[Ansteorra-archery] authorization

Eadric Anstapa eadric at scabrewer.com
Tue Sep 30 15:48:58 PDT 2008

Sir Kenneth,

You are correct that when someone can demonstrate the necessary 
requirements then they should be authorized.

There is no hard and fast rule that it should take X-plus events.  I 
have authorized folks at a single event because they came prepared and I 
felt I had all the time I needed to adequately evaluate them.

There is no hard and fast rule that it has to be at one of our large 
melee events.  I have authorized folks at a single local melee practice 
I have authorized folks at a single event because they came prepared and 
I felt I had all the time I needed to adequately evaluate them.

A great deal depends on how prepared the person wanting to be authorized 
is.  I believe that is a large part of what the folks below were trying 
to communicate.  There is a lot that an a person can do in advance to 
assure that their authorization sessions go as swiftly and smoothly as 

I think very few rapier or armored fighters would show up at their very 
first practice and expect to be authorized right then.  You learn things 
a little at a time and you build the body of knowledge necessary for you 
to be authorized.  It takes some time for the marshal to adequately 
evaluate the individual. More often than not the marshal can not 
dedicate all of their time on any given day to evaluating the individual 
since they usually have other duties to attend to as well.

As long as individual knows what they need to know and can demonstrate 
what they need to demonstrate and has the opportunity to get all of that 
across to an authorizing marshal then they should be authorized.  But it 
is always the discretion of the the authorizing marshal that we count on.

Some marshals are more discerning than others, some are more free, some 
are more circumspect and cautious.   I have had the unpleasant task of 
having to revoke authorizations for marshals and archers who were 
clearly hastily authorized.  I am also aware that when I authorize 
someone I am testifying that I have properly evaluated them and found 
them safe and ready for combat and keenly aware that it is my name that 
goes on their authorization card showing that I authorized them and if 
they subsequently screw up then that can  reflect directly on me and my 
ability as a marshal. 

I am also aware that while in Ansteorra combat archery generally has 
good support from the greater combat community, that is not true in 
other kingdoms.  The are many in other kingdoms that look quite hard for 
any excuse to try and make a case to simply do away with combat archery 
society-wide.  I  want to do everything that I can to make sure that 
such excuses do not come from simple and honest mistakes from hastily 
authorized Ansteorran combat archers.

Therefore I think I am probably one of the more cautious and circumspect 
authorizing marshals out there.  However if you come prepared, know your 
stuff, and convince me of that then you get authorized.

Many other kingdoms have are much more strict in their CA authorization 
requirements.  Most other kingdoms _require_ that folks first get a 
basic armored combat sword and board style authorization before moving 
on to additional weapons like CA where we do not.  Other kingdoms 
_require_ multiple marshals be present to evaluate the individual where 
we do not.  Other kingdoms _require_ that a member of the chivalry be 
present to evaluate the individual where we do not.

To quote from the Marshals Handbook of one of the other Gulf War 
Kingdoms  "The authorization process is one of the most important 
safeguards in SCA fighting.  It must be taken seriously."  I don't think 
it can be said much more succinctly than that.



