West Kingdom Rapier Combat Rules
and Marshalate Manual

May 30, 1997

compiled from the Lord Llwyd Aldrydd and Lochac/Oertha Proposals by Lord Ian the Fariner of Dunkeld
Amended by Sir Richard of Alder Tree v7

Revised by Master Arenwald von Hagenburg 17/6/97

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Combat Rules and Specifications
    1. Rapier Combat Equipment Specifications
      1. General
      2. Protective Equipment (Armor)
      3. Offensive Equipment (Weapons)
      4. Defensive Equipment
      5. Non-standard Equipment and/or Equipment Use
    2. Conventions and Rules of Rapier Combat
      1. Conventions of Rapier Combat
      2. Rules of the List for Rapier Combat
      3. Melee Rules for Rapier Combat
  3. Rapier Marshals
    1. Rapier Marshalate Organization
      1. Reporting
      2. Duties of a Rapier Marshal
      3. Classes of Rapier Marshal
      4. Event Management
    2. Rapier Marshalate Procedures
      1. Rapier Combatant Authorizations
      2. Rapier Marshal Warrants
      3. Inspection
      4. Rapier Marshaling on the Field
  4. Appendices
    1. Optional Conventions of Rapier Combat
      1. Changes in Counting Conventions
      2. Tip Cuts
      3. Scenarios
    2. Tests
      1. SCA Standard Fencing Armor Test (SFAT)
    3. SFAT acceptable materials
    4. Review Period
    5. Tip Attachments
      1. Tip Buildup


In the 15th and 16th Century, men of breeding were expected to be proficient in the refined art of defense. Masters of this art set up competing schools of defense to teach the gentlemen of Europe.

These rules are a proposal for safely recreating period rapier techniques within the West Kingdom. They are carefully crafted to use equipment and techniques that reflect the current understanding of period activities while using 20th century materials for maximum possible safety.

This proposal has been designed to be as comprehensive as possible, allowing for safe and enjoyable re-creation of Rapier Combat, while providing proper regulation of the activity.

This manual is broken into two sections. The first section covers the general rules of Rapier Combat within the West Kingdom. The second section describes the Marshalate structure and procedures.

