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 Post subject: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:12 am 
Only .3% Short Of Perfect
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The goal of this thread is to brainstorm for ideas about how to create a certification for Belegarth Marshals. Don't be shy, even if your idea might not work, it could inspire someone else. Let's put all ideas on the table and be constructive.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:27 pm 
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A set of tests requiring a written rules test, field test at an event with enough people to certify and possible a requirement for x amount of hours on a field with an established marshal. This is a little like the requirements for kids under 18 to get a drivers license here in Idaho.

Maybe have another set of tests that are similar in structure for weapons checkers too.

Both of these are just on the fly thoughts, but it would give us some solid ground to say our officials are adequately certified.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:58 pm 
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Ered Duath has a basic test written out (somewhere) for the "entry level" heralds.

It is a mix of rules questions, not so much Sec.Subsec as scenario based, plus weapon checking. There are also some situational ones that have no right or wrong answer.

We also required herald "shadowing" before you began heralding on your own.

To progress in Ered Duath's internal structure, you have to spend x-amount of hours heralding at practice and events.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:54 pm 
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I would add that checking at large regional or national events may be an important experience. Weapons construction can vary over regions and realms and you don't want your checkers getting confused about a weapon simply because they haven't seen that build or material before.

Another thing that could help is if a group of XP'd vets from around the country could agree on how to check weapons "properly" for more subjective things like stabbing or hit testing. Then we could make videos of someone doing it "properly" and make those videos available online as part of a tutorial.

Not only would that help people who want to learn, but it could help with greater uniformity in checking across regions.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:50 pm 
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Let's not let this die out, as this really does need to happen.

Like a bunch of other realms i am sure, Shannara has it's own marshaling exam as well. It's a completely oral exam to ensure no cheating can happen, and it takes about an hour to complete. In involves 5 sections. BoW section, scenarios, weapons check, weapons check pratical, and vocal test.

Before even taking the test, we require anyone wanting to pass it to spend 10 hours on the field in a yellow with another experienced marshal. Those ten hours can be spread out.

So that's our test, here are some ideas for a national standard.

* A test of some sort (gotta have one, covering all sorts of things)
* Marshaling experience at a major event (this can be determined by the marshal's council[ill cover this in a minute])
* Weapon checking at a major event (same as the on field experience)
* X number of recorded hours from events in general to be submitted to marshal's council
* X amount of time in the sport before attempting the test (just general belegarth knowledge and experience)

So what of this Marshal's Council you mentioned? Well someone or a group of someones has to lead this endeavor. There needs to be someone in charge of it to make sure things run smoothly. The Marshal's Council (i am not married to the name, it can be whatever we want) would be comprised of the most experienced, knowledgeable, and respected marshals of the sport currently. Maybe do an annual election from the marshal's college to elect new ones, i dont know, just an idea that came to me, the finer details of this council can be hashed out later. They would be in charge of electing or appointing already certified marshals in an area (perhaps by region? state?) that could certify new marshals. Creating and maintaining the marshal's exam as rules changes happen. Determining what events would count as a major event, what events would count towards recorded hours of marshaling. They would also have the ability to strip someone of their certification. (the rules and hows on that can be hashed out later)

Let's keep this discussion going, it's way past time we got a national certification in place.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:48 pm 
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Don't worry, this is not going to die out. With our without official War Council sanctioning, we will create a Marshalling guild.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:39 pm 
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Perhaps there is a group of people who would be willing to do a class at the national events along these lines...I would volunteer my time to help with this, but I think it should be a diverse group of XP'd vets. I'd love part of a class that covered all aspects of marshaling. Not only would I volunteer, but I would take the whole thing too.

Basically, I propose we create a class to cover the topics that we think people need help with. Then have a test at the end for it, maybe resulting in some sort of certification (what that is, what it takes to get it, and what it means should be discussed). It makes sense to do this at regional or national multi-day events because you can have people practice with XP'd supervision before test taking on a different day.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:57 am 
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Heralding is two things:

1. Know your ****.
2. Yell like you got a pair.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:32 pm 
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Azgarehta wrote:
Heralding is two things:

1. Know your ****.
2. Yell like you got a pair.


There is also a very high component of being neutral.

I'm friends with most fighters I know and I have my unit. But when I put on the yellow, I don't have friends and I don't have a unit.

I'm going to come down as hard on my drinking buddy as I would anyone else (and even harder on my unit).

That neutrality is something that /has/ to be enforced by other heralds.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:56 pm 
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we have seen from some past events that even people that have hosted a few or even many events-
still * up and make very bad judgement calls.

We have some people doing very strange and weird stuff for weapons check.

Heck- we still have idiots that just let their unit buddies and friends pass by weapons check with out even checking their weapons.

Happens much more than most know.

I have watched at the last 3 events I went to- safe weapons failed and unsafe weapons on the field.

