Marshal's handbook

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Middle Kingdom Marshal's Handbook

Version 12.1 (January 2015)

The most recent version of the handbook can always be found on the Middle Kingdom marshals Webpage


This is the Twelfth Edition of the Middle Kingdom's Armored Combat Fighter and Marshal Handbook. Unlike recent previous editions of the handbook, this edition has combined the Society and Kingdom Handbooks so that only one document is needed to cover the rules of the list in the Middle Kingdom. What you find within these pages reflects a vast body of experience and knowledge gathered from over 40 years of SCA combat and has been compiled through the efforts of many marshals over the years. For fighters who often travel to foreign events, reading the Society rules and the rules of the Kingdom you are visiting to see the differences is highly encouraged.

As a fighter and/or a marshal it is your duty to know and understand these rules and to teach and share them with the participants you train and authorize. Be aware of changes and updates to these rules and policies and clarifications made to the Kingdom and Society standards. Read The Pale to stay up-to- date on rule changes. The internet and social media are also good resources; The Midrealm Marshals Facebook page hosts discussion and clarification of these rules and other Middle Kingdom combat conventions. Of course, nothing replaces going to practice and events and staying active in our sport!

Remember, as you read this handbook and gather at events and practices, we all participate in the SCA to have fun. The fluid nature of what we do makes it very difficult to write a document which can accurately describe every possible situation and give a ruling on its outcome; when faced with a question that you don't know how to answer choose safety first as there's nothing fun about getting hurt or hurting someone else. Afterwards, find the official answer from a person in the know.

Finally, I would like to take a moment to thank the former Earls Marshal of the Middle Kingdom who continue to support the Midrealm through their efforts as Special Deputy Earls Marshal. I would also like to thank the many people who volunteer their time as marshals throughout the year, allowing us all to enjoy this incredibly unique sport. Last, but not least, I would like to thank Duchess Eanor of Amberhall and Warder Andrew Blackwood for their assistance in editing and laying out this document.

Fight hard, fight often, and I will see you in the list! Sir Gregoire de Lyon, KEM.

Participants Section

See Marshal's handbook

Authorization Cards and Waivers

A. All authorized combatants must obtain an authorization card that must be presented to the List Table or inspecting Marshals at official events (but not official practices) before they can enter the Lists. Anyone who will enter the Lists as a participant (fighting in a tourney, sparring, helping with authorizations, Marshalling, etc.) must go to the List Table and present their Authorization/Participation Card, their SCA, Inc. membership card, and sign the appropriate participant's list and whatever other tourney Lists are requested. Persons other than combatants or Marshals who must enter the Lists (e.g. heralds, water bearers) must execute a waiver before participating at an official event.

B. While presenting paperwork at the Table is the best solution and strongly encouraged, participants frequently misplace their cards. In order to facilitate maximum participation, Marshals can verbally vouch for the authorization status of a participant, or the warrant of another Marshal who has misplaced their card. Any warranted officer of the SCA, Inc. may vouch for the membership status of a participant except for participation in Crown List, which requires formal proof of membership. Marshals and list officials are cautioned to report participants who appear to be taking advantage of this flexibility.


D. The only exception is when you are authorizing or re-authorizing, which requires only a membership card.

E. Membership restriction per Article VII Authorization for Combat, Section 104 of Middle Kingdom Law:

VII-104: Only persons who are Members of the SCA, Inc. may be a Middle Kingdom Authorized fighter. Any person not in possession of a blue membership card must execute a waiver before participating in combat at an SCA function.

F. Out of Kingdom Authorizations

1. This law does not prohibit honoring out-of-kingdom authorizations, only that visitors who become permanent residents must become members if they wish to be authorized in the Middle Kingdom. Out-of-kingdom visitors may participate in Middle Kingdom martial activities upon showing proof of authorization, as applicable, and subject to the policies above. Again, Marshals and list officials are cautioned to report visitors who appear to be taking advantage of this flexibility.
2. Out of kingdom authorization cards will be honored until they expire in those situations where the participant has recently become a permanent resident of the Midrealm. The participant may then apply to the Regional Marshal for that activity for permission to directly transfer their authorizations to the closest Midrealm equivalents. The Regional Marshal will either approve the request on a case-by-case basis and forward to the Clerk of the Roster or direct the participant to re-authorize.

See Marshal's handbook

Combat Authorization Requirements

A. General

1. All persons who wish to participate in SCA combat activities must authorize under the Society and Middle Kingdom authorization procedures. SCA combat activities are defined as armored combat, Society period fencing, combat archery, siege, and marshaling. Other martial activities clearly falling within the scope above are also considered combat-related activities. Youth combat programs are not supervised at the Society level, but participation in such programs requires authorization following Middle Kingdom procedures.
The Middle Kingdom authorization process shall verify that the candidate is a member of the SCA with an activity waiver on file (most normally verified through the possession of a Blue Card), and is familiar with the following:
a. Rules of the Lists of the SCA.
b. The Armor and Weapons standards of the SCA.
c. The Conventions of Combat for the SCA.
d. Middle Kingdom Conventions of Combat.
e. Middle Kingdom specific Armor and Weapons Standards.
In addition to the above requirements, candidates must demonstrate the ability to function on the field in a manner that is safe both to themselves and to their opponents.
a. Only a warranted marshal may perform an authorization. This authorizing marshal must witness the authorization and execute the appropriate paperwork.
b. It is the responsibility of the combatant, NOT the marshal, to ensure that the authorization is registered with Clerk of the Roster.
c. Authorizations may only occur at official practices or events. Official practices or events are those that are published on official SCA websites and/or are advertised in The Pale.
Authorizations shall be registered with, and kept on file by, the Clerk of the Roster. This office shall be responsible for maintaining the registration of authorizations. This office shall provide the Earl Marshal with a list of all current combat authorization cards upon request.
2. To be an authorized armored combatant in the Middle Kingdom requires membership in the SCA with an activity waiver on file in the Corporate Offices (most normally shown by possession of a Blue Card).
3. Signed waivers for SCA combat-related activities shall be kept on file for a period of seven (7) years with the local marshal in charge. Non-SCA members must sign a waiver BEFORE entering the list to train in armored combat at practices. Non-members may NOT fight at events in the Middle Kingdom
4. Combat Authorization cards are issued with an expiration date. If an authorization card has expired, the fighter must re-authorize prior to participating in combat activities, including acting as a marshal.
5. Authorizations shall not be issued to persons residing in a kingdom other than the Middle Kingdom, unless a specific royal treaty defines the person seeking authorization as a subject of the Middle Kingdom.
6. The Middle Kingdom has the following armored combat authorizations:
a. Weapon and Shield: this is the primary authorization and covers a single handed weapon used in concert with a shield, as well as a single-handed weapon used without a shield
b. Two Weapons: the use of any two weapons simultaneously for offensive purposes
c. Pole Weapon: the use of two-handed weapons (polearms and spears) less than or equal to 7.5ft in length
d. Great Sword: swords between 4ft and 7.5ft in length
e. Spear: a thrusting-only weapon over 7.5ft in length
7. Acceptance into the Order of Chivalry shall convey automatic authorization in all TOURNAMENT weapon forms. Knights and Masters at Arms do NOT receive automatic authorization in: Combat Archery, Siege Weapons, Youth Combat, Rapier, or ANY Marshal Warrant.
8. All authorizations in the Middle Kingdom require proficiency in both body and face thrusting.
9. Valid combat authorization cards from foreign kingdoms shall be accepted as proof of authorization, as long as the combatant also presents proof of membership in the SCA with an activity waiver on file in the Corporate Offices (possession of a valid Blue Card is one example of how this may be done). Authorizations of fighters who have moved to the Middle Kingdom permanently will be honored until they expire. The participant may then apply to the Regional Marshal for that activity for permission to directly transfer their authorizations to the closest Midrealm equivalents. The Regional Marshal will either approve the request on a case-by-case basis and forward to the Clerk of the Roster or direct the participant to re-authorize.
10. A marshal from any kingdom may revoke the authorization card of a fighter from any other kingdom for just and stated cause. The marshal in charge (MIC) of the event should be notified immediately and the Earl Marshal of the fighter's kingdom of residence should receive a detailed report of the incident.

B. Minor Authorization

Minors (ages 16-17) may authorize with these additional requirements:

1. In order to be authorized as a combatant or marshal in adult armored combat, an individual must have attained his or her sixteenth (16th) birthday. In order to be authorized as a participant, combatant, or marshal in any other form of Society combatrelated activity, except youth combat, an individual must have attained his or her fourteenth (14th) birthday.
2. No person below the age of eighteen (18) may be warranted as a group Marshal, or the Marshal in Charge of an event.
3. 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 execute a Minor's Waiver and Informed Consent to Participate in SCA Combat-Related Activities. The witnessing Marshal must countersign the waiver.
4. Only the Earl Marshal, former Earl Marshals, the Principality Marshal, or a designated deputy may authorize the minor for SCA Combat-Related Activities. For instances where none of these officers are available, contact the Kingdom Earl Marshal to discuss options.
5. At any event in which the minor is involved in SCA combat-related activities, the minor must either have a parent or guardian present, or must be in possession of a properly executed Medical Authorization Form for Minors.
Said Medical Authorization Form must designate an adult present at the event as able to authorize medical treatment in the case of an emergency. Minors are required to show the “Medical Authorization Form for Minors at the list table, prior to engaging in martial activities, including marshaling.
6. Minors engaging in combat with adults shall be marked in the following manner: A single yellow diamond no larger than 1 inch (25.4 mm) but no smaller than 0.5 inch (12.7mm) to be placed on the front hemisphere of the helm (preferably on or near the inspection sticker).

See Marshal's handbook

Rules of the List

A. The Rules of the Lists

The basic rules for SCA combat are contained in the Rules of the Lists. The observance of honor and chivalry and the safety of the combatants are the overriding goals of these rules. The Rules of the Lists are reprinted here from section IX.B. of the Corpora of the SCA:

1. Each fighter, recognizing the possibilities of physical injury to themselves in such combat, shall assume unto themselves all risk and liability for harm suffered by means of such combat. No fighter shall engage in combat unless and until they have inspected the field of combat and satisfied themselves that it is suitable for combat. Other participants shall likewise recognize the risks involved in their presence on or near the field of combat and shall assume unto themselves the liabilities thereof.
2. No person shall participate in Official Combat-Related Activities (including armored combat, period fencing, and combat archery) outside of formal training sessions unless they have been properly authorized under Society and Kingdom procedures.
3. All combatants must be presented to, and be acceptable to, the Sovereign or his or her representative.
4. All combatants shall adhere to the appropriate armor 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.
5. The Sovereign or the Marshallate may bar any weapon or armor from use upon the field of combat. Should a warranted Marshal bar any weapon or armor, an appeal may be made to the Sovereign to allow the weapon or armor.
6. Combatants shall behave in a knightly and chivalrous manner and shall fight according to the appropriate Society and Kingdom Conventions of Combat.
7. No one may be required to participate in Combat-Related Activities. Any combatant may, without dishonor or penalty, reject any challenge without specifying a reason. A fight in a tournament list is not to be considered a challenge and therefore may be declined and forfeit the bout.
8. 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.
9. No projectile weapons shall be allowed within the Lists of a tournament, nor shall any weapons be thrown. The use of approved projectile weapons for melee, war, or combat archery shall conform to the appropriate Society and Kingdom Conventions of Combat.

B. Applications of the Rules of the Lists

1. Application of Rule 1: Other participants include marshals and 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.
2. Application of Rule 2: The Crown and/or marshallate of each kingdom shall establish standards and procedures for the authorization of fighters to participate in combat. These procedures shall adhere to the combat authorization procedures in this handbook. At kingdom option, these procedures may involve either a general authorization to participate in armored combat or a set of separate authorization procedures for the use of (or for combat AGAINST) specific weapons or classes of weapons.
a. The Crown and/or marshallate of each kingdom shall establish standards and procedures for the authorization 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 authorizations from other kingdoms to be accepted, although exceptions may prove necessary in the case of specific individuals.
b. The Crown may not simply grant an authorization, unless the recipient has successfully completed the authorization process as delineated in Society and Kingdom law.
3. Application of Rule 3: The Crown or Their appointed representative may, upon review, find a fighter unacceptable to participate in the lists of Their Kingdom. If a fighter is found to be unacceptable, for whatever reason, they may not participate in armored combat.
4. Application of Rule 4: Kingdoms may apply armor and weapons standards that are stricter than the Society standards, should they be deemed necessary, but may not reduce or waive any Society standard.
5. Application of Rule 5: If a fighter regards an opponent's weapon or armor as unduly dangerous to self or opponent, he or she can request that the marshal on the field reinspect the item. Either fighter has the option of appealing the decision of the reinspection marshal to the marshal in charge and ultimately to the sovereign.
6. Application of Rule 6: Engaging in any Society combat activity with the deliberate intent to inflict bodily harm to an opponent is strictly forbidden.
7. Application of Rule 7: No one is required to engage in SCA combat should he or she prefer not to do so.
8. 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.
a. At the discretion of the sovereign and the MIC, recognized experts may be permitted to present choreographed demonstrations with real weapons under strictly controlled conditions.
b. No one may wear any real weapon onto the field while participating in combat or present during combat.
c. Posing for still photographs with real weapons is permitted.
9. 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.

See Marshal's handbook

Conventions of Combat

A. General Information

1. All traditional SCA armored combat at SCA tourneys, wars, and other events shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules of the Lists of the SCA, Inc., these Conventions of Combat, and such weapon and equipment standards and event rules as are established by the marshallate of the SCA, Inc., and the Middle Kingdom Earl Marshal.
2. The Middle Kingdom has established minimum armor and weapons standards more strict than those established by the Society minimum armor and weapons standards.
3. All fighters, prior to combat at each and every SCA-sponsored event or fighting practice, shall ensure that their armor and weapons are inspected by a warranted member of the Middle Kingdom marshallate.
4. Even though a warranted member of the Middle Kingdom marshallate has inspected the armor and weapons used by a fighter, each fighter shall accept full responsibility for the condition of his or her own equipment. Each fighter has the obligation to his- or herself, the marshals, and all opponents, to see that his or her equipment meets all Society and Kingdom requirements.
5. Combat archery ammunition each must be inspected individually before every use.
a. Siloflex-equivalent ammunition may be inspected by the archer and used again immediately, if allowed by the scenario.
b. Fiberglass-shafted ammunition must be taken off the field and reinspected under the supervision of a combat archery marshal before being used again.
6. When not otherwise directed by the sovereign, the sovereign's representative upon the field and in all matters dealing with Society combat is the Earl Marshal, and, by delegation, warranted members of the kingdom marshallate.

