ARN - Youth Fencing in Ansteorra CADET1313 at
Mon May 10 12:48:41 PDT 1999

Youth Fencing Rules for the Kingdom of Ansteorra

The goal of Ansteorran Youth Fencing is to recreate the fencing schools of 
Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries using buttoned foils.  Such combat was 
one on one and was used for training students in the art of rapier combat.

I  Rules of the field

1. Fencers must be at least 12 years old to participate in Ansteorran Youth 
Fencing. Fencers must be authorized by the Youth Fencing Marshallate to 
participate as a fencer in an Youth fencing tournament. 

2. Fencers need not be authorized to practice BUT 2 authorized Youth Fencing 
Marshals and the Parent or Legal Guardian  must be present and a Youth 
Fencing Waver must be signed and on file with the marshalate. 

3. Target area for both groups 12-14 and 15-17 will be the whole body.

4. Blows are to be struck by thrusting with the point.
              a. Draw cuts, push cuts and tip cuts are permitted .
                    i. Draw cuts will be done with 5 inches of the blade or 
more and must have 
                       firm pressure.
              b. chopping or saber- type cuts are not permitted and will be 
grounds for 
                  removal the field by a  Youth Fencing Marshal

5. Each fencer must determine the effects of thrusts that strike him 
according to the following rules:
              a. Any thrust that strikes with 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of force. 
This is the amount of 
                  force it takes a #5  French  foil to bend by 2 inches (5cm)
              b. The effects of a good blow is:
                     i. all blows are to be called as if hit with a buttoned 
foil. No blows are to be 
                        considered a "kill". A good blow to the head, chest, 
or back will simply 
                        end the bout.
                    ii. 2 blows to a limb will end a bout. If a fencer is 
struck in an arm and a leg, 
                        both arms, or both legs the bout is over.
              c. For blow calling purposes, fencers are considered to be 
wearing light clothes,
                  such as a shirt and pants or skirt.. No blow will be 
disregarded because of 
                  actual clothing worn. Any protection or clothing that 
prevents a fencer from 
                  properly calling a blow will not be allowed.
              d. Blows that strike a fencer's mask or gorget will be counted 
as though the had 
                  continued on and struck whatever part of the fencer is 
behind the mask or 

6. If anyone calls HOLD the fencers must stop at once and assume a 
non-threatening position with their foils pointed away from their opponents. 
Preferably with the point downward toward the ground.

7. If a fencer becomes blinded for any reason such as sweat, dust, hair in 
the eyes glasses slipping etc. All fencing will stop immediately and a hold 
will be called by the fencer or marshal.

8. Some actions are not allowed because they are unsafe and are grounds for 
removal from the Ansteorran Youth Fencing Program for a time specified by the 
marshal ,these include:
                a . Punching, kicking, shoving, tripping, throwing or 
grabbing an opponent or 
                     his weapons.
                b. Wrestling for control of a weapon or grappling 
                c. Whipping or chopping at  a weapon or fencer.
               d. Striking or pressing an opponent with rigid equipment or 
any part of a
                   weapon not approved for such use
               e. Throwing a weapon at an opponent or marshal or to the 
ground in a frustrated 
               f. Striking with excessive force
              g. Any action the marshals feel is unsafe

9. Conduct that is obstructive to normal fencing play such as consistent 
ignoring of blows, deliberate misuse of the rules (such as calling HOLD 
whenever pressed), backing  into the ropes purposely to avoid a press and  
any other action the marshals feel is obstructive will not be allowed.

10.No real weapon will be allowed upon the field at anytime during fencing.

11. A fencer must not attack from the side of or behind an opponent who can 
not turn to face him such as an opponent who has taken a leg wound. 

12. Youth Fencing will not be conducted on the same field at the same time as 
Armored Combat, Adult Rapier Combat or Boffer Combat..