So- we still have a long way to go with basic weapons checking and the huge egos and cheating of so called "marshalls/ heralds"

I like the idea of a basic standard but much like anything- when you start one- you have to have a strong foundation.
Sounds like a good idea. I am all for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:36 pm 
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I think everyone here wishes that they could do something to prevent every bad call or subjective call from ever happening. Of course, that is impossible in this job, but having classes, standards, certifications, and RE-certifications are excellent ideas for improving oneself in this capacity. I know every year I go to Chaos I volunteer at weapon's check, and try to re-learn checking from the perspective of the head checker and the archery crew. I feel that I could do this every year for the rest of my life and it would still give me benefit each time (because it is always slightly different each year). If we do come up with something, I recommend that it has a limited duration to cope with the fact technologies and strategies change over time as new fighters come into volunteering, ie certification good for 1-2 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:22 pm 
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I don't think the purpose of this topic is to discuss what we all could or could not be doing better, or what we should or shouldn't being doing at events. It's about developing a set of standards so we can have a national certification.

I agree that the certification should not last anything longer then 2 years. We don't see a lot of rule changes each and every year but there are changes that need to be kept up on.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:11 am 
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Certification will take what it takes. I'd rather have a certification that was well-respected and takes 5 years to achieve, rather than a meaningless one that had no barriers to entry and was achievable by anyone in 2 years.

How does everyone feel about a tiered system? There would be junior, senior, and mastery levels.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:37 am 
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Brutus wrote:
Certification will take what it takes. I'd rather have a certification that was well-respected and takes 5 years to achieve, rather than a meaningless one that had no barriers to entry and was achievable by anyone in 2 years.

How does everyone feel about a tiered system? There would be junior, senior, and mastery levels.


Having helped design a 3-tiered system for Ered Duath, I'm more than in favor.

3 tiers,
5 years
re-cert every 2 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:27 pm 
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I think something like this makes the most sense (3-tier). Having an entry level and mastery level series serves multiple areas of the community. In newer realms, it still allows relatively new players to get some training that can help them back home, at the same time, it helps to designate senior participants that have worked hard to master these skills and who would be great additions to the event staff of any major regional/national event.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:17 pm 
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Reverend, would you mind sending me what you've got for Ered Duath? I don't think we should reinvent the wheel if we don't have to.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:45 pm 
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Brutus wrote:
Reverend, would you mind sending me what you've got for Ered Duath? I don't think we should reinvent the wheel if we don't have to.


Yeah, let me see if I can find it.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:22 am 
Brute
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We shouldn't try to certify a wheel that already works.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:37 am 
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What do you mean?

Azgarehta wrote:
We shouldn't try to certify a wheel that already works.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:49 am 
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Azgarehta is certainly entitled to his opinion. However, I would caution him that this is a forum for serious discussion. Pithy one-liners aren't going to sway anyone, and anyone who has a habit of derailing discussions while contributing nothing to the forum will get booted.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:06 am 
Brute
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All right, I'll say my piece. You're trying to develop a standard for Heralding. Why? Are you going to disallow people that aren't "certified" from Heralding at events? Are you going to yank their certification at the first bad call? Generally, Heralds really only have to take care of a few things:

1. Check weapons coming on the field.
2. Enforce the rules of the scenario and the game (taking their hits)
3. Make sure everyone is being safe.

New people to the game don't just pick up a yellow tabard and take the field. Most people that are Heralds are either from the realm running the event, or veterans that have been in the sport a few years. It has been self policed by realms and Head Heralds for years, why change now? If an event is having trouble having enough heralds, the realm in charge needs to look at what they are doing to encourage volunteerism. If the Head Herald isn't signing off on each Herald on the field, then you have an organizational problem. Certification isn't going to solve either of these, and it just mucks the game up with more paperwork. Keep it Simple.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:31 am 
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Bard is right on this one. Why add more hassle to a hobby just so you can fix something that isnt broken?

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:53 pm 
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I think you can be very wrong about the necessity of this. In the area where I am, new groups are very common and many of those new groups are established by new fighters. Why? Because there isn't an established group near them. In addition to new groups being created by new people, the age demographics of these groups trends younger: high school or early college aged kids. Many have never been to a national event, and some have yet to have even gone to another event or a larger practice.

They are now the heralds and marshals of their realms. They use our brand, but lack our knowledge. I suggest that these may be some benefits to the suggested program:

1) There is a possibility that new fighters or new realms would try to get this recognition if we offered it, thereby becoming more knowledgeable of our standards and creating a more uniform system.

2) Members that are serious about volunteering at national events would have credentials that could be accepted by event coordinators which would allow them to volunteer, even if they were not known by ECs.

3) If we do this right, credentials could have weight in all regions, so if a fighter moved from CA to FL, people would know that they knew their ****, allowing groups to expand their pool of experienced volunteers.

4) This system may create a larger pool of volunteers, widely spread throughout the country, which would be a large asset to ECs, who would no longer need to screen volunteers ie "who vouches for this guy?"

I don't see why this wouldn't be a major contribution to our sport.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:23 am 
Brute
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People that don't go to national events don't matter. A bunch of kids swinging foam in their backyard doesn't really effect the nature of our game. Those that do end up going to a national field will fall in with a unit, because New Kid's Unit Number Four Million usually only lasts until they realize that they can't offer more than most units out there. When they get to the point where they're going to national events, they will find veterans that will teach them. Heralds are picked from people of the realm hosting the event, so they don't just let anyone walk on and put on the yellow.

