Formal deeds of Arms

 

The IAS Concord

A Governing Covenant for Conducting Chivalric Deeds of Arms under the auspices of the IAS. Adapted from the Dekoven Concord, developed by the Companions of the Seven Swords and the Chivalric Fighting Arts Association.

1.0 Goal

In keeping with the chivalric nature of the medieval deeds of arms that inspire us, we resolve to display the reconstructed arts that we study to the best of our ability in an historically evocative environment echoing that used by the original practitioners, while using appropriate equipment within a sportive context under the governance of the host and giving conscious attention to the chivalric virtues.

We have emphasized the Historical aspect of these deeds in this document precisely because the IAS feels that history is an essential part of the valid experience and practice of the art of Armizare. We understand that every deed may not have a correctly costumed herald or a lot of banners; we also insist that any deed will be a better, fuller experience with such additions.

(N.B. Definitions are in 9.0 below)

2.0 Regarding Displaying the Reconstructed Arts:

General Competence
We expect that combatants will have experience in executing the art which they study.
• Combatants should have training in one or more medieval
fighting arts, preferably with a focus on historical armoured combat as depicted in existing fight books and treatises.
• Combatants will have experience in wearing and fighting in armour.
• Combatants should not be fighting in harness for the first time at a deed,
• except if the they are entered into a “squire’s list” or have been sponsored by a fighter and approved by the host.
• Combatants will strive to stay within the parameters of the art which they study as judged by the marshals and other fighters.
• Combatants will give and receive proper strikes, which will be detailed below.

Those who do not should not expect to be singled out as worthy.

Striking Fair Blows
*To be deemed “proper, or ‘scoring” a strike should be seen to be properly supported by body structure and using the blow mechanics needed for that weapon to work against the protection on the target. See 5.1.1 Weapons Efficacy below as well as 5.2.1 Armour definitions.

• ‘Immune’ targets are defined as a target that cannot receive a ‘proper’ or ‘scoring’ strike from a particular weapon no matter how well delivered or structured; for example, a cut or concussive blow to plate armour (heavy armour. See below 5.1.1 Weapons Efficacy as well as 5.2.1 Armour definitions.

• Insufficiently delivered (weak and/or poorly structured) blows will not be counted as “fair blows.”

• Combatants will understand that a deed of arms is an opportunity to display skill and honor, not a venue to display brute power or ruthlessness.

• Excessive power in blows is brutality. Powerful strikes to “immune” targets will be considered unnecessary force, and thus, brutality. ‘Displacement’ is not required for a strike, especially a thrust against maille.

• Striking an unresisting opponent after the marshal calls hold or the opponent has backed away to acknowledge a blow is improper and likely to be deemed ruthless.

• Those who display brutality or ruthlessness should expect to be warned and possibly ejected from the deed.

All combatants recognize and acknowledge, regardless of their armouring choices and prior training, that armoured combat is a rough game that can result in injury. The choice to participate means that risk of injury has been voluntarily assumed.

3.0 Regarding Evoking an Historical Environment

We expect that:
Some deeds will take place in a formal and historical manner, that is, within a discrete field, with attendant ceremony, costumed support staff, and period scoring. We also acknowledge that some combats may take place in less formal settings; a sala d’armi or gymnasium or outside on a convenient field, in a modern setting.

For ALL deeds, a boundary enclosure of rope (or at the very least a taped off floor) supported by uprights is a minimum. A medieval-styled barrier fence is preferred. The actual size of the lists is a matter for the host to establish, with the understanding that lists smaller than 4 meters by four meters may be deemed ‘too small’ for pole arms.

For ALL deeds, an outer boundary creating a “safe zone” between any audience and the list boundary proper is preferred. The boundary zone should be at least as wide as the length of the longest weapon in the deed and is safest at six feet or two meters.

The default format should be one in which the combatants are divided into two teams: the tenans who hold the field and the venans who come to challenge the tenans. Typically this division will be driven by the host/presider with a picked team to stand as tenans.

For the Combatants:
In addition to their harness, combatants in an Historical Deed are encouraged to have at least a certain minimum of personal kit to convey social status of a member of the Chivalric Ordo of his or her chosen time period.

• A non-modern, preferably historical reproduction style seat for themselves to occupy between bouts and from which they may view the bouts while staying of the way of those working to keep the deed moving efficiently.

