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 Post subject: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:04 am 
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Big question here in the Cold North (for me anyway)


I have been fighting in various societies for awhile (SCA 12+ years) and spent one season in Belegarth before realizing there is an illusion of safety, but illusions break.
After receiving a mild concussion, I took a year or two off. Seeing another fighter with a full concussion recently has me back to help as a marshal.

I'm not sure about insurance and event rules, would like a bit of direction please.

It seems to me that the weapons used are great for hitting unarmored people, but the concussions seem to be caused by wild head hits with large swords that move the head significantly. In the SCA this is prevented by heavy helms that disallow such movement.
Case in point, I can hit your head with a sword tap, even a pretty good one, this is illegal target, but happens, no effect.

On a wild swing however I can cause your head to "spin" and the cloth cover/foam padding accelerates this by sticking somewhat. That's concussion territory, and light helms won't prevent your brain from concussing in your head. Hockey and football helmets aren't that useful in the above case, hence the problems in the NHL.

Short of football neck and helmet restraints and SCA monster helms, what rules exist to prevent this?


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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:34 am 
Boo Radley
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Tselinyal wrote:
Big question here in the Cold North (for me anyway)


I have been fighting in various societies for awhile (SCA 12+ years) and spent one season in Belegarth before realizing there is an illusion of safety, but illusions break.
After receiving a mild concussion, I took a year or two off. Seeing another fighter with a full concussion recently has me back to help as a marshal.

I'm not sure about insurance and event rules, would like a bit of direction please.

It seems to me that the weapons used are great for hitting unarmored people, but the concussions seem to be caused by wild head hits with large swords that move the head significantly. In the SCA this is prevented by heavy helms that disallow such movement.
Case in point, I can hit your head with a sword tap, even a pretty good one, this is illegal target, but happens, no effect.

On a wild swing however I can cause your head to "spin" and the cloth cover/foam padding accelerates this by sticking somewhat. That's concussion territory, and light helms won't prevent your brain from concussing in your head. Hockey and football helmets aren't that useful in the above case, hence the problems in the NHL.

Short of football neck and helmet restraints and SCA monster helms, what rules exist to prevent this?

The trick is, as a realm leader or concerned member, to pull people on your field that are swinging "wild" and teach them that they are being unsafe. On a national field, it is the job of a herald to do the same. But between headboxing, weapons getting knocked mid swing, blocking shots into your head, and the million other little things that can turn a safe swing into a day ender, it all comes down to the individual fighters doing their best to stay safe.

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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:45 am 
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At my realm, I will occasionally invoke a "house rule" that causes a person who hits another person in the head to be dead. Others have used a 10 push-ups rule as a house rule for this problem.

You will see a dramatic drop in head-shots and a lot of shot control from your people when you bring in these rules. I bring the rule out once a year to remind people not to make sloppy shots. Some people do try to block with their head. I make them sit out (out of concern for their safety if they make a habit of leaning in, ducking in, or getting low). We teach them footwork and body posture so they take their shots while keeping their head out of harms way. The combination of these two training tools is highly effective in preventing injury.

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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:45 pm 
Underling
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Anastasia of Chamonix wrote:
At my realm, I will occasionally invoke a "house rule" that causes a person who hits another person in the head to be dead. Others have used a 10 push-ups rule as a house rule for this problem.

You will see a dramatic drop in head-shots and a lot of shot control from your people when you bring in these rules. I bring the rule out once a year to remind people not to make sloppy shots. Some people do try to block with their head. I make them sit out (out of concern for their safety if they make a habit of leaning in, ducking in, or getting low). We teach them footwork and body posture so they take their shots while keeping their head out of harms way. The combination of these two training tools is highly effective in preventing injury.


We tried the headshot = dead rule. It just increased the number of people blocking with their head. If anything the number of headshots went up.

We haven't had a herald on the field because none of us know how to do it. Is there anything online to help us learn to be a herald?


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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:26 pm 
Belegarth President
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Started Fighting: 31 Aug 2001
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Favorite Fighting Styles: Sword & Board, Extreme Taunting
Try the headshot = dead rule with the herald making people who get hit in the head have a time-out period for safety (their safety). "Dude, you just got hit in the head - better sit down for 5 minutes to make sure you are ok." Everyone doing dumb things gets sat down.

As for heralding - you have given me the idea that we should have videos for this, and I'll try to get that set up.

General tips would be:
1) Heralds should wear a yellow tabard or baldric.
2) Don't carry weapons or fight if you are heralding.
3) Your first priority is safety.
4) Most of the time, you approach a person after a battle when you see an issue.
5) Sometimes if an issue happens, you can explain the situation briefly to the whole group between battles. Example: One-handed spear thrusts do nothing to armor - you explain that to the whole group as a reminder so they understand what happened in the last battle if there was an issue there.
6) If someone is doing poorly with honor repeatedly, they need to be taken aside and the situation needs to be explained to them privately. If they continue to act poorly, then you can catch them when they have bad honor and call them dead. Note that this was a gradual process where you tried to address the issue in many ways before reaching this point.
7) At all times as a herald, praise communication, good deaths, good honor, and good attitudes to shape your field into having a good culture.

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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:57 pm 
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As a new Herald I shall on my honor uphold what you have said!
Thanks,
Septimus known as Tselin


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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:12 pm 
Underling
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Realm: Calligarry + Arderyth
Favorite Fighting Styles: Florentine
My biggest problem when trying to be a herald is always looking at the wrong thing and missing the debated action.

