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 Post subject: Youth (Ages 8-15)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:24 am 
Underling
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Hey all!

Since the start of our realm, Thunder Guard has been allowing youth (Ages 8-15) to participate in combat on a separate battlefield. This has gone very well and we have large turnouts for youth participants.

Unfortunately I worry that this has affected our adult turnout. Our adult field has dwindled. It's not uncommon for us to have practices now with only 2-3 adult combatants.

Do you feel that having youth nearby playing the same sport makes it look immature or less legitimate? Would this have deterred you as a new player?

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 Post subject: Re: Youth (Ages 8-15)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:40 pm 
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Favorite Fighting Styles: S&B, spear, longsword
It's one thing to let the children of adult fighters spar, build camaraderie, and allow everyone to keep an eye on them on the sideline, and its completely another to run a day care sporting activity.

My opinion is that it absolutely affects recruitment of adults because it turns into a babysitting service. You have to mind your language, mind your behavior, and worry about parents trying to push your adult game out of the park because they want their kids to be the stars/get all the attention/not be around violent people, etc.

I wouldn't have stuck with a Realm that supported youth fighting at the same time and location as adult fighting. This game is for hard hitting adults, both physically and verbally. The instant you divide yourself to start catering to something that Belegarth isn't, you're losing focus and you'll lose people.

My advice is to lose the kiddies completely. Barring that, move them to their own separate day or time.

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Just don't call it boffing/boffering. That's not what we do. We fight. With swords. To the sorta-death. I can't stand it when someone says boffering. Plus is means sexin' in the UK.



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 Post subject: Re: Youth (Ages 8-15)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:52 pm 
Forum Gordon Ramsay
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In Babylon we would size up any kid that came out, and have their parents come to practice. We had a couple young, young kids, probably 10-12. We let them fight with us, on our field and some of them still fight. They're all grown up now. Honestly, kids aren't made of glass, they can take a licking and keep on kicking it long after we've passed out. Give it a try. Helps teach the adults field awareness and helped refine their peripheral vision as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Youth (Ages 8-15)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:01 pm 
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Youth fighting kills the adult turnout every time ive seen it.

I am not a baby sittyer, i am here to hit people with a foam stick in a fun way, and afterwards have a beer with those same people and relaxe and have a good time. Immature kids take that away from the game. I am now having to play the game lighter and play off the field lighter as to not be "that bad influence"

Keep them off the main field, If you want to have younger kids fighting have them on a different field or on a different day. Too many of your main fighters will have to break off to keep the peace for them and train them thus your main field gets smaller and no one of legal age to play gets to fight.


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 Post subject: Re: Youth (Ages 8-15)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:37 pm 
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We allow under 16 kids to participate only if they are the children of our fighters, and then only when those fighters are present. This allows for participation in more of a family way without the group having to be babysitters. We judge each youth by their own standards, and those of the parents. Kids get no more special consideration than anyone else would as far as safety and playability goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Youth (Ages 8-15)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:43 pm 
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Akroth wrote:
Hey all!

Since the start of our realm, Thunder Guard has been allowing youth (Ages 8-15) to participate in combat on a separate battlefield. This has gone very well and we have large turnouts for youth participants.

Unfortunately I worry that this has affected our adult turnout. Our adult field has dwindled. It's not uncommon for us to have practices now with only 2-3 adult combatants.

Do you feel that having youth nearby playing the same sport makes it look immature or less legitimate? Would this have deterred you as a new player?


Hmm, as a first post I hope not to get stoned over this but I have been involved with martial arts my entire life, as well as having played 14 seasons of soccer. When I was with the SCA this subject came up frequently.

I am 46yrs old, I have 4 kids (17, 18, 20, 26), and I would not attend a mixed field event.

If you are running a training camp or a demo then I guess there are good points. Certainly the recruiting effort of planting the seeds has value.

But to answer your question, no. I have zero interest in the mixed participation.

I am certain there are those who would welcome the mix, but as I would be primarily interested in the fighting practice aspect and not an opportunity for hanging out with Joe and his kids...no.

For a beach trip, hanging out around the pool, meeting at the park, camping, or other related family event then absolutely!

But for fighter practice, not for me.

Most martial arts studios survive off the babysitting services but the majority of the serious players show up after the kids are long gone...no kids on certain days or after certain times, even to watch.

*****

All that aside, it sounds like you have a great program going on.

If you are wishing to maintain the kids program and gain your adult crowd back then I suspect you might want to create exclusive days of practice.

Kids and adults on one day or half day...adults only on another or half day.

Provide an option for adults to choose to hang with the kids or not.

It can be uncomfortable for some adults, especially those without kids, to mingle with kids and parents.

I would think to not mince or mingle the wording...Fighter Practice (adults only) and Open Practice (kids and/or adults)

Just a thought.

Have a good one all.

Raymond


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 Post subject: Re: Youth (Ages 8-15)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:57 am 
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Actually that was very constructive. I like it.

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Elebrim wrote:
...I question why lately it seems like we must do everything that Amtgard does or else we are no longer the best fighters. I don't think it's right or necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Youth (Ages 8-15)
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 8:08 am 
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Started Fighting: 29 Apr 2010
Realm: Beornve
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Favorite Fighting Styles: Halberd Thingy, and Sword and Board.
My realm supports youth fighting and it never affects the adult field...... I'm a little surprised that they are putting 15 year olds on a field with 8 year olds.... I'm only 14 and on the adult field.

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 Post subject: Re: Youth (Ages 8-15)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:10 am 
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Started Fighting: 03 Jan 1992
Realm: riham
Unit: rehan
Favorite Fighting Styles: gun
I have tons more ideas for recruitment. I started my own group from the ground up and pay a lot of attention to these sorts of things. Hit me up with a PM if you want more advice and can give me details about your situation.

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 Post subject: Re: Youth (Ages 8-15)
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:13 pm 
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Riham: Be sure to check post dates before replying to an old thread. It may be better to start a new thread if a thread has been dead for a while (the last post here was in 2012)

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