[Ansteorra-announce] [Announcements] regarding waivers

Baron, Meg Meg.Baron at experian.com
Thu Jun 19 08:28:12 PDT 2003

Greetings to the officers and members of the SCA:

It has come to my attention that there is a vast amount of misinformation
around the Society concerning waivers and waiver policy. The purpose of my
letter to you today is to do what I can to clear up these misconceptions.
Please note that the following is the minimum required by the SCA Inc.;
individual Kingdoms may impose more stringent requirements at their

I believe everyone is aware that individuals attending events must either
present a membership card demonstrating proof that a signed waiver is on
file at the SCA Member Services office (a "blue card", referred to as a
"waiver card" in the SCA Governing Documents), or they must sign a waiver at
the gate. I am fairly confident that this procedure is being followed at
most if not all events. Bravo to all!


Many people seem to be unaware that the waiver policy also applies at SCA
fighter practices. Here is a quote from SCA Corporate Policies (a part of
the Governing Documents of the SCA, which can be found online at www.sca.org
or ordered from the Stock Clerk), section VI:

"A.	Anyone attending any event sponsored by a branch of the SCA Inc. who
is not able to present a valid SCA Inc. waiver card must execute a waiver as
1.	All US Branches: must execute a waiver with the text adopted by the
Board of Directors at each such event, practice or function
2.	All non-US Branches
a.	must execute a waiver with the text adopted by the Board of
Directors at each such event, practice or function, OR
b.	must use a country-specific waiver that has been approved by the US
Board of Directors, OR
c.	must submit to the US Board of Directors a letter of legal opinion
stating that the waiver requirement is not necessary in that particular

B.	The text of all waivers must be the language approved by the Board
of Directors for waiver usage, subject to individual modern jurisdictional
requirements. Such alternative texts must be approved by the Board of
Directors prior to usage. Roster style waivers are acceptable providing that
the full text of the waiver language is included.

C.	An event, for the purposes of this section only, is defined as any
recreation function announced in either the branch, Kingdom, or Principality
newsletter. Business meetings, demos, guild meetings, dance practices, or
planning sessions are specifically excluded from these provisions. Combat or
Fighter practices are not excluded and waivers must be collected from those
actively participating in the combat related activities at such practices.

Any function at which combat related activities will occur fall under the
auspices of this waiver policy, regardless of what other activities may be
occurring at the function. If there is a doubt about whether a specific
function falls under this policy, the Kingdom Seneschal is directly
empowered by the Board to make that determination and report same in their
next regularly scheduled report." (end quote)

Please take special note of section C. All participants in combat-related
activities must either present a valid membership-with-waiver card ("blue
card") or sign a waiver at any SCA-sponsored activity, be it an event or a
practice. No exceptions!!

What constitutes an SCA-sponsored activity? If a practice is listed in the
local, principality, or Kingdom newsletter, clearly that is an SCA-sponsored
activity. This would also apply if the event is advertised through other
commonly recognized means, such as the branch email list, especially if the
group is a small one and does not have a newsletter. 

If a household or individual decides to hold a practice in someone's back
yard, and they do not advertise it through an SCA medium, then it is not an
SCA-sponsored activity and the waiver policy above does not apply. Note also
that, in such a case, the SCA's insurance does not cover that activity. 


Minors who are members and have a blue card of their very own NEED NOT have
a new waiver signed for them at every event (unless otherwise specified by
Kingdom Law or policy). Their parent or guardian signed a waiver when they
sent in their membership, and it is on file.  For combat participation by
minors (for those Kingdoms which permit persons under age 18 to
participate), some special rules apply, as stated in Corporate Policies
section V.A.3:

"Prior to the training of a minor in any SCA combat-related activity, the
parent or guardian of the minor must witness the activity, discuss it with a
witnessing marshal, and execute a Waiver for the minor. The witnessing
marshal must be explicitly authorized to perform this function by the Earl
Marshal of the kingdom. The marshal who authorizes a minor person for any
form of SCA combat-related activity must be the Kingdom Earl Marshal or the
Principality Marshal. This need not be the same person as the witnessing

Section V.A.4 is also important:

"Any minor involved in SCA combat-related activities at an event MUST have a
parent or properly-executed Medical Authorization Form for Minors
designating some adult person present at the event as able to authorize
medical treatment for that minor in the case of any emergency."

Note that a Medical Authorization form is NOT the same thing as a Waiver.
Consult your Kingdom Seneschal for more information.


Another question that has come up is that of what should be done with the
waivers from events and fighter practices. This is also addressed in SCA
Corporate Policies, section VI:

"E.  Each Kingdom shall have a single responsible officer ("Waiver
Secretary") as a deputy to the Kingdom Seneschal to ensure that all required
waivers, rosters, and sign-in sheets are collected and safely stored within
a reasonable time after each event. The Waiver Secretary shall ensure that
waivers for each event can be located and provided to the appropriate
officials in the event a specific waiver is required.

Each Kingdom shall store all original executed waivers, rosters, and sign-in
sheets, or legally accepted facsimiles, in such a manner that a responsible
party can easily retrieve any needed waiver.

F.  Local groups need not maintain copies of these records. Kingdoms shall
maintain the adult waivers for seven years and the minor waivers for 20

If you are unsure about waiver storage procedures in your Kingdom, please
consult your Kingdom Seneschal.


Why do we have this policy? The waivers serve to protect us all in the event
of a lawsuit resulting from SCA activities. Contrary to popular belief, the
waivers are NOT worthless - they have now stood up in Court, or stopped a
potential lawsuit from getting as far as a Court, on several occasions.
Legal advice has indicated that waivers are probably even more important at
fighter practices than at events. 

Requiring waivers at fighter practices is not a new policy. It has been in
effect for as long as there has been a waiver policy. It is very important
that it be enforced at all levels, in all Kingdoms. (International groups -
please consult with your Kingdom Seneschal to see whether waivers are
required, or whether a variance has been granted in accordance with
Corporate Policies VI.A.2., quoted above.) It is not difficult to do; it is
currently being done in many areas, ranging from small Shire practices to
enormous Kingdom practices. 

Seneschals and marshals - please ensure that this policy is enforced in your
group! It is vitally important that these rules be followed. 

If you have questions concerning this policy, or need advice on
implementation procedures, please consult your Kingdom Seneschal. I would
also be happy to answer any questions.

In service,

Meg Baron
President, SCA Inc.

Permission to cross-post and publish is hereby granted as long as the
article is reprinted in full
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to: 
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

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