Combat Rules and Specifications
  1. Rapier Combat Equipment Specifications
    1. General
      1. No piece of equipment may have rough, angular or sharp edges which could cause bodily injury or damage other equipment, nor may it be constructed so as to damage other equipment, such as break blades, entrap a tipped blade, tear protective equipment, etc.
      2. All equipment shall be in good repair so as to resist tearing, puncture, breakage or other failure.
      3. Protective Equipment (Armor)
      4. Definitions:
        1. Penetration Resistant Material - Four layers of trigger cloth (heavy poplin, 35% cotton and 65% polyester) or 4 ounce (113 g) leather are examples of penetration resistant materials. Kevlar is an example of unacceptable material due to it being banned SCA wide.
        2. Resistant Material - material or a combination of materials which is resistant to tearing during normal combat stresses, such as being snagged by an unbroken blade. One layer of trigger cloth, broadcloth or sweat pants are examples of resistant materials. Nylon tights, stockings and cotton gauze shirts are examples of unacceptable materials.
        3. Resilient Padding - material or combination of materials which absorb some of the force of a thrust; one-quarter inch (5-6 mm) of closed-cell foam or the equivalent. The standard padded bib of a modern epee or three-weapon mask meets this requirement.
      5. General Protection:
        1. The protective equipment shall have no gaps. Bare skin may not show at any point.
        2. There shall be no holes for which a blade may penetrate so as to slide under the layers of protective equipment. Any button hole, lacing hole or other opening that could admit the entry of a blade shall have a protective placket underneath of sufficient size to prevent a blade from sliding inside. All adjacent sections of protective equipment shall overlap by 3 inches (76mm) in the combatant's en-garde stance.
        3. Additional protective equipment (beyond what is described herein) may be used as long as it does not interfere with the proper acknowledgment of blows.
      6. Head, Neck and Throat
        1. The head and face shall be protected by a modern (12 kilogram) fencing mask, such as an epee mask, three weapon mask, or equivalent. Fencing masks rated only for foil use are prohibited. The mask must be securely affixed to the head so that it will not become dislodged during combat.
        2. The back of the head, the neck and the throat must be covered with a coif or hood made of penetration resistant material. There shall be no gaps or visible skin showing on the head, neck and throat with the head in any position normal to Rapier Combat.
      7. Torso and Limbs
        1. The upper body of each combattant, being the body trunk area including the complete groin, chest, back, abdomen sides and arms, shall be covered with penetration resistant material.
        2. The sleeves of a fencing doublet must be securely sewn into the body of the garment to prevent the possibility of a blade entering the armpit.
        3. For additional safety it is recommended that combattants wear a plastron ( a garment that covers the armpit, arm and chest on the weapon side) to prevent a blade that penetrates a seam in the jacket penetrating the chest
        4. All male combatants shall wear rigid groin protection an athletic cup worn in a supporter or fighting garment designed to hold the cup in place. Any opening in the groin protector large enough to admit a blade must be rigidly covered, ie securely taping pennies over the opening.
        5. Female combatants are reminded that their breasts are in a prime target area and are encouraged to wear additional breast protection, such as standard fencing breast protectors or a martial arts breastplate.
      8. Hands and Feet
        1. The hands must be protected by gloves. The body of the gloves must be made of leather, but the cuffs may be made of resistant materials. The gloves must overlap any sleeve openings by at least 3 inches.
        2. The feet must be completely covered by shoes or boots that meet the standards for resistant material. They must overlap the leg covering or skirt/kilt by at least three inches, through a typical range of motion.
        3. Offensive Equipment (Weapons)
      9. General
        1. Standard offensive weapons are:
          1. Fiberglass weapons, collectively known as Rapiers.
          2. Shorter fiberglass weapons collectively known as Daggers.
        2. Specialist offensive weapons are:
          1. Schlager/theatrical weapons
        3. All other weapons shall be considered non-standard.
        4. Olympic style metal Foils, Sabers and Epees are not permitted in Rapier Combat within the West Kingdom.
        5. All components of the weapon shall be properly connected together so as to prevent accidental disassembly during normal combat.
        6. Guards and grips must conform to the SCA wide rapier regulations. In addition they shall not be constructed so as to entrap and break an opponents blade. Closed guards that do not allow the tip of a blade to become entrapped (such as a bell guard) are recommended for use with fibreglass weapons.
        7. Straight grips, French and Italian grips or other grips that can be documented as period are acceptable. Orthopaedic and pistol grips are not period and are prohibited.
        8. The blade of a weapon shall have a blunted point covered with a standard plastic or rubber tip, or the equivalent with a minimum cross sec tion of 3/8". The tip shall be firmly affixed with glue or tape to prevent accidental removal during combat. The tip or covering tape shall be of a brightly contrasting color so that its absence is readily apparent.
      10. Rapiers
        1. Approved fiberglass blades. Fiberglass blades must be constructed in accordance with these rules (refer IIB below).
        2. Schlager blades must be sourced from an approved SCA supplier and may only be used by Masters of Defence with a specific schlager authorisation. (Refer to Marshalate Procedures for further details). Approved SCA suppliers of schlager blades are listed in one of the appendicies.
        3. Fiberglass weapons shall conform to the following standards:
          1. The weapon shall have a blade constructed solely of fiberglass rod or equivalent and fiberglass and duct tapes.
          2. The weapon shall have a flexing resistance no greater than a standard epee (slight flex at 750 grams of pressure on the tip).
          3. When used as the primary weapon (single rapier) it must be at least 37 inches (940 mm) in length, shorter weapons may only be used in the offhand.
          4. The blade shall be wrapped in vinyl duct tape (not cloth backed), or such other tape as will not tear readily. Fiberglass strapping tape may be used in constructing the weapon, but must be completely covered by the outer wrapping tape.
      11. Daggers
        1. Metal Bladed Daggers are prohibited.
        2. Fiberglass Daggers - Where fiberglass weapons are used the following construction standards will apply:
        3. No Dagger will have a blade longer than 25 inches (635 mm). ii. The Dagger will be constructed in the same manner and from the same materials as fiberglass rapiers (see 2. Rapiers). iii. The tip shall be covered with a plastic or rubber tip which must be affixed in such a way that they will not come loose during normal combat. Points should be brightly colored, so that their absence is readily apparent and have a cross section no less than 3/8".