For new kids, we have the BoW. They read it, make weapons by it, and its a pretty easy thing to understand. As I said before, people and realms that don't come to national events don't effect the game. I just don't see how anyone gains traction in this game without a veteran guiding them. At some point, a new person has the transition from noob to fighter, and that mentorship is what encourages volunteerism, knowledge, and growth within the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:47 pm 
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I guess that's the deal where you are. My experience has been that, at most, only 10-25% of any realm I have ever been in (or that I have known well) goes to nationals. It is important to note that IF that is true for many areas, you would be excluding the vast majority of fighters that claim to be Bel.

People often can get large regional event experience in lieu of nationals and if we provide some accreditation service at both of those venues, we will be serving the community at large.

Another thing to consider is the direction you want BMCS to go in. I want policies that facilitate growth and access. I think our sport should be every where, Chaos Wars should easily have over 1000 attendees, and eastern events should be double or triple that. People in my region passionately have worked to grow (with the help of a connected and dedicated community of nearby Dag and Bel realms) BfRIII attendance over 300% in three years. We currently have tied with the attendance that I saw at my first Chaos Wars during those same three years. The one thing that I would cite for our success is the regions' commitment to new groups, (and established groups) helping them with weapons building, marshaling, recruitment, and event promotion. I think that the establishment of a tiered marshaling system would further our goals for the region, making this knowledge structured and more accessible to new groups. We could encourage new groups to get this accreditation, and we could help make it happen. It would go along way to helping create a more uniform system and expanding our volunteer pool. Without the system, you end up with people like me just saying: "No, I don't know you. You can't volunteer at my event." This system removes this problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:45 pm 
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I like where this thread is going.

Another reason to standardize and certify heralding is for insurance purposes. We may be able to get better insurance rates, or even coverage period, if our organization can prove that there are trained authorities within an official bureaucracy and all its checks and balances that monitor safety, security, and sport mechanics to reduce liability.


To rehash this thread, it looks like those in favor are leaning towards something like this (I've added my opinions in italics):

CERTIFICATION:
  • Written test for BoW, scenario, Armor/Weapons checking knowledge
  • Oral/Live test for proving ability to recognize violations and the courage/voice projection to make them known
  • Certain number of hours (10+?) of supervised herald experience before testing
  • Certain number of hours at each level of certification before progressing to each level?
  • Attendance as Herald / Weapons Checker at X number of accepted (regional/National?) events before testing
  • Recertification after 2 years

ORGANIZATION:
  • 3-tiered system to encompass beginners, full fledged heralds, and masters
  • Founding leadership to be selected by Belegrim-at-large or the WC based on acknowledged skill and integrity of candidates
  • All certified heralds would comprise a "college" of heralds that elects future leadership of the Certified Herald Program (change name as desired) every X time period
  • Head of the Program is a member of the BoD? Answers to whom?
  • Have Regional Masters who can and will travel to assist in testing and certifying members in their area? (Meet at events?)

Now, how to implement this? I would suggest whoever's baby this is to submit a proposal to the WC after some more rehashing and have them finalize their opinion on a good draft (Like the House sending bills to the Senate). Allow them to then take opinions and make invitations to whomever they feel would be acceptable as the first college of heralds.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:08 am 
Brute
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Tiberius:
I'm on board with this idea if it pans out that we will get cheaper insurance. That is a tangible benefit for the extra paperwork and hassle it will be to pull this off. Although the discount would have to outweigh the paperwork and manpower needed to pull it off. Who are we relying on for all this paperwork filing and administration, the Officers? The War Council?

Anastasia:
The sport is built on mentoring. Anyone that ends up in this sport at some point goes to an event and has someone take them under their wing. Locals go to Local events, then Regional Events, then National Events. We want them to come up this way, and learn from vets at a local or regional level. There is a point where people go from being a noob to being a fighter, and that happens when a veteran puts some time into them. No person should be heralding at a 300 person event unless they've heralded at a smaller practice or event. If a person is new and doesn't have a realm with vets near them, they should go to events and find them. If a new person wants to herald, a veteran should take them under their wing and the new person can shadow the vet while heralding. The new person won't make any calls, but they'll be able to learn from the experience.

Squiring to a knight is a mentoring experience, Petitioning a Unit is a mentoring experience, growing as a fighter is a mentoring experience. I don't see why we need to make Heralding a standardized testing experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Squiring to a knight is a mentoring experience, Petitioning a Unit is a mentoring experience, growing as a fighter is a mentoring experience. I don't see why we need to make Heralding a standardized testing experience.


All of the examples you list are decisions that effect only the person squiring/petitioning and the the knight/unit they are learning from. Marshals are in the unique position that they can (and often do) ruin many people's events through poor decisions, inadequate training, and failing to take the job seriously.

If you stick with the sport long enough and pay attention enough to witness this happen, you will. Considering that many people can barely afford to make it to events, whether it be for financial or other reasons, I think it is downright criminal that there isn't a set of standards to which marshals are held.

