ARCH - History repeat itself baron at
Wed Apr 11 10:54:27 PDT 2001

Almost 22 years ago, I fought in my first war.  It had 
combat archery, though that was still a novelty at the 
time.  I've been active in the SCA ever since.  I have 
NOT been seeing these kinds of problems all along.  Why 
is that?  

Combat archery is not new.  So what's changed that 
we're beginning to see this sort of problem?  It seems 
to me that answering this question should be a 
prerequisite for taking action, lest our action prove 

- Galen of Bristol

Quoting Sam Milligan <padraig_ruad at>:

> Willim said (in part):
> <snip>
> >     Not quite,  the blunted business end means our 
> > don't stick and with the bounceback we suddenly 
have a new 
> > Business End.  I'm sorry but I gaurantee you I can 
put a 1/4 
> > inch shaft, Metal tip or not, through someone.  
That unpadded 
> > end WILL and HASdone damage to unarmored bits of 
people it 
> > finds in its way.
> >
> >     We can try to eliminate bounce back but that 
translates badly. 
> Bounce back is caused because not all of the force of 
an arrow hit is
> tranferred with the initial hit and the arrow still 
has enough force left
> to fly off in another direction.  Eliminating 
bounceback means transferring
> the full force of the blow to the object hit.  That's 
gonna hurt.  To keep
> it from causing too much pain and bruising then we're 
left with lowering
> the poundage of our bows.  Probably to the point that 
we might as well have
> a sword and charge the enemy.  Not something many of 
us want to do.
> >
> <snip>
> >     Not quite,  most of the things a fighter gets 
into his 
> > eyes at events are fairly easy to see and we can 
> > their movement.  Kind of reduces the risk level.  
If I get 
> > jammed into that tree that's just been standing 
there all 
> > it's life then it's at least partially my fault.  
If I get 
> > jammed in the eye by an arrow that came virtually 
out of no 
> > where and hit someone 4 feet away before spiralling 
into me 
> > then whose fault is it?  Yes,  I was distracted and 
if I 
> > hadn't been probably could have moved out of the 
way but that 
> > arrow was sent there intentionally, maybe not to 
spin out of 
> > control and hit me but it was certainly sent there 
> > intentionally.  Still let's have everyone where 
> > glasses and it'll be a non-issue.
> >
> <snip>
> > What other options do we have?  Let's see, change 
to fix the 
> > problem,  PROVE there is no problem, or What?  What 
can you 
> > do to us?  BAN CA at SCA events... okay... I'll 
stop whining 
> > and start on either fixing the problems or finding 
> > there is no problem.
> Sorry about the massive snippage Willim, but I wanted 
to address some
> specific points in what you wrote.
> Speaking as a heavy fighter who is also an authorized 
combat archer, I have
> to say that I too am concerned with safety issues.  I 
want to play the game
> with the absolute munimum of injuries possible.  
However, I know that every
> time I armor up and face an opponent or take part in 
a melee, there is a
> possibility that I am going to get hurt, perhaps 
seriously.  By signing the
> waiver section of the membership application form, 
and then by signing my
> blue membership card, I acknowledge this.
> Can we make SCA combat in general safer, so that no 
one ever gets hurt? 
> Almost certainly.  But if we do so, most of us will 
simply stop fighting,
> for there will be no excitement, no adrenaline rush, 
no thrill of combat,
> no reason to do it at all.
> Can we make issues like combat archery safer by 
requiring everyone to wear
> safety glasses?  Possibly.  Personally, I would 
intensely dislike having to
> wear safety glasses under my helm, as I sweat heavily 
in armor, and would
> be more than half blinded by the resulting fog on the 
glasses.  I feel this
> would prove more of a safety issue than the 
possibility of a bounced-back
> arrow or some other object getting in through my 
helm's grill.
> I have been in numerous melees with combat archery, 
and have yet to
> experience or observe someone injured by the nock end 
of a combat arrow. 
> Doesn't mean it hasn't happened, but I've not seen it 
myself, nor do I know
> anyone who has spoken of seeing or experiencing such 
an injury.
> I like having combat archery in melees - it adds a 
dimension of reality to
> the game (even if it is annoying to get taken out by 
an arrow or a bolt
> instead of in face-to-face fighting).  I don't want 
to see it made so safe
> that it won't make a difference if it's there or 
not.  I don't see that a
> real problem exists here - let's not fix what's not 
> Just my 2 pence worth.
> Padraig
> ----------
> Nunc Est Bibendum
> **********
> Politicians prefer unarmed peasants.
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