B. Behavior on the Field

1. Striking an opponent with excessive force is forbidden.
2. All fighters shall obey the commands of the marshals on the field or shall be removed from the field and subject to disciplinary action. Disagreements with the marshals on the field shall be resolved through the established mechanisms outlined in the Procedures for Grievances and Sanctions of the Marshallate Procedures of the SCA, Inc.
3. Each fighter shall maintain control over his or her temper at all times.
4. Upon hearing the call of HOLD all fighting shall IMMEDIATELY stop.
5. A fighter shall not enter the lists or participate in any form of SCA combat activity while impaired by alcohol or drugs (including, but not limited to: drugs prescribed by a licensed health care provider, over- the-counter medications, and illegal controlled substances.)
6. Any behavior that takes deliberate advantage of an opponent's chivalry or safety consciousness, or that takes deliberate unfair advantage of an opponent, is prohibited.
7. A fighter shall not deliberately strike a helpless opponent.
a. A fighter lying on the ground may not strike an opponent nor may she be struck.
b. An opponent who is empty-handed but still bearing a shield is not considered helpless.
c. A combatant in the act of acknowledging the effects of an earlier blow is not considered helpless.
8. Any fighter who obtains an unfair advantage by repeatedly becoming "helpless" (for example, by falling down or losing their weapon) may, after being duly warned by the marshals on the field, be forced to yield the fight at the next occurrence of such behavior. The onus of this is on the marshals, not on the opponent. However, the opponent may ask the marshals to let the fight continue.
9. A combatant who makes himself "helpless" by repeatedly overrunning the borders of the list, falling over or repeatedly dropping their weapon may, at the discretion of the marshals and the opponent, be deemed to have been defeated. This shall not apply to combatants who were in physical contact with their opponents at the time they overran the Lists or fell.
10. Grappling, tripping, throwing, punching, kicking, and wrestling are prohibited. Contact between combatants' bodies, shields, and weapons is expected in corps-a-corps or melee situations, as such controlled contact is allowed during these engagements.
a. Grappling is difficult to define in our martial art. If you find that, rather than fighting against someone, you are struggling against them with body-to-body, weapon/shieldto-body contact occurring, or if you are both trying to fight for control over one weapon (such as a polearm), that's grappling.
b. Using a shield to restrict movement is a grey area, and can easily be construed as grappling. The definition relies on how you got to that point - whether it is intentional shield-on-body contact, or a result of the natural movements of the fight.
Simply put, you cannot strike with a shield to restrict movement. Moving your shield into position so that it is touching your opponent is ok - until it gets to the point that the "pinned" opponent is struggling against the shield.
c. Aggressively moving your shield against a body part to move the body part out of the way is also grappling and is illegal. Similarly, using a polearm to “check” a person is illegal if the haft is striking a body part.
11. Deliberately striking an opponent's head, limbs, or body with a shield, weapon haft, or any part of the body is forbidden.
12. Grasping an opponent’s person, shield, weapon's striking surface, or bow/crossbow is prohibited.
13. Intentionally striking an opponent outside the legal target areas is forbidden.
a. No combatant may deliberately cause an opponent to strike an illegal target area. Any combatant who does so (for example, lifting a leg) will be required to accept the blow as good.
b. Turning the head or deliberately putting the top of the head forward to avoid a face thrust or missile contact – otherwise known as “target substitution” by Middle Kingdom standards - is not considered the same as ducking or dodging a blow. This technique is prohibited.

C. Target Areas

1. Torso: All of the body above the points of the hips, excluding the head and arms and including the groin, shoulder blades, and the area between the neck and shoulders. :2. Face: the area between the chin and the middle of the forehead and between the ear openings.
3. Head: The whole head and neck except the face as defined above.
4. Thighs: The leg from one inch [25.4mm} above the top of the knee to a line even with the bottom of the hip socket.
5. Hips: Area between the bottom of the hip socket to the point of the hip (iliac crest).
6. Shoulder: From the point of the shoulder down to a line even with the top of the underarm.
7. Arms: From the shoulder to one inch [25.4mm} above the wrist.
8. Blows that land outside the legal target areas shall not be counted, unless an illegal target area has been intentionally placed in the path of an impending blow.

D. Combat Archery Conventions

1. Upon a hold being called, all archers must unload their weapons (crossbows may remain cocked).
2. Archers may have a backup weapon on them, but may not draw it until their bow has been safely disposed of (taken off the field, discarded in a low traffic area, handed to another combatant, etc). Upon drawing a backup weapon to enter combat, hands must be appropriately armored.
3. Archers may carry and use thrown weapons without need to discard their bow or change hand armor.
4. Archers need to be aware of what is beyond their target area to ensure that errant shots do not endanger anyone.
5. An archer's minimum range is dictated by ensuring that the ammunition completely clears the bow before contacting the opponent.
6. Ammunition dropped onto the ground is considered dead as if it had been fired, and needs re-inspection.
7. Live combatants may pick ammunition off the field for re-inspection (as long as reinspection is allowed during the scenario) and reuse it during the same battle. Dead combatants may clear ammunition from the field for use in future battles if scenario rules allow.
8. Within scenario limits, ammunition may be taken from caches stored on or off the field and from other combatants (dead or alive) with permission of the owner.

See Marshal's handbook

The Use of Weapons and Shields

A. Weapons shall be used in accordance with their design. For example, spears may only be used for thrusting, axes for striking along the edge of the blade, etc.

1. 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. Before any bout where a thrusting weapon is 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.
2. The blade of an opponent's weapon may not be grasped at any time, nor may it be trapped in contact with the fighter's body as a means of preventing the opponent's use of the weapon. Armored hands may grasp the haft of an opponent's weapon. Note: Your opponent's weapon may NOT be pinned against your body, however pinning your opponent's sword against his own body constitutes fouling, and so long as you are using your equipment to do so (shield or weapon) it is legal.

B. 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.

1. If a combatant intentionally places an illegal target area (e.g., an empty hand and or lower leg, including the knee and foot) in the path of a blow, the combatant forfeits that attached limb as if it had been struck in a legal target area.
2. 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.

C. 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.

D. A shield or weapon may be used to displace, deflect, or immobilize 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 her ability to strike or defend.

E. Shields must be controlled by the hand; use of passive shields (not controlled by the hand) will be treated as decorative armor and subject to effective blow acknowledgment.

F. A combat archer may carry and use a shield or pavise; however, as long as they are carrying it, they cannot span nor fire their weapon. See Marshal's handbook

Acknowledgement of Blows

A. Judging the effects of blows is left to the honor of the combatant being struck by the weapon, unless he or she relinquishes 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 on the field, 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.

B. When judging the effect of blows, all fighters are presumed to be fully armored. Special tournaments or combat rules may redefine what areas of the body are armored, and to what extent, so long as all the participants are made aware of the special conditions prior to the start of combat.

1. All “fully armored” fighters are presumed to be wearing a chain hauberk over a padded gambeson, with boiled leather arm and leg defenses and an open-faced iron helm with a nasal. The helm may be presumed by kingdom convention to include a very light chain mail drape, permitting vision and resisting cuts by the mere touch of a bladed weapon.
2. Under this standard, an acceptable cutting blow to the face would be lighter than to other portions of the head or body. Areas deemed illegal to strike (the wrists from 1 inch [25.4mm] above the hands; the legs from 1 inch [25.4mm] above the knees and below) shall be considered safe from all attack. The minimum effective thrusting blow to the face shall be a directed touch and the maximum shall be substantially lighter than to other parts of the body.
3. In the Middle Kingdom, all areas of the head except the face and neck are proof against thrust. Any combat that deviates from this standard must have prior Earl Marshal approval.

C. An effective blow will be defined as a blow which was delivered with effective technique for the particular type of weapon used, properly oriented, and struck with sufficient force. Combatants must acknowledge blows according to the calibration standards of the Middle Kingdom despite the actual armor worn. This includes armor that is ill fitting, or tabards and auxiliary weapons that may entangle legitimate blows. Marshals may require combatants to remove the offending weapons or clothes.

1. An effective blow to the head, neck, or torso shall be judged fatal or completely disabling, rendering the fighter incapable of further combat.
2. An effective blow from an axe, mace, polearm, greatsword, 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 completely disabling.
3. An effective blow to the arm above the wrist will disable the arm. The arm shall then be considered useless to the fighter and may not be used for either offense or defense.
4. An effective blow to the leg above the knee will disable the leg. The fighter must then fight kneeling, sitting, or standing on the foot of the uninjured leg. Kingdoms may place limitations upon the mobility of such injured fighters.
5. If a wounded limb blocks an otherwise acceptable blow, the blow shall be counted as though the limb were not there.

D. Changes to blow acknowledgment standards may be made on a per-combat, per-scenario, or per-tournament basis, but thereafter will revert to the standards above. Alternate acknowledgment standards do not alter the allowed target areas, nor do they increase the basic force level for a telling blow. All combatants must be informed of any changes to standard blow acknowledgment before they participate in the combat.

E. When judging the outcome of a delivered blow, 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. A blow that strikes with sufficient force and proper orientation shall be considered effective, regardless of what it hits prior to striking the combatant.

F. Sometimes a blow that would normally be accepted occurs at almost the same moment as an event that would cause the fight to be stopped (a “HOLD” being called, the killing of the fighter throwing the blow, etc.). If the blow was begun before the occurrence of the event that would cause the bout to be halted, and if of sufficient force, it shall be deemed a legal blow and acceptable. If the blow was begun after the occurrence of the event that would cause the bout to be halted, it shall be deemed not legal and need not be accepted.

G. A blow that includes the dropping of a weapon at the moment of impact need not be counted.

Note: If the force of the blow causes the weapon to be dropped, the rule shall be suspended.

H. Owing to safety limits placed on combat archery equipment, and the low mass of the ammunition, arrows and bolts strike with less force. They need not strike with the same force as hand-held weapons for the strikes to be considered killing blows. See Marshal's handbook

Armor Requirements

A. Armored Participants

1. All participants on the field during adult armored combat shall meet the Society minimum armor standards for a fully armored combatant. This includes, but is not limited to, combat archers, siege engineers and other combatants.
2. It does not include marshals, water-bearers, or chirurgeons. All authorized combatants and warranted marshals shall disguise, cover, or remove modern corporate logos and sport gear unless the gear is necessary for medical reasons. Special attention should be paid to appearance and the atmosphere of a medieval event should be maintained.

B. Helms

1. Helms shall be constructed from steel which has a thickness of no less than .0625 (that is, 1/16) inch (1.6 mm), or of equivalent material. Alternative materials, such as stainless steel, brass, bronze, or like materials, are permissible as long as the material is structurally equivalent to 0.0625-inch-thick steel. The mass of the helm is an important part of the protection. As such, no titanium, fiberglass, aluminum, or other ultra-light materials may be used unless they meet the equivalent mass, strength, and weight of steel which has a thickness of no less than .0625 (that is, 1/16) inch (1.6 mm). Proof of construction technique, materials, and equivalency must be provided to the kingdom earl marshal (KEM) for an approval for in-kingdom use. If a spun-metal top is to be used in the construction of the helm, it shall be a minimum of 0.75 inch (14-gauge or 1.905 mm) steel. The process of spinning the top thins the metal, thereby requiring a heavier gauge.
2. All joints or seams shall be constructed in one or a combination of the following ways, with all welds sound and rivets secure:
a. Welded on the inside and outside.
b. Welded with a single bead that extends through both surfaces.
c. Lap joints welded or brazed at the edges of both pieces.
3. Helms will be riveted with iron or steel rivets no more than 2.5 inches (63.5 mm) apart, or with equivalent riveting techniques. Screw- and pop-type rivets, along with other lightweight rivets, are not to be used.
4. Face guards shall prevent a 1 inch (25.4mm) diameter dowel from entering into any of the face guard openings.
5. The face guard shall extend at least 1 inch (25.4mm) below the bottom of the chin and jaw line when the head is held erect.
6. Bars used in the face guard shall be steel of not less than .1875 (that is, 3/16) inch (4.8 mm) in diameter, or equivalent. If the span between crossbars is less than 2 inches (50.8 mm), .125 (that is, 1/8) inch (3.18 mm) diameter bars may be used.
7. All movable visors shall be attached and secured in such a way that there is minimal chance that they will become detached or come open in normal combat use.
8. There shall be NO major internal projections; minor projections of necessary structural components shall be padded. All metal shall be free of sharp edges. Face guard bars or mesh should not attach to the interior of the helm, unless of structurally superior design and workmanship.
9. All parts of the helm that might cause injurious contact with the wearer’s head shall be padded with a minimum of .5 inch (12.7 mm) of closed-cell foam or equivalent padding, or shall be suspended in such a way as to prevent contact with the wearer during combat. Similarly, parts of the inside of the helm that might come in contact with the wearer’s neck or body should be padded.
10. All helms shall be equipped with a chin strap or equivalent means to prevent the helm from being dislodged or metal contacting the wearer’s face during combat. An equivalent might be, for example, a bevor or a chin-cup suspension system. A “snug fit” is NOT an equivalent. The chin strap shall be, at a minimum, .5 inch (12.7 mm) in width and shall not be placed in the helm in a manner that could strangle the wearer.

C. Eye Wear

1. The lenses of all eyewear shall be constructed of shatterproof industrial safety glass or plastic. Ordinary glass lenses are prohibited.
2. The wearing of contact lenses or “sports glasses” is strongly recommended.

D. Neck Armor

The neck, including the larynx, cervical vertebrae, and first thoracic vertebra must be covered by one or a combination of the following and must stay covered during typical combat situations, including turning the head, lifting the chin, etc.:
1. The helm
2. A gorget of rigid material
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 in contact with the larynx, cervical vertebrae, or first thoracic vertebra, that section must be padded with a minimum of .25 inch (6mm) of closed cell foam or equivalent
4. A collar of heavy leather lined with a minimum of .25 inch (6mm) of close cell foam or equivalent

E. Body, Shoulder, and Groin Armor

1. The kidney area and the floating ribs shall be covered with a minimum of heavy leather worn over .25 inch (6 mm) of closed-cell foam or equivalent padding.
2. For men, the groin must be covered by a minimum of a rigid athletic cup (e.g., an ice hockey, soccer, karate, or baseball cup) worn in a supporter or fighting garment designed to hold the cup in place, or equivalent armor.
3. For women, groin protection of closed-cell foam or heavy leather or the equivalent is required to cover the pubic bone area. The wearing of a male athletic cup by female fighters is prohibited.
4. Separate breast cups are prohibited unless connected by or mounted on an interconnecting rigid piece, for example, a heavy leather or metal breastplate.

