Kingdom of Meridies Youth Rapier Program Plastic Foil Experiment
Guidelines for Experimentation with “Aramis” brand Plastic Foils in the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
1. PURPOSE OF THE EXPERIMENT
To determine the feasibility and safety of allowing the use of “Aramis” brand plastic foils for the training of youth rapier fighters in the SCA, specifically between the ages of 7 years old and 13 years old, inclusive. Emphasis will be placed on training, good technique, and imparting the proper attitudes of sportsmanship and fair play in the participants. Competition, while an important part of SCA combat, should be secondary to these goals when working with young rapier fighters.
Any questions regarding these rules or the experiment in general should be addressed to the Kingdom Youth Rapier Marshal in Charge of the Experiment.
2. WEAPON SPECIFICATIONS
“Aramis” Plastic Foil
Manufacturer: Nasycon (Italy)
Weight: 4.2 ounces
Length: Overall: 38 inches; Front of bell/guard to tip: 32.5 inches
Handle: 5.125 inches
Tip: Comes with large, soft rubber “button” attached. This tip is acceptable for use “as is,” or can be taped in a manner similar to regular SCA rapiers. Other tips (blunts, etc.) are not acceptable tip substitutes.
Other: Weapon can be purchased either wired or dry (not wired). Wired weapons have a sensor in their tip and battery in their handle, and “buzz” when a touch is scored. Dry foils have no wire or sensor installed. Either weapon is acceptable for the experiment, although it should be noted that the auditory “cue” offered by the buzzer will likely make it easier for some (younger) fighters to learn to properly acknowledge blows.
Note: The Nasycon “Aramis” foil is the only acceptable weapon for use in this experiment. Other blades or weapons (plastic or otherwise) do not fall within the purview of this experiment, and may not be used in conjunction with the Aramis foils or this experiment within the confines of the SCA. Aramis foils cannot be used against any other legal SCA blade type or weapon (boffer swords, rapier daggers, etc.), unless exception is explicitly made within these rules.
3. PARENTAL CONSENT, WAIVERS AND INVOLVEMENT
Parents/legal guardians must, at the minimum, read and understand the Rules for Youth Rapier Combat in Meridies and the written guidelines of this experiment. Further, the parent/legal guardian must ensure that their minor follows the rules for this experiment.
- Parents/Legal Guardians are to understand that this is a contact activity and that injuries may occur. The parent or legal guardian must properly fill out a SCA/Meridian Minors Waiver of Informed Consent or Meridian Minors Authorization Form to be kept on file with the YRM.
- At least one parent/legal guardian must be present at all times while the minor is engaged in combat activities. For 7-13 year olds, the parent/guardian must be in visual and vocal range of the list or practice area.
- Parents/legal guardians are responsible for their minor’s safety, with the Youth Rapier Marshal guiding the armoring/safety process.
- Parents/legal guardians shall behave in a courteous and responsible manner at all times, and shall encourage the same behavior in their minor. This includes, but is not limited to, not “heckling” the marshal or combatants, accepting the decision of the marshal (or at least politely disputing that decision through the proper channels, etc).
- RULES OF THE LIST AND OF COMBAT
A. All participants will observe the Rules of the List as laid out by the SCA, Inc. and Conventions of Combat in the Meridian Rapier Rules.
B. Melee combat is not permitted for experiment participants.
C. Only Youth Rapier Marshals approved for participation in this experiment by the KRM or KYRM may spar with or train Youth Plastic Foil experiment participants. Parents/Legal Guardians are encouraged to become Youth Rapier Marshals.
D. No Youth Rapier activities will occur except under the observation of at least two unrelated adults, one of which must be a warranted Youth Rapier Marshal authorized for the Plastic Foil Experiment.
5. AGE BRACKETS
A. There are three age brackets within this experiment:
- Bracket 1 includes participants 7 through 8 years of age.
- Bracket 2 includes participants 9 through 10 years of age
- Bracket 3 includes participants 11 through 13 years of age.
Members of the different brackets may train and spar together under the supervision of a duly warranted marshal for this experiment. Combatants in one age bracket should not compete against members of another bracket in tournaments unless specifically allowed by the Youth Rapier Marshal In charge. Individual abilities and size should be taken into consideration.
6. USE OF WEAPONS AND PARRYING DEVICES
- Blows are struck solely by thrusting with the point of the blade. Nodraw, push or tip cuts will be allowed.
- Chopping, hacking or slashing blows are never permitted.
- The use of daggers or combat with two swords (case) is not allowed.
- Fighters in Bracket 1 may only fight single sword (no parrying devices).
- Parrying devices may be used to move, deflect or immobilize an Opponent’s weapon or parrying device, so long as such use does not endanger the safety of the combatants.
- Only combatants who have reached the appropriate age and been trained in the use of Secondary Items may use off-hand parrying devices in tournaments or active combat. Marshals can require the combatants to display familiarity with the device(s) in question before allowing the fighter to use the device(s) in a tournament.
- Striking an opponent with any part of the weapon or parrying device not approved for that purpose is prohibited.
- Blade grabbing and “fleeting contact” are not allowed.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF BLOWS
In judging blows, all combatants are assumed to be wearing common civil attire of the period. For purposes of this experiment, blows will be counted if they touch and can be felt by the combatants. The honorable calling of blows should be stressed as a major educational goal for Youth Rapier. All participants should be aware that wired foils may buzz on contact with weapons, parry devices, clothing, or other invalid targets.
A. The entire body is a legal target.
- A valid blow to the: head, neck, or torso shall be judged incapacitating, rendering the fighter incapable of further combat.