13. Engaging in Youth Fencing with the deliberate intent to inflict injury on 
an opponent is strictly forbidden.

14. Adults may face a youth opponent for teaching purposes ONLY! These 
practice bouts will be at half speed.
II Equipment

A. General

1. All  fencers and fencers parents/ legal guardians, prior to fencing at 
each and every SCA event or practice, will insure that their equipment is 
safe, in good working order and has been inspected by an authorized member of 
the Youth Fencing Marshallate.

2. The marshals will reject any weapons ( nonstandard or standard) or 
equipment they feel is unsafe.

B. Protective Equipment

1. The face and sides of the head back to and including the ears must be 
protected with a minimum of a 12-kilo fencing mask. Masks should be tested 
periodically with a 12-kilo mask tester or equivalent .. A good field test is 
to press on the mask grill with one thumb. If the mesh flexes significantly, 
it is not strong enough. The mask must be securely fastened so that it cannot 
be removed or seriously dislodged during the fencing match. This includes  
but is not restricted to a Mask Tie. Standard Velcro or stretch band material 
originally on the mask is not sufficient.

2. All fencers will wear a gorget. It must cover he throat, the sternal notch 
and the at minimum, it shall consist of 8 ounce leather ( or equivalent) with 
the throat area backed by at least 1/4 inch (6m) of open cell foam. It must 
not have openings large enough to permit an untipped blade to enter any of 
the covered areas.

3." Puncture resistant" material is defined as any fabric or combination of 
fabrics that will 
      withstand a punch test preformed in a manner approved by the 
                                  a. kevlar and other ballistic nylons are 
not an acceptable materials.
                                  b. " Puncture resistant" material is 
required on the back of the head,
                                         the entire neck and the torso ( 
including the chest, back, 
                                         abdomen, sides and groin, and arm 
4. Resistant material is defined as material that will withstand normal 
fencing stresses( such as being snagged by an unbroken foil without tearing ) 
                                  a. nylon tights or stockings and cotton 
gauze shirt are examples of 
                                  unacceptable materials

                                  b. Broadcloth, a single layer of trigger 
cloth or sweatpants are 
                                       examples of acceptable materials
                                  c. Resistant material is required on the 
arms , legs and other areas not 
                                      specifically mentioned in these rules

5. There must be no skin showing, or easily accessible. There should be at 
least 3 inches (7cm) of overlap between separate pieces of protective 
clothing, regardless of the fencer's stance.

6. Hands shall be protected by leather gloves that overlap any sleeve 
openings by at least 3 inches (7cm). Feet shall be protected by closed toe 
shoes or boots. If the fencer is wearing skirts, there must be a sufficient 
overlap between the hem of the skirt and the top of the shoes or boots so 
that no skin is exposed while fencing. If necessary, pants or bloomers should 
be worn under the skirt to ensure that no skin will be exposed.

7.Male fencers must wear rigid groin protection. Any holes large enough to 
admit a broken blade must be covered from the outside with a "puncture 
resistant" material. Female fencers should consider wearing additional 
padding or protection for the groin and chest as they determine suits their 

8. Any substitutions for standard protective gear (such as helms to replace 
masks or metal gorgets to replace leather gorgets) must provide the same or 
better protection as the gear it replaces. In particular it must provide 
puncture resistant and rigid overage in the same areas. Such substitutions 
must be approved by the Marshallate.