F. Hand and Wrist Armor:

The outer surfaces of the hand, to one inch above the wrist of both arms and including the thumb, must be covered by one or a combination of the following:
1. A rigid basket or cup hilt with enough bars or plates to prevent a blow from striking the fingers or the back of the hand. If a basket or cup hilt, shield basket, or center-grip shield is used, a vambrace and or partial gauntlet shall cover the remaining exposed portions of the hand and wrist. Wrist armor must fully cover the back of the joint and the two points; it is strongly encouraged that the palm-side of the wrist is also covered, but is not required.
2. A gauntlet of rigid material either lined with .25 inch (6 mm) of closed-cell foam or equivalent or designed to transfer potentially injurious impact to the surfaces being grasped.
3. A gauntlet of heavy leather lined with .5 inch (12 mm) of closed-cell foam or heavy padding. (Note: An ice hockey glove is considered to be the equivalent, but looks blatantly modern; their use is discouraged.) Street hockey gloves are NOT equivalent, as the padding is lighter than a regular ice hockey glove. Street hockey gloves will be treated only as padding.
4. A shield with a shield basket or equivalent. A shield alone is NOT sufficient, since it covers the back of the hand, but not the fingers, thumb, or wrist. The Middle Kingdom requires the use of full hand protection behind a shield, regardless of the distance from the edge of the shield.
5. Combat archers, siege engineers, and those using a thrown weapon, need only a halfgauntlet made to the above standards for gauntlets but without finger protection.

G. Arm Armor

1. The elbow point and bones at either side of the elbow joint must be covered by a rigid material underlain by at least .25 inch (6 mm) of closed-cell foam or equivalent padding.
2. This armor shall be attached in such a way that the elbow remains covered during combat.
3. The Middle Kingdom requires the use of an elbow cop behind a shield, regardless of the strap configuration and the distance of the elbow away from the edge of the shield during normal use.

H. Leg Armor

1. The kneecap, including the area one inch (25.4 mm) above and below it, and both sides of the knee joints, must be covered by rigid material, lined by at least .25 inch (6 mm) of closed-cell foam or an equivalent padding. This armor shall be attached in such a way that the knee remains covered during combat.
2. Combatants should wear footwear that provides adequate protection and support for the terrain and activity of combat.
3. Spurs that project more than 0.5 inch are prohibited on the field

I. Shields

1. 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.
2. No bolts, wires, or other objects may project more than .375 (that is, 3/8) inch (9 mm) from any part of a shield without being padded. Rounded shield bosses are not considered to be projections.
3. Shields may be constructed with leg(s) so that they can act as freestanding pavises during melee combat.
a. The leg(s) used to keep the pavise standing must be at least 1.25 inches (31.8 mm) in diameter or 1.25 inches (31.8 mm) square and be well-attached.
b. Pavises are destroyed by a single hit from siege engine ammunition. Combatants behind the pavise are not killed. The pavise must then immediately be removed from the field or dropped flat.
c. A pavise can be carried in a manner which does not require hand control (such as by a shoulder strap). In this case, the fighter is not allowed to actively block with it, nor can they use their own weapon, and if struck by a hand weapon, the blow

is counted as if the pavise was not there. See Marshal's handbook

Weapons Standards

A. General

1. 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.
a. The striking surface of a weapon is to be considered throughout the entire striking portion, blade, or head, of the weapon, not only the outside "skin" or layer. This includes all interior construction materials and parts no matter how

"deep" inside.

b. Duct tape that contains metal may not be used to construct weapons.
2. Primary weapons used single-handed shall have a wrist strap (or equivalent restraint) which will keep the weapon from leaving the immediate area of the user if released during any part of a bout or combat. Restraints are not required on hafted weapons used single-handed, or on single-handed back-up weapons.
3. Flails are expressly prohibited.
4. Mechanical devices known as “sliders,” which are used to guide or propel spears, are prohibited.
5. All weapons shall have all cutting edges and thrusting tips marked in a contrasting color.
6. The striking surfaces of all weapons, including the tip, shall be wrapped in a manner that allows no rattan splinters to protrude.
7. All thrusting tips and striking heads must be securely attached to the weapon.
8. The edges and tips of all striking surfaces shall be rounded.
9. No part of a weapon shall have sharp edges or protrusions with cross-section of less than 1.25 inch (31.8mm) in diameter. Guards, pommels, hooks, etc., shall be firmly and securely affixed to the weapon haft.
10. It shall not be possible to force into a legal face guard, any part of a weapon which may reasonably be expected to contact an opponent during combat more than .5 inch (12.7 mm). Rattan weapons may have a handle section which is less than 1.25 inch (31.8 mm), so long as it meets this criterion. Combat archery shafts may be thinner as long as the head and tail meet the criteria.
11. Rattan shall not be treated in any way that will substantially reduce its flexibility (e.g., treated with wax, resin, fiberglass, etc.).
12. No missile weapons intended to simulate firearms, slings, slingstaffs, nor can atlatls be used on the field of armored combat.
13. No “punch weapons” or thrusting weapons that have the blade or tip more perpendicular than parallel to the grip.
14. No shovel handles on any thrusting weapon.
15. Weapons under 48” (1.22 m) or greater than 7’ 6” (2.29 m) in length may have either a thrusting tip or a butt spike, but not both at the same time.

B. Single-Handed Weapons

Weapons that shall be used in one hand shall have the following requirements:
1. Single-handed weapons shall be not less than 1.25 inch (31.8 mm) in total diameter (including tape) along its entire length excepting the handle, and shall be constructed of one of the following:
a. Rattan
b. rattan-cored Siloflex or
c. Siloflex-equivalent
2. Rattan-cored Siloflex or Siloflex equivalent weapons shall be constructed using tubular materials meeting ASTM standard D-2239 or the international equivalent, with a pressure rating of 160 PSI or greater, having at least a 1.25 inch (31.8 mm) diameter on the outside and at least .125 (that is, 1/8) inch (3.2 mm) walls, and having an inner core of rattan that fills the interior of the tubular material entirely. Periodic inspection shall be made to determine the condition of the inner core.
3. 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. The head shall allow at least .5 inch (12.7 mm) of progressive give between the striking surface and the weapon haft.
4. No weapon may have a cutting and/or smashing surface at both ends.
5. When thrusting tips are used, they shall be at least the same diameter as the shaft of the weapon they are mounted on and have at least .75 inch (19.1 mm) of resilient material in front of the rigid tip of the weapon providing at least .375 (that is, 3/8) inch (9.53 mm) of progressively resistant give across the face of the thrusting tip. (Note: Pressing with the thumb into the center of the thrusting tip is not an adequate test. The give must be across the entire face of the tip.)
6. Swords shall have a hand guard, such as a basket hilt, quillions, or equivalent.
7. Maces may be constructed of a single piece of rattan, or with a separate, attached head.
a. When constructed of a single piece of rattan, the head must be carved to create an area that is clearly distinct from the haft. Tape alone is insufficient for this delineation. Maces constructed in the manner will not exceed 48” and MUST be

used with a single hand only.

b. Maces constructed using a separate, attached head, will adhere to the rules outlined above in section VIII.B.3
c. Bar maces and similar style of weapons are strictly forbidden.
8. Total weapon mass shall not exceed 5 pounds (2.27 kg).

C. Two-Handed Weapons

Weapons which may be used with one or two hands shall have the following requirements:
1. Weapons shall be constructed of rattan of not less than 1.25 inch (31.8 mm) in diameter (including tape). Polearms may contain blades constructed of split rattan, so long as the piece(s) are securely fastened to the haft.
2. The weapon shall not be excessively flexible.
3. 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. The head shall allow at least .5 inch (12.7 mm) of progressive give between the striking surface and the weapon haft. Semirigid ultra-lightweight shaped foam heads and laminated or split rattan construction techniques do not require .5 inch (12.7 mm) of progressive give, so long as their construction imparts striking characteristics similar to an unpadded weapon constructed of a single piece of rattan.
a. Polearms over 6 feet must be unpadded.
b. Foam weapon heads and unpadded Rathbone axe heads are legal on weapons 6 feet and under
c. Weapons over 48 inch in length may NOT have a 360° striking surface
d. Weapons may not combine padded and unpadded striking surfaces.
e. No weapon may have a cutting and/or smashing surface at both ends.
4. Thrusting tips:
a. When thrusting tips are used on rattan weapons with greater length than 7.5 feet (2.286 m), they shall be no less than 2 inches (50.8 mm) in diameter/cross-section and have 2 inches (50.8 mm) of resilient material in front of the rigid tip of the

weapon, thereby providing progressively resistant give.

b. When thrusting tips are used on rattan weapons with length less than or equal to 7.5 feet, they shall be at least the same diameter as the shaft of the weapon they are mounted on and have 1.5 inches (38.1 mm) of resilient material in front of the rigid tip of the weapon, thereby providing progressively resistant give.
Note: Pressing with the thumb into the center of the thrusting tip is not an adequate test. The give must be across the entire face of the tip.
5. Weapons exceeding 7.5 feet (2.286 m) shall not be used for cutting or smashing and shall be used for thrusting only.
6. Total weapon length shall not exceed 12 feet (3.658 m).
7. Total weapon mass shall not exceed 6 pounds (2.73 kg).

D. Fiberglass Spears

1. Fiberglass spears shall not have a cutting or smashing head.
2. Fiberglass spears shall be constructed with pultruded fiberglass shafts with an outside diameter of no less than 1.25 inch (31.8 mm) and no greater than 1 5/16 inch (33.38 mm). Minimum manufacturer specified wall thickness shall be .125 (that is, 1/8) inch (3.2 mm) and the minimum measurable wall thickness shall be 3/32 inch (2.38 mm).
3. The end of the shaft which will have the thrusting tip attached must be covered with a schedule-40 PVC cap with an interior diameter the same as the outside diameter of the shaft (1.25 inches or 31.8 mm). The thrusting tip will then be attached over this cap.
4. All fiberglass spears must have a thrusting tip that is a minimum of 2 inches (50.8 mm) in diameter/ cross-section and have 2 inches (50.8 mm) of resilient material in front of the PVC end cap, thereby providing progressively resistant give without allowing contact with the PVC end cap.
Note: The use of Mandrake-style rubber thrusting tips is prohibited on fiberglass spears in the Middle Kingdom.
5. Shafts may be spliced using a fiberglass rod or tube with a sidewall of .125 inch (3.2 mm) of the same or equivalent material, having an outside diameter of 1 inch (25.4 mm) and a length of 8–12 inches (203–304 mm). Only two splices will be allowed per spear shaft. Each end to be spliced shall be cut square and clean of cracks or frayed fibers. The rod shall extend at least 4 inches (101.6 mm) into each spliced end. One or both of these two methods shall secure the splice:
a. Epoxying both ends of the fiberglass rod before insertion.
b. Epoxying one end of the fiberglass rod before insertion and thoroughly taping the splice over with fiber tape.
6. The butt end of the shaft shall be smooth and free of cracks or frayed fibers. The butt shall be taped over or otherwise sealed. If a weapon is completely taped, a marshal may require that one section be untaped enough to determine that pultruded fiberglass has been used in the construction of the shaft.
7. Total spear length shall be greater than 7.5 feet and less than 12 feet (3.658 m).

E. Throwing Weapons

These weapons may be used for striking and may also be thrown in melee scenarios where thrown weapons are allowed. Examples are thrust-and-throw javelins, axes, knives, etc.
1. Shafts shall be constructed of rattan not less than 1.25 inch (31.8 mm) in diameter along its entire length or of two layers of Siloflex or equivalent. The outer layer shall be 1 inch (25.4 mm) inner diameter Siloflex (1.25 inch [31.8mm] outer diameter) and the inner layer shall be 0.75 inch (19.1 mm) inner diameter Siloflex. All Siloflex used for throwing weapons must have a pressure rating of 160 PSI or greater. 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 (1.25 inches [31.8 mm]), 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.
2. Thrusting tips on plastic tubing based hand thrown objects (examples are thrust-and-throw javelins, axes, knives, etc.) should be made in the same manner as a tubular Combat Archery rubber stopper arrow or bolt, if the PVC cap method is not used
3. Thrusting tips shall be used on any tip that can be reasonably assumed to contact a fighter when the weapon is used or thrown. Tips shall be no less than 2 inches (50.8 mm) in diameter/cross-section and have 2 inches (50.8 mm) of resilient material in front of the rigid tip of the weapon, thereby providing progressively resistant give.
4. 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 .5 inch (12.7 mm) of progressive give between the striking surface and the weapon haft or handle.
5. The weapon must have the owner’s name, kingdom, and branch clearly and legibly printed on it in English characters for identification.
6. Total mass of the weapon shall not exceed 2 pounds (0.91 kg).

F. Combat Archery Bows/Crossbows

For complete information regarding the construction and inspection of Combat Archery Weapons and Combat Archery Ammunition in the Middle Kingdom see The Middle Kingdom Combat Archery Handbook and the 35 Foot Spear Website

See Marshal's handbook

Siege Combat

For complete information regarding Siege Combat in the Middle Kingdom, including the construction of siege weapons, siege weapon ammunition, and the proper marshalling procedures for Siege Warfare in the Middle Kingdom, see The Middle Kingdom Siege Engines Handbook.

A. General

Siege engines or structures may be used in combat during melees and wars in accordance with the rules set forth in the Siege Engines Handbook.

B. Munitions

1. Siege-class munitions are denoted by being primarily yellow and include ballista bolts and rocks (1-pound [0.45 kg] foam or 4-tennis-ball clusters).
2. Small-arms munitions include single tennis balls and tube shafted combat archery arrows and bolts.

C. Blow Acknowledgment

1. A blow from siege class ammunition to any legal target area shall be judged fatal or completely disabling.
2. Blows from siege class ammunition to shields shall be judged fatal or completely disabling to the bearer of the shield unless otherwise specified by scenario rules.
3. Hand-held weapons struck by siege class munitions shall be considered destroyed.
4. Small-arms munitions fired from siege engines shall be treated as combat archery projectiles.
5. Siege munitions are considered spent upon striking a target, the ground, or a battlefield structure.

D. Destroying Siege Engines.

1. Fighters shall stay clear of moving parts and, when possible, approach siege engines/structures from the side.
2. Striking or thrusting siege engines/structures with hand-held weapons is strictly prohibited.
3. Siege engines may be destroyed by placing a hand-held weapon on the engine/structure and declaring “this weapon is destroyed,” or by being struck by siege-class munitions from another siege engine.
4. Siege engine crews are fully armored combatants and should be treated as would be any other fighter on the field.
5. Siege engineers may not fire their engine while holding any weapon, nor have a weapon dangling from the wrist. Siege Engineers and crew members working on an active siege engine may carry (in their hand) and use only thrown objects (with the exception of thrust and throw javelins) to defend themselves. The crew member may only engage an opponent when they are at least 10 feet away from the engine they are assigned to.
6. If fighting occurs within 5 feet (1.524 m) of an engine that is cocked or loaded, a hold shall be called and the engine shall be declared destroyed and removed from the combat area and made safe.
7. If their engine is destroyed in combat and the Siege Engineer and Siege crew is not dead, they may move to assist another engine that is still active, once their destroyed engine has been safely removed from the field. If there is an engine available for use and/or a Siege engineer who needs a crew, a siege crew member may man and operate the engine with permission of the Siege engineer unless scenario rules prohibit it.
8. Siege Crews and Siege Engineers whose engine has been destroyed and are still alive may operate a reserve engine if they own one, or operate a replacement engine of the same type with permission of the engines owner /engineer if the scenario rules do not prohibit it.
9. Once a destroyed engine is safely removed from the field, any Siege Engineer or Siege crew member of a destroyed engine may return to the field with thrown objects: thrustand-throw javelins, axes, knives, etc., or any weapon they are authorized in unless prohibited by the scenario rules. They must wear the proper armored hand coverage required for the type of weapon they use. Half gauntlets are acceptable for the use of thrown weapons.

