ARCH - History repeat itself

Paul Haines wyrmclaw at
Wed Apr 11 16:15:53 PDT 2001

Greetings all,
I'm new to SCA archery and this email list, so I hope you don't mind a
newbie's perspective on the topic.  I was rather surprised when my email
downloaded at the number of emails I had, but I read through them all and
have come up with some observations and questions.

1.  We (the archery community) have been given a deadline to come up with a
solution, or one will be given to us.  Do we know what that solution is?  It
seems like a looming darkness not knowing, perhaps we could ask what their
proposed solution is and if we don't like it propose an alternative?  I'd
kinda like to know what their idea of an answer is to this issue.

2.  Is our goal to reduce the risk of bounce-back related injuries, or
archery-related eye injuries?  The incidents seem to revolve around eye
injury, and not unintentional body piercing.

3.  Is the act of archers firing into melees period?  I was under the
impression that archers on both sides fired arrows at the opposing army
during the charge phase of a battle, and refrained from firing into melee
combat to avoid hitting men on their own side.  Granted there were the lords
who opened fire regardless, but here's my thinking....A bounce-back injury
is an accident, and accidents are more likely to occur when a person's
attention is focused elsewhere (ie melee).  Now, if we grant archers a
combat phase prior to melee, the heavy fighters will be able to focus their
attention on protecting themselves from arrows, thereby reducing (not
eliminating) bounce-back injuries.  Granted ricocheted, spinning arrows may
cause some injury, but I think the risk is reduced if the targets are
focused more on the arrows coming at them than their enemy's sword.  Then,
when the melee combatants reach a designated distance from one another, or
the first swords are swung, a marshall can call out for archers to cease
fire.  Then if they wish, they can dispose of their bow, grab up a sword and
charge in to aid their comrades.   Now when attacking a structure housing
archers, the archery phase could end when the structure is breeched, or the
first swords are swung.  These are just my ramblings, but the premise of my
idea is that if those on the receiving end of an arrow aren't distracted by
melee, injury risk is reduced, and I think this idea is more in keeping with
maintaining period archery.

4.  Another idea to reduce risk is to see that archers meet a certain level
of competancy with their bow before being permitted to enter combat archery.
Granted, accidents will still happen, but being a novice archer myself, I
feel that I am not ready to target a living person until I am confident that
I am going to hit them.  In my mind, a novice archer is more likely to cause
an accident due to lack of skill than an experienced archer.  I know some
accidents aren't skill related, and just left to chance, but I think we'd
still decrease the risk of an accident by removing green archers.

These are just some of my thoughts.  I thank you all for giving me a chance
to contribute in the archery community.

Best regards,
Alden Drake
Barony of Stagate

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