Ken Theriot wrote:
> About the difficulty of getting authorized as a combat archer.....
> I think we are making it too long and cumbersome a process.  In January we
> had a few folks very interested in getting authorized.  But there weren't
> any authorizing marshals in our area (Bjornsborg).  Someone even said to one
> of these hopeful gentles..."good luck getting authorized...it's almost
> impossible."  That really got me wondering why this should be.  
> So at Red Tape, I spoke with Sir Jean-Paul (kingdom Earl Marshal), and
> Fearghus (kingdom missile marshal at the time) about how I could become an
> authorizing CA marshal.  I was already an authorizing heavy-weapons marshal
> and an authorized combat archer.  Fearghus told me what he wanted me to do
> and know, and a couple of months later, I received my authorization as a CA
> authorizing Marshal.  At least now there is someone in our area.
> Part of the discussion we had at Red Tape included finding out exactly what
> the actual requirements were for CA authorization.  This is what we found.
> The current written requirements for authorization (as found in the SCA
> "Marshal Handbook" and "The Missile Combat Rules") are:
> "Combat Archers shall be authorized to participate by the marshallate,
> following established marshallate procedures. During this authorization all
> Combat Archers must show:
> a. That they are familiar with the Rules of the Lists, the SCA Missile
> Combat Rules, and all the rules and conventions of combat pertaining to
> missile combat in their Kingdom.
> b. That they can recognize and accept a killing blow.
> c. That they are safe to themselves and their opponents.
> d. That they can keep their bow out of the way during combat.
> e. That they have an awareness of spectator safety."
> If someone can demonstrate understanding of and compliance to the above,
> they should be authorized.  It shouldn't have to take 2 or more melee events
> unless the person really needs the extra help.  But that should be the
> exception rather than the rule.  Also, while it is certainly necessary to
> observe a candidate in melee scenarios to ensure the SCA requirements are
> met, it needn't be at one of the wars, such as Gothic, 3-Kings, BAM, etc.
> In fact, authorizations may take place at official fighter practices (which
> are, in fact, SCA sanctioned "events") as long as there is enough melee
> activity to confirm the qualifications of the candidates.
> I understand the need for caution to ensure we stay safe.  And with the
> latest concerns about CA causing injuries on the field, it is especially
> germane lately.  But SCA combat has always been a balance between safety and
> participation.  As long as everyone is following the rules, and our marshals
> are making sure they only authorize people who clearly understand and adhere
> to them, I see no reason to add more barriers to entry into the CA
> community.
> Our CA numbers are slim, and I believe that we need to do all we can to
> increase those numbers, and encourage people to take up the bow by making it
> as painless as possible.
> As a member of the chivalry, I can tell you without question that Ansteorran
> fighters across the board support and respect CA more than just about any
> other kingdom out there!  As Centurion Caladin (the Ansteorran General)
> recently posted here, we very much want to do anything we can to help build
> the combat missile community in Ansteorra.  That includes physically helping
> with arrow retro-fit, raising money to help defray the cost of retrofits,
> including CA as an essential and fundamental part of our battle plans, etc.
> Now is a great time to get folks excited about CA.  The more of us there
> are, the more integral we will in melee tactics.  But it's hard to make us a
> big part of the plan if there are only 15 of us in a fielded army of 300 or
> more. 
> I recommend we readdress the authorization issues as soon as possible.
> YIS,
> Sir Kenneth
> -----Original Message-----
> From: William Black Dragon [mailto:hlironwyrm at sbcglobal.net] 
> Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2008 12:05 AM
> To: Archery within the Kingdom of Ansteorra
> Subject: Re: [Ansteorra-archery] authorization
> None of my combat arrows are currently legal, they need to be refitted, but
> you are welcome to borrow some for practice.  I've chopped all my baldar
> arrows down into combat bolts to make sure I had legal combat missiles for
> Three Kings and am currently working on refitting 450+ combat bolts.  I
> won't start refitting combat arrows until after we have finished refitting
> all the combat bolts.
> However just so you know the odds of getting authorized for combat archery
> within six weeks are extremely slim, but possible if you can met several
> qualifications.  
> To list a few of those basic qualifying factors:
> - Do you already have a current fighter authorization?
> - Do you have prior melee combat (battle) experience?
> - Do you have your own combat legal armor?
> - Do you have your own legal combat archery equipment?
> - Are you familiar enough with the Ansteorran Complete Participant's  
>   Handbook(especially section 6) to respond correctly when quizzed?
> - Do you have a currently active knight marshal or combat archery 
>   marshal whom would be willing to vouch for your combat skill 
>   abilities?
> If you are able to answer yes to five of the above questions there 
> is a good chance we might be able to buddy you up with another 
> combat archer at BAM for observation and possibly get 
> authorized for combat archery afterward, however it usually 
> requires at least two or more melee events before any combat 
> archery authorizing marshal will sign off on any combat archery
> authorization.  Starting this late a more realistic goal might 
> getting authorized in combat archery by Gulf War. 
> Don't get me wrong here, nothing delights us authorizing combat 
> archery marshals more than getting another combat archer on the 
> field.  But given the possibility for catastrophic injury that can 
> happen with combat archery they are going to make sure any novice 
> combat archer is well trained before they are ever allowed to roam 
> the field alone.
> It normally requires four times as long to get authorized for 
> combat archery than whats required to become a melee fighter.  
> Furthermore it's about four times as expensive to purchase the 
> required equipment to be a combat archer than a melee fighter.  
> Not to mention the cost of equipment maintenance and upgrades.
> Now if you have read all of the above and are still interested 
> in becoming a combat archer come see me Sunday at Steppes 
> archery practice or contact me personally by email at the above 
> address and we shall be delighted to get you started!  
> Regards,
> Ironwyrm
> --- On Fri, 9/26/08, Marlin and Amanda Stout <ldcharles at sbcglobal.net>
> wrote:
>> From: Marlin and Amanda Stout <ldcharles at sbcglobal.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Ansteorra-archery] authorization
>> To: "Archery within the Kingdom of Ansteorra"
> <ansteorra-archery at lists.ansteorra.org>
>> Date: Friday, September 26, 2008, 4:10 PM
>> Crystal Lewis wrote:
>>> I'm looking to get authorized for CA before BAM
>> and I wanted to find 
>>> out if anyone in the Steppes/Elfsea area had some
>> combat arrows I 
>>> could borrow to practice and possibly authorize with?
>> Or even someone 
>>> in the area who makes and sells said arrows?
>>> My bow is a youth-sized 30# bow. (I'm a weakling.)
>> Lady Gwen,
>>   I'm not in Steppes/Elfsea, so I can't help you
>> with arrows, But I can 
>> give you a bit of advice about those youth-sized bows.
>> Get your local CA marshal to check it's draw with a
>> regulation combat 
>> arrow. The listed draw weight on some of those youth bows
>> are the draw 
>> weigh with a youth arrow, not a full-sized one. I've
>> seen a few archers 
>> at Gulf who were surprised when their bows came in
>> over-limit when 
>> measured with the standard arrows. One lady I know had made
>> shorter 
>> arrows for her bow, so that with them it'd be below the
>> limit. But with 
>> the standard ones it was way over (like 40+ lbs) and a
>> marshal can't 
>> assume it'll never be used with the standard ammo.
>> There are ways to reduce the draw weight a bit, and your AM
>> can help you 
>> with that, but it's best to know that and deal with it
>> before you get to 
>> the event.
>> Ld Charles MacKinnon
>> Marshal at Large
>> Bryn Gwlad

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