See Marshal's handbook

Middle Kingdom Melee Conventions

A. Rules of Engagement

1. Engagement is the process of making your presence and intention as a martial threat known to your opponent.
a. Engagement is gained through specific action to notify an opponent of your presence (a light tap with the weapon, shield contact, verbal warning, etc.)
b. AND you’ve received acknowledgment that the opponent recognizes you as a martial threat before making a serious attack.
c. Combatants may not deliberately ignore attempts to engage them.
2. An opponent in a melee who is unaware of an attacking combatant’s presence is not to be struck, as the attacking combatant does not have engagement.
3. You are engaged during a melee when you are part of a group or line that attacks the front of another group or line that is not currently fighting anyone until the situation changes significantly to mix the lines.
4. If you or a group that you are with comes up to a fight already in progress, you may NOT just join the people on your side and start swinging at the other side. You MUST GET engagement before striking a killing force blow.
5. If, after hitting a person, they say they did not know you were there and they did not think they were engaged with you, it is the polite and proper thing to treat this situation just like you would if someone called your blow light or glance.
6. An opponent, by not taking a blow because of lack of engagement, has now acknowledged you as a martial threat, and so you are now engaged

B. Striking in the back

1. “Wrap” shots – shots thrown from the front hemisphere of an engaged opponent striking them in the back – are always legal.
2. You may strike a person in the back when they, while fighting you and thus engaged with you, turns and flees. You have until they get out of weapons range to strike them.
3. You may pursue your opponent and as long as they never get out of your weapon range, you may strike them. Once they do get outside your weapon range, you must re-engage them if you catch back up to them.
4. You may strike a person in the back when they pass through your group or line at the initial point of engagement. You may use a back hand or wrap as they pass. You may also turn and strike them. You only get one shot and you may NOT pursue them.

C. Four on One (4 on 1)

There may be no more than 4 attackers on 1 combatant, except when lines are engaged.

D. Fouling

Combatants may foul the weapons, or make shield to shield, or shield to weapon contact (as in when rolling a flank) with opponents they may not strike, prior to engagement. In doing so they must show restraint in the interests of safety. Fouling does not include grappling as defined in Middle Kingdom Armored Combat Conventions subsection (see above).

E. Charges

A combatant, or group of combatants, that deliberately charges into a group of opponents may be struck from any angle by those opponents during the charge.

F. Friendly fire

Combatants in melee killed or wounded by their teammates must acknowledge these blows in the normal manner.

G. Dead Combatants

Dead combatants should die defensively by hiding under their shields or weapons and then leave the field as soon and as safely as possible at the marshal's direction. Dead combatants may neither hand weapons nor shout advice to the living.

See Marshal's handbook

Marshals Section

See Marshal's handbook

Becoming a Marshal

To become a fully warranted Marshal for Armored Combat an authorized participant must go through a period of training as a Marshal-in-Training, or MIT. There are several different sets of activities that are performed by Marshals, and the Marshal-in-Training is expected to diligently observe and participate in all activities to become familiar and comfortable with the processes.

The Marshal-in-Training is also expected be familiar with Marshallate information sources and the chain of authority for the activity in which a warrant is being sought.

A. A marshal’s warrant in the Middle Kingdom requires:

1. Membership in the Society for Creative Anachronism:
All marshals, for all martial activities, must currently be an Associate, Subscribing, International, Contributing, or Patron member of the SCA, Inc. when they are serving in the capacity as a marshal.
2. Authorized participation in the activity:
a. All marshals and marshals-in-training must be authorized participants within the Middle Kingdom of the specific martial activity for which they wish to act as a marshal.
b. All Marshals-in-Training are expected to be authorized in at least two weapon styles for Armored Combat.
c. The first step is to contact the Regional Deputy Marshal and receive the Training form.
d. When authorizing new combatants in a weapons form or specific activity, the marshal must possess the authorization himself. The Kingdom Earl Marshal may waive this rule on a case by case basis.

B. A marshal may be warranted after demonstrating:

1. Administrative Training
a. Reports and Reporting: Marshals-in-Training are trained in, and become familiar with the reporting process, including use of the report forms, what information is required on a particular report, and the reporting schedule.
b. Training Participants: Marshals-in-Training are trained to help train and inform participants about armored combat.
2. Field Operations Training
a. General
The Marshal-in-Training is trained and actively participates in each area of Marshal operations to receive the corresponding signature. A minimum participation in three events is required and more is strongly recommended, including a training session with the Regional Deputy Marshal. The sponsoring Marshal or the Marshal supervising the Marshal-in-Training in each aspect of operations will review guidelines, expectations and requirements, and then oversee the Marshal-in-Training in executing the operation until the Marshal-in-Training shows a reasonable level proficiency. Participating in the day’s activities while training is discouraged.
b. Event and Activity Planning
The Marshal-in-Training is expected to learn how to plan for the activity at an event, including: area and equipment needs, arranging Marshals and support staff, and understanding special needs for tournaments, competitions, melees, and wars as applicable to the activity
c. Set-up
The Marshal-in-Training is trained to and learns how to do the actual set-up for the activity including: Crowd control and restricting access to hazardous areas, assessment of the site for use, placement of the List table and other support tables.
d. Inspections
The Marshal-in-Training is trained in enforcing the equipment requirements for the activity including: Inspection of armor, weapons and equipment used in the activity, how to respond to a failure and repair situation, using proper equipment inspection tools, and dealing with experimental equipment, weapons or armor.
e. Authorizations
The Marshal-in-Training is trained to run both first time and advanced authorizations.
f. Running the Activity
The Marshal-in-Training is trained to run: Tournaments, Melees, Competitions, as well as proper arbitration of disagreements and responses to violations of the rules.
g. Rights and Responsibilities

The Marshal-in-Training will learn the limits and procedures of the authority of the office.

3. Testing and Warranting
a. Prerequisite to Testing
The Marshal-in-Training must complete training as a Marshal in the activity, obtain the signatures of the supervising Marshals in each category, and present the completed training form to the Regional Deputy Marshal.
b. Written Testing
The Regional Deputy Marshal or an appointed warranted Marshal will administer the test. The test is 100 questions, 1 hour, and will be conducted “open book” The Marshal-in-Training passes the test with a score of 80% or better.
If the Marshal-in-Training does not pass the test, the Regional Deputy Marshal or warranted Marshal should allow the Marshal-in-Training to review the test as-taken to see where the problems occurred. A second test may be taken at a later date.

C. A marshal must have the tools of the office, including:

1. A hard copy or immediate electronic access to a copy of the Middle Kingdom Marshal’s Handbook
2. A tabard or baldric bearing armory that has been approved for that activity. The tabard is worn only when on duty, and some form of the badge of office identifying the wearer as a Marshal must be worn while on duty.
3. Each marshal should also have and use standard calibrated measuring devices (e.g. gauges) for checking equipment, and as applicable, a whistle and marshal staff (usually black with gold spiral stripe).
4. For melee activities that involves combat archery and siege weaponry, eye protection (as defined by Society standards) is mandatory. A gorget and groin protection are strongly recommended.

D. Elevation to the Order of Chivalry Elevation to the Order of the Chivalry does NOT convey an automatic marshal’s warrant: Knights and Masters at Arms must go through the MIT process like every other fighter.

E. Marshal Warrant Expiration The marshal warrant expires after a year of inactivity, similar to a fighting authorization. An expired marshal authorization may be renewed by re-taking the written test only.

F. Warranting Only the Earl Marshal or designated Deputy Earl Marshal(s) may perform a Marshal’s Warranting. They must witness the process and execute the appropriate paperwork to ensure that the warrant is registered.

G. Marshals in Charge Unless warranted by the Earl Marshal as an officer of the kingdom, a marshal may not be the marshal-in-charge (MIC) of an event or sign the paperwork to authorize fighters.

1. The term “Knight Marshal” applies to the marshal of a branch. This title of office is used regardless of whether the marshal is a belted fighter; in fact it is used whether or not the branch marshal is an authorized fighter.
2. Group Marshals-in-Training are a special case. These individuals are restricted-warrant officers of the marshallate and may supervise local fighting practices. However, they may not authorize new combatants or conduct armored combat at events other than practice (i.e. they may NOT be marshal in charge at an event).

See Marshal's handbook

Fully-Warranted Marshals

A. The Kingdom Earl Marshal (KEM) The Kingdom Earl Marshal holds the final authority, under the Crown and the Society Marshal, to regulate Society martial activities within the Middle Kingdom. The Kingdom Earl Marshal and the Crowns sign warrants for all marshals in the Kingdom. The Earl Marshal is under no obligation to sign the warrant of any individual that the Earl Marshal feels will not work in the best interests of the Kingdom and/or the Marshallate. Decisions of marshals may be appealed to him or her. Decisions made by the Kingdom Earl Marshal are limited by the necessity of obtaining consent from the Crown of the Middle Kingdom and the requirement that the decisions be consistent with the decisions of the Society Marshal and the Board of Directors of the SCA, Inc. The term of service includes a probationary period of six months; after that period is over it is customary to extend the warrant for a total of two years. The Kingdom Earl Marshal may not serve more than three consecutive calendar years. Kingdom Earl Marshal responsibilities and prerogatives include:

1. Communicate with and forward information from the Society Marshal.
2. Maintain a full complement of warranted marshals at all levels throughout the Kingdom.
3. Keep an accurate list of authorized participants in the Midrealm and make this list available to the Marshallate.
4. Supervise the offices of the:
a. Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Target Archery
b. Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Rapier
c. Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Youth Combat
d. Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Siege Combat
e. Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Combat Archery
f. Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Thrown Weapons
g. Dean of the Equestrian College
h. Dean of the Coursing College
i. All other assigned or special duty Deputy Marshals
5. Determine and enforce the Rules of the Lists and Conventions of Combat of the Middle Kingdom.
6. Determine and enforce the armor and weapons standards of the Middle Kingdom.
7. Determine and enforce the qualifications necessary for warranting as a Marshal.
8. Find and train people suitable for his office. Recommend to the crown a suitable replacement.
9. Grant authorizations in the Middle Kingdom.
10. Revoke authorizations and warrants and ban persons from martial participation, subject to appeal to the Crown.
11. Be the Marshal-in-Charge of the Middle Kingdom Crown Tournaments, or to designate an alternate.

B. Regional Deputy Marshal (RDM) The Regional Deputy Marshal is an important link between the Earl Marshal and the local Knight Marshals. Each Regional Deputy Marshal is responsible for an extended geographical area; within that area the Regional Deputy Marshal has primary responsibility for the day-today supervision of SCA, Inc. armored combat and the supervision and development of the marshallate. A Regional Deputy Marshal must first serve a probationary period of six months after which the warrant may be extended for a total of two years. A second warrant may then follow the first, extending the Regional Deputy Marshal's tenure to a maximum total of three years. The responsibilities and prerogatives of the Regional Deputy Marshal include:

1. Report quarterly to the Kingdom Earl Marshal on the status of SCA, Inc armored combat in the region, the status of the marshallate, any actions of Marshal's Court, and any questions of special importance.
2. Be familiar with all the local Marshals within the region.
3. Train and supervise the marshallate in the region, and has the right to veto the warranting of a candidate for advancement from Marshal-in-Training status. NOTE: The Regional Deputy Marshal can be overruled by Kingdom Earl Marshal or Crown.
4. Ensure observance of the rules and conventions for armored combat.
5. May suspend authorizations for up to six months. Such suspensions must be immediately reviewed by the Kingdom Earl Marshal.

C. Deputy Earl Marshals (DEM)

1. The Deputy Earl Marshals are primarily responsible for their own offices and deputies, each covering a clearly defined martial activity. They have a primary obligation to advise the Kingdom Earl Marshal and the Crown on matters concerning their area of expertise. Each ranks as a Deputy Earl Marshal but may not act as a fully warranted Marshal for any other SCA, Inc martial activities unless they have been specifically warranted for that purpose under the standards set for that activity. The Deputy Earl Marshals must be warranted as Marshals within their domains before assuming the office.

The currently recognized offices include:

a. Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Target Archery
b. Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Rapier
c. Dean of the Equestrian College,
d. Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Youth Combat
e. Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Siege Combat
f. Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Combat Archery
g. Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshal for Thrown Weapons
2. The responsibilities and prerogatives of the Deputy Earl Marshals include:
a. Supervise the development of their martial art.
b. Enforcement of the rules governing participation in their martial activity.
c. Report quarterly to the Kingdom Earl Marshal concerning their activities.
d. Train, select, and supervise their Marshals (including the creation and maintenance of a Marshals handbook according to Marshallate guidelines);
e. Create and revise the participation rules for their respective activities within the limitations set out by the SCA, Inc and such other duties as the Kingdom Earl Marshal shall direct them to perform.

D. Special Deputy Earl Marshals (SDEM)

Special Deputy Earl Marshals are appointed by the Kingdom Earl Marshal with the same prerogatives as the Deputy Earl Marshals except that Special Deputy Earl Marshals are responsible primarily for their specific area in marshallate activities, unless otherwise directed by the Kingdom Earl Marshal. Special Deputy Earl Marshals are equal in rank but subordinate to a Deputy Earl Marshal in decisions regarding the activity where the other officer has primary jurisdiction. This appointment can be for special projects or applied to the Kingdom Earl Marshal's designated successor and/or emergency deputy. However, the Kingdom Earl Marshal may designate the Earl Marshal of another Kingdom as a deputy Earl Marshal of the Middle Kingdom. The warranting of a Deputy who resides in another Kingdom must be approved in writing by the Crown of that kingdom. It is customary to warrant the Earl Marshal of the East and the Earl Marshal of Aethelmearc as Deputy Earl Marshals for the period of Pennsic War.

E. Local Marshals

Local Marshals at the group and baronial level are the backbone of the marshallate. Group Knight Marshals (GKM) and Knight Marshals of the Field (KMF) are warranted on an annual basis and serve at the pleasure of the Earl Marshal. All Group Knight Marshals or Knight Marshals of the Fields acting as Marshal-in-Charge of an event may suspend an authorization or warrant for the period of the event. If such action is taken the Regional Deputy Marshal and Kingdom Earl Marshal must be notified immediately.