        4. Standard Defensive Equipment
      12. General
        1. The standard defensive equipment shall consist of buckler, baton, cloak or parrying gauntlet; all other defensive equipment shall be considered non-standard.
      13. Buckler
        1. Bucklers may be of any shape save where the design edge could catch or trap a blade. Plywood (1/4") or sole leather or the equivalent are recommended.
        2. The size shall not exceed 20 inches (500 mm) in any direction. The edges shall be covered to prevent splintering or sharpness.
        3. All protuberances (nuts etc) shall be padded and taped.
      14. Baton
        1. Batons are used to parry an opponents blade. Examples of batons include, and are limited to: Walking Sticks, Canes and Scabbards.
        2. Batons may be of any reasonable length but should not exceed 1.5 pounds (680 gm). The sole judge of what is or is not a reasonable length shall be the Rapier Marshal in Charge.
      15. Cloaks
        1. The size, shape and weight is left to the discretion of the combatant, so long as it is recognizable as a cloak and not a flail, whip, etc.
        2. The weight and any weighting or stiffening must not pose any risk to an opponent.
        3. There shall not be any metal or rigid material in the construction of the cloak, except for fasteners near the neck area where the combatant grasps it.
        4. If the cloak is to be thrown, no metal is allowed at all.
      16. Parrying Gauntlets
        1. Parrying gauntlets shall be a glove of leather or equivalent resistant material, that completely covers the entire hand and wrist area. They are used to simulate a chain mail gauntlet and shall be spray-painted silver (or constructed of silver materiel) to differentiate a simulated mail gauntlet with a plain leather glove indicating a free hand.
        2. A parrying gauntlet may not be used to grasp another object.
        3. A parrying gauntlet may, but is not required to, have a protective covering of the hand made of one-quarter inch (6 mm) or smaller chain mail or heavy leather.
        4. Non-standard Equipment and/or Equipment Use
      17. General
        1. Equipment that has been improvised, modified or is not previously defined as standard in these rules is considered non-standard. The use of any equipment, standard or otherwise, in a fashion which is not defined as the normal use of that equipment is considered non-standard equipment use.
        2. The Kingdom/Principality Rapier Marshal or the Earl Marshal or the Marshal of the Marches are the only ones authorized to sanction the use of any non-standard items for use on the field.
        3. Non-standard equipment or equipment use must not pose a greater risk of injury or equipment damage than standard equipment or equipment use.
        4. Only consenting opponents may face non-standard equipment or equipment use, and then only after they have been made aware of the nature of the variation. Any combatant may, without dishonor, penalty or forfeiture of the bout, reject a bout against any non-standard offensive or defensive equipment. In consideration of this, non-standard offensive or defensive equipment and/or equipment use is not recommended for tournaments (since if a combatant rejects a bout against non-standard offensive or defensive equipment in a tournament, then that combatant must be allowed the win of that bout, unless the opponent with the non-standard equipment is willing to re-equip with standard equipment).
        5. Non-standard equipment shall be constructed as to be recognizable as the original historical item.
      18. Offensive Equipment (Weapons)
        1. All non-standard offensive equipment shall be constructed of any normal, safe material conforming to the following rules for non-standard defensive equipment.
        2. The offensive (attacking) part of the equipment shall be constructed of cloth, foam, tape, or the equivalent. The offensive part shall provide progressively resistant "give" without allowing contact with any underlying rigid material. The use of fiberglass rod in the construction of the offensive part of a piece of equipment is allowed, but such pieces of equipment are to be treated as unusual weapons.
        3. Experimentation with offensive equipment not allowed under this Code of Rules is permitted only with the specific permission of the Kingdom or Principality Rapier Marshal. Such permission may be granted for a limited period of time only and is subject to a report and/or recommendation on the item of equipment being tested.
      19. Defensive Equipment
        1. They shall be constructed of any normal, safe material. They may not have sharp corners or rough edges that could cut or leave splinters. They may not be constructed of any material that could shatter or break during normal combat.
  2. Conventions and Rules of Rapier Combat
    1. Conventions of Rapier Combat
      1. The entire body is a legal target area.
      2. For the purpose of these rules the following definitions will apply:
        1. Arm - The arm is deemed to include that part of the limb between the center of the shoulder joint and a point approximately 3 inches (76 mm) above the wrist.
        2. Hand - The entire hand to a point 3 inches (76 mm) above the wrist.
        3. Leg - The leg is deemed to include that part of the limb between the groin and a point approximately 3 inches (76 mm) above the ankle.
        4. Foot - The entire foot from the tips of the combatant's toes to a point approximately 3 inches (76 mm) above the ankle.
      3. For the purpose of calling blows, all combatants are considered to be wearing light clothing only; shirt, hose, skirts, etc. No blow shall be assumed to have its effects negated or lessened due to the clothing or armor being worn (unless the combat is part of an armored scenario).
      4. Each combatant shall call the blows that he/she receives.
      5. Valid Attacks
        1. A valid thrust is an attack with the point of the offensive weapon which is firm enough to cause direct pressure to be transmitted through the garments and against the body. It is only necessary to have minimal blade flex.
        2. A valid thrust is not negated or lessened due to sliding off after solid contact with the tip of the blade.
        3. A valid draw cut is to place the edge of an offensive weapon against an opponent and slide the blade while maintaining noticeable and constant pressure against the opponent's body. At least 12 inches (30 cm) of the rapier blade or most of the dagger blade must be used. As with a thrust, only minimal, but noticeable, pressure need be maintained. Merely laying the blade on the opponent without pressure or movement is insufficient.
        4. The so-called "tip cuts" are not a valid draw cut. A 'tip cut' is where the tip of the blade just makes contact with the target, and then the blade is drawn away at 90 degrees, theoretically leaving only a light surface cut.
        5. Saber cuts, slashing, hacking or chopping are illegal.
      6. Valid Blows:
        1. A blow to the head, neck, torso, groin, chest or inner thighs shall be considered a killing blow.
        2. A blow to a peripheral body part (arm, foot, leg, hand) causes the loss of that part.