Right now, anyone can go and put on a herald's tabard and walk onto the field at Octoberfest or any other event. The only person that can stop them is the head herald, and I'm not even sure that they technically have the authority to do that.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:20 pm 
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Brutus wrote:
Marshals are in the unique position that they can (and often do) ruin many people's events through poor decisions, inadequate training, and failing to take the job seriously.


If a herald ruins your event by making a bad call your taking this game WAY too seriously.

And nobody can just walk on the field and the head herald cant do anything. The head herald can force you not to herald, ban you from fighting, ban your whole unit from fighting, kick you out of the event and eat your babies. If you wanna certify anybody. Certify head heralds. They are the ones that can ruin peoples events

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:32 pm 
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Quote:
If a herald ruins your event by making a bad call your taking this game WAY too seriously.


A marshal has the authority to kick you off the field whenever they want. If I'm spending time, money, and vacation (all three of which are a scarce commodity) to attend an event and that happens, I think that qualifies as ruining the event.

Quote:
And nobody can just walk on the field and the head herald cant do anything. The head herald can force you not to herald, ban you from fighting, ban your whole unit from fighting, kick you out of the event and eat your babies. If you wanna certify anybody. Certify head heralds. They are the ones that can ruin peoples events


I agree, head marshals should be chosen from the highest ranks of the body of certified heralds. Great suggestion!


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:24 pm 
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Azgarehta, It's not just about new people though. I'll explain my other point through an example: Let's say you are a competent herald and marshal from St. Louis. You move to sunny So Cal, and want to start volunteering at my events. You have many years XP at Oktoberfest Fest and Arm and are well-qualified. I, having been to my last Okt fest in 2004, have no idea who you are, and I don't let you volunteer with us until I feel you have proven yourself. Questions:

Do you wish you were recognized in both places for all of your dedication to the sport?
Was this an irritating experience?
Don't you wish you had a way of showing me that you aren't retarded in some process that didn't involve tons of chores and kissing my monstrously FAT * for months?

Maybe you haven't considered these things yet in your tenure here, but I can say that it is a major benefit for me to keep my poor, abused volunteers as happy as possible. I would never want to make someone feel like I didn't want their help, though I have many times had a "no fly list" of volunteers who I feel aren't up to certain tasks. This policy would take that judgment away from me (in part) and also place it in the hands of the community at large. So if you show up with credentials, I have to take you seriously.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:33 am 
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Brutus the numerous times ive seen people ejected from the field it wasnt because the herald should have been certified. Its because the combatant was being a tool. Seriously its not hard to make sure people are taking their hits and maintain the edge of worlds. For reals

And Anastasia lets flip that scenario. If you moved out here and I dont know you and you volunteered to herald that tells me that you know what your talking about. Noobs dont volunteer themselves off the field. And its not hard to spot a vet fighter over some chode

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:33 am 
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Demox,

What are you afraid of? That the quality of marshalling is going to improve? If all the marshalls are so great, as you falsely claim, then what does anyone have to fear? They should pass certification with flying colors.

This discussion is NOT about whether certification is needed. My intention is to develop standards, whether they are supported by WC or not. If you don't think standards are necessary, move along. If you have some ideas on how to improve the certification process by making it more worthy, or pointing out potential pitfalls, by all means, let's hear them.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:55 am 
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Here's a scenario that is true:

At Wolfpack Opener last year I was gimped and had 4-5 people left on my team, mostly new people. The only person left was an archer that had lost an arm and dropped all his gear. One of our guys ran up to him and to my dismay I saw that he was also armed, with only a shield.

As they were right up against the boundary I yelled "just push him off the edge." Someone came up and said "Don't do that." I look over to see who it is, and apparently it is a dead fighter. "Ignore him, just push him off the edge and the battle's over."

"Don't do that! You can't do that!" yells the dead fighter. I look again, see that there are no hazards within 50 feet of the edge of the world (this was near one of the curves of the track, so there was a lot of room).

"Just push him off the edge of the world so we can fight again!"

"I'm the head herald! GET OFF MY FIELD!" yells the dead fighter, flipping his unit tabard up to reveal a herald's tabard on the back side. I get up immediately and leave the field, yelling "what great respect you show your station, Mr. head herald!"

He replies I'm banned from the event and kicks me out of Wolfpack Opener.

----------------------------------------------------------

WPO is one of the biggest events of the year, and yet the HEAD MARSHALL made about a half dozen mistakes in the span of 10 seconds. All of these are mistakes that I would expect the lowest level of certified marshall would know not to make.

A little history about me: I've been fighting since 1999. In that time I have ran Octoberfest, Springwar, and helped out at Rag XVI, and numerous Armageddons, Springwars, and Octoberfests. I was one of the first employees of Edhellen Armory. I've founded units, realms, taught hundreds of newbies how to fight and make gear. I've probably made sword-fighting too large a part of my life for longer than all but the top 5% of sword-fighters have been in the sport.