1. Group Knight Marshals foster and encourage local participation in armored combat, and where interest and participants create the demand, secure for the group the services of an Archery Marshal if those activities are to take place in armored combat. The responsibilities and prerogatives of the Group Knight Marshal include:
a. Report on a quarterly basis and as otherwise required to the Regional Deputy Marshal concerning local activities.
b. Maintain accurate records of local authorized and training armored combatants.
c. Communicate armored combat and marshallate information within the local group, and between the group and the Regional Deputy Marshal and Kingdom Earl Marshal.
d. Train new combatants, and/or insure that a qualified, experienced individual is found to support this duty.
e. Ensure observance of the rules and conventions for armored combat.
f. Supervise all events with armored combat participation hosted by their group and submit all required reports to the appropriate superior officers. The Group Knight Marshal is strongly encouraged to coordinate with autocrats to insure that there is a warranted Chirurgeon at their group's events where martial activities are taking place. The Group Knight Marshal is still responsible for coordination and reporting even if they are not acting as the Marshal-in-Charge of the event.
2. Knight Marshals of the Field are fully warranted Marshals who are not responsible for a specific group, but perform all the field duties of a Marshal. They do not submit group reports unless they act as Marshal-in-Charge at a tournament or other fighting event, but are responsible for reporting as individuals annually at Domesday to their Regional Deputy Marshal.

See Marshal's handbook

Restricted-Warrant Marshals and Other Staff

The following Marshals and staff are restricted as described and may NOT authorize combatants to participate in SCA armored combat in the Midrealm.

A. Group Knight Marshals-in-Training (GKMIT)

These officers are Marshals of Baronies, Cantons, Marches, and Shires who are learning by gaining experience and training to fulfill marshallate duties. Group Knight Marshals-in-Training must take responsibility for training their group’s combatants and running events advertised in the Pale as de facto Marshal-in-Charge, although a fully warranted Marshal must supervise the Group Knight Marshal-in-Training and must sign the Tourney report. In other words, Group Knight Marshals-in-Training do all the work of a fully warranted Marshal except authorizing combatants to participate in armored combat, and must be supervised by a warranted Marshal when conducting events advertised in the Pale. Group Knight Marshals-in-Training are warranted by the Kingdom Earl Marshal as officers of the local group. These warrants are subject to a probationary period to be determined by the Earl Marshal/Regional Deputy Marshal.

B. Marshal-in-Training (MIT)

Upon receiving their second authorization, an authorized combatant who wishes to become a Knight Marshal of the Field may apply for Marshal-in-Training status. Unlike the Group Knight's Marshal, the Marshal-in-Training has no duty to report and does not perform the functions of de facto Marshal-in-Charge. A Marshal-in-Training must learn through example; by directly assisting warranted Marshals at events during weapons inspections, watching authorizations, acting as a constable, and through the classes given at various sites (especially the RUM sessions). An appointment as a MIT is made by the KEM or by one of the RDM or DEM. The Marshal-in-Training must accomplish the following within one year from the start of the appointment to Marshal-in-Training status before the MIT is eligible to take the marshals exam to become a warranted marshal:

1. Assist the Marshal-in-Charge of two official events in all the duties of a Marshal-in-Charge including weapons inspection, Marshaling, authorizations, and reporting. Attendance in at least one of the training sessions offered by the Earl Marshal or an instructor designated by the Earl Marshal at a RUM session or other event may count as one event signature.
2. Be acceptable to the RDM of the region in which the Marshal-in-Training resides, the KEM, and to the Crown of the Middle Kingdom.

C. Out-of-Kingdom Marshals

Out-of-Kingdom Marshals may not authorize combatants to participate in combat in the Middle Kingdom. Marshals with warrants from other kingdoms may be warranted in the Middle Kingdom upon demonstrated familiarity with Middle Kingdom Rules of the Lists and Conventions of Combat, successful completion of the Marshals Test and being found acceptable by the RDM of the region of residence and/or Earl Marshal.

D. Constables

Constables are Society members who informally help supervise the list boundaries, and who may perform other Marshal related duties at the direction of the MIC. Constables must sign waivers before entering the Lists. See Marshal's handbook

Authorizations, Inspections, and the List Table

A. General

1. A copy of the Rules of the List and the Combat Conventions of the Middle Kingdom must be available at the List table, at any official event at which authorizations are conducted. Note that this includes a group practice if an authorization is to be attempted there.
2. No less than two warranted Marshals and preferably three are required to authorize a combatant. At least one should be relatively unfamiliar with the combatant authorizing. A single warranted Marshal at an event may not authorize combatants.
3. Authorizations at practices are allowed as long as there is at least one warranted Marshal from outside the group participating as a marshal in the authorizations and with the permission of the REM or KEM. A Marshal cannot authorize someone in a weapons style in which they are not authorized.
4. All combatants must authorize first in single-handed weapon and shield. In cases where there is good and sufficient reason the Regional Deputy Marshal or above in the marshallate chain of authority can grant an exception. See Alternative Primary Weapon section.
5. Authorization is by the use of the weapon or technique. Whatever style the combatant is authorizing in, the combatant is responsible to be competent with the weapon actually used.
6. All members of the Chivalry are assumed to be responsible to use only weapons they are competent in, and so are authorized in all forms except Combat Archery and Siege.

B. Planning

1. Organizing for authorizations becomes more important the larger your event and the wider your draw from the combatant community. Emphasis should always be on getting new authorizations and authorizations for combatants traveling long distances from remote groups handled first. Have the following resources ready and available to keep the process running smoothly:
2. The List Table: your staff at the List table should have enough of the correct forms and be familiar with completing authorization forms. The Group Marshal and/or MIC is responsible to make sure the paperwork (with enough copies of each form) is there and the List staff comfortable with the forms and procedures.
3. Lists: plan to have enough room to be able to run more than one set of authorizations at a time, whenever space allows.
4. Marshals: more is better. Try to arrange for Marshals from outside your immediate area to meet the familiarity requirement (see below) with the combatants authorizing.
5. Experienced Combatants to act as authorization partners: more is better here too, especially from outside the local area, but familiar to the Marshals. Make sure the authorization partner has the required authorization.

C. Authorizations

The authorization process is one of the most important safeguards in SCA, Inc. fighting. Authorizations must be taken seriously. Standards for authorizations are oriented first towards safety, and in advanced authorizations competency as well. A Marshal does a great disservice to the marshallate, combatants in general, and the combatant in question by ignoring or overlooking a standard as a "favor" to help authorize a combatant. The Kingdom Earl Marshal may revoke a marshal’s warrant for such irresponsible conduct. Local Marshals and their trainers should give the new combatant a clear idea when they have reached the authorization threshold, and wherever possible be present at the first authorization attempt.

Middle Kingdom Armored Combat Authorization Definitions:
1. Single Handed Weapon and Shield (W/SH): Single handed swords, maces, axes, hammers and shield. Must also demonstrate regular and face thrust ability.
2. Polearm (PA): Two handed mass weapons, 4’ – 7.5’ in length to include short spears. Must also demonstrate regular and face thrust ability.
3. Two-handed Sword (GS): Any two-handed sword style including ricasso and bastard sword. Must also demonstrate regular and face thrust ability.
4. Spear (SP): 7’7” to 12’ spear in a melee situation. Must also demonstrate regular and face thrust ability.
5. Two-Weapon (TW): Any combination of previously authorized weapons styles. Must also demonstrate regular and face thrust ability.
6. Combat Archery (CA): Bows/crossbows using specially constructed armored combat arrows. See the Combat Archery Handbook for complete details.
7. Siege Crew/Engineer. See the Siege Combat Handbook for complete details.

D. General Authorization Procedures

Authorization procedures (for all weapon forms) will follow a set pattern of bouts:
1. Sparring Bout: Combatants acknowledge blows verbally, calling out "good to the head", "good to the leg", etc., loud enough for the Marshals to hear, but not act out the blow's effect. The sparring bout should demonstrate the full range of the authorizing combatant's skill in both offense and defense. A skilled opponent will spend some of the time changing tactics: "pressing" the candidate and some of the time retreating from him/her to encourage a full display of skills. The sparring bout is to last no more than five minutes. A candidate who does not have the endurance to fight in a normal authorization can be failed for this reason alone. The Marshals should confirm the following from the candidate:
a. Has read and is familiar with the Rules of the List and the Conventions for Combat in the Middle Kingdom and the Society for Creative Anachronism and exhibits that knowledge on the field.
b. Must be a paid member of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
c. Must have signed a waiver (A blue membership card is equivalent to a waiver).
2. Crown Bout: Combatants conduct themselves as if participating in a Crown Tournament. All blows are acted out. Victory in the bout is not a consideration for authorization; this bout is held to demonstrate the candidate's ability to properly and safely act out the effects of the blows received and given in a manner befitting combat in the Lists.
3. Following each bout the Marshals and the experienced opponent consult and discuss the performance of the combatant during the bout. Consensus should be reached as to whether the combatant continues to the second bout, should train more before attempting authorization or continues with advice, and ultimately if successfully authorized.

E. First-time Authorization Procedures:

1. The default first authorization is weapon and shield. If a participant wishes to authorize in a different style first, they may do so with the permission of a Regional Marshal or Kingdom Earl Marshal. Permission will be given only in special circumstances unless it is through the Alternative Primary Weapon Program.
2. The new combatant must have his/her arms thoroughly inspected prior to the authorization bouts.
3. Following the inspection the Marshal should confirm that the new combatant has had some practice and is using at least a helm, shield and weapon used in practice before. This does not require ownership of the equipment, only familiarity. A person who performs poorly and uses equipment problems as a reason should not be authorized.
4. When authorization bouts are announced, the candidate should be directed to the List table to sign an event roster and an authorization form. The combatant will then present him/herself armed with a single-handed weapon and shield to the presiding Marshal when called. The Marshal will ask the candidate if s/he has read and understood the Rules of the List and the Conventions of Combat of the Society and the Middle Kingdom. If the candidate has not read them (which should not happen) s/he will be directed to the List table copy, and told to return when s/he has done so. Once they have reviewed the information, they may continue to the bouts.
5. The sparring bout in a single-handed weapon and shield first authorization is required to contain four parts:
a. The combatant and opponent are fully armed and on their feet.
b. The combatant is on their knees fully armed and the opponent is on their feet fully armed.
c. The combatant is on their feet fully armed and the opponent is on their knees fully armed.
d. The combatant is off-hand single-sword on their feet and the opponent is on their feet fully armed.
6. First Authorization Standards:
a. Exhibits safe and courteous behavior on the field.
b. Begins in and maintains a proper stance and uses the shield or weapon properly to maintain defense.
c. Delivers blows from a proper range and at a proper strength and sustains an adequate offense.
d. Reacts correctly to pressure, with the ability to "fight back" without becoming confused or losing control.
e. Feels and judges blows correctly, both those received and those given.
f. Single hand weapon and shield authorizations are to include face and body thrusts as part of the authorization procedure. Safety is considered the primary factor in determining whether a combatant meets these criteria.

F. Alternative Primary Weapon Program In certain circumstances, and in an effort to promote the fighting arts, individuals may obtain permission to attempt a “bypass authorization”. The two cases for which permission will be given are:

1. An authorized Rapier combatant wishes to authorize in spear
2. Combat archery is desired as the primary weapon authorization
In both cases, an individual must enlist the aid of a member of the Order of Chivalry as a sponsor to teach them the conventions of combat and rules of the list. Any member of the Chivalry that agrees to take on such gentles also agrees to become responsible not only for their training, but also to be responsible for their training in the culture of armored combat as practiced within the Midrealm. Note: The Chivalry sponsor must be present during the authorization as they must ALSO sign the authorization form. The actual authorization must take place at an SCA event during a melee as per the rules in the Marshal's handbook. In order to gain any further weapon styles, the combatant who went through a bypass authorization must undergo a weapon and shield authorization first. The purpose of this program is not to see how many new authorizations can be generated, but rather to increase combat awareness and to offer continued guidance in the Rules and Cultural Expectations for combat archery among the Heavy Weapons Fighters.

G. Advanced Authorization

1. The combatant must demonstrate competence, as well as safe use of the advanced weapon style. Competence is a subjective standard but should include demonstrated familiarity with the unique characteristics of the weapon style, and awareness of the tactics for both offense and defense with the style.
2. Anyone who has not participated in SCA, Inc. combat for a year or more may be required to re-authorize, at the discretion of the Marshal-in-Charge. Normally a successful authorization bout for sword and shield will reactivate all the previous authorizations held, but the person may attempt to re-authorize in another weapons style instead of single-handed weapon and shield if s/he prefers.
3. All out-of-kingdom authorizations except non-emancipated minors are considered valid while visiting the Middle Kingdom. Any member of the chivalry transferring residence does not need to reauthorize, and will receive authorization in all weapon styles except Combat Archery and Siege. They need to send a copy of their out-of-kingdom authorization card to the Clerk of the Roster for a Middle Kingdom authorization card.

H. Reauthorization

Reauthorization for lapsed Middle Kingdom combatants and combatants transferring residence into the Middle Kingdom:

1. Can reauthorize in any previously authorized weapon style.
2. Successful reauthorization will reactivate all previous weapon style authorizations.
3. Transfers into the Middle Kingdom from another kingdom with no equivalent authorization will be reviewed by the Kingdom Earl Marshal or designate on a caseby-case basis.

I. Inspections

1. At each event, the marshal-in-charge must arrange for the inspection of all equipment to be used in combat (e.g., armor and weapons). This in no way relieves the individual combatants of their responsibility for following the equipment standards. Ultimately, the fighter is responsible for the condition and safety of their armor and weapons at all times. This includes periods between bouts, between battles, and day to day periods between battles at a multi-day event. However, the marshal’s inspection is intended to provide a second pair of experienced eyes and an outside point of view. A reminder: Equipment that was perfectly serviceable at the beginning of the previous event could have broken since, and even the most experienced fighter can occasionally forget some piece of armor.
2. Armor inspection must be done with all armor on the body of the combatant who is going to wear it. Before you start, remind yourself that armor is hot, not to mention heavy. If the weather is hot, try to find some shade in which to hold the inspection, or at least for the combatants to stand in while waiting to be inspected. Similar reasoning applies in case of rain, freezing cold, or other inclement weather. Just because it is possible to fight in your armor, does not mean that it is pleasant or desirable to stand around in it during inspections. Developing a set pattern for performing your inspections will help you maintain thoroughness and efficiency.
3. Weapons and Armor are to be inspected in strict accordance to the standards outlined in the Participants’ Section of this handbook.
4. Inspections are to be conducted using an appropriate gauging tool for all measurements.
5. Armor and Weapon Inspection Standards:
a. Leg Armor: Check that the front and sides of the knee are covered. Have the combatant flex his knees and see that the knee and side of the knees remain covered. Check for sharp edges, broken or missing rivets, or other signs that the equipment is not in good repair.
b. Groin: Ask if the groin protection is in place.
c. Kidneys: Check for kidney armor. Kidneys are in the back, at about the bottom of the ribs.
d. Elbows: Check that the point and sides of each elbow are covered. Have the combatant flex his elbows and see that the points remains covered. Check for sharp edges, broken or missing rivets, or other signs that the equipment is not in good repair.
e. Hands and Wrists: Check the gauntlet and/or basket hilt. Check for sharp edges, broken or missing rivets, or other signs that the equipment is not in good repair. If the combatant is using a basket hilt, have the weapon pointed toward the horizon to see if the wrist bones or hands are exposed. NOTE: this check is for the wrists and hands, not the forearm.
f. Neck and Head: Check that the neck is covered. Check the faceplate and eye slots both for size of openings and to be sure that it is firmly secured in place. Put your hand on the front of the helm, and have the combatant push against it. See that his face does not hit the faceplate. A gentle touch of the tip of the nose at maximum pressure may not be desirable but is not necessarily grounds for rejecting the helm. Check for sharp edges, broken or missing rivets, or other signs that the equipment is not in good repair.
g. Shield: Check the rim for exposed sharp edges. Check the rest of the shield for sharp edges, broken or missing rivets, or other signs that it is not in good repair. If using a shield basket, check that the hand is properly protected by the basket. The wrist bones must also be protected by the shield basket or sufficiently thick leather padded with ¼ inch (6mm) of padding or equivalent. Hand protection behind center boss shields should be checked to ensure that the thumb is sufficiently protected.
h. Swords: Inspect to make sure basket hilt or quillions are firmly attached. Check for lanyard or trigger if single handed. Make sure that sword is in good repair, with little or no rattan pieces poking through tape. Check thrusting tip is attached, of required depth and does not bottom out.
i. Mass weapons. Ensure that head is properly attached and has padding if necessary (e.g. – non-Rathbone axe head requires ½ inch padding).
j. Spears: Check length, 2” tip diameter. Inspect shaft for cracks and butt for cap.