• An identifying flag or banner to display. It is preferred that each combatant also has the necessary means for said flag or banner to stand upright. So-called “portable holes,” while not medieval, are unobtrusive and easy to emplace and thus are acceptable for supporting flags and banners.

• A non-modern, preferably medieval style drinking vessel for receiving water.

For the Host (but also see 7.0 below):
Hosts will provide a suitable display of heraldry/affiliation.

• The host is encouraged to have one or more identifying flags or bannersto display.

• A table for display of helms is recommended.

• An arms rack, while not medieval, is extremely useful for the efficient and tidy running of all deeds and is recommended.

• For Historical deeds, it is recommended that there be tabards for heralds and tabards or tunics for assistants if they lack other suitable clothing of a medieval style. Having all persons assisting the Deed in appropriate medieval clothing is preferred.

Historical deeds will be surrounded with AT LEAST a modicum of pageantry.

• The fighting portion of the deed should have a formal opening and
closure.
• The combatants in each bout should be introduced before they fight.
• Their weapons in use and any restrictions or modifications to the default
• Rules should be announced.
• The Marshals or Heralds will announce the results of each engagement clearly, and if score is being kept, the score will be clearly explained.
• The deed will be controlled and monitored by a chief marshal and such assistants as needed/desired under the direction of the host and/or presider.

Concerning Squires:
In all deeds, it is very strongly recommended that each combatant have a “squire” to help with arming, disarming, handling water and refreshments, supplying required weapons and such other duties as necessary to keep the deed efficiently moving.

It is recommended that the presider choose one from among the squires to be “captain” of the squires to coordinate their efforts. It is further suggested that this role be filled by accolade in recognition of exemplary service in support of a prior Deed or Deeds. The captain of squires may have a lieutenant. This would be an ideal role for a youthful squire, such as a young teenager, and ideally in recognition of prior service.

4.0 Regarding the Chief Marshal’s Role

In ALL deeds the chief marshal shall serve as referee, starting and ending bouts and counting well struck blows, calling each out as a fair blow in the case of ‘stop time’ bouts, or tracking them in continuous action bouts (see below 6.1.1).

Safety is of primary importance. All marshals shall act to ensure the safety of spectators, assistants, and combatants.

For a deed to be an IAS deed, the Marshal shall be an approved Marshal by the IAS. In addition:

• The chief marshal should check to confirm that all combatants are:
• Wearing appropriate armour and using appropriate weapons (see below 5.1).
• The chief marshal, working with the presider and/or host, shall endeavor to arrange the schedule so that the combatants will have sufficient time to arm in order that all of them may be present, in harness, for the opening of the deed.
• As necessary, the chief marshal shall appoint assistant marshals to aid him in his duties, including the judgement of well struck blows given where the chief marshal does not have a good line of sight.
• If sufficient personnel are available, one assistant should be assigned to each combatant to watch for and keep count of blows against that combatant.
• All marshals shall have a staff or pole arm for use in guiding and separating fighters and, if necessary, intercepting stray blows.

The deed will be performed as paired matches (called a “bout”) fought to a conclusion. See the conclusion possibilities 6.1.1 below.

The weapons in used in a bout to be mutually agreed upon by the combatants, subject to the chief marshal’s approval, or they may be chosen by the host, or pre-set on conditions listed publicly in the announcement of the deed.

5.0 Regarding Appropriate Equipment

5.1 Regarding Weapons

We expect that:
Weapons will be styled after historical models in materials and appearance within the bounds of safety.

We acknowledge that:
Safety trumps authenticity. This is non-negotiable.

All weapons shall be of types and styles from within the lifetime of Fiore di Liberi (roughly 1350-1420 inclusive). Any weapon from outside this period may be forbidden, limited, or altered by the marshals or host. This has to do with practicalities of a combination of safety and ease of scoring, which we believe is optimized in the ‘plate and maille’ period.

• Sword and dagger blades should be steel and, in the opinion of the marshal and host, flexible and safe.
• Spear points should be steel and, in the opinion of the marshal and host, flexible and safe.
• Poleax heads should not be steel, but a flexible material, such as rubber.
• Butt spikes on spears and poleaxes should be rubber blunts.
• Dagger, sword and spear points should be either ball
tipped, “nail” tipped, or covered with a blunting cap.
• The minimum size for a weapon tip or blunt is 3/8″ by 5/8″.
• Spear and poleaxes should have hardwood shafts.