      7. A kill occurs instantaneously and therefore no new offensive actions can be started. Motion begun prior to the kill may be completed.
      8. A bout shall be won by rendering one's opponent "disinclined to continue", for whatever reason. The opponent may concede the bout because of a killing blow, because of a disabling wound or series of wounds, because of "accumulated blood loss", or even because of any small scratch, depending upon agreements previously made by the combatants or the scenario in which they are competing.
      9. A blade may be parried by the off (non-weapon) hand or arm, but the blade may not be grasped. It may be pushed out of the way at any point along it's length. Grasping or sliding a hand or arm along the blade will result in the loss of the hand or arm.
      10. A combatant is considered armed so long as one offensive weapon is retained.
      11. When disarmed (not holding any offensive weapon) a combatant must wait the decision of his opponent to either call him dead or to let him retrieve his weapon. Otherwise, the Rapier Marshals shall call a hold until one of the above conditions is met and the bout is either over, or combat may continue safely.
      12. The following conventions shall be used if a combatant is using the specified defensive equipment:
        1. Parrying Gauntlets: The protected (armored) part of the parrying gauntlet shall not be considered to extend farther up the arm than the wrist bones.
        2. Parrying gauntlets may be used only to parry an opponent's weapons. ii. The hand must not close around the parried blade nor grasp it in any fashion, however, sliding along the blade will not cause loss of the hand. iii. The block of a straight thrust will be considered to have disabled the hand, since chain mail would not necessarily stop such a thrust from a rapier.
        3. Individual Combat Rules for Rapier
      13. Each rapier combatant is required to abide by Rules of the Lists and Conventions of Combat of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., and this Code of Rules for Rapier Combat in the Kingdom of the West.
      14. Each combatant, recognizing the possibilities of physical injury to him/herself in rapier combat, shall assume unto him/herself all risk and liability for harm suffered by means of such combat.
      15. Engaging in rapier combat with the deliberate intent to inflict injury on an opponent is forbidden.
      16. All combatants must maintain control over their tempers at all times.
      17. The use of Fleche (running at an opponent with rapier extended) or similar attacks is prohibited.
      18. A combatant may decline any challenge without dishonor, and without specifying a reason. In a tournament this will result in forfeiture of a bout.
      19. Combatants may reject the use of a particular weapon by an opponent, should they deem the weapon unusually dangerous. Before rejecting the use of a standard item however, the opinion of the Rapier Marshal in Charge should be sought.
      20. All rapier combat shall be done in the round. If a combatant has been put on the ground, such as by loss of a leg, the mobile combatant may not "corkscrew", or require the grounded combatant to turn more than approximately 120 degrees.
      21. There shall be no combat between rapier combatants and SCA armored combat fighters or light fighters.
      22. No equipment may be thrown, except in controlled actions to remove the equipment from the field.
      23. Combatants may engage only when the Rapier Marshal has received verbal acknowledgment of readiness from each combatant and has instructed them to begin.
      24. Unsafe or illegal conduct is prohibited. A Rapier Marshal shall, as necessary, warn or remove from the field any combatant whose conduct is considered unsafe or in violation of the rules. Examples include, but are not limited to:
        1. Grasping, grappling, tripping or striking the opponent with one's hand or body. This does not include incidental and fleeting contact, such as a break from a corps-a-corps situation or sweeping motions intended to clear the opponent's weapon from the line of attack or to prevent a draw cut.
        2. The use of excessive force, whipping or chopping at an opponent, or the unsafe use of equipment.
        3. Intentionally striking an opponent with any part of an offensive weapon not designed for it; or with any equipment not legal for offensive actions.
        4. Deliberately grasping or trapping an opponent's equipment.
        5. Problems with the acknowledgment of blows.
        6. Deliberate misuse of the rules to gain advantage over an opponent, such as intentionally falling or dropping weapons when pressed.
      25. When a hold is called, all fighting shall immediately cease on the field. Combatants shall drop to one knee and not move unless directed to do so by the Rapier Marshal supervising the bout.
      26. "Hold!" can be called whenever a Rapier Marshal, combatant, or spectator considers conditions or hazards warrant it. Such conditions include, but are not limited to:
        1. A combatant falling or about to step out of the field.
        2. A broken or unsafe weapon or failure of other equipment.
        3. Violations of the rules.
        4. Melee Rules for Rapier
      27. Additions/ Changes to Rapier Combat Equipment Standards
        1. Weapons shall be the same as those specified in the Conventions of Rapier Combat.
        2. Armor shall be the same as those specified in the Conventions of Rapier Combat.
      28. Additions/Changes to the Conventions of Combat
        1. Helpless Opponents - It is forbidden to strike a helpless opponent (specifically in this case, a fighter who has fallen down), due to safety issues a fighter must allow the opponent to right themselves and regain their footing to a safe stance.
      29. Rules of Engagement
        1. Killing from behind shall not be allowed in Rapier Combat.
        2. When two lines of melee combatants are engaged, all combatants of one line are considered to be engaged with all combatants of the other line. Any combatant can strike at any other combatant without being considered being "behind" or on their "blind side". If two lines break up into general "free-for- all", combatants will not strike their opponents from behind. In any circumstance, striking an opponent from behind is cause for ejection from the field.
      30. Discontinuations of Rapier Combat
        1. Holds - A call of "HOLD!" means to stop ALL activity instantly; stop maneuvering, cease attacking, stop talking (specifically, no tactics or strategy shall be discussed). All combatants should drop to one knee and remain in place. Masks should not be removed.
        2. Holds may be called by anyone for one of the following reasons:
          1. Broken weapons
          2. Broken or damaged armor
          3. Injuries
          4. Loss of temper
          5. Terrain
        3. Once a hold is called, it can only be lifted by a marshal. The marshal will warn the combatants to prepare to continue by commanding ALL Rise", at which time all who are able to do so will stand back up. Combat will resume with the cry of "LAY ON".
      31. Boundaries - See West Kingdom War Rules and Conventions Section III subsection D.
      32. Natural Terrain - See West Kingdom War Rules and Conventions Section III subsection E.
      33. Constructed Terrain - See West Kingdom War Rules and Conventions Section III subsection F.