See Marshal's handbook

Marshal Field Duties

The Marshal-in-Charge of an official event must be a fully warranted marshal. The Marshal-in-Charge (MIC) is responsible for all Marshaling activities at an official SCA, Inc. event where there are combat or combat-related activities, and for preparing (or having prepared) all required reports and forms. The Group Knight Marshal is frequently the MIC, but if they are still in training another warranted Marshal must be chosen. The Group Knight Marshal-in-Training should assist in weapons inspections and in the conduct of the Lists, but the warranted MIC is the person considered responsible by the Kingdom Earl Marshal. The Group Knight Marshal-in-Training must prepare the tourney reports but must also have the warranted MIC check and sign the report. The MIC should ensure that there are enough Marshals and constables to control the combat and keep it from spilling into the spectators.

A. Setting up the Lists

1. General
The size, shape, and condition of the list field have much to do with the safety and enjoyment of the combatants and the spectators. A highly visible, safe barrier, reinforced by constables, is the best boundary. If the Lists must be set up in the middle of a field or in a large room without such boundaries, great care must be taken. It is often best to take one end of a room for the list field and use the walls for three of the boundaries, leaving only one rope barrier between the combatants and the audience. In the case of an outdoor area, take advantage of available logical boundary items like trees and bushes. The Marshals should also look at "traffic flow" as a consideration in laying out the fighting area, but safety factors are foremost. Make sure that mixing combatant and general spectator traffic is kept to a minimum. Take into account the spectator mix: more nonSCA., children or a lot of traffic means increased vigilance and tighter control.
2. Barriers and protecting the spectators
a. Double rope barriers are generally preferred and should be used wherever practical. The distance between the inner and outer barriers should be the length of the longest weapon on the field, usually 6-12 feet. HOLD is called when the combatants reach the inner boundary, while spectators are not permitted closer than the outer line.
b. Single rope barriers can be used where there is a minimum of spectator traffic around the Lists, few small children present, and a primarily SCA audience. Floor or ground markings out six feet or so from the ropes provide a good visual cue to spectators. Make the combatants aware that they have only the one barrier between them and the spectators. Encourage the spectators to honor the outer boundary markings.
c. Rope barriers should be waist height (36 to 40 inches from the ground), outer rope barriers should be a little lower (30 to 36 inches from the ground) to help small children to recognize the boundary. Flags or pendants hung on the rope every six feet or so will help everyone keep track of the bounds. Marshals should adjust the ropes between bouts to keep them at the recommended height.
d. Barriers and boundary markings at sites where large melees or wars are to be held depend on the number of combatants, the size of the audience, and the number of Marshals available. A well-defined double line is also highly desirable, but in this case the distance between inner and outer boundaries should be fifteen feet or greater. Corners and boundaries should be highly visible. Straw bales are usually employed. Spectators and combatants should be discouraged from using the bales for sitting or resting. The setup at large wars can dramatically affect the outcome of a battle and should be discussed with the leaders of the armies well in advance.
3. Surface conditions and combatant safety The conditions of the surface of the list should be checked as well. The Marshals should walk the fighting area well before fighting begins to look for and try to remedy or mark potential hazards. When a site requires additional or protective floor covering, care should be taken to avoid creating tripping or sliding hazards.

B. Invocation of the Lists

Before the commencement of combat at an event, the Marshal in Charge shall gather all fighters together to discuss the particulars of the day.

1. Check with the Sovereigns or Their representatives to see if they have any words for the combatants before starting the Invocation.
2. Check for any experimental weapons and ask the owner for details – see below.
3. Ask the following questions, designed to remind all participants of the rules of the list:
a. Have you read and understand the Rules of the List of the Middle Kingdom?
b. Are you aware that this is a potentially dangerous activity?
c. Do you bear any offense steel?
4. Once all fighters have answered appropriately, the marshal or the presiding herald may conduct a mass round of honors to the Crowns, Consorts, and Opponents, depending upon the scenarios for the day.

C. Experimental Weapons

If there are any experimental weapons to be used on the field, they are to be announced during the Invocation of the list

1. All combatants and marshals must consent to the use of the weapon or material before combat begins.
2. If any of the marshals or combatants object to the use of the material or weapon, the material or weapon may not be used in that fight or battle.
3. All experimental materials and weapons shall be marked with alternating bands of red and green tape totaling 6 inches (15.2 cm) in length. Bands shall be visible during weapon usage.

See Marshal's handbook

Tournament Field Procedures

A. General

Promoting safety and awareness helps to ease running tournaments. Checking on the following items will ensure that your tournament runs well:

1. Everyone in the Lists should have visited the List table and signed waivers or/and showed their blue membership cards.
2. Keep the Lists cleared of nonessential people. This includes any tourney officers (Marshals or constables) who are not paying attention to the proceedings. No one should ever stand near the Lists with his/her back to the fighting.
3. Check the fighting surface between bouts for potential problems.
4. Check combatants as they enter for general repair of their equipment. They may have had something damaged in the previous bout or may have forgotten to put a piece of armor back on they removed between bouts.
5. Keep a good sight line between the List table and the Lists.
6. The Marshals should be wearing the designated marshal’s tabard, baldric or badge of office for their activity while on duty.

B. Marshal Requirements

1. Ideally, have a minimum of three Marshals, or if more, then always an odd number observing the combatants.
2. The Marshals should maintain the best clear view of the action, moving as necessary.
3. One Marshal should be designated as the "Presiding Marshal", who is responsible for signaling the commencement of the fight, arbitration and its continuance after any Hold. The role of presiding Marshal can be rotated among the Marshals as necessary.
4. Marshals are strongly encouraged to withdraw and appoint a replacement in tournaments where their affiliations to a combatant may cause their judgment to be questioned. This is very important in Crown Lists, and should not be treated lightly. It is better to voluntarily remove yourself than to have a senior Marshal request you to do so.
5. Marshals are expected to maintain their own tempers, remain objective and encourage calm discourse in the Lists. A cooling down period can be called if necessary to restore order and calmness.

C. Starting the Tournament Bout

As a bout begins, several preliminaries, both practical and symbolic, must be performed:

1. The Marshals must check the combatants to insure that they are wearing all required armor. If they are not, then the bout cannot proceed. Combatants should be encouraged to identify their own, and inspect each other's weapons closely so that each is aware of what they are facing.
2. Prior to the start of the bout all combatants must be asked if they have read and understand the Rules of the List and Conventions of Combat, and if they have signed a waiver. All must have done so before entering the Lists.
3. The formal ceremony of commencing a bout is generally split between the Presiding Marshal and the Field Herald:
a. The Herald tells the combatants to salute the Crown, those that "inspire them," and their opponents, then to heed the Marshals.
b. The presiding Marshal then asks the combatants if they bear any offensive steel on the field, and if they are wearing all of their armor. The presiding Marshal, and only the presiding Marshal, asks if they are prepared and then commences the fight with "EN GARDE, LAY ON" or the equivalent.
4. Once the tournament is underway, and at the Presiding Marshal's discretion, acknowledging all honors as previously given may shorten the preliminaries, or to do such honors as they desire, and then begin the bout.

D. During the Bout As the bouts continue, the Marshals should look for and immediately respond to any condition dangerous to the combatants or the spectators. When it occurs the Marshal must:

1. Call "HOLD" to stop the action
a. Correct the condition or situation
b. If the situation requires repositioning the combatants, make sure they remain in the same relative positions and at the same distance relative to one another as when the Hold was called.
2. Continue the bout with the commands, "EN GARDE -- CONTINUE."

E. Conduct in the Lists and Judging Blow Acceptance

1. Judging blows is the primary responsibility of the combatants, but there are exceptions to this rule. When the blow is not good for reasons the combatants cannot see -- i.e., it is flat or struck with the haft -- the Marshal must inform the combatants. Also, if the combatants ask for an opinion, the Marshal should clearly comment on the "cleanness" of the blow and what was hit, or state that an opinion cannot be given (due to blocked

vision, etc.). It must be strongly emphasized that the combatant who wants an opinion on a blow should ask the opponent involved first. To do otherwise is discourteous. If at all possible, the struck combatant should make the decision.

2. The effectiveness of blows struck in the course of Society combat are judged by each combatant on the honor system, based on the Universal Armor Standard. The honor system creates a complex environment because of the many factors involved; even if two identical blows could be delivered to two different combatants, they may feel them differently. Judging primarily by the force of the blows has led in the past to rapid escalation of force, particularly among long-time or heavily armored combatants.
3. It is the policy of the Middle Kingdom Marshallate that the first consideration in judging the effectiveness of blows should be cleanness, i.e., whether or not the weapon struck with the weapon's effective area without being impeded, glancing, or being partially blocked by the defender's shield or weapon. Blows must, of course, be struck with reasonable force, but a clean blow by definition should be taken unless it is indeed exceptionally light or inherently ineffective.
Note: An inherently ineffective blow, for example, is a saber-style wrist flick, which is very fast but could not penetrate armor. A well-delivered blow that is unblocked should be taken. If an accurate sense of judgment as prescribed by the Rules of the List seems to be lacking in a fight, the Presiding Marshal should recall three things:
a. The Marshal has the informal power to persuade the combatants to correct intentional or unintentional misconduct, and the formal power to enforce the rules through the powers delegated by the Crown.
b. The use of informal persuasion is preferable, whenever possible.
c. The Marshal can formally, in extreme cases, award victory in a fight, eject a combatant from the Lists and/or require reauthorization, or even disassociate the SCA., Inc from an event where the Rules of the List are being ignored.

F. Marshallate Intervention

Marshals (because they are observers) are restricted in their ability to actually judge blows received by an opponent, but in some cases it becomes obvious that blows are not being acknowledged properly. Intervening in a bout when the participants have not requested assistance is one of the stickiest situations marshals can find themselves in. On one hand, we want the combatants to be the first, best arbiters of the bout. On the other hand, we are charged with enforcing the Rules of the Lists and Conventions of Combat—to include calibration of blows and cannot in good conscience stand by when there is a concern that the blows are being missed by combatants. What follows is the preferred protocol for unrequested intervention:

1. Call Hold, preferably as soon as there is a natural break in the action. Wait a second to see if the “break” occurred because one of the combatants is waiting to see if his opponent will register the blow. This may be all it takes to start the dialogue. If not, call the Hold and advance when it is safe to do so.
2. Ask the question in a non-confrontational way and not directed to any combatant in particular. “Gentles, is there anything you need to discuss?” Pause to see if the dialogue starts.
3. If no one speaks up, address the combatant who threw the blow in question. Ask them if they thought the blow was good. Pantomime the blow while asking, using the recipient as a model. This identifies which blow you mean and it might serve to jog the memory of the recipient. If the combatant who threw the blow indicates that the blow was not good this should pretty much be the end of it. Only in the most extreme of circumstances should a marshal pursue the matter past this point. Resume the bout with a brief

apology for interrupting the action.

4. If the combatant who threw the blow indicates that they thought the blow was good, direct your question to the recipient. Avoid sounding accusatory but repeat the comments from the combatant who threw the blow. Encourage the combatants to talk to each other.
5. If the receiver indicates that they did not feel the blow was good, do a quick inspection of the armor in the area of impact to see if there is a physical explanation. If you find something, point out the problem and offer to give them a reasonable amount of time to correct it. Ask the recipient, given what you have found, if they’d like to reconsider accepting the blow.
6. If nothing is found to explain the discrepancies or the recipient is unwilling to accept the blow, the marshals must make a decision. The marshals present in the lists should quickly confer.
7. The senior marshal will then approach the combatants and offer a brief summary of what has happened to that point, ending with the consensus opinion of the marshals. Pause and let the combatants consider some more and try to come to a resolution.
8. If none is forthcoming, the senior marshal must make a quick decision based on their own observations of the blow, the subtleties of interaction between the combatants, and the consensus of the marshals. If the senior marshal feels there is sufficient cause, then they should inform the recipient that the blow is to be counted as good. If not, let the

bout continue.

9. After the combatants have worked through these discussions (with or without input from the marshals), the presiding marshal should indicate to the populace watching the bout in a loud and clear voice what was discussed and the result, keeping in mind the sensitive nature of such discussions and mindful of the honor of both combatants and their consorts.

There are several “themes” running through this process that marshals should keep in mind as a guide in this situation. First, the marshals should make every effort to let the combatants resolve the bout themselves, and encourage the dialogue. Second, the marshals should stay professional, courteous, and impartial. Third, the process should not be lengthy or drawn out. None of these steps takes more than a few seconds. Last, while the marshals have the authority to arbitrate blows it should be an *absolute* last resort.

G. Dealing with Unacceptable Technique Issues

Other problems that may require action by the Marshal include dangerous offensive techniques and illegal defensive techniques. The latter are covered fairly well by the conventions of combat. Dangerous offensive techniques are more serious and require prompt attention. Any combatant who purposely strikes repeatedly at an illegal target area, doesn't appear in control of the weapon or shield, or uses an obviously or patently dangerous technique should be dealt with in three steps:

1. Warning at the first offense.
2. Banning of the technique being abused at the second offense.
3. Forfeiting the fight at the third offense.