I'm not bragging, I'm just giving you some perspective on these issues. I've been away from the sport for a while because I have more important things in my life that prevent me from participating nationally. When I show up to an event, I expect the commitment of resources that I have made to show up to be respected. I don't want some sophomoric marshal with 1.1 years of experience making a horrid call to ruin my good time. On the flip side, if I do something illegal or unsafe I don't want some marshal that knows me from the old days saying "that's Brutus, let it slide."

Certification and training are the only ways to reduce the likelihood of such a scenario ocurring.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:35 am 
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Brutus wrote:
Here's a scenario that is true:

At Wolfpack Opener last year I was gimped and had 4-5 people left on my team, mostly new people. The only person left was an archer that had lost an arm and dropped all his gear. One of our guys ran up to him and to my dismay I saw that he was also armed, with only a shield.

As they were right up against the boundary I yelled "just push him off the edge." Someone came up and said "Don't do that." I look over to see who it is, and apparently it is a dead fighter. "Ignore him, just push him off the edge and the battle's over."

"Don't do that! You can't do that!" yells the dead fighter. I look again, see that there are no hazards within 50 feet of the edge of the world (this was near one of the curves of the track, so there was a lot of room).

"Just push him off the edge of the world so we can fight again!"

"I'm the head herald! GET OFF MY FIELD!" yells the dead fighter, flipping his unit tabard up to reveal a herald's tabard on the back side. I get up immediately and leave the field, yelling "what great respect you show your station, Mr. head herald!"

He replies I'm banned from the event and kicks me out of Wolfpack Opener.


That example just makes me embarrassed to be a Marshal. I am down right shocked someone, especially a head marshal would have the audacity to do something like that. This right here just proves we need a set of national standards that we can hold all our head marshals to.

I like Tib's suggestions, that a good setup right there. Not sure we need to have the person that is the head of this "college" be on the BoD, that might be going a bit far. No need to rewrite the bylaws just to insert another position on the BoD for the marshal's college. Have the person in charge of the college report to a specific person on the BoD, yes, that would work. And I absolutely think that there should be regions, and there should be 1-2 people that are the heads of that region.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:19 pm 
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Brutus wrote:
WPO is one of the biggest events of the year, and yet the HEAD MARSHALL made about a half dozen mistakes in the span of 10 seconds. All of these are mistakes that I would expect the lowest level of certified marshall would know not to make.


I absolutely agree that the situation at WPO was terrible, but I want to play the devils advocate.

Technically, WPO is not a Belegarth event, we only have two of those (Armageddon & Chaos Wars). WPO might be run on Belegarth Rules, fought by Belegrim, and associated with, but they have no reason to follow the B.O.W. other than they can. If we are going to standardize (which I am all for) then we have to realize that it can only be applied at Chaos and Arm.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:03 pm 
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I can also count on one hand the amount of times that **** has gone down like that. People being wrongfully ejected from the field/event.

But to be devils advocate. Was the archer still equipped with there arrows. Was there a divet in the ground near the area that you were unaware of that the head herald knew about. Has **** like this happened to me? Yes, I was in your position. But the herald explained to me why. And we went on with your day. The fact you got kicked out of the event tells me you did something more than make one snarky remark. Especially considering I will assume the head herald at Pack Opener was probably a member of Wolfpack and I have NEVER had an issue with any one of those guys being fair and unbiased.

But regardless my issue with your proposition isnt that it wouldnt be a good idea. It could be. To have consistency and the what not. But think about simplicity. Youve run events, you know the effort that has to be put into to run an event. You really wanna add the extra paperwork of making sure all your marshals are certified? If you wanna certify head heralds im down for that. The HH usually picks who he has marshaling anyway. But to certify EVERY marshal is too much paperwork for event runners and realm leaders to actually be worth it

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:39 pm 
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I can tell you straight out, that if there wee a certification, I could care less. I wouldn't require heralds at our practices or events we run to take a test, when I already know they are capable of heralding, and doing a fine job of it.

As was said earlier, this would only be enforcable at Arm and Chaos, no other events would be required to follow those rules.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:09 pm 
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I don't care if WPO wants to use their own rules. They are within their rights to use red rocks, pink flails, purple spears, whatever. They can say heralds tabards have to be black and that color may not be worn by anyone else on the field.

But any event advertising on the Belegarth board has a responsibility to publish those rules exceptions before the event, and doubly so AT the event. This wasn't done.

No, the archer had no arrows or a bow. He was just a one-armed, unarmed guy running around. And the "herald" may well have been aware of some safety concern. He wasn't wearing a herald's tabard (it was the back of his normal tabard and that was being worn normal-side out) so he was just a guy with equal say, except he was dead, countering what I was telling my guy to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:14 pm 
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SMT,

I actually never intended this certification to be anything official. I think of it more as a marshal's guild, if you will. The intent would be that through training and discussion it could elevate marshalling to new levels and become the de facto standard. Unless WC itself oversees approving membership, ranks etc. (which I think is unrealistic) I don't see how it would be fair to say "everyone has to be certified!"

