Tuesday, March 18, 2014

RULING - Spears/Polearms/Pikes - UPDATED

From the 4/12/14 Board of Directors Meeting:
Temporary Prohibition of Rapier Spears 

"Effective immediately, the use of spears, pikes, and pole arms is prohibited in rapier tournament or rapier melee combat, and the Society Earl Marshal and 
Society Deputy Marshal for Rapier shall review the use of two handed swords in rapier combat."
Further updates to come... 

As of March 17, 2014, additions/revisions are being made to the October 2013 version of the handbook to address the use of Spears/Polearms/Pikes on the rapier field.  Please check with your area's Kingdom Rapier Marshal on how this classification of weapon is being used.

What this ruling does do:
  • Mandates that all fighters must be authorized before using this type of weapon on the field.
  • Establishes a baseline definition of this class of weapon.
  • Provides a common ground starting point for the use of these weapons at interkingdom events.

What this ruling does not do:
  • Forces kingdoms to use this weapon.  As with all of the rules, kingdoms are allowed to be more restrictive than the Society rules.  If a kingdom is not interested in having spears as part of their program, there is now a clear definition of the weapon.
  • Limits how these weapons are used in wars.  As with mock gunnery (RBGs), it is up to the kingdoms and stewards of interkingdom wars to determine how many of these weapons are used on the field.  It is being strongly suggested that they follow the current convention of mock gunnery (percentage of fighters on the field – usually 10%).
  • Details the exact authorization procedure.  As with all the other weapons and forms, it is up to each kingdom to determine the best authorization procedure for their area.  Kingdoms also have the option to designate these weapons as “experimental” in their kingdom in order to build hands-on experience before moving forward.
The ruling can be found here: http://sca.org/officers/marshal/combat/rapier/

1 comment:

  1. I have several concerns with this weapon. The first one is in regards to its construction. The Hanwei practical blades have been problematic in the past, and I believe we had a streak of failures with them in my kingdom a few years back. I remain unconvinced of their quality and safety. Mounting this blade on the end of a four-foot pole seems like a bad idea to begin with, as many people will instinctively try to "shoot pool" with it. My other concern is that it will most likely fall into the hands of people who have been inadequately trained and lack the discipline to use it properly. It's a new toy, and so many people will be excited to use it. And this: If I am in command, I am going to want my best fighters out there with sword in hand, doing what they do best to rout the "enemy." And what group does that leave who will most likely be using these? Yup. A bunch of newbies, many of whom are young guys with a roaring case of exuberance and testosterone poisoning. Now I do not doubt that there are people who DO have the interest, skill, and discipline to use these weapons properly and without causing harm (I met a few at Estrella this last month), however, I am concerned that they would be the exception, rather than the rule. I have been fighting for over a decade, and in that time, I have seen many fighters authorized in styles that they do not yet have adequate control of, or worse, lacking in the necessary discipline and emotional control to be safe with even single sword. I love this sport, I love my friends, but this may well be a case of "it's all fun until someone gets a broken (insert body part, I think "rib" would be a good bet in this case)." If we DO go ahead with this, I would strongly encourage a very rigorous training and authorization process be in place, and a better configuration of this weapon be considered. Thank you for your time.


For every opinion you hold, someone out there holds an opposite opinion, just as fervently. Every comment will be read, but not all will be acted upon or responded to.