Monday, January 23, 2012


I have received a bid to host KWAR in November, 2012.  The bid is being reviewed at this time, but as they have 24 days to sign agreements for space, any group thinking of a competing bid should submit by Feb 12.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SRM's 2011 Q4 Report

I am pleased to find that all kingdoms report that rapier is doing well, overall.  In the past quarter, 1 dagger caught in a sleeve and broke, and 2 swords broke, no injuries and no exceptional circumstances.  Calontir's experimental program with rapier is proceeding and the project lead expects rapier to be signed into law in the spring.

Total Participant Counts
1138 Light Rapier
4032 Heavy Rapier
 316 Cut & Thrust Rapier
4179 Total Authorized Fencers
1194 Total Marshals

Discussions are underway to change how we evaluate blades as suitable for rapier combat.  The current method specifies manufacturers and models which are acceptable for use, but the blades themselves are never clearly marked, and it can be difficult for a fencer or a marshal to be sure which blades are OK and which are not.  The new 
plan builds on the existing Blade Flexibility Testing in Appendix 1.B, and using this testing method extensively have found that blades that are currently allowed for heavy rapier would continue to be allowed, and some blades considered too stiff for heavy rapier would be excluded.  A second level of the test will be added, which allow stiffer blades to be used in C&T combat only.

For some kingdom by kingdom numbers click here

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Evaluating Blades based on Flexibility

For the past few years we've allowed new blades into SCA combat based on a gut feel evaluation by the Society Rapier Marshal and trusted deputies.  But, the blades are not easily identifiable once sold; most makers have approved and not-approved blades and they don't put a model number next to their maker's mark.  We've also had very few injuries due to broken blades.

We are changing how we evaluate blades so that flexibility is the key component, and any marshal can determine whether the blade is acceptable with simple equipment on the field.

The final wording of the changes is not yet complete; the latest draft received some important critiques from the KRMs and deputies.  However, the important bits are this:

  • For light rapier, nothing changes.
  • For heavy rapier, blades must flex at least 1" (25 mm).
  • Dagger blades, and cut and thrust blades must flex at least 1/2" (12 mm).
Following the Appendix 1B Blade Flexibility test, however the 3 oz weight will become a 6 oz weight, so that it is somewhat easier to measure the amount of flex over the greater distance.

Based on the flexibility measurements submitted by many helpful people, this is not expected to remove any blades currently in use, and it will open our fields up to a variety of blades currently in happy use in WMA communities.  Kingdoms may still choose to enact rules that impose additional restrictions.

Next steps:
  • Determine final wording.
  • Discuss timeline for implementation with Society Earl Marshal