C. Weapons and Secondaries

1. Sharp points are not allowed anywhere on any weapon.

2. Any equipment that is likely to break or damage other equipment is 

3. Foils and Flexi Daggers are the ONLY allowable blades in Youth Fencing.
                                a. All foils and flexi daggers must be 
commercially produced. These 
                                    blades will not be altered by grinding, 
cutting, heating, or other 
                                    actions that could significantly alter 
their temper, flexibility or 
                                    durability. Normal fencing stresses and 
blade care do not violate 
                                    these rule. Exceptions are:
                                            i. The tang of the foil may be 
altered as needed for handles and 
                                 b. All foil ends will be capped with rubber 
or plastic tips.
                                            i. tips will be at least 3/8 
inches (9mm) in diameter
                                           ii. tips must be firmly taped or 
glued in place. The tip or 
                                               covering tape must be of a 
contrasting color so that its 
                                               absence is readily apparent. 
Any foil that has a threaded end 
                                              must also be tipped with a 
standard practice threaded tip cap 
                                               under the rubber tip..
                                           iii. "Tool Dip" may be used but 
will be checked after each use
                                                 for wear and chips.
                                 c. Any foil with kinks, sharp bends, 
multiple curves or cracks will 
                                    not be used. Foil  blades shall have a 
single gradual curve.  Metal
                                   blades that kink or develop sharp bends 
that cannot be repaired 
                                    must be retired.

                                  d. Foils may have a hand guard such as a 
bell guard, knuckle bow 
                                     and/or quillons. Quillons will not be 
longer than 12 inches ( 30cm) 
                                     overall, and the ends must be blunt and 
of at least 1/4 inch (6mm) 
                                      in diameter.

                                   e. Orthopedic (" Belgian" or "Pistol") 
grips will not be used unless 
                                      the fencer is approved to do so by the 
Kingdom Youth Fencing 
                                      Marshal for medical reasons.

4. Any equipment that has any rigid openings large enough to admit an 
untipped  foil tip or that is likely to trap a blade will not be used.

5. SECONDARIES will be dependent on the age group that you are fencing in. 
The age group breakdown is this:

12-14: single foil

15-17: single foil
           dagger (flexi)
           case of foils ( 2 size 5 foils)

6. Fencers must be authorized in each style to use them in tournament bouts. 
Fencers do not need to be authorized to practice with these weapons.

7. Guidelines for construction of secondaries.          
    a. Defensive Secondaries such as bucklers and cloaks will be constructed 
using only the following guidelines:

                                     1 Defensive secondaries will be made of 
sturdy, lightweight
                                        materials. They have no sharp edges 
or corners or exposed wood 
                                        edges that can splinter.              

                                     2 A buckler will not weigh more then 3 
pounds (135g), and cannot 
                                        exceed 255 square inches (1640 sq. 
cm) of surface area, the same 
                                        surface area as an 18 inch (45cm) 
diameter circle.

                                     3 Soft, non-rigid secondaries such as 
cloaks may be made of, cloth, 
                                        foam, leather and similar materials. 
They may not be weighted 
                                        with a rigid material including  
metal, chain and fishing   

                                     4 Secondaries that are likely to cause 
excessive tangling of            
                                        equipment, such as whips and flails,  
are not allowed.

                                     5 Secondaries must reasonably mimic the 
characteristics of some 
                                        real period object that might have 
been used for parrying or 

b. Daggers will not weigh more than one and 1½ pounds (680g). 

c. Hand guards for daggers are subject to the same restrictions as hand 
guards for rapiers. 

d. Rigid metal "parrying-only" daggers such as those made from cut down 
blades will not be allowed. 

e. All other weapons and secondaries will be considered nonstandard and must 
be approved by a marshal designated by the kingdom Youth Fencing Marshal in 
addition to the regular inspection process.

III Marshalling

1. Before any fencing, Youth Fencing Marshals must inspect the gear of all 
the fencers who will participate to ensure it is safe and functional. Before 
any bout, the marshal(s) on the field should take a moment to glance over 
each fencer to be sure his equipment is properly in place and to assure that 
no real weapons are carried on the field.

2. Any foil that is inspected and found to be safe shall be tagged with a 
dated temporary sticker on the forte of the blade near the guard. The sticker 
is good for that date only, and will be removed at any time by the owner or a 
Youth Fencing  Marshal decides the blade is no longer safe.

3. Two (2) authorized Youth Fencing Marshals must be on the field for ANY 
tournament bout. Rapier marshals who have not tested and been signed for 
Youth fencing are NOT authorized to marshal a Youth Fencing bout. No "stand 
in" rapier marshals will be allowed. This does not mean that a marshal cannot 
be authorized in both styles.