The weapons in use may vary from the recommended forms and materials at the discretion of the host/presider and any such deviations should be announced to prospective combatants before the deed.

Historically some deeds restricted the weapons in use. A host/presider wishing to emulate such a deed should be able to do so.

Use of particular weapons, whether variant or not, in combination with particular armours is at the discretion of the chief marshal.
This is intended to prevent someone from using a weapon that may be unsafe against lighter armours.

5.1.1 Weapons Efficacy

The interaction of weapons and armour should follow the Weapon Efficacy conventions herein. If the host wishes to deviate from the Weapon Efficacy definitions, changes must be explicitly detailed and said changes shall be made known to all participants in advance of the day of the deed. See armour definitions (5.2.1 below)

The conventions for fair blows against armour are:

• Daggers strike fair blows with the point against Unprotected and Light Armour, ineffective against Heavy Armour.
• Spears strike fair blows with the point against Unprotected and Light Armour, ineffective against Heavy Armour.
• Swords strike fair blows with the point against Unprotected and Light Armour, ineffective against Heavy Armour.
• Swords strike fair blows with the edge against Unprotected, ineffective against Light and Heavy Armour.
• Poleaxes strike fair blows with the head and foot points against
Unprotected and Light Armour, ineffective against Heavy Armour.
• Poleaxes strike fair blows with the hammer/blade & back spike against Unprotected, Light and Heavy Armour.
• Portions of weapons that are blunt in real weapons do not strike fair blows against armour but may be used to set up follow on strikes/techniques

5.2 Regarding Armour
We expect that:

The preferred armour under these conventions will be that worn by persons of rank during the lifetime of Fiore di Liberi or roughly 1350 to 1420, offering safety and protection while also offering clear and viable targets for strikes to the throat, underarms, portions of the back, and so on. Full plate harnesses of the later 15th century which lack such clearly defined targets are not as suitable for the use of these rules as written and these rules will require modification. Therefore, styles of armour from outside this period may be forbidden, limited, or altered by the marshals or host.

Any modification of armour to provide less target area or to give unfair advantage is just that; unfair; and will be judged as such by marshals and conclave.

Combatants will wear a complete suite of armour suitable to a person of the social rank of the chivalric ordo of the later Middle Ages. As we envision these events as a deed of arms such as would be fought by gentlemen (and, modernly, gentlewomen) in a time when showing ones wealth was important, this means combatants should wear full armour covering all points of the body. We do not see these events as a “war situation,” where a fighter might make different kit decisions because war is not single combat nor are they brawls between foot soldiers where any
combination of armour might appear.

Combatants will have armour of historical styling that belongs together Chronologically. We prefer that of the time of Fiore di Liberi but allow that organizers may choose other periods (see below 5.2.2).

Armour with a historical basis in artefactual survivals or art is preferred by far. However, this does not allow armours that would overly compromise participant safety. In such cases, discrete additions or modern reinforcements may be
required.

Combatants will have armour that fits well and is well maintained.

Armour should fit its wearer so as to function properly and safely.

Rusty steel is not well-maintained and does not fit the ideal of suitable display.

The regulations for a particular deed’s armour will be announced in advance. Following historical patterns, armour may be treated as “armour as worn” in which case fair blows shall be counted according to the Weapon Efficacy guidelines laid out herein. If the alternative of using “armour as safety equipment is in play” all blows with all weapons shall be deemed fair blows.

Using “armour as worn” means different weapons will have different abilities to deal “fair blows” against various armour types. This requires more experience on the part
of marshals.

Using the “safety equipment” form results essentially in an unarmoured fight conducted while wearing armour. We feel this does not represent armoured combat and should
be chosen only for specific purposes.

Requirements (include but are not limited to)

Head:
• Helmets will be worn and will have full face protection.
• Helmets should have minimal skull of 16 gauge skull and sides.
• Visors must lock, latch, or be buckled or tied closed and may not be able to be opened with a blow to the base of the visor or any other part.
• Any opening in the visor must not allow a 1/4″ x 1/2″ bar to enter
unimpeded in such a way that the wearer’s face can be touched. Any other
gaps in the helmet must not allow unimpeded access to the wearer by a 1/2″
square bar. Wider eyeslots and other openings must be protected by perforated steel such as fencing mask mesh as a safety measure.
• Pierced steel plate used as face protection, if of a historically appropriate style and size, will count as plate. Other pierced face protection shall count as Light Armour.
• The use of “open-faced” helmets is allowed with the addition perforated plates (such as fencing mask mesh) to cover any open areas of a helmet. Such perforated plate is considered as “Unprotected” for the purposes of determining armour protection.

