[Ansteorra-rapier] Pros and Cons of change

James Crouchet james at crouchet.com
Tue Oct 16 00:47:52 PDT 2012

Pug, I suggest modifications to two of the points below:

On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 7:34 AM, Pug Bainter <pug at pug.net> wrote:

> Good Morning,

> ****
> ·         Pros:
> **o   **The blades are statistically non-existent comparing the possibly
> 10s of bouts to the 1000s of bouts per year.
statistically non-existent IN TOURNAMENT.

> ****
> **o   **Heavy blades are more historically accurate than light blades.****
> **o   **A significant majority of the SCA kingdoms as well as most
> inter-kingdom wars have gone to heavy blades only.****
> **o   **The enforcement of the regulations around the lighter blades is
> lax at best creating a risk point.

I am unclear on how something that is statistically insignificant can
create a risk point.

> ****
> **§  **Combatants being authorized without having shown to be safe.
A very bad practice that should be stopped at once.  The KRM has issued
words to that effect and I am sure more will follow.  This was always a
violation of SCA rules.

> ****
> **§  **Marshals being authorized without knowing how to inspect the
> equipment.
This is an interesting point.  IMO, this is only a problem if a marshal
unfamiliar with epee inspects them or marshals a bout where they are used.
We need to keep in mind that marshaling is always voluntary;  no one is
required to marshal a bout they are not comfortable marshaling for ANY
reason. They SHOULD NOT marshal any bout nor inspect any weapon where they
do not feel qualified to enforce safety.  It is reasonable to expect them
to make a reasonable effort to find a replacement marshal who can.

We cannot expect every new marshal to be an expert on every weapon and
technique allowed in the rules.  They should, a t a minimum, be able to
maintain safety in most situations and in dealing with typical hazards.
They should bow out or work with a more experienced marshal when dealing
with rare situations that are beyond their experience. If they find
themselves over their heads during a bout they should call HOLD and bring
in a more experienced marshal.

Of course, the policy on this is up to the KRM and EM but this is my take
on it.  I feel it is unrealistic to expect every marshal to be expert in
every possible weapon and technique.  Nor does the fencer have any
unalienable right to use every weapon and technique in every tourney. If a
marshal familiar with epee and willing to inspect and mashal, cannot be
found on the day of the tournament, you cannot use the epee.  If we cannot
make it safe that day, we are obligated to say no.

> ****
> **o   **Light blades break more frequently than heavy blades elevating
> the risk due to lax enforcement.
But heavy blades lose and punch through tips more frequently, and when they
do the resulting bare tip has the same or greater penetration potential as
a flat broken foil or epee.  Further, a broken blade is shorter so a blow
that would normally result in a reasonable hit should not even reach the
target with a blade missing even 2 inches. When a tip is lost no length is
lost so that untipped blade remains full length.  So an argument can be
made for the heavy blades being more dangerous. But the truth is, there is
not a meaningful difference.

In fact, there have not been enough injuries with either to make a
reasonable conclusion as to their relative safety.  On the contrary, what
our decades of experience with many thousands of bouts fought do tell us is
that both weapons have proven to be safe for our purposes. Safety has been,
is, and will remain a bogus argument for banning or keeping either of these

Christian Doré
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