- A good blow to the arm (down to and including the hand) will disable the arm. The fencer must continue the bout using the other hand. If both arms are disabled, the opponent is incapable of continuing the bout and the combatant wins.
- A good blow to the leg will disable the leg. The fencer must remain in place and fight either sitting or kneeling.
8. WEAPONS AND PARRYING DEVICES
- Sharp points, edges or corners are not allowed anywhere on the equipment.
- All equipment must be able to safely deal with combat stresses.
C. Equipment that is likely to cause injury or damage other equipment is prohibited
D. Combatants in Bracket 1 cannot use parrying devices.
E. Projectile weapons are not allowed.
- All weapons and parrying devices must be inspected and approved by the youth rapier marshal in charge prior to use in combat or training.
A. The Nasycon “Aramis” plastic foil is the only blade legal for use in
this experiment. The blade may be either “wired” (have a buzzer) or “dry” (no buzzer).
- Weapons or Blades may not be altered, modified or shortened.
8.3 Parrying Devices
- Bucklers must be constructed of light weight materials, such as plastic, aluminum or wood.
- Buckler edges must be soft or padded. Padding can consist of foam, tubing or leather. Pipe foam padding is
B. Batons and scabbards
i. Batons and scabbards can be constructed of either:
ii. Lightweight rigid materials resistant to breakage and
splintering. Such materials must be duct, fiberglass or
equivalent taped along their length and tip of the parrying device.
- Semi-rigid materials, such as “pool noodles”, tightly rolled and taped pipe foam padding, and the like. Semi-rigid materials must be wrapped in either duct or strapping tape to prevent shredding during combat.
- Non-Rigid Parrying Devices
Non-rigid parrying devices must meet the standards set forth in the Rules for Rapier Combat of the SCA, Inc.
- All parrying devices must be inspected and approved by the youth
rapier marshal in charge prior to use in combat or training.
9. PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
The following are minimum protective standards for the experiment. Participants
may “armor up” to a higher protective standard if they so desire, as long as these additions do not interfere with blow calling.
9.1 General Coverage
No skin shall be bared on the combatant’s limbs or torso. There shall be sufficient overlap between separate pieces of protective clothing such that, regardless of the fighter’s stance, minimum coverage for that body area will be maintained.
9.2 Head and Neck
- The front and top of the head must be covered by rigid material to below the jaw line and behind the ears. Standard 12-kg fencing masks are known to meet this standard and may be used later in the Heavy Rapier divisions. Pre 12-kg Standard fencing masks (if they are in good overall condition) and Plastic fencing masks made by Zivkovic Modern Fencing Equipment, Inc. may also be used. (Parents should be advised that these masks will not be allowed in the Heavy Rapier divisions.) Modification of masks to appear like a helm or reduce modern appearance is encouraged. Metal Rapier helms are not allowed in the experiment.
- Masks must be secured to the fighter so that they cannot be easily dislodged or removed during combat. The combination of snug fit and the spring-tongue in a conventional fencing mask is NOT sufficient, by itself, to secure the mask to the fighter. Excessively large, loose or ill-fitting masks should be carefully inspected by the marshal and will be rejected if a safe and secure fit cannot be achieved with sufficient padding, strapping, etc.
- The back of the head does not need to be covered.
- Male fighters must wear a youth athletic cup or other equivalent rigid groin protection. Female fighters should protect the groin area with extra layers of clothing or equivalent groin padding.
9.4 Torso, Arms and Legs
- The entire torso, arms and legs must be covered in abrasion-resistant material.
- Hands shall be protected by gloves of abrasion-resistant material that overlap any sleeve openings.
- Feet shall be protected by boots or shoes, comprised of at least abrasion-resistant material.
All protective equipment must be inspected and approved by the youth rapier marshal in charge prior to use in combat or training.
To become authorized, completion of the Youth Rapier Class, the four required practices, and parental consent to become authorized is required. No formal authorization testing for participation in the experiment is necessary at this time. The Youth Rapier Authorization Form should be completed and mailed to the Kingdom Authorization Deputy as indicated on the Meridian Minors Rapier Authorization Form.
- Marshals wishing to take part in this experiment must apply to their Kingdom Rapier Marshal, or the appropriate deputy. Marshals taking part must be Warranted Youth Rapier Marshals, and should be familiar with working with young fighters. ALL MARSHALS MUST PASS BACKGROUND CHECKS TO BEGIN THIS PROGRAM.
- Marshals must remember that the primary goals of this is experiment are:
To provide youths (7-13) with new activity
Safety of all parties involved
Education and training of the combatants in rapier combat
A focus on fair play and good sportsmanship
Preparation for adult rapier combat
- EDUCATIONAL GOALS
- Learn to acknowledge blows (i.e. be able to tell when they hit or have been hit)
- Learn the basic elements of rapier combat
- Learn to obey the commands of the marshal
- Learn how and when to call Hold
- Fair play and sportsmanship
- Become familiar with proper blow calling
- Be able to enact wounds
- Learn basic, proper rapier technique
- Learn and obey the rules of the list
- Fair play and sportsmanship
- Become familiar with other combat combinations (parryingdevices)
- Reinforce previous lessons and skill sets
- Learn proper care of their equipment.
- Continue practicing with rapier accoutrements (buckler, etc)
- Prepare the fencer for the next level of fighting with metal rapiers blades
Appendix 1: Plastic Foil Suppliers
The following suppliers carry the Nasycon “Aramis” plastic foil and will ship to the United States and Canada. Their inclusion here is in no way an endorsement of any of the suppliers listed. The foils supplied are identical.
Leon Paul USA
Zivkovic Modern Fencing
Equipment (781) 235-3324