Neck/Throat:

• Solid neck protection for cervical area, clavicles, and larynx protection will be worn, regardless of its historical suitability for the armour style chosen. This will preferably be of period form such as a plate gorget or bevor.
• Neck protection may be of impact resistant modern materials if such are concealed.
• A maille pisane (standard) with a concealed trauma plate for the throat is acceptable.
• A maille aventail alone is insufficient to protect the front of the throat.
• Cloth or padded aventails without reinforcement are not suitable. Cloth aventails under maille aventails are deemed suitable and safe.

Hands:
• Steel gauntlets will be worn that protect the hand, fingers and wrist with a minimum of 18-gauge unhardened steel.

Body:
• Other plate should be a minimum of 18 gauge unhardened steel.
• A maille shirt, made with riveted rings, that covers the armpit and any such areas of the torso not covered by plate, will be worn. Sleeves must be secured to the arm at the “cuff” to prevent accidental entry of a thrust, and the shirt must be belted or otherwise secured at the waist.
• Suitable separate items such as voiders and separate skirts that work with the plate armour worn are acceptable, at the marshal’s discretion. (Besides being part of the program of defining a “person of rank’s” suitable armour, this provision is intended to provide a safety margin for the vulnerable and often targeted armpits.)

A combatant’s maille may, with permission of the host/presider, be welded. It may not be butted.

Safety trumps authenticity. Combatants are expected to wear modern elements of protection to provide a safety margin where historical kit does not.

Modern Requirements include:
• Groin protection (an athletic cup or “box”) for men.
• Solid chest protection for women. A modern plastic fencing plastron worn under the arming coat or gambeson is acceptable when the combatant is not wearing a formed steel or other breastplate.

5.2.1 Armour Definitions
Whatever armour a combatant actually wears, is to be judged to fall into one of three generalized categories: Unprotected, Light Armour, and Heavy Armour. The category defines how weapons can strike fair blows. See Weapon Efficacy 5.1.1.

Unprotected: This is anything (including required modern equipment that protects gaps in a combatant’s armour) that does not fall into the other armour categories, such as soft leather and lightly padded and unpadded cloth. It specifically includes perforated plate (such as fencing mask mesh). Any blow struck against an Unprotected target is a fair blow and may be deemed ‘fight ending’ by the marshal.

Light Armour: This is maille (which, being the default exemplar, is often used as a shorthand term for the category), hardened leather, properly constructed padded garments and other armours. Unless otherwise specified, Light Armour is proof against cuts but vulnerable to thrusts.

Heavy Armour: This is steel or iron plate, whether hardened or not. Armour of small plates, properly overlapped can also count as Heavy. Unless otherwise specified, Heavy Armour is proof against all blows. since it is not possible to determine the actual effectiveness of real blows with real weapons against real armour with using real equipment in real circumstances, there can be great disagreement about the effects of weapons. Thus, we acknowledge that some presiders may choose to introduce “incapacitating blows” as a category of fair bows.

Footwear: Footwear with a minimal tread will be worn and will not have a blatantly obvious appearance form a spectator’s viewing distance.

Non-historical footwear should be black and generally unobtrusive or hidden beneath sabatons or maille coverings.

Hiking shoes and similar items with pronounced tread are forbidden as they can “lock” a foot into the ground and cause serious injury if the leg is then subjected to force.

In every case, the final decision about suitability of armour for safety and authenticity is that of the marshal and host.

5.2.2 Regarding Alternatives:
In order to be more inclusive of combatants, certain changes to these provisions may be made at the discretion of the host and presider.

Changing the armour allowed: We accept that the time frame for suitable harnesses may be extended to as early as 1350 (before which the dynamic of armoured combat is very different) and as late as 1550 (extending the time range into a period when arranged deeds of arms were more sportive than combative). Likewise, the time frame may be restricted to a narrower span for a more historical overall presentation.

