Board Approval

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This is a copy of the section of the SCA Board Minutes when rapier combat (then usually known as "swashbuckling") was approved. September 11, 1979, Old Business, item D:

Swashbuckling: Phil [Phil McDown--Earl Kevin Perigryne, the Society Marshal] at this time reported on his view of the situation. He said that after much input, mostly from Ansteorra, he had come to the conclusion that reports on all sides of the issue had been greatly exaggerated.[1] He said that it was certainly clear that in Ansteorra swashbuckling was not intended as a list activity but as something engaged in primarily for fun; other Kingdoms, he added, had not necessarily shown that much restraint. His recommendation to the Board for action was that swashbuckling be sanctioned as a recreational activity in the SCA, but not as a list activity, subject to whatever rules and restraints were to be imposed by the SCA Marshal, the Kingdom Marshals and the Crowns. In effect, it would occupy much the same status as archery: a period activity which could have its own competitions for prizes and perhaps honorary titles, but was not to be engaged in with any of the permanent ranks and titles as potential outcomes. For fun and profit, he said, but not for rank. He also recommended that foil fencing, essentially a modern form be outlawed, though the actual blades need not be banned, since they were used in the rapier combat.

The Board proposed the following policy decision about the matter:

M/s/c Dave-John that the Board of Directors of the Society for Creative Anachronism acknowledges period rapier combat as an ancillary activity of the SCA, properly supervised by the Marshals of the Kingdoms and when approved by the individual Kingdoms.

That rapier combat may take place within a Kingdom only by rules established by the Marshalate of that Kingdom and after the approval of those rules by the Marshal of the Society.

That the Board of Directors directs the Marshal of the Society to formulate guidelines for rapier combat within the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.

That rapier combat, not having been part of formal tourney combat in the Middle Ages, shall not be a part of formal tourney lists for official titles and ranks.[2]

This motion was passed unanimously.

Footnotes: 1. During a rapier list on Sunday afternoon at Ansteorra's first Crown Tournament, a fighter's epee broke and hit his opponent in the armpit. Although the actual impact didn't even break the skin, the rumor mill soon inflated it into a serious injury with blood everywhere. This led to a ban on rapier fighting in Atenveldt and the discussion of the matter before the Board.

2. Although this is not as clearly stated as it might have been, the intention of this clause was that rapier combat could not be used in Crown or Coronet lists, but it could still be used for titles like "Champion of the Barony of Mudflats" for example. That phrasing was revised in later editions of Corpora to: "Rapier combat, not having been part of formal tournament combat in the Middle Ages, shall not be a part of formal tournament lists for royal ranks and armigerous titles."