SR - Interesting Idea.....

Lenny Zimmermann zimmerml at
Fri Feb 26 07:43:40 PST 1999

Maestro Daneil de Lincolia wrote:

>My understanding of the situation is
>- that's not how it was done in period: I've heard it called
>  "Olympic-style".  The period way was either judged (later) or you
>  all go out into a big ransom melee and whack on each other until
>  people cry uncle (earlier).

I agree. I have yet to really find a tree-style competition in the
middle-ages and renaissance. However, a point could be made that scores were
kept. For example, a battle at the barrier in Elizabethan England may give a
combatant points for hitting the opponent, but removing points for hitting
below the belt or breaking a sword. There are some references to sport
fencing in the renaissance that would provide points for which part of the
body was struck, but I'm still looking long and hard for a set of rules
commonly used. The biggest difference in any of those sports, however, was
that, as Daniel pointed out, they were judged. The judges on the field would
tally point scores for hits they saw. Which completely goes against the
grain of SCA culture, especially on the armored field. Mainly because I've
seen little indication that a blow had to be of a certain pressure to be
good, only that it had to be seen or heard to hit to be good. The force was
irrelavent and your opponent didn't call the blow. We could try something to
that extreme, but I don't think the fighters would really like having that
much control and ability to show honor (by calling blows) taken from their
purview. I do think overall that a judged tourney would be a lot more fun as
a change of pace, though.

>- Olympic-style is extremely popular among SCA fighters because they
>  want a definite Winner.  (There may also be concerns about how much
>  the observes see and are competent to judge.)

Again, I agree that this is probably the case. I have heard more than a few
individuals mention that it is their preference to have a definitive,
clear-cut, "winner". I guess my only argument there is that "clear-cut" is
still only at the whim of the opponents who called their blows. Those on the
side-line don't always think the results are so clear-cut. As for competent
judges... we either let those we face judge us, or we let someone on the
sideline judge us. As long as competence is selected in a judge, then you
will have a competent judge. Must be my urge to want to believe that we
could have just as much fun as I'm sure our forbears did, if we tried to
consider doing things the way they did it. Better recreation, too. But, I
think I'm getting on a rant here. Gee, Daniel, did you have to give me such
a nice soapbox to get on to only to expound the very points you already
made? ;-)

Let me just say, that I think it would be worthwhile at least giving it a
try. (I've always enjoyed the, very few, judged tourneys I've been to, but
I'm probably just a fluke of nature.)

Honos Servio
Lionardo Acquistapace
(Lenny Zimmermann)
zarlor at

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