Any tips to fix that?


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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:54 pm 
Slayer
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Mogin,

The role of the marshal is often complicated, and more often misinterpreted. We are not there to call shots, though we can and sometimes do, but to ensure that there is honor and safety in place on the field. In the course of that, you will sometimes see someone slough a shot, and you can call that. If you know someone has been sloughing shots, you can hawk them and make sure they are taking their hits. However, if you are trying to monitor every single encounter, you will, as they say "forget the forest for the trees". Try to see where the general flow of battle is, and look for situations where debates are most likely to arise, and follow that. It's hard to explain online, but the best I can summarize it is this: don't tunnel vision.

Keep fights going, keep the fighting safe, and arbitrate when necessary.

EDIT: To add to that, use your powers sparingly. More often than not, what you may perceive as a valid strike was grazing, or light, or garb, and you forcing fighters to take hits that they know were invalid can force them away. That doesn't mean that people won't cheat, or slough, but the best time to address those issues is most often, as Anastasia said, after the battle. Pull people aside, or address the whole group.

If you get a chance, ask to shadow a herald at the next big event you go to. It's really the best way to learn.

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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:54 pm 
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I functioned as a herald/Marshall for a decade in the SCA. After reading the rules and forums, it isn't a totally unfamiliar job. Safety first, the players show honor to each other, though occasionally (sparingly) hinting helps.

"Sire (to a rhino hider) would you like a drink, that last hit on you looked hard (the hit he sloughed)!


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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:40 pm 
Brute
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One important thing to remember, coming from the SCA, is that back stabs are still legit in this game. I don't know if this is true everywhere (never fought SCA) but a Scadian who was fighting with us a few years back could not get over having to guard his back in our game and having it still called a fair fight. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:18 pm 
Monkey
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Anastasia of Chamonix wrote:
At my realm, I will occasionally invoke a "house rule" that causes a person who hits another person in the head to be dead. Others have used a 10 push-ups rule as a house rule for this problem.


This is how I've always dealt with it.

First head shot - Warning
Second head shot - you're dead
Third head shot - you're done for the day

Naturally, this works better at local unit or realm practices than at an event, but the idea is to make people more mindful of weapon control and safety.

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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:22 pm 
Belegarth President
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Yes, this is exactly why practices can do some things events cannot, and vice versa. Practice is getting you ready for events (which is not exactly the same as playing at the event). Sometimes you do drills, sometimes you make things more difficult, or try things to fix bad habits, and this is true for all sports.

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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:15 pm 
Berserker
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Gámhain wrote:
Anastasia of Chamonix wrote:
At my realm, I will occasionally invoke a "house rule" that causes a person who hits another person in the head to be dead. Others have used a 10 push-ups rule as a house rule for this problem.


Second head shot - you're dead

Naturally, this works better at local unit or realm practices than at an event, but the idea is to make people more mindful of weapon control and safety.


Yea, We don't encourage people to block with their heads. In times of many head shots we instigate the "take a lap" rule. Hit someone in the head, take a lap around the park at combat's end. (practice only)

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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:25 am 
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Marshalling a war in SCA is where we learn backstabs are OK. If the person doesn't want to hit an unprotected back, they most often throw their sword in front of the victim yelling "you're dead" , they are however allowed to hit in some areas.

Its the marshals job to stop clueless victims fom turning to hit the backstabber after they are dead. At the least the marshal confirms the kill. SCA people without this knowledge have not been to wars.

I see Belegarth as mostly war-skirmish play while SCA noobs do tourney style only to train them..

I think the local group wil be ok now, Mog will play and I will marshal, I even have a nice bit of garb for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:38 am 
Brute
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Tselinyal wrote:
Marshalling a war in SCA is where we learn backstabs are OK.


Interesting. I didn't know there were two "types" of fighting styles in SCA - tourneys and wars. As I said, I've never fought SCA, though I would like to try it sometime. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Safety, Marshals
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:15 am 
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SCA has more than two fighting arenas...the war/tourney are for usually heavies only. In some wars, Belegarth styles with padded throwing weapons and various fencing swords as well as padded foams are "light" styles. These include archery, so a Belegarth trained fighter could in the SCA fight other lights and arrow or throw-ax even the heavies. I used to do both and delighted in yelling "hey Sir Smek", then shooting them when they turned and flee laughing madly ; since heavies wear armor very few can catch you. BUT if a heavy comes within 20feet you are dead, no contact.

Once such skirmishers are on the field you better field your own! Marshals have to be quite alert too, heavies aren't allowed any mistakes, they hold rattan. The general consensus is every second battle may field lights if there are enough. Light helmets are worn with fencing mask mesh, those arrows can break. Heavies must add mesh too, most have removable face mesh over the regular bars on helmets, but rich ones hang veils of Chainmail. Added heat makes heavies hate mixed light/heavy skirmishes and water carriers are busy after its done.

I wish I still had pictures of D'Duke and his surgical elastic pistols. He even had a squire loading them and stored them in the squires back armor! He was a heavy with a surprise for lights till he accidentally fired one right inside his squire while grabbing it! Moral, don't be his squire (moan...like me)

SCA & Belegarth come from the same roots. After that however it's all about fun.


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