Medieval combat with swords, shields and armour is great fun, but like any sport, there are rules and regulations to ensure the safety of the players (and spectators).
The Rules of the Lists set out the Society's standards on weapons and armour, and how hard the fighters are allowed to hit each other. The SCA has a good safety record and we consider our sport safer than playing rugby; however, as with any sport, there is an inherent risk involved. We try to make participants aware of the dangers, and insist on responsible behaviour.
Most local groups offer some form of fighter training. See the Events Calendar for the next fighters' practice. A fighter must be authorized in order to fight in tourneys and wars. Authorization is done to confirm that the novice knows the rules of combat and is sufficiently skilled so that he or she will not be a danger to himself or to others on the field. Combat Authorisation Forms for adults and minors can be found here.
Fighters are responsible for obtaining their own armour and weapons. Some people make most of their armour, using metal, leather, or plastic, but most buy pieces, either new or used. Sub-standard equipment is not allowed, so before making any armour, or weapons you will need to contact the local knight marshal and get a copy of the safety standards and requirements.
Marshals are responsible for overseeing the conduct of our martial arts activities, including but not limited to tournament lists, wars, combat archery and period fencing, as well as such related activities as target archery.
The Barony welcomes anyone interested in contributing to the safety and enjoyment of combat. Our Marshals are happy to take on MITs (Marshals In Training) to assist with our various combat forms. If you'd like to become an MIT, please contact the Baronial Marshal. NB: You do not have to be a fighter to become a Marshal!
Another important combat-related administration position is the Lists Officer, responsible for organising the fighting order in tournaments and recording the results. If you would like to assist with this by taking note of results, or acting as a runner between the marshals and the lists, contact the Lists Officer.
Some tourneys require you to have a "list-shield", a small wooden shield with your device, badge or other symbol. These are displayed on a list-tree to mark the progress of the tourney (see an example in this image from Midwinter Coronation 2007). A template for a correctly-sized list-shield, devised by Lord William de Wyke, may be found here.