H. Equipment Failures

The most serious type is loss or failure of the helm. If a helmet comes off a combatant, or otherwise fails in the course of combat, the combatant is deemed immediately defeated. The reason for the occurrence must be carefully ascertained and steps taken to prevent reoccurrence. In the case of other armor failures, the Marshal should allow a reasonable amount of time to repair or replace the equipment. See Marshal's handbook

Marshalling Melees

A. General

Maintain a high level of safety and awareness as indicated above in the Tournament section. Additional considerations specific to the melee scenario include:

1. Remind the Marshals to keep good clearance from the lines during rushes, charges and other mass movements that could cause the Marshal to be accidentally struck or overrun.
2. Make sure the field of combat is clear of noncombatant staff and spectators before resuming after a Hold.
3. Check the field surface before and between melees for problems.
4. Check combatants and encourage them to check each other as they enter and during Holds for state of their equipment. They may have had something damaged in the previous engagement.
5. When missile weapons are being used, Marshals are REQUIRED to wear eye protection and ensure that spectators are reasonably outside of the effective range of these weapons.
6. Marshals should always have a Marshal's staff, tabard, and whistle for safety and effectiveness. Armor is also recommended where reasonable, especially hand and groin protection. Some sort of distinctively marked protective headgear is also recommended.
7. MICs are strongly encouraged to arrange adequate medical and water-bearing support.

B. Melee Marshalling Requirements

1. Have as many Marshals as possible. The melee is a dynamic environment covering a wide area.
2. A ratio of one Marshal to every ten combatants in smaller scenarios is a good margin. Sometimes it is not possible to achieve that ratio, but every effort should be made to have enough Marshals and constables to protect spectators and ensure the safety of the combatants.
3. All participants shall be gathered to hear the rules and the scenario limits explained to them. The event stewards and/or the marshals should answer their questions. If the scenario limits vary radically from battle to battle, this procedure should be repeated before each battle.
4. The Marshals should maintain the best clear view of the action, moving with the combatants as necessary, but remaining effectively out of weapons range. The MIC is responsible for judging whether or not there are enough Marshals and constables, and requesting additional participation.
5. One Marshal should be designated as the "Presiding Marshal", who is responsible for signaling the commencement of the melee, arbitration and its continuance after any Hold. The role of presiding Marshal can be rotated among the Marshals as necessary.
6. Marshals are expected to maintain their own tempers, remain objective and encourage calm discourse on the field.

C. Marshaling Major/Inter-Kingdom Wars

1. The general rules under which the war will be conducted, compromises between conflicting kingdoms’ standards, and the scenario limits for each planned battle shall be negotiated and agreed to in writing in advance by the authorized representatives of all belligerent groups involved. The rules and scenario limits shall be published in the appropriate newsletters. For inter-kingdom wars, notices shall be published according to SCA publication policy by the groups involved. This publication should take place at least thirty (30) days prior to the event. In addition, copies of all of the rules and agreements shall be available on-site, as a handout, for people who do not receive (or did not read) the newsletters. Armor and weapons standards shall default to the established Society minimum standards unless otherwise specified in the event rules and scenario limits.
2. Each side in a battle shall provide a reasonable number of trained and experienced marshals. If not enough marshals are available, the sides should arrange for a draft from their armies.
3. All marshals should be separately briefed prior to the meetings of all participants. (They should also attend the group briefing.) Emphasis at this briefing should be on enforcing the rules and scenario limits for each battle and on preventing accidents that could arise from hazards related to the scenario limits and to the actual terrain. There should be an understanding among the marshals regarding the rules and scenario specifics and any possible safety issues that may arise. At inter-kingdom events the differences between the attending kingdoms should be discussed and compromises and clarity in the rules and scenarios regarding those differences should be worked out.
4. Equipment inspection must take place before combat starts, with particular emphasis on any modifications that have been made in the process of making compromises between conflicting kingdom standards.
5. A supervising marshal (marshal in charge) shall be chosen for each war (and possibly for each battle, if the MIC for the war is fighting in the battles or otherwise prevented from being present).
6. The marshal-in-charge shall be responsible for the activities of the marshals in his or her charge.
7. If possible, the marshal-in-charge should not be a member of one of the groups on the field.
8. The marshal-in-charge for a particular battle may not participate in the battle as a combatant.

D. Crowd Control

Larger melees tend to draw larger crowds of spectators than single combat. Not only does available space become a safety consideration, but also the combatants themselves are less likely to remain attentive to the boundaries as they follow the flow of the tactical scenario. The location and layout of the melee area must take these factors into consideration and the buffer zone between spectator and the action has to be firmly enforced. In some situations (such as woods battles) it is not uncommon for the MIC to forbid spectators entirely from the vicinity of the fighting area.

E. Missile Weapons

1. When combat archery is present on the field all marshals, heralds, etc. on the field must wear protective shatterproof eyewear, such as safety glasses meeting the ANSI Z 87.1 standard or better.
2. A buffer zone needs to be provided between the edges of the battlefield and spectators at all times. This needs to be increased when combat archery is included. The marshal-incharge must ensure that it is a safe distance (it should not be possible to hit a spectator, either with direct fire or with a bounced arrow), taking into account the type of scenario, to minimize the chances of deflected shots traveling into the spectators. Physical barriers may eliminate the need for a buffer zone or lessen the distance needed.
3. The Marshals must also pay attention to the minimum distance of engagement (as applicable), the gleaning of (or damage to) missiles on the ground, and on occasion, need to alert combatants that they have been struck unawares by a missile.

F. Clearing the Dead

Clearing the dead is an effective way to clear the field without stopping the run of the tactical scenario. Marshals should use their best judgment as to when the time is right to attempt to gaff fallen combatants out of the melee. Leaving fallen combatants on the field presents a safety hazard in and of itself. Evaluate your situation:

1. Is it safe for me to approach? Or is the fighting still too close?
2. Is the combatant in any immediate danger or distress?
3. Will my presence adversely affect the tactical scenario?
4. If the Marshal decides it is safe to act, tap the combatant gently with the staff, announce "DEAD, OUT!” cover the combatant with the staff and indicate a safe direction to head away from the melee. If the fallen have piled up too fast creating a potentially dangerous situation, Marshals should call Hold and clear the field.

G. Holds

There are few areas where Marshals and commanders come into more frequent conflict than when to call Holds because of the effect of interrupting the developing scenario. The first consideration must always be safety. The Marshals should call for a Hold if:

1. The fighting is about to overflow the boundaries.
2. There is an injury that might require medical intervention.
3. A potentially dangerous pile-up (see above) is about to develop.
4. A critical piece of armor (like a helm) has come off a combatant that cannot be otherwise safely removed from the fighting.
NOTE: a dropped weapon is not a reason to call a Hold in a melee.
5. It is impossible to create a rule for every conceivable situation. The Marshals should, however, try to allow the fighting to continue when possible, erring only on the side of safety. During a Hold, Marshals should attempt to resolve the situation as soon as possible so that the fighting can continue.
Note: Marshals will frequently have to courteously remind combatants to go to their knees, ground great weapons, and refrain from discussions of the tactical situation during holds.

H. Rules of Engagement

All Marshals should make themselves thoroughly familiar with the melee conventions of combat as outlined in the Middle Kingdom Melee Conventions. The issues of legal engagement in the confusion of melee combat can not only lead to dangerous physical situations but can cause rapidly escalating tempers as well. Marshals must be particularly attentive to potential problems in situations where:

1. The lines have broken and units are intermixed.
2. One unit has flanked or is in the rear of another.
3. Elements of one unit are breaking through the lines of another.
4. Individuals are rejoining the fight from another part of the battlefield.
5. All participants are engaged with all missile and siege weapons regardless of the direction they are facing.
6. Marshals will frequently be called on to render judgments about engagement issues and should be constantly aware of the heightened emotions that can build during a melee. Marshals must remember to remain absolutely impartial (and diplomatic) and serve the interests of safety first, the rules of the game second, and the tactical concerns of the participants last, if at all.

See Marshal's handbook

Combat Injury Procedures

A. When an injury occurs on the field

When an injury occurs on the field, it should always be remembered that 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. (For example, fighters standing around in armor in the sun could be subject to heat problems.)

B. Injuries that require hospitalization

All injuries that require hospitalization or similar care, include a period of unconsciousness, or may require future medical care need to be reported to your Kingdom Earl Marshal within 24 hours of the incident. Include all available details in the report.

C. In the event of an emergency

In the event of an emergency, the marshals shall cooperate with any authorized persons responding to the emergency and keep the area clear of would-be spectators.

D. Suspected injury

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.

E. Consciousness and non-fighter intervention

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 his or her consent. No noncombatant shall enter the combat area until summoned by a marshal.

F. Calling for assistance

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 authorization to supervise combat-related activities.

G. Moving an injured fighter

No one may remove an injured fighter from the field without the consent of the event marshal-in-charge or an appointed deputy.

H. Reporting

Any immediate and significant problems associated with an injury on the field shall be reported to the kingdom Earl Marshal.

See Marshal's handbook

Procedures for Grievances and Sanctions

A. Responses to Behavioral Issues

Since our system depends heavily on personal honor and integrity, certain expectations and behaviors take on higher values than normal. Marshals may bar participation in martial activities if a participant is obviously impaired by drugs, alcohol, or a medical condition. This falls under the Rules of the Lists of the SCA, Inc #3 (Section II.B.3) which states in part that all combatants must be … “acceptable to the Sovereign or their representatives”.
Marshals are cautioned that the exhibited behavior or condition must be such that a prudent person without specialized behavioral or medical training would have concern about the safety of the participant, their opponents or spectators. In the absence of such behavior but where the marshal suspects that such a condition exists, the marshals may question the participant about the situation and offer advice on the safety and chivalry of their actions and try to persuade them to voluntarily excuse themselves. If that fails, the marshals may take it upon themselves to advise other participants of the marshal's concerns and let the participants decide for themselves whether or not they will compete with the affected party. Finally, marshals are reminded that they are not obliged to marshal any activity and may excuse themselves without penalty.
The above situations are fortunately few and uncommon. The personal safety and honor of the participants are our primary concern and the Marshals should reinforce this by example.
1. Address your concerns to the source: If a combatant has complaints about the behavior of an opponent, the first response of anyone hearing such, whether Marshal, combatant, or otherwise should be, "Have you talked to your opponent about this?" If the answer is no, the listener should insist that such a discussion take place before any other outsiders are involved.
2. Maintain objectivity and neutrality: Marshals brought into the matter when they did not witness or notice the action in question should refrain from taking sides. Instead they should get all parties face to face for a full discussion. If a tournament has been characterized by a high number of complaints, all the combatants should be brought together to bring problems into the open before they become permanent hard feelings.
3. Maintain Honor: There are many rules, conventions, and directives concerning fighting and Marshalling. No matter how much we codify, fighting will always be (and rightfully so) a matter of subjectivity we call HONOR. There are three "matters of honor" that, if adhered to by Marshals and combatants, will insure both safety and enjoyment:
a. Take care of each other on the field
b. If there is a discrepancy or problem on the field, talk right there and then and straighten it out. Do not ever be afraid to call HOLD and tactfully - "ASK THE QUESTION".
c. Give your opponent the benefit of the doubt. This means: If you are not sure of the blow that hit you -- ask. If you are not sure of the blow you threw -- let your opponent decide. These guiding principles overridingly serve both honor and prowess.

B. Grievances and Disputes

Usually the combatants are more than willing to correct any problems or breaches of the rules pointed out by a marshal. This is the desired solution: get the problem fixed. However, occasionally a marshal must take action. In the unhappy event that you find it necessary, here is how you shall proceed. In order of preference:
1. Point out the violation (missing armor, grappling during combat, etc.) and ask the fighter to correct it.
2. In the case of missing or inadequate armor, do not allow the combatant 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 he or she has cooled off. This particularly includes removing from the field anyone who has lost his or her temper.
4. If you need support, call on (in order):
a. Any other marshals who are present (especially the marshal-in-charge).
b. A regional, deputy, or principality Earl or Knight Marshal.
c. The kingdom Earl Marshal
d. The local Seneschal
e. The principality or kingdom seneschal
f. The Crown
Note: The office of the Seneschal is not a normal part of the chain of appeals/assistance in the Middle Kingdom, save in those instances where the event is being shut down.
5. If the violation cannot be stopped, convince the marshal-in-charge and the local seneschal to end the event.
6. In any case where voluntary correction is not made after the problem has been pointed out, a detailed written report shall be made to the Earl Marshal as soon as possible after the event. In cases where the fighter has made corrections voluntarily a report should be sent to the Earl Marshal if a pattern of problems, even minor ones from the same fighter is occurring.

C. Sanctions

1. In addition to removing an unsafe combatant from the field at the time, long-term sanctions are available. These will normally be applied by the marshallate of the kingdom rather than by a local marshal. Procedures outlined in kingdom law or kingdom marshal policies shall be adhered to when sanctioning any person.
2. Possible sanctions include:
a. Revoking the authorization of the individual to fight with a particular weapon. (This sanction may be applied whether or not your kingdom does authorizations by weapon forms.)
b. Revoking the authorization of the individual to fight at all.
c. Recommendation to the Crown to banish the individual from participation in events.
d. Recommendation to the Board to banish the individual from the Society and its activities.
3. If any of these long-term sanctions are in progress, the Society Marshal shall be informed.
4. If authorization has been revoked, it is acceptable to inform the Earls Marshal of any neighboring kingdoms to which the currently unauthorized fighter might travel. Once longterm sanctions have been applied, a report shall be made to the Marshal of the Society.
5. An authorization 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 of the kingdom issuing the suspension shall inform the Society Earl Marshal and the Earls Marshal of the neighboring kingdoms.
6. Furthermore, if the fighter is subsequently re-authorized, the neighboring Earls Marshal shall again be notified.

See Marshal's handbook


Reports are necessary because they give the Regional Deputy Marshals (and the Kingdom Earl Marshal) their chief indication of the affairs of the groups for which they are responsible. If reports are not submitted, the Regional Deputy Marshal has no idea whether the Marshal's job is being done properly. Late reports result in the abeyance of all martial activities for a group, or in extreme cases, complete abeyance of a group. Repeated non-reporting will result in the removal of the Marshal. Therefore, one of the first duties of the group or field Marshal is to find out the name and address of his/her superior officers (Kingdom Earl Marshal, Regional Deputy Marshal and Baronial Marshal, if any) and to know when reports are due. Marshals should keep file copies of all reports submitted. The standard report forms make this procedure easy if the basic instructions are followed in filling them out. It is not required to send these reports by registered post, except in special situations as indicated by the officer receiving your report. Currently it is required that all participants who are going to be in the Lists to have the appropriate participation or authorization card, membership card and present these to the List Table prior to entering the Lists.

