Thu Jul 13 16:43:36 PDT 1995

         I feel that perhaps it is a good point in the discussion of
         tournaments and event ideals to inject the observations and
         experiences of someone who has spent several years as a landed
         baron, officer, and (sometimes) party animal.

         We who preside and organize SCA events, are under no illusion that
         our activities are a true reenactment of *any* medieval society.
         We are attempting to conduct the activities of a synthesized
         social structure.  We might pause in reflection here to remember
         that most of the people of ancient Europe were neither of noble or
         gentle birth.  The majority were farmers, whose very survival
         depended on the land and its bounty.  Most were ill clothed, ill
         treated (often just plain ill), subject to the depredations of
         bandits and barbarians, and the vagrancies of famine and war.
         Half of their children did not live to see their first birthday.

         I do not wish to experience a reenactment of a famine or plague
         (Not that I haven't driven hundreds of miles to camp in rain and
         mud, while eating tainted food), even though this might be a
         more accurate "reenactment" scenario.

         We conduct our tourneys in a far more egalitarian manner that
         would have been conceivable in period (picture a tattered yeoman
         in period challenging a duke to single combat).

         We organize our tourneys with an idea of what we wish to achieve.
         Crown Tourney is held to choose a Sovereign for the Kingdom.
         Spectator enjoyment is strictly secondary.  Queen's Champion
         Tourney is held in the style of the Duello to choose a Champion
         for Her Majesty.  My Baronial Championship Tourney is held to
         choose Champions for the Barony of Stargate.  The function of all
         of these type tourneys is to produce a clear "winner" who will
         serve for the designated time.

         The expressed purpose for the Squire's Invitational Tourney is to
         showcase the talents of the journeyman fighters of the Kingdom.
         It is intended as a "Belted/Scarved Circle with a Lab."

         In any of these types of tournaments, the enjoyment of the
         spectators is dependant on the sophistication of the watcher.
         A "connoisseur" of the martial arts of the middle ages and
         renaissance, will be able to enjoy the displays of martial skill
         in any format.

         There are tourney formats such as Tourney de Lyonnesse, and the
         Tourney of the Nine Worthies, where there is a different focus.
         There are winners in these type of tourneys, and their spectacle
         is beyond price.  Most important, they reward qualities beyond
         skill at arms.

         All of our tournament formats are based on at least a *perception*
         of the preferences of those who will compete.  This is the primary
         consideration.  A tourney is made, at least in part by skill
         of those who compete.  Personally, I take pride in the quality of
         Stargate's tourneys.  The number of my champions who have I have
         later sworn fealty to as my Sovereign has increased the prestige of
         the event.

         *I* do not like to judge tourneys.  I spend the day sitting in my
         throne, or wandering around the list field, greeting my "guests,"
         while dedicated martial artist practice their skills.  *I* do not
         feel "worthy" to select a winner.  I am uncomfortable doing so.

         There are ancillary functions organized for most tourneys.  They
         are essential to round out the event for those who do not compete
         in the martial arts.
         In general, I would recommend participation in the actualization of
         tournaments.  If you organize a tourney, you can have the greatest
         level of impact on its format.

         Jim Langley
         Senior Hardware Engineer    |  CLONE. n. 1. An exact duplicate, as
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