Melee Weapon Standards

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General

Table 8.1 Weapon Construction summary
Weapon Min. Dia. Max. Length Max Weight Thrusting Tip
Single-handed
Weapon
32mm 122cm 2.27kg 1-handed low-profile
or high-profile
Two-handed
Weapon
32mm 2.28m 2.73kg 2-handed low-profile
or high-profile
Thrown
Weapon
32mm Not specified 907g 1-handed low-profile
or high-profile
Fibreglass
Spear
32mm 3.658m 2.73kg High-Profile
  1. All combatants bear final responsibility for the condition and safety of their own equipment.
  2. Weapons must be licensed if required by mundane law.
  3. With the exception of the hilts, guards and pommels, no metal or non-approved rigid, granular, or liquid material may be used in the construction of single or two-handed weapons including spears.
  4. Primary weapons used single-handed shall have a wrist strap, lanyard or equivalent restraint which will keep the weapon from leaving the immediate area of the user. Restraints are not required on great weapons or spears used single-handed, or on single-handed back-up weapons less than 45 centimetres in length.
  5. The edges and tips of all striking surfaces shall be rounded. No part of a weapon shall have sharp edges or protrusions with cross-section of less than 32mm (1 1/4 inch) in diameter.
  6. Guards, pommels, hooks, etc., shall be firmly and securely affixed to the weapon haft.
  7. No weapon may exceed 2.73kg (6 lbs) in total mass.
  8. All thrusting tips and striking heads must be securely attached to the weapon haft.
  9. Weapons may not have cutting and/or smashing surfaces on both ends.
  10. The use of flails for combat in the SCA is expressly forbidden.
  11. Nails may not be used anywhere in the construction of any weapon.
  12. Weapons with thrusting tips inline with the forearm including, but not limited to, shovel-handled spears, push-daggers and thrusting bucklers are prohibited. Thrusting tips mounted parallel with the forearm, such as hammer-heads must be separated from the hand by at least 30cm of haft. The purpose of this rule is to ban weapons where there is no mechanical leverage or give in the weapon/hand/arm system to absorb some of the force of the blow.
  13. It must not be possible to force any part of the weapon which may reasonably be expected to contact an opponent during combat more than 12.7mm (1/2 inch) into a legal face guard. Rattan weapons may have a handle section which is less than 32mm (1 1/4 inches), so long as it meets this criterion.

Rattan Weapons

General

  1. The hafts and blades of rattan weapons shall be not less than 32mm (1 1/4 inches) in total diameter, including tape, along the entire length of the weapon.
  2. Rattan used in weapon construction shall not be treated in any way that will substantially reduce its flexibility, e.g., treated with wax, resin, fibreglass, etc.
  3. All rattan striking surfaces including tips, rattan "clackers" etc, shall be wrapped with tape in a manner that shall prevent rattan splinters from protruding.
  4. All cutting edges and thrusting tips shall be marked in a contrasting colour.

Single-handed Weapons

  1. Single-handed weapons shall be not less than 32mm (1 1/4 inches) in total diameter (including tape) along its entire length excepting the handle and shall be constructed of one of the following:
    1. rattan
    2. rattan-cored Siloflex or Siloflex equivalent. The approved equivalent for Lochac is OD 32mm (approx ID 25mm), medium density, black polyethylene water pipe, 12 bar pressure rating.
    3. natural polypropylene round rod with a maximum diameter of 32mm (1 1/4 inch)
  2. Periodic inspection shall be made of rattan-cored Siloflex or Siloflex equivalent weapons to determine the condition of the inner core.
  3. Polypropylene weapons must either:
    1. have at least 3 layers of long grain fibre tape (not cross hatch tape), run along both sides of the haft or both blade faces and over the tip of the weapon
    2. or webbing belt or a leather strip along the haft or blade face and over the tip.
  4. Single-handed swords shall have a hand guard such as a basket hilt, quillions, or equivalent.
  5. If the weapon has a head:
    1. The head shall be firmly and securely attached to the haft.
    2. The head shall allow at least 12.7mm (1/2 inch) of progressive give between the striking surface and weapon haft.
    3. Users should take extra care when constructing mass weapons to ensure that they are able to control the weapon and not inadvertently generate excessive force.
  6. No single-handed weapon may exceed 1.22m (48 inches) in total length.
  7. No single-handed weapon may exceed 2.27kg (5lb) in weight.
  8. Daggers are considered to be very short single-handed swords.
  9. Single handed weapons may be equipped with thrusting tips as defined in 8.4.2.

Two-handed Weapons

  1. Two-handed weapons are weapons that can be used with one or two hands.
  2. Two-handed weapons shall not be excessively flexible or whippy.
  3. The head shall not be constructed of solely rigid materials and shall be securely attached to the haft.
  4. Built-up heads shall allow at least 12.7mm (1/2 inch) of progressive give between the striking surface and the weapon haft. Semi-rigid ultra-lightweight shaped foam heads or laminated or split rattan construction techniques do not require 12.7mm (1/2 inch) of progressive give, so long as their construction imparts striking characteristics similar to an unpadded weapon constructed of a single piece of rattan.
  5. Two-handed weapons may be equipped with thrusting tips at one or both ends.
    1. If the weapon is less than 2.29m (7 1/2 feet) in length, it may use two-handed low-profile thrusting tips, as defined in 8.4.2.
    2. Otherwise, they must use high-profile thrusting tips, as defined in 8.4.3
  6. The total length of a two-handed weapon shall not exceed 3.65m (12 feet). If it exceeds 2.28m (7 1/2 feet) it shall not be used for cutting or smashing and shall be used for thrusting only.
  7. Mechanical devices that are used to guide or propel spears (known as sliders) are prohibited.