I would like to see events that are using certified marshals. I see that I'm in the minority here, probably because my fighting style is frowned upon in today's Belegarth. But it would influence me greatly if I knew competent marshals were going to be running the fighting at an event, rather than risk the crappy variety that have been all-too-prevalent in our neck of the woods.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:25 pm 
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I don't see how your "fighting style" is frowned upon these days. Fighting is fighting, the rules havn't really changed since before the split when I started fighting. I really don't see anything as being different now, other than we actually fight harder and faster than we did in 1995? What exactly in your fighting style is frowned upon?

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:41 pm 
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WARNING: I REPLIED TO THE WHOLE THREAD
--tl;dr--

I have 2c to throw in. ...constructively. I like Brutus' suggestion. Up first is responses, second is my paragraph that I got to lazy to finish.

btw, sup everyone. I haven't been lurking in the foam fighting world lately.


Quote:
-Azgarehta-
New people to the game don't just pick up a yellow tabard and take the field. Most people that are Heralds are either from the realm running the event, or veterans that have been in the sport a few years. It has been self policed by realms and Head Heralds for years, why change now? If an event is having trouble having enough heralds, the realm in charge needs to look at what they are doing to encourage volunteerism. If the Head Herald isn't signing off on each Herald on the field, then you have an organizational problem. Certification isn't going to solve either of these, and it just mucks the game up with more paperwork. Keep it Simple.


Azgarehta, I like how you started out with playing devil's advocate. We need some of those. However at the end you got a little preachy.

Quote:
-Azgarehta-
I don't see why we need to make Heralding a standardized testing experience.


It doesn't have to be a standardized testing experience. This is where we have the freedom to move away from the crap public schools throw at kids to determine how ready they are for the real world.
Quote:
Now, how to implement this? I would suggest whoever's baby this is to submit a proposal to the WC after some more rehashing and have them finalize their opinion on a good draft (Like the House sending bills to the Senate). Allow them to then take opinions and make invitations to whomever they feel would be acceptable as the first college of heralds.

Let's get a google doc going of a proposal to WC or whomever?
Quote:
it is a major benefit for me to keep my poor, abused volunteers as happy as possible. I would never want to make someone feel like I didn't want their help,


I love this. Getting heralds on the field is important! They keep the games running, and running smoothly. Getting this going should help identify who CAN herald and give some people some motivation to try heralding.
demox wrote:
And its not hard to spot a vet fighter over some chode


But Demox, my favorite game is going out to your practice and pretending im new =(

brutus wrote:
On the flip side, if I do something illegal or unsafe I don't want some marshal that knows me from the old days saying "that's Brutus, let it slide."

Sadly, a legitimate concern.
Plithut wrote:
I want to play the devils advocate.

Technically, WPO is not a Belegarth event, we only have two of those (Armageddon & Chaos Wars). WPO might be run on Belegarth Rules, fought by Belegrim, and associated with, but they have no reason to follow the B.O.W. other than they can. If we are going to standardize (which I am all for) then we have to realize that it can only be applied at Chaos and Arm.


Here's the solution to this: Each event coordinator has a head herald for their events already - right? Now all we have to do is say: Arm and Chaos are 100% Bele rules. WPO is Bele rules with these tweaks due to location, conditions, etc. Make the ruleset very explicit so people know what they are getting into and what to expect. Having a guild of heralds to help spread atleast the basics of Belegarth can't be a bad thing, right?[/quote]

demox wrote:
But think about simplicity. Youve run events, you know the effort that has to be put into to run an event. You really wanna add the extra paperwork of making sure all your marshals are certified? If you wanna certify head heralds im down for that. The HH usually picks who he has marshaling anyway. But to certify EVERY marshal is too much paperwork for event runners and realm leaders to actually be worth it

It's our wasted time and effort if it fails then I guess. I think the formation of whatever system is set up would make it their goal to KISS.

SMT wrote:
I don't see how your "fighting style" is frowned upon these days. Fighting is fighting, the rules havn't really changed since before the split when I started fighting. I really don't see anything as being different now, other than we actually fight harder and faster than we did in 1995? What exactly in your fighting style is frowned upon?


Brutus is very physically aggressive.

I'm going to take a stab at Brutus's hit taking, and please reprimand me if I am wrong. Brutus wants all hits to be of SUFFICIENT force. I think in his mind if that tip shot wouldn't have sliced clean through his bicep, he doesn't want to take it. He may take it depending on his mood and who you are. When I was new he'd take it and then explain what he envisioned the rules as meaning. Then he'd take it less until I was fighting on his level. Which meant swinging hard as hell for me to pull off what he considers sufficient force. Now, I'm smaller than Brutus but he still wants to be hit with Brutus level force swings - which is harder for me because I'm weaker. The solution for me in Brutus's mind would be: bulk up. Hit the gym. That is the metagame Brutus can choose to play in this sport. My solution might just be to get a bow. That's my metagame.

I think that an OK description of Brutus. He is only .3% away from perfect after all. What do you guys think?


--
Someone edit my post to flesh out all the points and turn it into a paragraph. I'm too tired to finish the concise piece of literature I started out writing.