Rapier Marshals
  1. Marshalate Organization
    1. Reporting

  1. The Kingdom Rapier Marshal shall be appointed by the Crown in consultation with the Kingdom Earl Marshal and shall be a deputy of the Kingdom Earl Marshal.
  2. Principality Rapier Marshals shall be appointed by the Coronets in consultation with the Principality Knight Marshals and the Kingdom Rapier Marshal. They shall report to the Kingdom Rapier Marshal and act as deputies to the Principality Knight Marshals.
  3. The Kingdom Marches Marshal shall be required by the Crown to take on the duties of a Principality Rapier Marshal for the Marches. This person shall report directly to the Earl Marshal on traditional fighting issues, and to the Kingdom Rapier Marshal on rapier combat issues.
  4. A Branch Rapier Marshal reports to either the Kingdom or Principality Rapier Marshal (as appropriate). He/she shall be appointed in the normal manner for a Branch officer, and shall be approved and registered by the Principality Rapier Marshal (if in a Principality) or the Kingdom Rapier Marshal.
  1. Duties of a Rapier Marshal
    1. Rapier Marshals provide the coordination and administrative services for Rapier combat within the Kingdom of the West.
    2. Rapier Marshals may be warranted by either Principality or Kingdom Marshals. These Marshals may perform duties such as list direction and supervision of demos. They do not have to be authorized rapier fighters, but must satisfy the warranting officer that they have adequate training and knowledge of the rules and practices of rapier combat in the West.
    3. Rapier Marshals coordinate rapier activity at events, perform authorisations of fighters and may warrant other marshals in accordance with their "Class" (as defined by section 3 below) and the procedures defined by the section "Rapier Marshalate Procedures".
    4. Rapier Marshals are responsible for performing a thorough inspection of a Rapier combatant's armor, weapons and blocking items and see that they are in compliance with the West Kingdom Rapier Combat rules and standards in this document. Rapier Marshals are to inspect equipment for compliance before use on the field at any Official West Kingdom Rapier Combat Practice or Rapier Combat Event.
    5. Rapier Marshals performing authorisations forward the appropriate paperwork to their Kingdom or Principality superior, who will then issue an appropriate authorisation card.
  2. Classes of Rapier Marshal
    1. Kingdom Rapier Marshal:
      1. Coordinates all Rapier Combat within the Kingdom of the West.
      2. Maintains the Rules for Rapier Combat in consultation with the Kingdom Earl Marshal and the Crown.
      3. Coordinates the authorization and warranting of Rapier Combatants and Rapier Marshals.
      4. Maintains the roster of Rapier Marshals.
      5. The Kingdom Rapier Marshal issues Rapier Combat Authorization Cards, and Rapier Marshal Authorisations.
    2. Principality Rapier Marshal:
      1. Coordinates Rapier Combat within their specific Principality.
      2. Assists their Principality Knight Marshal as requested.
      3. Issues Rapier Combat Authorization Cards.
      4. May qualify new Rapier Marshals.
      5. Is responsible for forwarding information on all new authorisations to the Kingdom Rapier Marshal.
    3. The Kingdom Marches Marshal:
      1. Coordinates Rapier Combat in the Marches.
      2. Issues Rapier Combat Authorization Cards.
      3. May qualify new Rapier Marshals.
      4. Is responsible for forwarding information on all new authorisations to the Kingdom Rapier Marshal.
    4. Branch Rapier Marshals:
      1. Coordinate Rapier Combat in their local branch (Baronies, Shires, etc).
      2. Ensure that a warranted Rapier Marshal is appointed as the Rapier Marshal in Charge of any event sponsored by his/her Branch.
      3. Ensure that the Rapier Marshal in Charge of each event sponsored by that Branch properly files all necessary reports within 30 days of the event.
      4. Report to the appropriate Kingdom or Principality Marshal
      5. Can perform Rapier Combatant Authorization bouts.
      6. May administer Rapier Marshal Warranting examinations.
    5. Rapier Marshals in Charge:
      1. Are selected by the Branch Rapier Marshal of an event's sponsoring Branch to oversee all aspects of safety and proper conduct of rapier combat at the event.
      2. Are warranted as a MIC by their appropriate Kingdom or Principality Rapier Marshal to run a tournament.
      3. Select the Rapier Marshals to assist during an event.
      4. May not participate in any Rapier Combat during the event.
      5. Need not be constantly present in the vicinity of all rapier combat, but must be readily accessible to any Marshal of a particular bout at the event for which they are MIC.
      6. Liase with the autocrat, in regards to scenarios of combat and times that they take place, so long as these scenarios do not violate the rules or compromise safety.
      7. Submits all necessary reports to the Branch, Principality or Kingdom Rapier Marshal within thirty (30) days of the event
      8. An event report shall include:
        1. The name of the Rapier Marshal in Charge and the names of all other individuals who functioned as Rapier Marshals.
        2. A list of all authorization attempts, whether successful or not, and the results of those attempts.
        3. The names of all the participants in Rapier Combat.
        4. A description of any problems or disputes that occurred during the fighting, and of any injuries that occurred.
  1. Rapier Marshalate Procedures
    1. Rapier Combatant Authorizations
      1. No person may participate in rapier combat within the Kingdom of the West unless that individual has been properly authorized. An exception is allowed for training under controlled conditions and with the supervision of at least one authorized rapier combatant. No unauthorized opponents may fence each other.
      2. Authorizations shall be issued for a 2 year period only. There shall be 3 main types of authorizations; the primary ("training") authorization and two additional authorizations for the use of Offhand Defensive items and Offhand Offensive Items. A special authorisation to train and fence with schlager will be available only to nominated experts (or "Masters of Defence") for the purposes of evaluating these weapons within the context of the West. The offhand authorizations can be done in any order.
