ANST - Combat Archery Changes

Fearghus lordfearghus at
Wed Apr 18 22:44:38 PDT 2001

The following is the Policy Decision of the Society Earl Marshal regarding
ABD's on fiberglass and wooden shafted arrows. This is the decision that has
presented to the BoD. These requirements will be implemented August 1 of
2001.  I will post more when more information is forth coming.

Ld  Fearghus MacKenna
Deputy Earl Marshal for Archery Ansteorra

Here's the long awaited decision ...

<begin quote>

Policy Decision:
Please know that I made the following decision regarding combat regulations,
specifically concerning Combat Archery equipment:

All wooden and fiberglass shafted arrows used in SCA Combat archery shall be
required to have an approved ABD on the nock-end to prevent any injurious
contact to SCA combatants. This requirement shall be implemented on August
1, 2001, to allow a sufficient period for implementation.

Make the following changes:

Combat Archery Handbook
Wood and Fiberglass Shafted Arrows and Bolts...
8) All wooden and fiberglass shafted arrows are required to have an approved
ABD securely attached to the nock-end in such a manner as to prevent more
than 1/2" penetration into any SCA-legal helm.
(Current numbers 8-9 renumbered to 9-10...)

Approved ABD’s (Anti-Bounceback Devices):
Foam Wedge ABD (1 1/2" diameter)
Round rod UHMW ABD (1 1/4" diameter)
Octagonal UHMW ABD (1 1/4" diameter)
Fellwalker ABD

Details for construction and specifications can be found at:

Foam Wedge:

1 1/4" round rod UHMW ABD and Octagonal UHMW ABD’s:

Fellwalker Bolt (SCA-legal):

There will be several more approved designs available soon, pending
conclusion of safety testing. Estimated time for addition to this list is
approximately one month.


The issue of ABD’s is very contentious, as you all know. I have received a
good number of letters in this regard as of this writing, most of which are
over a year old. I am certain you all are receiving letters even now about
this matter. As those Directors on the BoD just after the time of my
appointment to this Office (Oct.’99) may recall, this was a very hotly
debated issue at that time as well. It is very important for you to know
that since that time, my Office has been conducting ongoing testing with
various alternative nocks, arrow designs and ABD’s, in an attempt to
ascertain the best course of action in regard to this issue. Many of these
tests have been discussed on the various e-mail lists and otherwise as they
developed, as well. I feel we have delayed this decision overly long due to
the contentious nature of the issue, but we need to act in order to resolve
the safety and liability concerns represented. This is by no means a
knee-jerk reaction to a problem that just popped up, nor is it hastily
considered or bereft of council and discussion from both the ranks of the
Senior Marshallate in the SCA and the recognized leaders in the Combat
Archery Community. This decision reflects a great deal of hard work and
lengthy discussion on the part of all these people, and I am indebted to
them for their council and insight.

<end of quote>

Please note that this requirement will not go into effect until August 1,

Many thanks,

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