--Intro--
I think that the introduction of a formalized heraldry system would prove to be an overall benefit to the sport. Do not let the slackers or pessimists weigh that effort down. Or stand in it's way.

Body1--The evolution of sport/hobbys
-How did Soccer, Baseball, Football, etc. become more popular? <Someone look this up please> How did the formation of a standardized rule set and officials enhance or impede the progression of the sport?
-What can we learn from this? Do we want to follow, or attempt something new?
Body 2--The looseness of our game/niches/metagaming
-Sure I'm playing Belegarth, but I may be only trying to backstab ONE person this fight. I call this 'metagaming'. Next round I might actually listen to my team and fight and die for someone I've never met. Going out with just a dagger to try to beat someone to 5 kills is awesome fun and I think that should be something we keep around.
-Other sports metagame...baseball's HR race is 11 games into the season! Our game runs the gamut of hardcore roleplayers to stickjocks. I think that's the best part of our game. We set out to be the sport/game/hobby that was free to do whatever - we're the America of foam! The ability to play out your own fantasy in the middle of a big field battle is something I don't want to lose.
Body 3--Creating a shared vision while still maintaining the open metagame through control of established rules and heraldry
We need to find our niche in the foam fighting world and really secure that I believe. We're separate and yet very similar. Let's get that figured out really well and I think the best want to do that is through a strong heraldry system. That's the hardest part though - Brutus might want to play very tanky, while the visiting amtgarder might be very tappy - and on a national field when you've never played against someone before the honor system is getting a bit outdated. I think we've outgrown (or I hope we outgrow) this and need to be able to effectively come together and decide what our sport should look like. With the advances in social networking (I'm linked to a handful of people on facebook) and video and picture sharing (not to mention the number of people with a huge smartphone with a 8megapixel lens) we can make this happen. communication is key.
Body 4--Creation of a new metagame within the sport
Creating a heralding system would give some tired old vets something passionate to get into. Some people are just going to want to learn how to be a herald so that they can say that they have....and if we set it up properly we can make that really mean something.
Conclude--I have ideas for implementation regarding the testing/evaluation of heralds.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:16 pm 
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I don't think anyone here expected this to really be a WC thing first off. It should be "play tested" as a guild-like entity first, and if we get that running smooth, WC will come to us to ask us how they can implement it. It's value will be self-evident.

Also, I want to write the credentials on something like an awesome scroll with cool wax seals and ribbons. Wax seals of personal heraldry are cool. Everyone will want this credential now.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:56 pm 
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While standard tests and various requirements are nice, perhaps it would be good to consider something more fluid and adaptable. The sport is pretty spread around and every realm has different quirks. Instead of only being about to obtain full-herald rank through testing, you could also allow them to apprentice under a master-herald. Once their mentor feels they have learned enough to be promoted, they could submit something to the guild to have them certified as a full-herald.

This would be something more in line with several realms knight-squire relationship, and seems more fitting with the Medieval theme. Also, it could help reduce paperwork, especially for well established realms.

If something were to be taken to WC to make the herald/weapons check certification official, it might be better to have the process/standards geared towards official master-heralds and master-weapon checkers, who could then freely promote others to a less official full-herald (recognised by the herald guild and ECs, but not officially endorsed by WC)

At that point, for insurance purposes, they could say our national events have X number of official weapon/field safety people without WC having to certify every herald.

Also, heralding and weapons check should be handled as different certifications. Heralds should be aware of weapon safety issues that can arise on the field, but that doesn't mean they need to know, or will know, how to check them. I also don't expect everyone that is good at weapons check to be a good herald. I might suggest head heralds be qualified at both.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:04 pm 
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I think, personally, that all heralds NEED to be adept at checking weapons on the fly.

Torry, you remember when we ran Oktfest in '07? That guy ended up with a cracked skull because of a weapon that wasn't checked properly even after it had been complained about. A heralds job is to enforce rules and safety, so, why not be able to ensure the safety of weapons too right?

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:54 pm 
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Quote:
"On the flip side, if I do something illegal or unsafe I don't want some marshal that knows me from the old days saying "that's Brutus, let it slide."


A very legitimate concern, as it affects a lot of new people in the sport quite adversely. As anyone in this sport knows, there are a lot of "cliques", and where there are cliques, there is favoritism. And even if there isn't favoritism, there is the illusion of favoritism every time an authority figure sides with a person he or she is 'friends' with, even if their ruling is the correct one. I'm sure that isn't news to anyone.

Another bit that isn't news to anyone: Heralds can see everything that happens on the field. ESPECIALLY at large events. And while many people are against 'tattling', sometimes it's necessary to inform a herald of a safety concern you have regarding a specific person, or group of people.

Many new players, however, fear to do this. What if the herald you go to is the best friend of the guy you're asking him to talk to? You might just be creating more problems for yourself. This may seem a little paranoid, but can anyone really say that they were completely at ease for their first few events? No one wants to get a bad reputation. Reputation seems very important in this sport. It seems to be a big part of how 'authority figures' are chosen.

