[Elfsea] Possible problem with waivers and youth authorization

Richard Threlkeld rjt at softwareinnovation.com
Thu Jun 19 09:51:22 PDT 2003

Normally, I would not copy this to everyone in Elfsea, but there is an
interesting problem mentioned here. If a fighter practice or other event
is advertised in local, regional, kingdom, ... newsletter or *email
list*, then it falls under the waiver signing requirements. And the way
it is mentioned herein implies that all household functions, if
mentioned in an SCA associated email list, would be covered. "Business
meetings, demos, guild meetings, dance practices, or planning sessions
are specifically excluded from these provisions." The Wednesday night
practice, for instance, should probably do waivers because it is often
mentioned in the Elfsea list.

Furthermore, this appears to change the way we do minor authorizations
in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to do. "The marshal who
authorizes a minor person for any form of SCA combat-related activity
must be the Kingdom Earl Marshal or the Principality Marshal. This need
not be the same person as the witnessing marshal."

In service,
Caelin on Andrede

-----Original Message-----
From: announcements-admin at sca.org [mailto:announcements-admin at sca.org]
On Behalf Of Baron, Meg
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 10:28 AM
To: 'announcements at sca.org'
Subject: [Announcements] regarding waivers

Greetings to the officers and members of the SCA:

It has come to my attention that there is a vast amount of
misinformation around the Society concerning waivers and waiver policy.
The purpose of my letter to you today is to do what I can to clear up
these misconceptions. Please note that the following is the minimum
required by the SCA Inc.; individual Kingdoms may impose more stringent
requirements at their discretion.

I believe everyone is aware that individuals attending events must
either present a membership card demonstrating proof that a signed
waiver is on file at the SCA Member Services office (a "blue card",
referred to as a "waiver card" in the SCA Governing Documents), or they
must sign a waiver at the gate. I am fairly confident that this
procedure is being followed at most if not all events. Bravo to all!


Many people seem to be unaware that the waiver policy also applies at
SCA fighter practices. Here is a quote from SCA Corporate Policies (a
part of the Governing Documents of the SCA, which can be found online at
www.sca.org or ordered from the Stock Clerk), section VI:

"A.	Anyone attending any event sponsored by a branch of the SCA Inc.
is not able to present a valid SCA Inc. waiver card must execute a
waiver as
1.	All US Branches: must execute a waiver with the text adopted by
Board of Directors at each such event, practice or function
2.	All non-US Branches
a.	must execute a waiver with the text adopted by the Board of
Directors at each such event, practice or function, OR
b.	must use a country-specific waiver that has been approved by the
Board of Directors, OR
c.	must submit to the US Board of Directors a letter of legal
stating that the waiver requirement is not necessary in that particular

B.	The text of all waivers must be the language approved by the
of Directors for waiver usage, subject to individual modern
jurisdictional requirements. Such alternative texts must be approved by
the Board of Directors prior to usage. Roster style waivers are
acceptable providing that the full text of the waiver language is

C.	An event, for the purposes of this section only, is defined as
recreation function announced in either the branch, Kingdom, or
Principality newsletter. Business meetings, demos, guild meetings, dance
practices, or planning sessions are specifically excluded from these
provisions. Combat or Fighter practices are not excluded and waivers
must be collected from those actively participating in the combat
related activities at such practices.

Any function at which combat related activities will occur fall under
the auspices of this waiver policy, regardless of what other activities
may be occurring at the function. If there is a doubt about whether a
specific function falls under this policy, the Kingdom Seneschal is
directly empowered by the Board to make that determination and report
same in their next regularly scheduled report." (end quote)

Please take special note of section C. All participants in
combat-related activities must either present a valid
membership-with-waiver card ("blue
card") or sign a waiver at any SCA-sponsored activity, be it an event or
a practice. No exceptions!!

What constitutes an SCA-sponsored activity? If a practice is listed in
the local, principality, or Kingdom newsletter, clearly that is an
SCA-sponsored activity. This would also apply if the event is advertised
through other commonly recognized means, such as the branch email list,
especially if the group is a small one and does not have a newsletter. 

If a household or individual decides to hold a practice in someone's
back yard, and they do not advertise it through an SCA medium, then it
is not an SCA-sponsored activity and the waiver policy above does not
apply. Note also that, in such a case, the SCA's insurance does not
cover that activity. 


Minors who are members and have a blue card of their very own NEED NOT
have a new waiver signed for them at every event (unless otherwise
specified by Kingdom Law or policy). Their parent or guardian signed a
waiver when they sent in their membership, and it is on file.  For
combat participation by minors (for those Kingdoms which permit persons
under age 18 to participate), some special rules apply, as stated in
Corporate Policies section V.A.3:

"Prior to the training of a minor in any SCA combat-related activity,
the parent or guardian of the minor must witness the activity, discuss
it with a witnessing marshal, and execute a Waiver for the minor. The
witnessing marshal must be explicitly authorized to perform this
function by the Earl Marshal of the kingdom. The marshal who authorizes
a minor person for any form of SCA combat-related activity must be the
Kingdom Earl Marshal or the Principality Marshal. This need not be the
same person as the witnessing marshal."

Section V.A.4 is also important:

"Any minor involved in SCA combat-related activities at an event MUST
have a parent or properly-executed Medical Authorization Form for Minors
designating some adult person present at the event as able to authorize
medical treatment for that minor in the case of any emergency."

Note that a Medical Authorization form is NOT the same thing as a
Waiver. Consult your Kingdom Seneschal for more information.


Another question that has come up is that of what should be done with
the waivers from events and fighter practices. This is also addressed in
SCA Corporate Policies, section VI:

"E.  Each Kingdom shall have a single responsible officer ("Waiver
Secretary") as a deputy to the Kingdom Seneschal to ensure that all
required waivers, rosters, and sign-in sheets are collected and safely
stored within a reasonable time after each event. The Waiver Secretary
shall ensure that waivers for each event can be located and provided to
the appropriate officials in the event a specific waiver is required.

Each Kingdom shall store all original executed waivers, rosters, and
sign-in sheets, or legally accepted facsimiles, in such a manner that a
responsible party can easily retrieve any needed waiver.

F.  Local groups need not maintain copies of these records. Kingdoms
shall maintain the adult waivers for seven years and the minor waivers
for 20 years."

If you are unsure about waiver storage procedures in your Kingdom,
please consult your Kingdom Seneschal.


Why do we have this policy? The waivers serve to protect us all in the
event of a lawsuit resulting from SCA activities. Contrary to popular
belief, the waivers are NOT worthless - they have now stood up in Court,
or stopped a potential lawsuit from getting as far as a Court, on
several occasions. Legal advice has indicated that waivers are probably
even more important at fighter practices than at events. 

Requiring waivers at fighter practices is not a new policy. It has been
in effect for as long as there has been a waiver policy. It is very
important that it be enforced at all levels, in all Kingdoms.
(International groups - please consult with your Kingdom Seneschal to
see whether waivers are required, or whether a variance has been granted
in accordance with Corporate Policies VI.A.2., quoted above.) It is not
difficult to do; it is currently being done in many areas, ranging from
small Shire practices to enormous Kingdom practices. 

Seneschals and marshals - please ensure that this policy is enforced in
your group! It is vitally important that these rules be followed. 

If you have questions concerning this policy, or need advice on
implementation procedures, please consult your Kingdom Seneschal. I
would also be happy to answer any questions.

In service,

Meg Baron
President, SCA Inc.

Permission to cross-post and publish is hereby granted as long as the
article is reprinted in full Comments are strongly encouraged and can be
sent to: 
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

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