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The Board of Directors has reviewed and approved changes to the Rapier Marshal's Handbook concerning rigid head protection and padding. The revised handbook has been posted and is now available for download on this office's sca.org webpage - http://sca.org/officers/marshal/combat/rapier/

In summary, the two changes are:

1. Revise section 2.B.iv. to require head protection to be inspected both on and off the fighter. In addition, examples of impending failure indicators were added to the language.
2. Add section 2.B.v. and 2.B.vi. to bring our rigid head protection requirements with established best practices for contact sports. Along with adding a requirement for a snug fit, the section also details the requirements for padding in the different type of masks and helms currently in use.

The full text of the changes is appended to the bottom of this post.

A new version of the handbook has also been provided to the SCA's Stock Clerk.

At each KRM's discretion, there is a three month grace period effective until May 1, 2017 for the interior padding of masks and helms to be brought into compliance. In essence, the grace period is an opportunity for the KRMs to get the word out to the kingdoms and give people unaware of the change an opportunity to address any issues without bouncing them off the field. It should not be used for combatants to delay meeting the requirements. That being said, the inspection of the interior of masks should already be happening in all kingdoms.

Master Laertes McBride
Deputy Society Marshal, Rapier

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2. ARMOR REQUIREMENTS

B. HEAD AND NECK

(revised)

iv. The exterior and interior of masks and helms shall be inspected to confirm compliance with the rigid material standard and provisions on coverage, a snug fit and no evidence of impending failure. Examples of unacceptable conditions include (but not limited to): the interior padding or suspension system has decayed and fails to prevent contact between the wearer and any rigid part of the helm during combat; the presence of rust which weakens the metal involved; dents or other defects which spread open mesh and/or broken weld points. If there is concern about the face mesh of a modern fencing mask, it should be tested using a standard commercial 12kg mask punch. Marshals doing the testing shall be trained in the use of the punch. The Kingdom Rapier Marshals may elect to designate certain deputies to administer such testing.

(new)

v. All parts of a fencing mask or rapier helm that might cause injurious contact with the wearer’s head shall be padded or shall be suspended in such a way as to prevent contact with the wearer during combat. Either method should ensure a snug fit with minimal shifting of the mask or helm on the fighter’s head during normal fighting and upon impact. There shall be NO major internal projections; minor projections of necessary structural components shall be padded. All metal shall be free of sharp edges.

a. The interior of fencing masks must have a minimum of .25 inches (6.35mm) open-cell foam or equivalent resilient padding to create separation between the mask and the wearer. Modern fencing masks (e.g. FIE and USFA type masks) in good working order meet this requirement without additional padding.
b. For rapier helms that utilize a suspension system which does not, on its own, prevent contact between the wearer and any rigid part of the helm, additional padding must be present. This padding must consist of at least .25 inches (6.35mm) open-cell foam or equivalent resilient material.
c. Rapier helms without a suspension system and which rely on foam must use a minimum of .25 inches (6.35mm) closed-cell foam or equivalent resilient padding which provides progressive resistance to create separation between the hard outer shell of the helm and the wearer.

vi. Similarly, parts of the inside of the helm that might come in contact with the wearer’s neck or body should be padded.

(the current v., vi. and vii. sections become vii., viii. and ix.)

Greetings!

For those attending Pennsic, there will be a SRM Moot on Monday, August 8 starting immediately after the moment of silence for the Dave Cooper memorial at 4pm. The Rapier MiC, Master Frasier MacLeod, has graciously offered up the tent adjacent to the rapier tournament fields for the meeting. This round table meeting is open to any and all interested parties to discuss issues related to the rapier marshallate.

Even though I will not be in attendance, my deputies will be there the field any questions and moderate the discussion.

Laertes
SRM

Greetings from Master Laertes McBride, the Deputy Society Marshal for Rapier!

At the beginning of March, this office announced that it would be forming a committee to evaluate the current rapier combat handbook to ensure that the rules and conventions meet both the community’s and Society’s current needs and is well positioned for continued evolution. In order to have a thorough and well-rounded review, a call for volunteers was issued.
 
After reviewing the applications that were received, a total of sixteen volunteers were selected to join the four existing members to undertake the task. Below is the list of the twenty committee members and their home kingdoms. The members of the committee were chosen to represent various backgrounds, expertise and geographical diversity to the extent possible from the pool of applicants. While a representative could not be chosen from every Kingdom, a number of the committee members have lived in multiple Kingdoms and are familiar with different Kingdom cultures and conventions.

Master Illadore de Bedegrayne – Aethelmearc
Master Luciano Foscari - An Tir
Doña Gwenneth Bowynne of Glamorgan – Ansteorra
Master Robin of Gilwell – Ansteorra (Chairman)
Master Koga Takashiro Kagehiro (TakaKensei) – Atenveldt
Master Giacomo Vincènti – Atlantia
Master Llwyd Aldrydd – Atlantia
Don Robert of Clan Gunn – Avacal
Master Oliver Dogberry – Caid
Master Alexandre d'Avignon – Drachenwald
Master Caine Ramsey – East
Master Christian Woolfe - East 
Master Wulfram Forester - Gleann Abhann
Master Dameon Greybeard – Lochac
Donna Lindoret of Byrn Myrddin – Lochac
Sir Morgan Ironheart – Meridies
Warder Kai Tseng - Middle
Master Colin MacNish – Middle
Master Simon Morcar – Northshield
Don Antoine deVallier – Outlands

As stated in the call for volunteers, the committee is charged with reviewing all aspects of rapier combat and determining if any changes are required to achieve the stated goal. The current rules and levels of protection are relatively unchanged over the past twenty years. During this time, weapons types, construction and weight have changed significantly. Therefore, the committee has been directed with testing and evaluating the current armor requirements, reviewing weapon classifications and blade types creating a risk assessment based on the changed weapons types against the unchanged armor standards, and discussing all codified conventions that are being used and can foreseeably be used in the future.

