|Medieval combat with its swords, shields, and armor attracts much attention. It
is often one of the first activities that a newcomer wants to try. Both men and women
actively participate in recreating foot combat. Most kingdoms require a combat participant
to have reached the age of majority in his or her state, province, or country, but the SCA
gives the kingdoms the option of allowing participants as young as 16 to fight with
parental consent. Your local marshal will tell you what the age limits are in your area.
As in any sport, there are rules designed to increase the safety of the game.
The "Rules of the Lists" set out the Society's standards for SCA combat. Each
kingdom adds additional rules and requirements covering acceptability of blows, styles of
weapons and fighting and armor. The local marshal should have a copy of the current
Most local groups offer some form of fighter training, ranging from
structured training sessions to an informal "I'll teach you when I have time and if
no one else will." A fighter must be authorized in order to fight in tourneys and
wars. Authorization procedures vary from kingdom to kingdom. The local marshal can tell
you the procedure in your area. Authorization is to confirm that the novice knows the
rules of combat and is sufficiently skilled so that he or she will notbe a danger to
himself or others. While efforts are made by the Society and participants to reduce the
likelihood of injury, bruising and similar minor injuries do occur, and there is the risk
of more serious injury for all participants.
Fighters are responsible for obtaining their own armor and weapons.
Some people make most of their armor, using metal, leather, or plastic, but most buy
pieces, either new or used. Before making any armor, check with your local marshal about
the safety standards and requirements, or contact the Kingdom Earl Marshal.