        1. The primary authorization allows a combatant to utilize a single standard blade of the Kingdom in which he resides. This will be a fiberglass rapier meeting the current weapon standards of the Kingdom of the West.
        2. Offhand Defense authorization: This authorization is an endorsement to the combatant's primary authorization, and allows him/her to use of all standard defensive items. There are 4 primary types of defensive equipment: buckler, cloak, gauntlet and baton. The combatant must show himself/herself safe with each type before the authorization may be granted.
        3. Offhand Offence authorization: This authorization is an endorsement to the combatant's primary authorization, and allows him/her to use of the a second rapier (2 rapiers called a case of rapiers) and a dagger (rapier and dagger).
        4. Schlager authorisation: This authorisation is only available highly experienced and skilled fencers in the Kingdom, and may only be granted by the Kingdom Rapier Marshal. The intent of this authorisation in to allow recognised expert fencers within the West to evaluate the properties of the schlager weapons widely used in other Kingdoms.
      3. Any warranted Rapier Marshal may perform an authorisation for Rapier Combat. If the authorization being performed includes one of the additional authorizations, then the Rapier Marshals performing that authorization must themselves be authorized to that level. Documentation related to the authorization must be forwarded to their superiors, who will issue the appropriate authorisation card.
      4. The authorization team shall be selected by the Kingdom/Principality/Marches Rapier Marshal, and consist of either 1 Rapier Marshal and 2 authorized Rapier Combatants (one to act as the opponent), or 2 Marshals and 1 authorized Rapier Combatant to act as the Opponent. It shall be the consensus of the 2 Rapier Marshals and 1 opponent on the authorization team that a combatant be granted authorization.
      5. In order to authorize, the combatant must satisfy the following conditions:
        1. The applicant shall demonstrate knowledge of the Rules of the Lis ts (as applicable to rapier combat) and this Code of Rules for Rapier Combat in the West Kingdom.
        2. Perform a combat test with the following skills to be tested:
        3. Blow acknowledgment ii. Proper blow delivery iii. Good control whether being pressed or on the attack iv. Some ability in both offense and defense
        4. Response to a hold
        5. These will be tested in the following circumstances:
          1. Both fighters standing
          2. With the candidate fighting with the off hand
          3. With the candidate fighting from the ground while the opponent stands
          4. With both fighters fighting from the ground
          5. With the candidate standing while the opponent fights from the ground.
        6. The authorizing Rapier Marshal/s must feel the combatant does not pose a safety risk to him/herself or others if allowed to participate in Rapier Combat.
        7. The applicant shall provide his/her Society and Legal names, and a mailing address by which he/she may be contacted, and complete a waiver or indemnity (whichever is applicable to their region) for the Lists files.
      6. No authorization is considered valid unless the Kingdom or, if applicable, Principality Rapier Marshal receives completed authorization information no later than 30 days after the date of the authorization. It is the responsibility of the Rapier Marshal in Charge to ensure that such information is promptly sent.
      7. Authorization renewals will be conducted by performing a re-authorization bout before an authorizing Marshal, the same as is done for a new Rapier Combatant
      8. Rapier Marshal Warrants
      9. A current Rapier Marshal warrant is required to act as a Rapier Marshal.
      10. Rapier Marshal warrants shall be issued for a 2 year period. Only the Kingdom or Principality Rapier Marshals and the Marshal of the Marches shall issue warrant cards.
      11. The following steps are required to become warranted Rapier Marshal:
        1. The applicant shall demonstrate knowledge of the Rules of the Lists and this Code of Rules for Rapier Combat in the West Kingdom to a degree appropriate to a Marshal.
        2. The applicant must have assisted (as an acting Marshal) in the Marshaling of Rapier Combat and shown themselves capable performing all of the duties of a Rapier Marshal. Additionally, he/she must have been present during Rapier Combatant authorizations, at no less than two official events within the Kingdom.
        3. The applicant shall provide his/her Society and Legal names, and a mailing address by which he/she may be contacted.
        4. The candidate must be examined in the above requirements, and recommended to the appropriate Kingdom/Principality/Marches Marshal by a currently warranted Rapier Marshal.
      12. Rapier Marshals are encouraged to obtain their Rapier Combatant Authorizations.
      13. Renewals are granted by acceptance of a renewal request by the proper authority.
      14. Inspection
      15. At least 1 warranted Rapier Marshal or must be present to perform inspections.
      16. No combatant shall participate in a bout, melee or other combat without having had all equipment and armor pass inspection. If any equipment is found to be unsafe or not in compliance with the rules, then the combatant may not participate further in the combat until the equipment in question has been replaced, repaired or discarded to the satisfaction of the Rapier Marshal in Charge.
      17. The Rapier Marshals conducting equipment inspection shall not damage a combatant's equipment unduly, such as by bending the combatant's weapon blade to test flexibility or curvature, or performing the SCA Standard Fencing Armor Test (SFAT) (see Appendix II for test procedure) on the combatant's protective equipment. A list of materials which are known to satisfy the SFAT requirements are listed in Appendix III.
        1. If such testing is deemed to be necessary, then it is preferable that the SFAT be performed on a sample of the combatant's protective equipment, if the combatant desires to use the equipment in question.