Changing combatant requirements: We accept that a host/provider may wish to offer a “squire’s list” for less experienced and/or less well-equipped participants wherein the armour requirements are relaxed or even mandated to be of a lesser level. Historically, squires were expected to have lighter, less protective equipment, although we recognize that a rich squire may well have had better protection than a poor knight. Nonetheless, for squires or ‘men-at-arms’ protection lighter armour such as maille being the primary protection for the body is allowed as long as safety is still paramount. In such a case, hard protection for knees & elbows is still required even if it is modern equipment (which should be concealed beneath period appropriate clothing.) Steel helmets with full face protection as outlined above and safe gauntlets remain a requirement.

Lighter Equipment: We expect that, at a minimum, combatants should wear all required armour items: helmet, gauntlets, athletic cup (males) and rigid chest protection (females unless in other rigid body armour!). They should also wear padded protection for the torso and arms and hardened leather for the knees and elbows.

• Hardened vambraces and a breastplate, coat-of-plates, brigandine or placket are strongly recommended. If such equipment is modern, it should be concealed. Even so, this is not the equipment of a person of rank and is suitable only to a “squire’s list.”
• Combatants may elect to wear a less protective armour, such as schynbalds instead of closed greaves.
• Combatants may choose to forego maille protection at the bend of the elbow or knee, and accept the risks, both real and within the sportive context, of such lesser protection.

6.0 Regarding Sportive Context

We expect that:

Combatants compete, and continue to compete, at the pleasure of the host, the presider and/or the chief marshal.

This means that the Host can eject a combatant or spectator out of the deed. We expect they will do so when someone violates the letter or spirit of the concord or the rules.

Combatants will accept the authority of the marshals & other presiding persons without complaint.

We expect that combatants will accept all calls by the marshals while on the field. We do not expect combatants to debate with the marshals save to request the recall of a judgement against their opponent.

Combatants will follow all rules formulated for a given deed of arms.
The Concord allows for hosts and presiders to make choices in how a deed will be performed. They may also restrict some choices. This environment means that the presiding rules may be different from deed to deed. We expect participants to be informed of what is in play at the deed they are attending and act according to the rules for the day.

Expanding upon “Striking Fair Blows (see Section 2.0), Combatants will strike blows with appropriate control of force.

More force, or better structure, is needed against armoured targets and less against unprotected targets, but in any case the blow shall not be excessive or brutal.

Because different weapons have different performance characteristics, we expect that combatants will moderate their force to suit the application.

Because not all combatants are created equal, we expect that their application of force against different opponents and in different circumstances may vary in appearance and effect.

Striking against targets, especially faces, protected by equipment classed as “non-armoured” need not be made with the force used against an armoured target. So, for example, a sliding thrust can score against an unprotected target while it would lack the structure to penetrate an armoured target.

Striking against truly unprotected targets must be done with controlled application of force or be considered ruthless or brutal.

Judgement will be used on the part of the marshals in recognizing what is sufficient for a “fair blow.” One such standard is to see displacement of the target area. Another is to observe a visible bend in the weapon, either because the attacker is solidly structured or the target has advanced into or braced against the strike.

No combatant will be compelled to fight with or against any weapon (or opponent) that he/she deems to pose an unacceptable risk.

If the issue is a weapon, the combatant may simply express the wish to “not fight with that.” Reasons need not be given. The combatants should choose a different weapon.

If the opponent is the issue, the declining combatant may do so by simply expressing a wish to “not have this fight.” Reasons need not be given. Other pairings should be found for the combatants.

If a significant number of the combatants do not wish to fight with or against a particular weapon, the chief marshal should withdraw it from use.

If a significant number of the combatants do not wish to fight against a particular combatant, the chief marshal should consider requesting the combatant in question to withdraw for the day.

Any combatant may, without reproof, request a limitation of targets/blows struck due to lack of or inadequate armour or due to concern for a pre-existing physical condition.

Bouts shall be completed when an appropriate conclusion is achieved. Herein is a list of historically based conclusions to deed of arms bouts.

6.1.1 Historically Based Scoring and Bout Conclusions:
NB All such decisions relating to what constitutes a ‘fair blow’ and what is ‘fight or bout ending’ need to be settled in advance of the deed and made known to all participants.

Bouts may take at least two forms.

Option A: Halted Scoring
In the first format, the action is stopped after each fair blow is called, and the fighters return to their corner of the lists. We acknowledge that this system is excellent for training and forensics, but owes more to Olympic fencing or Kendo than to a Medieval tradition.