4. One (1) Youth Fencing Marshal is required for any practice bouts. Marshals 
MUST be an Authorized Youth Fencing Marshal.

5. One (1) of the Youth Fencing Marshals on the field will be the designated 
"controlling marshal"and the other marshals on the field will be assisting 
marshals. The controlling marshal will be responsible for starting bouts and 
taking any disciplinary actions.

6. Before the marshals may begin a bout, they must receive a verbal 
acknowledgment from each fencer declaring that they are ready to begin.

7. Anyone who sees an unsafe situation on the field must call HOLD. The 
marshals should see the problem is corrected before continuing. The 
marshal(s) should be particularly alert for such situations. These include:
                    a. Any injury occurs on the field
                    b. a blade breaks or tip comes off a weapon
                    c. any weapon, protective gear or other equipment fails
                    d. anyone on the field trips or falls
                    e. anyone other than the fencers and marshals enters the 
                    f. fencers move out of field boundaries
                    g. a weapon is grabbed or becomes entangled
                    h. dangerous conduct by either or both fencers
                    i. if an animal wanders onto the field
                    j. to issue a warning.
                   k. any situation that the marshal feels is unsafe.
                    l. if a parent or guardian becomes a nuisance on or by 
the field

8. Because of the nature of the weapon used, marshals and fencers should pay 
special attention to missing tips or broken blades.

9. All Youth Fencing Marshals will hold to these rules strictly, ANY fencer 
caught Hitting to hard, whipping with the blade, or not calling blows may be 
removed from that tournament and may also have their authorization revoked.

10. Marshals that have problems with parents will first warn said parent. The 
second time that day a parent is warned the child of that parent will be 
removed from that tournament.

11. At this time there will be no marshals under the age of 18. There will be 
a Jr. marshaling program set up in the future.

IV Disciplinary Actions

1.  A Youth Fencing Marshal will issue a fencer and or the parent/legal 
guardian, a warning or remove a fencer from the field anytime he feels 
circumstances warrant that action. The following should be considered 

                                  a. If a fencer's actions violate the rules 
but do not create a
                                      dangerous situation, caution the fencer 
and or the
                                      parent/legal guardian, making sure he 
understands the 

                                  b. If violations are repeated and the 
marshal feels they were
                                      deliberate, or if they create a 
dangerous situation the 
                                      marshal must issue a warning to the 
fencer and or the 
                                      parent/legal guardian of that fencer.

                                   c. If a fencer or parent/legal guardian 
loses control of 
                                       himself, ignores a marshals 
instructions or 
                                        warnings, refuses to obey the rules, 
a violation creates 
                                        a very dangerous situation, or 
                                        is injured as a result that fencer 
must be removed from        
                                        the field. Removals from the field 
will be 
                                        immediately reviewed by the marshal 
in charge of a 
                                        tournament or practice.

2. The marshal in charge of a tournament or practice may bar any fencer from 
all fencing for the remainder of that event or practice if circumstances 
warrant. Normally, this is done when a fencer has received multiple warning 
or has been removed from the field. Any fencer who receives three (3) 
warnings in one tournament or practice must be barred from further fencing in 
that tournament.
3. A regional youth Fencing Marshal, the Kingdom Youth Fencing Marshal, 
Kingdom Rapier Marshal, or an at large deputy of either may suspend a fencer 
from ALL SCA Youth Fencing if circumstances warrant. He should specify the 
length of the suspension when it is issued. Normally this will occur after 
serious violations.

4. Marshals who fail to do their job or who create a dangerous situation on 
the field will be subject to the same disciplinary actions as fencers.

5. Those who wish to appeal any Marshallate actions must appeal to the next 
person up in the chain of command. That chain is:
                                   a. Marshal in charge of the field / 
inspecting marshal
                                   b. marshal in charge of the tournament or 
                                   c. Regional Youth Fencing Marshal
                                   d. Kingdom Youth Fencing Marshal
                                   e. Kingdom Rapier Marshal
                                    f. Earl Marshal
                                   g. The Crown of Ansteorra

6. Decisions must be appealed UP the chain. Thus one inspecting marshal 
cannot overrule another inspecting marshal, and one Regional Youth Fencing 
Marshal cannot overrule another Regional Youth Fencing Marshal.