The final report is due from the committee by December 1, 2016. After a review by this office and the Society Marshal, the final results of the committee will be forwarded to the Kingdom Rapier Marshals and to the society-at-large for review and comments to determine any further actions.

This office extends a sincere thanks to all those that volunteered to serve and appreciates the time and effort of the committee for the task that lies ahead.

In Service,

Master Laertes McBride
Deputy Society Marshal for Rapier

Greetings from the Deputy Society Marshal for Rapier, Master Laertes McBride.
 
This office is undertaking a project to evaluate the current rapier combat handbook to ensure that the rules and conventions meet both the community’s and Society’s current needs and is well positioned for continued evolution. In order to have a thorough and well-rounded review, a committee is being formed to undertake this task.
 
The committee is charged with reviewing all aspects of rapier combat and determining if any changes are required to achieve the stated goal. The current rules and levels of protection are relatively unchanged over the past twenty years. During this time, weapons types, construction and weight have changed significantly. Therefore, the committee is directed with testing and evaluating the current armor requirements, reviewing weapon classifications and blade types creating a risk assessment based on the changed weapons types against the unchanged armor standards, and discussing all codified conventions that are being used and can foreseeably be used in the future.
 
The final report is due from the committee by December 1, 2016. After a review by this office and the Society Marshal, the final results of the committee will be forwarded to the Kingdom Rapier Marshals and to the society-at-large for review and comments to determine any further actions.
 
Currently, the committee is composed of:
 
Master Robin of Gilwell (Ansteorra) – Chairman
Master Caine Ramsey (East)
Master Giacomo Vincenti di Firenze (Atlantia)
Master Luciano Foscair (An Tir)
 
All warranted rapier marshals that are interested in volunteering to serve on the committee should electronically submit resumes (both professional and SCA related, including offices held and honors) to this office at rapier@sca.org, accompanied by an explanation as to why you are interested in serving on the committee and the unique experience, skills or knowledge that you will bring to the project.
 
This office will be accepting submissions until Friday, March 18, after which time all documents will be reviewed and candidates will be selected.
 
Please feel free to contact this office directly with any questions or comments.
 
In Service,
 
Master Laertes McBride

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Greetings!

An updated version of the the Rapier Marshal’s Handbook (dated October 2015) has been approved by the Board of Directors and published on the official SCA website - http://sca.org/officers/marshal/docs/rapier/rapier_handbook.pdf . A printed copy of the new handbook will also be available for ordering from the SCA MarketPlace starting next week.

This updated version of the handbook has been published in order to incorporate all additions, rulings and clarifications that have been announced by this office since the publication of the previous edition (dated October 2013). These updates include adding the new sections covering the use of spear / pikes / polearms and defining sword types, a clarification of the language disallowing the use of cut and thrust rapier techniques in melees and a few other already announced corrections or clarifications. A complete listing of the updates can be found page 3 of the handbook. 

Please make sure that you and your fellow marshals are using the most current version of the society handbook.

In Service,

Laertes
SRM

Greetings!

For those attending Great Western War in Caid, there will be a SRM Moot on Friday, October 9 starting at 5pm. The meeting will be held adjacent to the rapier tournament fields. This round table meeting is open to any and all interested parties to discuss issues related to the rapier marshalate.

Laertes
DSRM

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A section containing definitions of sword types has been added to the Rapier Marshal's Handbook. This update to the rules is to help establish baselines for the weapons we use. Hopefully, these definitions will make things easier when defining rules and conventions for interkingdom events. Details can be found on the link.

Laertes McBride
SRM

Greetings!

For those attending Pennsic, there will be a SRM Moot on Sunday, August 2 starting at 5pm. The meeting will be held in the tent adjacent to the rapier tournament fields. This round table meeting is open to any and all interested parties to discuss issues related to the rapier marshalate..

Laertes
DSRM

For those attending Gulf Wars XXIV, a SRM Moot is scheduled for noon on Tuesday, March 17. The Green Dragon has once again graciously offered to host the meeting. Even though I will not be able to attend, the Cut & Thrust and Special Projects deputies, Master Robert MacFarland and Mistress Xandra Rozina Xiberras Galea (Rozi) respectively, will be there. All interested parties are invited to attend to discuss issues related to the rapier marshalate.

Greetings!

This office has received an unsolicited proposal to host KWAR 2015 in November and is now opening the process for other interested kingdoms to submit their paperwork.

For those parties also interested in hosting KWAR 2015, below are the two deadlines for information being sent to this office:

Friday, Feb. 13, 6PM PT - an email stating that your kingdom is interested and will be submitting a proposal. (If no additional correspondence is received by this deadline, the submission phase will close.)

Friday, Feb. 27, 6PM PT - an email from the parties that submitted a letter by the previous deadline containing the complete proposal.

All proposals must comply with corporate and host kingdom rules for inter-kingdom events. The corporate information can be found here: http://socsen.sca.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/kweventpolicy.pdf

Emails should be sent to rapier@sca.org.

In Service,

Laertes
DSRM
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