Option B: Continuous Combat
In the second format, action is continuous. Fighters strike blows and continue; one fighter may achieve an advantage such as a lock or grip and continue to maintain it, or chivalrously allow his opponent release. This appears more in the spirit of Medieval deeds of arms but is more difficult for the Marshal to call; can be less safe, and can lead to very one sided bouts. On the other hand, it provides a deeper Medieval experience and may, in fact, help the combatants to use period techniques; a pommel strike may lead to a grapple, for example.

In both options, the following conditions are held to end a bout so long as these conditions were fairly announced before the start of the deed:

• The agreed upon number of fair blows have been struck. A “fair blow” is one which would score against the armour, or lack thereof, against which it is targeted. The number of blows to be counted varied historically. Five blows, in total, is a good number for well-paced bouts.

• One combatant is driven from the field. If both combatants fall from the list at the same time, the bout is halted momentarily and the combatants returned to a standing position in the middle of the lists before combat resumes. If a combatant willfully leaves the lists, he/she is effectively calling for quarter and yields the bout to the opponent. This may be counted as ‘one fair blow’ or as a bout-ending victory.

• One combatant is disarmed of his last weapon. This may be counted as ‘one fair blow’ or as a bout-ending victory.

• One combatant is thrown to the ground with the other in clear control of the situation, such as by remaining standing ( a follow up blow to the downed opponent is not necessary or desired). If both are carried to the ground and one combatant does not immediately establish a position of dominance, the bout is halted momentarily and the combatants returned to a standing position in the middle of the lists before combat resumes. This may be counted as ‘one fair blow’ or as a bout-ending victory.

Slipping or tripping is not considered a bout conclusion.

• One combatant achieves a secure bind upon the other.

• One Combatant is rendered unable to continue. This may come from injury, but it may also be declared if the chief marshal or the marshal in charge of the bout decides it is unsafe for a combatant to continue.

• Combatants reach exhaustion. “Exhaustion” can be predefined, especially in a deed intended to have a more sportive context, by applying a time limit to a bout.)

• One combatant calls for quarter and yields the bout to his/her opponent.

6.1.2 Regarding Winning and Losing:

There should be more to a deed than winning the most bouts.
Thus, at the conclusion of the fighting, combatants may meet in conclave to determine who among them best displayed fidelity to the goals and ideals of the deed of arms, said person to be named winner.

The size of the conclave can also vary. If so, its form should be announced before the deed begins. For example, the tenans may choose to conduct the conclave themselves, thereby ensuring that their goals and standards are the basis of any decisions, or they may open them to the whole of the participants. This is the form favored by the Companions of the Seven Swords when they stand as tenans.

Groups electing private conclave are encouraged to accept input from other fighters as to whom they considered deserving of praise.

We expect that the conclave of combatants will also name individuals whose performance, in accord to the goals and ideals, was also worthy of note. For example, the Companions of the Seven Swords use awards for Prowess (notable martial performance), Panoply (notable physical presentation), and Diligence (notable work in making the deed run well).

All participants need to understand that invitations to one deed do not constitute anything more than invitation to that deed.

In a small deed, or in special circumstances, both Marshal and Host may participate in a deed as their duties permit; both Host and Marshal are always excluded from being named ‘winner.’

7.0 Regarding the Host

We expect that:

The Host is the person or organization running an event or providing the venue.

The Host will provide a suitable enclosed space for the combat.

The Host may elect to modify certain elements of the conventions.

Foremost among such modifications are those which serve to suit a particular ambiance, such as restricting the time frame of allowed armour elements for a represent a period-specific event or in modifying the allowed techniques or bout conclusions to deliberately mimic a historical event or to serve a particular educational end.

A deed commemorating a particular historical event should have the time frame for allowable armour restricted to the time frame around the historical event and may be an exception to the ‘lifetime of Fiore di Liberi’ rule above.

A deed might restrict weapon choice, say to spear, sword and dagger.

A deed may elect to “fight over the barriers” and intrude a barrier across which the combatants must fight.

Otherwise, we expect the Host’s choices in any restrictions or changes made for a deed will reflect requirements be based on legal restraints and restrictions due to the venue.

The host will designate a Presider for the deed.

The Presider will consult on the list of candidates with any groups associated with the deed, such as a group designated to stand as the tenans, as well as with the host to determine who is suitable. The Presider may designate the defenders of a sponsoring group as the determiners for invitations.

