions are imposed, the Earl Marshal, Kingdom Marshal of Fence, or the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal should discuss the sanction with the marshal. A written statement of removal must be sent to the marshal so sanctioned, and to the Kingdom Minister of the Lists.
c. Appeal of Sanctions – All sanctions may be appealed to the next highest level in the marshallate chain of command. The chain of command is as follows (in ascending order):
i. Marshal on the field
ii. Marshal-in-Charge of the event or practice
iii. Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal
iv. Kingdom Marshal of Fence
v. Earl Marshal
vi. Crown of the East
B. MARSHALLATE ORGANIZATION
1. Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal – The Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal is ultimately responsible for all youth rapier combat in the East Kingdom and for ensuring the proper growth, training and supervision of the youth rapier marshallate. The KYRM is a deputy of the Kingdom Marshal of Fence, and may simultaneously serve in a position in the adult rapier marshallate, up to and including the Kingdom Marshal of Fence. The KYRM may appoint deputies at his or her discretion. Contact information for the KYRM may be found in the Pikestaff, or on line at www.eastkingdom.org/officers.html.
It is the responsibility and duty of the KYRM to provide the Kingdom Marshal of Fence with quarterly reports on the status of the Youth Rapier Program. It is also his/her responsibility and duty to provide the Kingdom Marshal of Fence with timely information concerning any and all new developments relating to the Youth Rapier Program, wherein the knowledge of and/or attention to these matters may be required by the Kingdom Marshal of Fence. It is further his/her responsibility and duty to ensure that the activities of the Kingdom’s Youth Rapier Program are properly coordinated with the Kingdom’s Chancellor Minor. In addition to this, it is his/her responsibility and duty to ensure that the activities of the Kingdom’s Youth Rapier Program are in compliance with any and all guidelines for youth activities that may be enacted by the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. and the East Kingdom.
2. Youth Marshal-at-Large – A Youth Marshal-at-Large performs general marshallate duties, including the authorization of fencers, and the marshaling of youth fencing activities at SCA events and official practices, as well as bringing any candidates for the marshallate to the attention of the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal. A Youth Marshal-at-Large is directly responsible to the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal. Youth Marshals-at-Large report to the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal on a quarterly basis.
3. Youth Marshal-in-Charge – The marshal responsible for running youth fencing activities at a particular event or official practice is the Marshal-in-Charge. The Marshal-in-Charge’s primary duty is to ensure that the rapier activities at a particular SCA event or official practice are conducted in a safe manner and in compliance with the Youth Rapier Rules. Any warranted youth rapier marshal may serve as a Youth Marshal in Charge. After any event with rapier combat, the Youth Marshal-in-Charge must submit a written report to the autocrat of the event.
4. Youth Marshal-in-Training – A youth marshal in training (MiT) is a fencer participating in a marshal training and authorization program under the supervision of the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal and/or a deputy thereof. As part of such a program, MiTs may perform the various functions of the marshallate, but only under the direct supervision of a warranted marshal. MiTs are not legal representatives of the SCA, Inc., and have no authority over fencers beyond that exercised as part of the MiT training program.
C. MARSHAL AUTHORIZATION
1. Eligibility for the Marshallate – Youth Rapier Marshals must meet the following requirements:
a. He or she must be a member of the SCA, and must maintain membership for the duration of his or her warrant
b. He or she must be a warrant adult rapier marshal
c. He or she must be acceptable to the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal. Being acceptable to the KYRM may include:
i. Demonstrating an understanding of these rules and how they are applied
ii. Demonstrating the ability to act responsibly and exercise sound judgment
iii. Having undergone training in marshaling techniques from one or several warranted marshals
iv. Being recommended by a warranted marshal as competent
v. Any other matters bearing on a candidate’s knowledge, judgment, experience or fitness to be a marshal
2. The Warranting Process
a. The candidate must contact the KYRM and inform him/her of their desire to become a warranted youth rapier marshal.
b. The candidate must submit to a formal background check administered by the SCA corporate office. In order to accomplish this, the candidate must complete the background check form and submit it to the SCA corporate office as specified on the form.
c. The candidate must directly contact the KYRM upon being informed by the SCA that they had passed their background check screen process. A copy of the letter from the SCA must be provided to the KYRM before the Youth Rapier Marshal warrant is issued.
d. The candidate may, at the KYRM’s discretion and following a successful background check, become a Youth Marshal-in-Training, and begin a training program under the supervision of the KYRM or a deputy thereof, for the purposes of assessing that candidate’s knowledge of the East Kingdom Youth Rapier Rules, character, temperament, commitment, training, knowledge, maturity, skill, and experience which is deemed necessary to serve as a teacher and a marshal to the youth of the Kingdom.
e. First and foremost, candidates for the youth marshallate must have a thorough understanding of the Youth Rapier Rules. Once the KYRM is satisfied that the candidate has such understanding, the candidate will participate in a training program which will include:
i. Aiding in the supervision and instruction of youth fencers at practice and events
ii. Performing equipment inspections under supervision of a warranted marshal
iii. Participation in the administrative aspects of tournaments
iv. Introduction to other warranted youth marshals
v. Familiarization with the proper conduct of an authorization. NOTE: MITs will not participate as a combatant in any actual authorization bout. When training in the proper conduct of an authorization is necessary, the marshal training the YMiT may set up a mock authorization procedure
vi. Familiarization with rules and current standards of the marshallate
f. Testing – The KYRM may test youth marshallate candidates at his or her discretion.
3. Issuing the Warrant
a. When the KYRM warrants a marshal, that marshal will fill out the standard warranting form and submit such form to the KYRM, including the following information:
i. SCA and legal names of the marshal
ii. Address and telephone number of the marshal
iii. Date of warrant
iv. Local SCA group of the marshal
v. Event or official practice at which the warranting took place (if applicable)
vi. SCA signature and title of the warranting marshal
b. The warrant is in effect upon the signing of the authorization form by the KYRM.