A. Report Format and Required Information

1. General
a. Name of reporting Marshal, (both mundane and SCA)
b. Address and phone number of reporting Marshal
c. Name of SCA, Inc group and mundane location
d. Names, (modern and SCA), addresses, and phone numbers of all authorized and training to authorize combatants in the group.
2. Quarter report required information
a. Correctly filled Quarterly report form
b. All changes in the local list of authorized combatants that occur in the last quarter. This includes new additions and those who have moved or left the SCA, additional advanced authorizations, and any change in the Group Knight's Marshal. Any combatant who has not participated in an official SCA, Inc fighting event in the last calendar year, or who quits the Society should be reported as inactive. If a combatant moves away, the name of his/her new group, if any, should be reported.
c. Other descriptive information concerning training, problems, and injuries should be included on a separate sheet.
d. Incipient groups must report every quarter even if there are no changes. Full status groups need only to report the changes that have occurred since their last report.
3. Domesday report required information
Each Group Knight's Marshal is required to submit a copy of the Domesday report to the listed officers by the indicated deadline and to the local Seneschal no later than December 1st. The acceptable Domesday Report will cover the entire year's activity. It need not be long, just complete. Include the following information:
a. Correctly filled out Quarter/Domesday report form
b. Complete and updated roster of combatants, including correct contact information
c. Brief summary of group events
d. Brief summary of net increase/decrease in combatant population
e. Brief summary of issues and concerns
4. Tourney report required information
The Tournament report must be sent within a week of the event at which the tourney took place and shall be submitted using the standard forms for the appropriate information:
a. Tourney Report
b. Marshal's Sign Up Sheet
c. Combat Authorization Report
d. List of Participants
e. Incident Report (if needed)
5. Incident report required information
A separate incident report must be filed for each instance of an incident involving ry, unusual equipment failure or sanctions on combatants, Marshals or other participants. These must be verbally reported within 48 hours and a written report included with the tourney report. Preferably, injury reports should include copies of reports generated by the presiding Chirurgeon. However, if that report is not available, the Marshal-in-Charge is responsible for describing the nature of the injury and the circumstances under which the injury occurred. The report should be short and concise.
6. Authorization forms and reports
a. The forms and report should be completed by the Marshal-in-Charge of the event and the whole individual authorization form given to the combatant along with their waiver before the end of the tournament. It is the responsibility of the combatant to send the paperwork to the Minister of the Lists to get their authorization card.
b. Authorization reports should be completed on the separate Summary authorization form and shall include all information required on the form. All information must be legible. Authorization cards are issued when the Clerk of the Roster has received both an authorization form and a completed Combat Waiver from the combatant.

B. Report Schedules

The following is considered the default schedule for reporting. NOTE: The Kingdom Earl Marshal reserves the right to change the schedule to meet the requirements of the Society Marshal. All Marshals are required to check the Middle Kingdom newsletter, the Pale, for changes to rules and reporting schedules.

Quarter Report:

GKMIT Mar 1, Jun 1, Sep 1 RDM Copy to CR for changes
Local GKM Mar 1, Jun 1, Sep 1 BGKM/RDM Copy to CR for changes
Baronial GKM Mar 1, Jun 1, Sep 1 RDM Copy to CR for changes
RDM Mar 7 Jun 7, Sep 7 KEM  

Domesday Report:

GKMIT Dec 1 RDM/SEN/CR Copy to CR for changes
Local GKM Dec 1 GKM/RDM/SEN/CR Copy to CR for changes
Baronial GKM Dec 1 PEM/RDM/SEN/CR Copy to CR for changes
RDM Dec 7 KEM &nbsp
DEM Dec 7 KEM  

Tourney Report (includes authorizations summary):

MIC 1 week RDM/CR  

Incident Report:

MIC and Chirurg. 48 hours RDM/KCH/KEM  

Authorization Form:

Combatant 45 days CR  


Abbrev. Definition
KEM Kingdom Earl Marshal
DEM Deputy Earl Marshal
KCH Kingdom Chirurgeon
SEN Seneschal
RDM Regional Deputy Marshal
MIC Marshal-in-Charge
BGKM Baronial Group Knight Marshal
KMF Knight Marshal of the Field
GKM Group Knight Marshal
MIT Knight Marshal in Training
CR Clerk of the Roster
GKMIT Group Knight Marshal in Training

See Marshal's handbook


The definitions that follow apply throughout the Handbook, unless specifically stated otherwise. They are intended to clarify usage and establish a frame of reference for the various materials used in SCA combat.

See Marshal's handbook

Armor Materials

  • Aventail: flexible curtain of chainmail on a helmet, extending to cover the neck and shoulders.
  • Bars: Used in the visor or faceplate of helms, bars shall be mild steel a minimum of 3/16 inch (4.5mm) in diameter, or the equivalent. If the distance between crossbars is 2 inches (50.8 mm) or less, .125 (that is, 1/8) inch (3.2 mm) bars may be used.
  • Camail: flexible curtain of mail or leather on a helm, extending to cover the neck (also aventail).
  • Closed-cell foam: stiff foam with closed cells, less dense than resilient foam (e.g., Ensolite).
  • Equivalent: virtually identical to the specified material in effect or function, including impact resistance, impact distribution, and impact absorption characteristics, but not necessarily in physical dimensions.
  • Foam: any open- or closed-cell foam, including foam rubber, foam neoprene, polyurethane, etc.
  • Gauge: U.S. sheet metal standard. Note that 16-gauge is officially 1/16 inch (.0625 inch or about 1.6 mm), but commercially available sheet is frequently rolled to .058 or even .055 inch—much too thin for helms.
  • Gauntlet: An armored glove covering the back of the hand, fingers, and thumb and the points and back of the wrist.
  • Gorget: a piece of armor designed to cover the throat and neck.
  • Heavy leather: stiff, oak-tanned leather nominally 11/64 inch (.171875 inch or 4.4 mm) thick. This is referred to as 11 ounce leather.
  • Mail: any fabric of small metal components either linked together (e.g., chain) or attached to a flexible backing (e.g., ring or scale).
  • Padding: quilted or multi-layered cloth material, such as mattress pads, moving pads, carpet, felt, or equivalent
  • Partial gauntlet (also called a half-gauntlet or demi-gauntlet): An armored glove covering the back of the hand and at least the first knuckle of the thumb, as well as the points and back of the wrist.
  • Plate: large components of rigid material.
  • Resilient foam: dense, plastic, closed-cell foam such as ethyl polymer.
  • Rigid material:
1. Steel of no less than 18 gauge, or aluminum of no less than 0.075 inch (1.9mm)
2. Other metals of sufficient thickness to give similar rigidity to those listed above to include treated steel or aluminum
3. High-impact-resistant plastics such as ABS or polyethylene of sufficient thickness to give similar rigidity to those listed above
4. Heavy leather (as defined above) that has been hardened in hot wax, soaked in polyester resin (properly catalyzed), or treated in such a manner as to permanently harden the leather
5. Two layers of untreated heavy leather (as defined above)
6. Other materials equivalent to those items listed above (Any armor of unusual construction or materials must meet the approval of the kingdom or Principality Earl Marshal or their designated deputy.)
  • Steel: cold- or hot-rolled mild steel or equivalent ferrous material

See Marshal's handbook


  • Striking surface: Because of the nature of our activities and the ability of our weapons to break during use the “striking surface” of a weapon is to be considered throughout the entire striking portion, blade, or head, of the weapon, not only the outside “skin” or layer. This includes all interior construction materials and parts no matter how “deep” inside.
  • Approved rigid plastics: Siloflex and Siloflex equivalents are currently the only rigid plastic approved for the striking surface of a weapon.
  • Bow: A projectile launcher consisting of a material held under tension by a string. Also referred to as a Handbow.
  • Crossbow: A projectile launcher consisting of a bow (called a prod) being mounted to a stock, with a lock mechanism to hold the string and full draw and allow its release via a trigger.
  • Flail: a weapon with a striking surface attached to the handle via a flexible arm or pivot.
  • Laminated rattan: Two pieces of rattan, each being at least 1 inch (25.4 mm) in diameter, attached to one another with a short overlap by tape or other method of binding. Maximum length of the overlap shall be 18 inches (85.7 cm) or half of the length of the added rattan, whichever is shorter.
Note that use of glues, epoxies, or adhesives, which substantially reduce the flexibility of the rattan, is prohibited.
  • Missile weapon: any weapon which is intended to deliver a blow without being held in the hand (e.g., arrows, javelins, quarrels, or various soft projectiles from catapults).
  • Polearms: hafted weapons, generally long, designed to be wielded with two hands (e.g., glaives, halberds, etc.).
  • Progressively resistant give (as used in discussions of thrusting tips): As pressure is applied directly to the thrusting surface, it will compress gradually, without bottoming-out or bending to the side enough to expose the end of the blade or haft of the weapon to which it is attached.
  • Quillions: cross-guards of a sword.
  • Siloflex: A brand-name polyethylene tubing made from PE3408 resin and conforming to ASTM D2239 standards. The material is approved for various uses throughout the rules in pressure ratings ranging from 75 PSI to 200 PSI. Please check the standards in the appropriate area of the rules for what is allowed.
  • Siloflex equivalent: other tubing or pipe, typically made for drinking water applications, made from polyethylene resins with the ASTM classification of PE 3408 and produced to the ASTM D2239 standard. Spears: hafted weapons designed for thrusting only; also called pikes.
  • Single-handed mass weapons: maces, axes, war hammers, or other weapons designed primarily to crush or punch holes (on account of the weight of the real weapons), rather than primarily to cut (on account of sharp edges on the real weapon). Maximum length for single-handed mass weapons is 48 inches (122cm).
  • Slider: a tube or similar device that wraps around the shaft of a spear and is held in one hand, allowing the spear to slide through it. Use of sliders is prohibited.
  • Split rattan: Rattan of at least 1.25 inch (31.75 mm) diameter which has been split in two and applied to a weapon such that the striking surface of the split piece retains a cross section of 1.25 inch (25.4 mm). Split rattan construction does not place the split rattan directly against the nonsplit haft of the weapon, but rather spaces the split off of the haft to allow give in the head by flexion of the split of rattan.
  • Swords: single- or double-edged, bladed cutting weapons (including swords with thrusting tips).
  • Two-handed cutting or smashing weapons: includes two-handed swords, greatswords, bastard swords, polearms, and similar weapons.
  • UHMW: Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene – A wear resistant plastic with outstanding impact strength.

See Marshal's handbook

Other Definitions

  • Armored combat: A full contact, non-choreographed re-creation of medieval foot combat utilizing clothing, protective armor, and simulated weapons constructed in accordance with SCA standards, with the overall goal of recreating the appearance and methods of combat from the historical period covered by the SCA. For purposes of this definition, all combatants are held to be equipped in the same manner, defined as that of approximately 1100 AD: a knee-length mail hauberk, one-piece helm with nasal, and boiled leather defenses for the lower arms and legs. Weapons and armor are constructed from approved materials as defined by the Society Marshal. Adult armored combat as defined above does not include light contact martial forms, such as rapier and youth combat. Adult armored combat includes all combat archery and siege weaponry used in melees or for war.
  • Armored fighter: a combatant equipped in inspected and approved armor, who meets at least the minimum requirements for combat using rattan weapons, and who uses said rattan weapons in combat.
  • Authorization: a procedure which determines that the individual fighter has, at minimum, read and become familiar with the rules of combat, been observed while fighting, and met any further requirements for authorization to ensure that he or she does not constitute an exceptional safety hazard (either to self or to others). Details of the procedure used vary from kingdom to kingdom and may include further requirements. (Note: The former term “qualification” is still heard, but should be avoided.)
  • Battle: a single combat event in a war or war game wherein a specific scenario is enacted.
  • Combat archer: a combatant equipped in inspected and approved armor, who meets at least the minimum requirements for combat using rattan weapons and who will be using archery equipment in combat. Rules for combat archery weapons and conventions are found in this handbook.
  • Directed touch: a thrust that contacts the face-guard of the helm and, while maintaining contact with the face-guard, continues to travel in the direction of the face
  • Earl Marshal: the warranted chief marshal of a kingdom.
  • Effective blow: a blow delivered with effective technique for the particular type of weapon used and struck properly oriented and with sufficient force.
  • Eric, List Field, Tourney Field: the defined area for fighting, or the fighting field, usually with a roped-off boundary.
  • Fully armored: For the purposes of acknowledging blows, a fully armored fighter is presumed to be wearing a lightweight, short-sleeved, knee-length, riveted-mail hauberk over a padded gambeson, with boiled leather arm and leg defenses and an open-faced iron helm with a nasal. (The helm may be presumed to include a very light chain mail drape permitting vision and resisting cuts by a mere touch of a bladed weapon.) Also, the hands, wrists, knees and lower legs, and feet, including the areas up to 1 inch (25.4 mm) above the kneecap and 1 inch (25.4 mm) above the bend of the wrist, are not legal targets.
  • Helpless opponent: an opponent who is unable to defend him- or herself from attack for reasons beyond their control. An unarmed opponent is not necessarily helpless.
  • Knights Marshal: The warranted chief marshal of a Principality, Barony, Province, Shire, Canton, etc.
  • Missile weapons: projectile weapons including, but not limited to, bows and arrows, crossbows and bolts, slings and stones or bullets, javelins, darts, and throwing axes.
  • Marshal: someone who is monitoring the conduct of combat on the field. (The marshal in charge of an event shall be a warranted marshal; other individual marshals may or may not be, so long as the marshal in charge finds them competent to do the job.)
  • Rattan weapons: rattan or equivalent weapons including, but not limited to, swords of all lengths, great weapons, mass weapons, pole arms and spears.
  • Rostered: An appointed marshal who is listed on a roster. The roster must include the legal and Society names, address, phone number, and the appointment and expiration dates for each officer. It must be signed by the appropriate royalty and the responsible superior officer, and be updated regularly. The roster must contain a statement that it is the current roster of (office) for the (kingdom, principality) of the Society as of (date). Local Knights Marshal and marshals who are able to perform authorizations must be either warranted or rostered.
  • 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.
  • Siege Engineer: a fully armored participant in armored combat who operates a siege engine.
  • Society Marshal, Marshal of the Society, Society Earl Marshal (SEM): the warranted chief marshal of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
  • War: a declared state of feigned hostility between two or more kingdoms, branches, or other recognized SCA subdivisions, for the express intent of holding group combat.
  • War maneuvers: group combat events not involving a state of declared hostility, usually with both sides drawn from all of the kingdoms, branches, or other recognized SCA groups participating.
  • Warranted: An appointed marshal 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. Local Knight Marshals, as and marshals who are able to perform authorizations must be either warranted or rostered.
  • Youth combat is a program designed for minors ages 6-17. These programs require armor, require certain weapon construction techniques and materials, train young fighters in proper etiquette, the concepts of Chivalry, Honor and Courtesy, teach teamwork and good sportsmanship, as well as effective fighting arts, in a definitely competitive environment that parallels Adult Armored Combat. It employs Marshals, authorizations and strict controls. The Marshallate is responsible for Youth Combat, and each Kingdom is allowed to develop and run its own program
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