The Presider will announce the deed. This may take the form of private invitations to those chosen to compete or a public call for combatants, or some combination of the two.

Invitations can be “open” and include any event attendees who wish to participate, (They will, of course need appropriate equipment.) or they may be “closed invitational” at the discretion of their host/presider.

Closed invitationals should have their participants determined well before the event date.

Lance of Peace
In the instance of a worthy attendant who lacks appropriate armour, but otherwise presents an authentic medieval appearance, hosts may, at their discretion, allow a “lance of peace” bout with rubber-tipped spears or some suitable equivalent. Appropriate safety equipment (even if of a non-medieval appearance) must be employed if this is done.

The announcement of a deed should be issued well in advance of the date of the deed.

8.0 Regarding Chivalric Virtues and Good Sportsmanship

We expect that:

All participants will hold themselves to the ideals of a chivalric person.

Don’t be a dick. (Rule #1)

All participants will behave with courtesy and respect to all, participants and spectators alike.

Play nicely and be polite in all cases; more especially when you are hot and tired and the Marshal made a bad call.

A pair of combatants may, by mutual agreement and for their exchange only, choose to add additional limits to either the style of blows or to the targets or to both. Any such change must be communicated to the bout officials BEFORE the bout begins.

To repeat….Combatants will accept, without complaint, all blows as called upon them by the marshals.

Do not argue over a call. Fight on.

Polite discussion after the bout will not reverse any results but may improve subsequent judging.

Each combatant will acknowledge good blows unrecognized by marshals.

Each combatant will call out a good blow if he/she feels it, whether the marshals call it or not.

Each combatant will deny any blows called upon their opponent which were not consistent with a fair and proper strike.

If you know that a blow you struck was not really on target or well structured, be chivalrous and deny the marshal’s call. This is an exception to accepting whatever the marshal calls.

Combatants shall attend closely to the bouts of their companions in the deed that they may be properly informed when choosing the winner. Combatants must not spend their time out of the lists chatting or gossiping while ignoring the bout.

Marshalls should never put a combatant in the position of claiming or disclaiming a blow to their credit. The only chivalrous response to “were you struck?” is “yes,” and the only chivalrous response to “did you strike?” is “no.”

That there shall be no prizes of significant monetary worth, save those to be given to a proper charitable organization as designated by the winner, or by the hosting entity in the case of a fund raising endeavor.

Encourage your participants to have fun; to have the experience of the art of arms be more important than any individual passage or bout; to create an atmosphere of comradery and not one of mere competition.

9.0 Definitions

We expect that this section of the rules will expand and develop as we encounter difficulties and changes; as better equipment becomes available and as more Chivalric contestants use the rules.

ARMIZARE – The European art of arms as practiced in any demonstrable historical tradition between the creation of the Royal Armouries I.33 Mss (1300) and the death of the Chevalier Bayard (1524)

ASSISTANTS – Staff of a DEED such as the Host, the Marshal, assistant Marshals, Herald, Notary, non-fighting squires providing direct support to combatants, etc.

BOUT – A single encounter or combat between two combatants, defined for any given DEED as ending with pre-announced victory conditions (see 6.1.1 above)

COMBATANTS – Armed participants in a DEED. The host, the marshals, and some squires may sometimes be combatants and other times be assistants.

DEED – A passage of arms or contest of Armizare
• Historical Deed – A contest of armizare that attempts to model both the physical activity and the cultural context of the historical period and culture in which the martial art occurred.
• Non-Historical Deed – a contest of armizare that is purely for the physical practice of the art of armizare with no or very limited cultural context.

FAIR BLOW — ” a strike that is properly supported by body structure and uses the blow mechanics needed for that weapon to work against the protection on the target. See 5.1.1 Weapons Efficacy above as well as 5.2.1 Armour definitions for weapon/armour interactions.

HOST – the organizer of a DEED.

MARSHAL (Marshall or Marchal or Marechal, etc). The senior referee of a DEED (n.) or the action of being marshal for a bout (v.). May also participate as may other sub-marshals; may never be winner of a deed. No one may marshal a bout in which they are a participant. A marshal is required for all combats.

MELEE – An action between three or more combatants not counting as a bout. At present, no melee action is covered by these rules.

NOTARY – The assistant responsible for pairings in a formal deed, for noting the style of the combatants, the weapons used, and the outcomes on behalf of the Marshals.