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 Post subject: Regarding 1.3.2.: Non-striking surface padding
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:48 pm 
Slayer
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I've butt heads with a few people this past year regarding the interpretation of the following:
BoW wrote:
1.3.2. All non-striking surfaces must be padded adequately to prevent personal injury from incidental contact.

The issue has arisen where flat-bladed weapons have come through weapons check that have had exceptionally hard flats, and where I had failed the weapons my call was overturned because it was deemed impossible for a flat to be "too hard". My use of 1.3.2. as a rebuttal was dismissed as being inapplicable in this instance.

The weapons in question had a typical 2-3# blade, but their boxes were exceptionally hard, with no give at all upon palpation.

So, my question is this: Has anyone else had trouble enforcing 1.3.2. in regards to flat-bladed weapons? Does anyone disagree with this interpretation of the rule? Does anyone agree? If so, why?

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding 1.3.2.: Non-striking surface padding
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:14 pm 
Thug
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4# box on the flat can hurt. I thought the general testing was if you felt core with your open palm on the flat. As long as the core is padded securely enough to merely hurt, but not injure, then your rule doesn't work.

One might try the argument "I could injure someone with any weapon, everything is dangerous, X, Y, Z is dangerous."

Or flat someone with it at weapons check. Spread the love.

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding 1.3.2.: Non-striking surface padding
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:29 pm 
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I agree with your hypothetical Thurat. If the thing on the core doesn't feel like padding, then it isn't padding. Doesn't really matter if you can't feel the core - the idea is to have it padded to prevent injury in case of incidental contact. If it is so hard that it could cause an injury, then it isn't properly padded.

For example, I can't take 3 layers of foam, super compress and wrap them up tight on the core and say it has 3 layers on the flat! You can't fail it because it has so much padding! When I know * well that it doesn't give and it will probably sideline someone if they get a hit from it, especially considering it is the flat of a weapon. Some areas are very unlikely to hit someone incidentally and often we see a graduated approach to the amount of incidental padding because of it. Flats are probably the MOST likely to hit anyone - they are adjacent to the striking surface. They have the greater burden for having incidental padding, similar to the top of flail hafts, tops near glaives, ect. Lastly, I'll say I have seen a few different types of these boxes and all are not created equal. Some I absolutely love and think are amazing new tech - but there are also other blends that do not feel the same and have nearly no give. This doesn't mean all types are bad, or good, or anything, just that we have to check all weapons no matter who makes them or sells them.

I'd argue a weapon can hypothetically fail the letter by having padding be dangerously hard and it certainly fails the spirit of the law if we suspect it of being able to cause injury. Frankly, incidental padding shouldn't be hard at all...because it is supposed to be PADDED.

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding 1.3.2.: Non-striking surface padding
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:37 am 
Only .3% Short Of Perfect
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I'd rather feel a little discomfort from a flat (and really, that's all it is, discomfort) with 4 pound, than have the core come through because only 2 pound was used and cause an injury.

Of all the bad hits I've received or heard people complain about in my 15 years of fighting, none of them have been because the flat was too hard. All of them have either been core coming through the weapon or the blade foam compressing to core. Both of these problems are ameliorated greatly by a 4 pound foundation.

On a "light" swing, 4 pound foam hits a lot harder than 2 pound. But why do we care about light swings? Aren't hard ones the real danger? On a "super hard" swing, 4 pound is the difference between "owe, that hurt" and "I need medical attention." (because 4 pound doesn't compress as much, which allows the force of the core to be more spread out over the entire blade). You kind of have to pick whether you'd like 99% of your swings to cause a little less pain (by disallowing 4 pound on the flat), or the top 1% of swings have a greatly reduced chance of injury (allow 4 pound). I certainly prefer reducing injuries and I don't mind a good thwack, but then again, I come from a different era in this game before, quite frankly, it became pussified.


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 Post subject: Re: Regarding 1.3.2.: Non-striking surface padding
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:04 pm 
Slayer
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My complaint, though not explicitly stated in my original post, is not with 4#. I use 4# in almost 100% of my weapons now, and love it. My complaint is that the flats in question were rock hard. When squeezed, they had no give. It was like squeezing a solid piece of rubber. So, they didn't feel like metal, stone, or plastic, but they were definitely hard. If someone were to get struck in the face with the flat of one of those weapons, and they were struck with the core foam, I felt it could have caused injury, like broken teeth.

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding 1.3.2.: Non-striking surface padding
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:16 pm 
Only .3% Short Of Perfect
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This is potentially opening up a very very difficult can of worms. We all, myself included, bandy about the density of foam as though that is an indication of stiffness. It is not. Density is density, and what we really care about is something else, like stiffness and compressibility. We're going to have to do some serious research if we want to make our testing procedures objective rather than relying on oral-tradition-trained weapon checkers.


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 Post subject: Re: Regarding 1.3.2.: Non-striking surface padding
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:24 pm 
Slayer
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Regardless of what the foam is, the matter of if it is safe or not is simple. If it can be used in construction in such a way so as to make it soft enough to be hit with, for blades, or to not cause damage, for incidental padding, then it's fine. If it would cause injury if struck with, intentionally or not, then it is not.

My issues lies in that as people experiment with new types of foam, they will push on our judgment as weapons checkers to see what they can get away with. If people checking equipment are unwilling to enforce the rules when they apply, because they are letting their opinions get in the way (e.g, "flats can't be failed for being too hard, ever"), then we have an issue.

Ultimately the problem I wanted to address here is not that people are using this foam or that foam, but that equipment that was constructed in such a way and with such materials as to make me believe it could cause damage was allowed onto the field not through ignorance, but through willful disregard for a specific rule. My question was posed to inquire if anything similar has happened elsewhere, and if it is a consistent issue what needs to be done to address it.

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