        2. When checking for groin protection the Marshal shall ask the combatant to self-test.
      18. If any equipment is found to be unsafe or not in compliance with the rules it shall be clearly marked in a manner to easily identify it as having failed an inspection.
        1. Armor may be re-presented to the Marshal or Kingdom Rapier Marshal or Principality Rapier Marshal after it has been modified or repaired to meet the armor standards.
        2. Rapier Marshaling on the Field
      19. The Rapier Marshal in supervision of a bout or melee shall enforce the rules and conventions governing rapier combat. If infractions occur during a bout or melee, the Rapier Marshal in supervision shall warn the combatants involved and take steps to prevent their recurrence. If no other solutions are workable, the combatant responsible will be deemed defeated. If this is a two-person duel then the bout is over. If this occurs during a melee then the battle will continue without the offender.
      20. All infractions of this type shall be reported to the Rapier Marshal in Charge, as they must be included in the event report.
      21. The Rapier Marshal in Charge may suspend the authorization of any combatant and remove him/her from the competition field for any of the following reasons. (If the Rapier Marshal in Charge is not available during the bout or melee, the supervising Rapier Marshal may take this action, thereafter reporting to the Rapier Marshal in Charge.)
        1. The combatant has made his/her third violation of the rules during a bout or melee.
        2. The combatant, through demonstration of behavior on the field, poses a risk to the safety of him/herself or others and the Rapier Marshal in Charge believes that the combatant shall continue to pose a risk regardless of verbal warning.
        3. The combatant refuses to obey the legal commands of the Rapier Marshalate on the field.
      22. Any Rapier Combatant whose authorization has been suspended may not participate further in any Rapier Combat until the suspension has been resolved. For such resolution the appropriate West Kingdom procedures shall be used.
      23. Unsafe or excessive force blows shall be discussed on the field, and failing a mutually satisfactory resolution, the agrieved combatant shall write an official letter of complain to the Kingdom/Principality Rapier Marshal. Three letters of complaint of separate instances shall automatically suspend the individuals Rapier Combat authorization card, until the factual basis of the complaints can be established by the Kingdom/Principality Rapier Marshal.
      24. At the end of a combat the Rapier Marshal/s shall ask whether the combatants are satisfied. Any combatant who leaves the field without stating a problem is declaring their satisfaction with the outcome of the combat. Disagreements with the Marshalate shall be resolved off the field through the proper West Kingdom grievance and appeal procedures.
      25. It is required that Rapier Marshals use a fencing mask when marshalling their field. It is recommended that they also use Marshaling staves and wear Marshalate tabards or baldrics (if available) to visually differentiate themselves from the combatants.
      26. Rapier Marshals are responsible for reporting any injury requiring the attention of a health professional (e.g. Doctor, Nurse, Chiropractor, or Paramedic) to the Kingdom Rapier Marshal within 24 hours. The Kingdom Rapier Marshal will investigate the incident and provide a report to the Kingdom Earl Marshal within 10 days of the incident.
      27. If for any reason it becomes impossible to conduct Rapier Combat safely, and in accordance with the rules, or if any officer acting with their due authority removes sanction from an event, a Rapier Marshals shall cooperate to halt all Rapier Combat at the event. If the Rapier Marshal in Charge makes this determination but is unable to stop Rapier Combat then he/she must withdraw sanction for Rapier Combat from the event. This action and why it was taken must be included in the event report, and all efforts made to immediately contact the Kingdom (and/or, if applicable, Principality) Rapier Marshal and sponsoring Branch Seneschal
      28. All Rapier Combat at an event must be attended by a warranted Rapier Marshal in supervision of that bout or melee. The Rapier Marshal in Charge shall delegate additional warranted Rapier Marshals and to supervise the Marshaling of each bout or melee if more than one is being run at any given time:
        1. For bouts with only 2 combatants there shall be at least 1 warranted Rapier Marshal. If the bout is part of a tournament it is recommended that there be an additional Rapier Marshal.
        2. In a melee (more than 2 combatants) there shall be at least 1 warranted Rapier Marshal plus at least 1 addition Rapier Marshal or for every 8 combatants. The Rapier Marshal in Charge shall provide procedures for the identification and removal of "dead" combatants, removal of abandoned equipment, rules of engagement and rules for engaging from behind.
        3. If there are not enough warranted Rapier Marshals available then the number of bouts or melees being run at any given time must be reduced to fit the number of Rapier Marshals. In no case is a bout or melee to be run without a warranted Rapier Marshal to supervise the combat
      29. As a courtesy, visitors to the West Kingdom may participate in Rapier Combat without West Kingdom authorization, but shall first be instructed in this Code of Rules and meet the following requirements:
        1. The visitor must present proof that he/she is currently authorized Rapier Combatants in his/her home Kingdom.
        2. The visitor must agree to use and be responsible for knowing the West Kingdom rules and conventions.
        3. The visitor must meet West Kingdom equipment standards, with the exception that he/she may be allowed to use the armor standards of his/her home Kingdom, at the assumption of his/her own risk. Save that no Metal weapons are to be used at any West Kingdom event or practice.
        4. If a visitor resides in the West Kingdom for more than three months then he/she is expected to re-authorize in the standard West Kingdom manner.

