[Loch-Ruadh] Youth Combat at Gulf Wars

Germanicus de Atlan ldgermanicus at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 1 16:28:26 PST 2010

Good evening everyone,

I just got this from Lady Liliana, and it's posted on the Ansteorra list, and wanted to 

make sure everyone who's going to Gulf Wars with a Young Fighter will know what 

the current requirements are.


There are some excellent scenarios planned for our brave Youth Combatants, so

make sure they have all of the proper equipment so no one has to be disappointed!


Travel safe & fight with honor!,



Central Region Youth Boffer Marshal



Ansteorra rules require a "designated adult" to be within eye shot or ear shot.  This allows the 
parents to ask someone else to be responsible for their child's safety if they are tied up with 
other busy with other things (such as kingdom business or laurels circles).  This has worked 
well and has frequently resulted in happier kids and less stressed, more attentive adults at the 
list field.  I believe this is what has been agreed to in Gleann Abhann recently as well from
 looking at the web pages regarding children at Gulf War.

In Gleann Abhann it is the expectation for parents to remain on within voice range of their 
children. There is little to no way for this to be enforced this at GW. But this year parents will 
have to sign saying they understand our rules. We do not treat youth combat as a "Children's 
Activity."  Parents need to understand, marshals have enough responsibilities just marshaling. 
They will not take responsibility for the kids and are not expected to keep up with children 
or monitor them when they are not on the field. That is the parent's responsibility. 

Also just so you know. Kids will be removed from the field for un-chivalrous behavior. 
This includes using excessive force, horse playing or cursing.  Personally, I teach Jr. High 
kids and deal with enough of that type of behavior at work. I think we as a society do and 
should continue to hold our kids to a higher standard.  
Hope this make sense. 
Bethany Bacon 

I.  Age:  Ansteorra authorizes fighters as young as 6.  Trimaris, Meridies, and Glenn Abhann 
all start at age 7, so there is an argument for those rules.  However, 10 out of the 15 kingdoms 
with youth combat programs allow 6 year old combatants, some younger, so you may have 
questions about that as well.  My thought would be to allow those who have been authorized 
to fight a set of "authorization bouts" to verify they understand the safety rules of Gleann Abhann.  
6 year olds would have to be on an individual case "Authorization fight." The parents 
would have to agree (in writing) that they MUST stay at the field when their children are fighting 
and that they understand that their child will be fighting against older children.  I would also have
 to request an Ansteorran marshal be their for the authorization.  Even then I am not sure about
 letting them in the big melee battles, even the young kids get wild in the big battles.  
II.  Weapons:
 a.   Core -many kingdoms still use pvc core weapons.  ½ in schedule 40 is what is listed as 
required for Ansteorra.  Ansteorra also permits unshaved rattan.  Trimaris allows only sched 
40 pvc core, but has a larger diameter than Ansteorra.  All pvc weapons should be covered 
with fiber tape or strapping tape.  This is not outlined in Ansteorra's new rules, but has been 
agreed upon by our current marshals for safety. 

The ½ in PVC will be OK for one handed weapons for the young kids (under 10) older kids 
at lease ¾ in. But I have seen too many of the PVC weapons break at GW. Just so you can tell 
the marshals/parents, I inspect weapons but bending them over my knee. If they make cracking 
sounds or have any cracks that can be felt when they are bent, they can not be used on the field. 
I have broken weapons in the past and if it breaks over my knee it was too weak to be used on 
the field anyway.  

b.   Diameter - There is a difference of ¼ in. diameter on weapons.  Gleann Abhann says 
2.75 in. diameter on thrusting tip, and several other kingdoms (including Ansteorra and Trimaris) 
say 2.5 in.¼ inch difference will not be a problem, but no less than 2.5 inches.  

c.   Weight-Ansteorra currently has no weight guidelines.  We have not weighed weapons at GW
 in the past. As long as they are not obviously heavy or weighted. No large metal basket hilts, that 
could be used as a weapon themselves. 

d.   Length - Ansteorra has a 5 ft. limit on axe and sword, 7 ft. limit on glaive, and 8ft on Spear.  
Most divisions here read "size proportional to combatant."  I tend to test whether they are 
capable of adequately controlling the weapon as my guide for "proportional." I do not like the 
longer weapons. I will allow the 8ft spears, if they are properly constructed, I inch PVC 
schedule 40 and not whippy.  However, the full foot of deference in the glaives is too much, 
and especially for the younger kids.  I also have to say . The field marshals have the right to
 remove any weapon from the field that they do not feel is safe for any reason, or that is not 
being used safely.  

e.   Shields - material they are constructed from.  Some Ansteorran Shields are made from 
plastic or aluminum.  We do not have a wood only shield rule, but we do require all edges 
to be covered with tubing, leather, or foam to protect the weapons.  The aluminum or plastic 
is not a problem. They will have to have the FOAM padding on the edges. This can just be
 taped over what is already their. Our rules require the padding and last year I allowed an 
Anstorian to fight with just the tubing and a child got his fingers smashed. 
f.   Basket hilts/gauntlete are not required on many shields and weapons and are not required
 for combat until 13-15 year old division.  Up to then, our armor requirements list only light 
gloves.  I cannot let hand protection slide. With glaives and spires on the field, hands are very 
vulnerable.  Hockey gloves, or padding over the back of hand and wrist is a must. But there 
is noting that says it can't be padding tape on, we have done it before. Looks bad, but it 
protects.  If they have a basket hilt (tubing or leather is acceptable) then ½ gauntlets are 
required to protect the wrist. This goes for the shield as well as one handed weapons.  
Hockey gloves really work best for 2 handed weapons. 

II.     Armor
i.   Neck- Ansteorra lists gorget (from light to medium leather depending on division), but 
foam padding is not specified and fighters may need to be instructed to add foam to their gorgets.
If the leather is not HEAVY the padding will be required. It is not hard to add.  
ii.   Torso-in Trimaris and Ansteorra, kidney belts are not required for the lower two divisions, 
Ansteorra lists a long sleeve shirt and Trimaris a heavy sweatshirt or gambeson. 
>>>>Kidney belts are also not something I can let slide. However, they do not have to be 
anything fancy; 4 to 8 inch wide heavy piece leather taped around the middle will be fine. I 
have several loner ones and some scrap leather around here I will bring. The cheep weight 
lifting belts (black fabric and Velcro) sold at Wal-Mart and sporting good store, are very 
adjustable and work well for even the smaller kids.  

*** Two items that are especially able to find at war among the merchants are gauntlets/padded 
gloves of any sort and kidney protection small enough to fit a child combatant.

Yours in service, 
Lady Liliana Byrnes
(with commentary from HE Bethan Bacon of Glean Abhann)
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