Fibreglass Spears

  1. Fibreglass spears must have high-profile thrusting tips, as defined in 8.4.3
  2. Fibreglass spears may not be equipped with cutting or smashing heads.
  3. Fibreglass spears may only have a single thrusting tip; they may not have butt spikes.
  4. Pultruded fibreglass piping is the only permissable material for the construction of fibreglass spears. No other material may be used.
  5. Fiberglass spears shall be constructed with pultruded fiberglass shafts with an outside diameter of no less than 31.75mm (1 1/4 inches) and no greater than 33.38mm (1 5/16 inches). Minimum manufacturer-specified wall thickness shall be 3.2mm (1/8 inch) and the minimum measurable wall thickness shall be 2.38mm (3/32 inch).
  6. The end of the shaft to which the thrusting tip is attached must be covered with a schedule-40 PVC cap. This cap must have an interior diameter equal to the outside diameter of the shaft (32mm or 1 1/4inches). The thrusting tip will then be attached over this cap.
  7. Counterweights, or any other addition that significantly increases the weight of the spear, are prohibited.
  8. The butt end of the shaft shall be smooth and free of cracks or frayed fibres. The butt shall be taped over or otherwise sealed.
  9. It is recommended, but not required, that the entire length of the shaft be taped, because prolonged exposure to sunlight will shorten the lifespan of the shaft. If a weapon is completely taped, a marshal may require one section be untaped enough to determine that pultruded fibreglass has been used in the construction of the shaft.
  10. Total spear length shall not exceed 3.65m (12 feet).
  11. Fibreglass spears must be clearly marked for ownership.
  12. Mechanical devices that are used to guide or propel spears (known as sliders) are prohibited.
  13. The shafts of fibreglass spears may contain up to two splices. Splices must be made according to the following standards:
    1. The splice must use a solid fibreglass rod or fibreglass tube with a wall thickness of 3.2mm (1/8 inch). The rod or tube must have an outside diameter of 25.4mm (1 inch) and be between 204mm (8 inches) and 304mm (12 inches) in length.
    2. Each end to be spliced shall be cut square and must be clean of cracks or frayed fibres.
    3. The rod shall extend at least 102mm (4 inches) into each spliced end.
    4. One or both of these two methods shall secure the splice:
      • Epoxying both ends of the fibreglass rod before insertion.
      • Epoxying one end of the fibreglass rod before insertion, and thoroughly taping the splice over with fibre tape.

Thrusting Tips

General

Table 8.2 Thrusting Tip Construction summary
Type Diameter Thickness Give Weapons
Low-profile
(1-hand)
same as haft 19.1mm 9.5mm Single-handed
weapons
Low-profile
(2-hand)
same as haft 38.1mm 18mm Two-handed weapon
under 2.28m long
High-profile 50.8mm 50.8mm 20mm Any rattan weapon
Fibreglass spears
  1. See table 8.2 for a summary of thrusting tip requirements.
  2. The progressive give of a thrusting tip must be across the entire face of the tip. Pressing with the thumb into the centre of the thrusting tip is not an adequate test.

Low-profile Thrusting Tips

Figure 8.1 Low-profile thrusting tips
(a) Single-handed weapon low-profile thrusting tip construction
(b) Two-handed weapon low profile thrusting tip construction
(a) Single-handed weapon low-profile thrusting tip construction (b) Two-handed weapon low profile thrusting tip construction
  1. Low-profile thrusting tips must be at least the same diameter as the haft they are mounted on.
  2. Low-profile thrusting tips on single-handed weapons must be constructed of at least 19.1 mm (3/4 inch) of resilient material. They shall provide at least 9.53 mm (3/8 inch) of progressive give across the face of the thrusting tip without allowing contact with the rigid tip of the weapon.
  3. Low-profile thrusting tips on two handed weapons 2.28 m (7 1/2 feet) or less in length must be constructed of at least 38.1 mm (1 1/2 inches) of resilient material in front of the rigid tip of the weapon. They shall provide at least 18 mm of progressive give across the face of the thrusting tip without allowing contact with the rigid tip of the weapon.
  4. Low-profile thrusting tips may not be mounted on weapons greater than 2.28 m (7 1/2 ft) in length.

High-profile Thrusting Tips

Figure 8.2 High-profile thrusting tip
  1. High-profile thrusting tips may be mounted on any weapon permitted thrusting tips.
  2. Where thrusting tips are used on weapons greater than 2.28 m (7 1/2 ft) in length they must be high-profile thrusting tips.
  3. High-profile thrusting tips shall be no less than 50.8mm (2 inches) in diameter or cross section.
  4. High-profile thrusting tips must have at least 50.8mm (2 inches) of resilient material in front of the weapon tip and shall provide at least 20mm of progressively resistant "give" under pressure without allowing contact with the rigid tip of the weapon.