  1. Optional Conventions of Rapier Combat

Combatants should realize that the blunt, flexible blades used are far more likely to glance off the body or mask than the rigid, razor sharp rapier and dagger blades they represent. Any contact between the body and a blade would likely cause a cut or slight wound, even if the thrust or cut was insufficient to cause major injury. To increase realism, pageantry, and the enjoyment of combatants and spectators, the following additional conventions may be used. These conventions, unlike the preceding, are voluntary and optional. No combatant should feel required to use them, nor may not by using them be a cause for censure.

  1. Changes in counting conventions:

Be aware that some scenarios may require the use of these conventions by all combatants who wish to participate, for example:

  1. "First Blood" tournament a scratch is sufficient to determine victory.
  2. In a "Second Blood" tournament a combatant is defeated when wounded with a single valid blow.
  3. The School Scenario is designed to represent practice matches within a salle, and the bout goes to the first touch to a valid kill area, regardless of how light it may be.

Tip cuts may be used in practice or tournament by agreement of both combatants and the supervising Marshal. The following standards must be adhered to when using tip cuts:

  1. A valid tip cut is to draw the point of the blade a minimum of 3 inches (76 mm) across an opponents body. As with a thrust, only minimal, but noticeable, pressure need be maintained. Only tip cuts to critical areas need be called, these areas are:
    1. a. The neck, especially at the front of the throat and the sides of the jugular veins.
    2. b. The brachial arteries, on the inside of the upper arm between shoulder and elbow.
    3. c. The femoral arteries, on the inside of the upper leg between groin and knee.
    4. d. The abdomen, between the bottom of the rib cage and the pelvis.
  2. Blows to areas other than those given above should be treated as cumulative damage only.
  3. Tests
  1. SCA Standard Fencing Armor Test (SFAT)
    1. The testing blade shall be a broken standard (non-electric, non-maraging) epee blade, with a typical "flat" break (not a jagged or pointed).
    2. Lay the material to be tested on a penetrable surface such as the ground or a block of ethyl foam (used for archery targets). Holding the broken epee blade in both hands, punch the material four times, increasing the force each time. After each punch, examine the material. If it has been completely penetrated, or seriously damaged, it fails the test. If there is no damage, or only the top layer has been damaged, then it passes the test.
    3. SFAT acceptable materials

Materials known to pass the SFAT test are fencing doublets and breeches/hose made from the following:

1. 4 layers trigger cloth.
2. 4 oz leather (Approx. 1.5 mm thick)
Tip Attachments
  1. Tip Buildup
1. Wrap fiberglass tape around and over the "rounded" tip.
2. Place a glue or resin plug inside the blunt.
3. Ease on the blunt while the resin or glue is still liquid.
4. Place a couple of strips of fiberglass tape down the sides of the blunt and 1.5" of the blade.
5. The bottom 2/3 of the blunt is spiral wrapped with fiberglass tape down to the longitudinal tape.
6. Cover the entire tip with a brightly colored electrical tape.