Also, there are too many 'house rules' in this sport, and most heralds don't realize which 'house rules' of their realm are not actually from the BoW. Off the top of my head I can cite two different occasions where a herald gave me erroneous information regarding the rules while I was fighting.

The first was: A Javelin hit my bow. A Herald happened to be standing right next to me. I asked him if my bow was 'broken', and he said 'yes'. I later looked it up in the Book of War, and I cite:

3.8.1. If a bow is struck by a Class 1 or 2 Weapon, it is considered broken and cannot be used.

As a Javelin is a Class 4 weapon, my bow should not have been broken. Not a big deal, as I always carry a sidearm, but it does show that not all Heralds know the BoW explicitly. Unless there's something about that rule that I don't understand, which is possible.

The second example also includes my bow. As I said, I always carry a sidearm when I arch. I'm big and out of shape, so 'running away' is not an option when someone closes the distance. I drop my bow, and usually my arrows, and draw my sidearm. On one occasion, I legged an opponent, and went to pick up my bow again, and a Herald standing nearby told me that I couldn't, because once a bow 'hit the ground' it was considered 'dead' and couldn't be picked back up. I could find no reference to this rule in the BoW, but perhaps I overlooked it.

To be honest, I'm pretty glad that my own knowledge of the BoW was rather limited at the time. Had these heralds made those calls and I had KNOWN that they were erroneous, and had NO basis in the BoW, I might have argued it with them and been thrown off the field.

Weapons Check
I've seen people go to weapons check, walk into the checking area with their own bag of weapons, check them, sticker them, and walk back out. Obviously the weapons checkers trusted this person. Does that mean that /I/ trust this person? Why should I? Not to mention the fact that he might have been slightly biased as to whether his weapons passed, since they were his own weapons.

Everyone seemed to be perfectly okay with this though. And what should I have done? Approached the head weapons checker and said "Hey, Mr. Head Weapons Checker, Sir? How come that guy gets to check his own weapons and I don't?" To which I would likely get some sort of snooty reply along the lines of: "Well that's SIR BLAH! From Blah Blah!" and Mr. Head Weapons Checker would expect me to instantly understand why it was perfectly normal and fitting for Sir Blah to waltz in and check his own weapons, and then head for the field. (If there is a Sir Blah in this sport, I sincerely apologize for using you in this example.)

Certification/Guild
Some sort of certification or testing or 'guild' for heralding and weapons checking would alleviate this problem, at least to some degree, for me personally. If there was a real and actual 'certification' and 'standard' required, I'd be much more willing to let something like that slide, so long as that person was certified.

If I can be assured that all heralds on the field are certified, and understand their 'duties', I'd be much more willing to report safety concerns to them, such as a person throwing numerous blatant headshots. I would also be much more willing to listen to them when they tell me not to do something because it's 'against the rules'. Also, if I were to ask "Why does this person get to check his own weapons?" and the Head Weapons Checker replied "He took the 20 hour long certification course for weapons checking." I would reply "Oh. My bad. Please proceed."

Call me old-fashioned, but there's a certain level of professionalism that I expect when I'm actually paying for something. I mean, granted, the amount a person pays for an event is certainly worth the value. Meals? Camping? All the foam you can swing? Those running the event are almost always very welcoming and helpful, and they rarely get anything except the satisfaction of knowing that they ran a good event. It's great service! So why drop the ball when it comes to having trustworthy and competent officials? The whole reason we are there is because of the sport! I can't think of a single sport that doesn't require it's officials to be competent and unbiased. And certified.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 10:58 pm 
Barbarian
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I firmly believe that no one should be allowed to check their own weapons. We don't even allow that at our practices.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 10:10 am 
Slayer
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I've been looking for the Heralding setup that I, but it appears to be in storage back in Utah. I'll be heading up there in a few days (Yestare, *, be there) and will dig it out.

Lachlan_McClung wrote:
I firmly believe that no one should be allowed to check their own weapons. We don't even allow that at our practices.


Why not? I'm more strict about my own gear than I am anyone else's. I'm more likely to fail my own gear because of some minor, non-failing, issue than I would random-newblet #2.

My policy is and has always been, once you show me you can be trusted with weapons check, and will be completely neutral (like you should be anyways), then you're fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 10:49 am 
Grizzled Veteran
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[quote="Reverend"] (Yestare, *, be there)


Why not? I'm more strict about my own gear than I am anyone else's. I'm more likely to fail my own gear because of some minor, non-failing, issue than I would random-newblet #2.

[quote]

As we all know not everyone is honest and would gladly take advantage of people's good nature to pass something on the edge which then fails on the field and hurts someone.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Develop Standards
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 4:48 pm 
Only .3% Short Of Perfect
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Reverend,

It is important for marshals to remember that even when there is no impropriety present, the illusion might still remain. Once you accept responsibility, and this goes for any sort of responsibility, you have to give up a little bit of freedom too. The rules apply doubly to the people in charge.

Most weapon checkers understand this and will be twice as hard on their own gear as they would on someone else's, but this isn't really fair either. It is best to just let someone else who is qualified check your gear so no one has any room to question the validity of the process.


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