7. All injuries and all disciplinary actions except cautioning the fencer or 
parent/legal guardian (warnings, removal from the field, barring the fencer, 
suspensions) must be reported immediately as below:
                                    a. Marshals on the field must report to 
the marshal in
                                        charge of the tournament or practice 
                                         the minister of the list, if any.
                                    b. The marshal in charge of the 
tournament or practice
                                        must report these actions to the 
                                        Youth Fencing Marshal of his area.
                                     c. The Regional Youth Fencing Marshals 
must report to
                                         the Kingdom Youth Fencing Marshal in 
                                     d. The Kingdom Youth Fencing Marshal 
must report to 
                                         the Kingdom Rapier Marshal in writing
                                     e. If any injuries or suspensions occur, 
they must be
                                         reported to the Kingdom Youth 
                                         Marshal AND the Kingdom Rapier 
Marshal within 24 
                                          hours, This report should be by 
                                         or in person.
                                      f. Failure to report may result it in 
loss of marshaling

8. Each time a fencer is removed from a tournament or practice he/she will 
have their card "clipped". When a fencer has had all 4 corners clipped off 
then that fencer will be banned from Youth fencing for a period of time 
specified by the regional or kingdom marshal.  Field and local marshals that 
clip edges must contact their regional or kingdom within 24 hours to report 
the fencer and receive the time that the fencer may return to the program.

9. Local Youth Fencing Marshals will be warranted as groups form youth 

V Age Group Breakdown

A. 12-14 years of age

1. Weapons: Foils, bucklers, and cloaks (must be authorized to use each 
secondary weapon)
2. Target Area: whole body 
3. There will be NO melees in this age group.

B. 15-17 years of age 

1.  Weapons: Foils, bucklers, cloaks, Flexi daggers, and case (must be 
authorized to use each secondary weapon)
2.   Target Area: whole body
3. There will be NO  melees in this age group.

Both age groups will be fencing in the round. Bouts will consist of one valid 
legal touch to the head, back, or chest. Or , 2 valid legal touches to a 

1. head = end of bout
2. chest/back = end of bout
3. arm and leg = end of bout
4. both arms = end of bout
5. both legs = end of bout

When a valid blow is landed upon a limb, the fencer will not use that limb 
for the remainder of the bout.

1. arm/hand = lose of use of arm
2. leg = must sit on the ground. NO movement can be made from the waist down.
VI Notes to Parents and Legal Guardians
Parents/Legal Guardians Responsibilities 
1. Parents/Legal Guardians are to understand this is a full contact sport 
similar to Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, or Karate. 
2. Parents/Legal Guardians are to have their child's Authorization Card in 
their possession at all time when Fencing Activities (Official Fighter 
Practice, Tournament) are occurring. 
3. Parents/Legal Guardians are to be present AT ALL TIMES while their child 
is engaged in fencing  activities. "Present" is defined as within visual and 
vocal range of their child. (NOTE: This does not mean 100 yards away, but 
close proximity to the fencing Field) The child or Marshal(s) on the field 
should be able to find the Parents/Legal Guardians immediately. 
4. Parents/Legal Guardians are to behave as persons of Gentle birth, in a 
Courteous and Honorable manner at all times. The Marshal on the field has 
control of the Youth Fencing area. The Marshal on the field may have a 
Parent/Legal Guardian and Fencer removed for improper behavior. 

We ask that parents become authorized marshals so that they can work closely 
with their child in this activity. If it is all possible we ask that parents 
not marshal there own children on the field. ( the parents of both of the 
children on the field at that time)
Go to to perform mailing list tasks.

More information about the Ansteorra-rapier mailing list