Authorisation Tests

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General

The procedures in this section only apply to armoured combat. They do not apply to rapier or equestrian authorisations.

The purpose of authorisation is to ensure the candidate is able to take the field without presenting a danger to themselves or others, and that they understand the basic rules of SCA combat. The candidate is not required to demonstrate great skill with their weapons, only enough to mount a minimally-credible attack and defence against a reasonably experienced opponent.

  1. Armoured combat authorisations in the Kingdom of Lochac must be carried out according to these procedures. No person may be granted a Lochac armoured combat authorisation, even by the Crown, until they have successfully completed the testing procedures set out in this chapter.
  2. Authorisations must be carried out at official events or official practices.
  3. The authorisation process must be administered by a rostered Senior Marshal and two experienced authorised combatants, one of whom may be the rostered Senior Marshal. One experienced combatant is to serve as the examining opponent for the candidate, and the other as an additional witness to the authorisation.
    1. In order to conduct authorisations, the authorising Senior Marshal must hold a current subscribing membership at the time of the authorisation.
    2. It is not required for the candidate to be a member in order to authorise, or for the experienced combatants to be members.
    3. If the group lacks sufficient experienced combatants, the requirement for the second experienced authorised combatant to witness the authorisation process may be waived at the discretion of the Kingdom Earl Marshal.
    4. For the purposes of the authorisation process, an "experienced combatant" is a currently active fighter with at least two years of regular fighting experience in the relevant combat forms.
    5. For all authorisation processes, the examining experienced combatant must hold a current authorisation in the specific forms being examined.
    6. In the event of there being no suitably qualified marshals to conduct the authorisation, such as in the situation where a new authorisation type is being bootstrapped in a group, or where all of the relevant authorisations in a group have lapsed, the Kingdom Earl Marshal may at their sole discretion forego the practical steps of the marshal authorisation process and instead grant the authorisation after conducting a thorough verbally administered theory test. This process may only be applied to combat authorisations under exceptional circumstances, and then only to experienced fighters with reasonably current combat experience.

Authorisation Paperwork

  1. Candidates must present a complete and signed authorisation form to the authorising Senior Marshal prior to the authorisation. In Australia, this must include a properly completed waiver.
  2. The authorising Senior Marshal must not countersign the authorisation paperwork until the authorisation process has been successfully completed.
  3. All authorisation tests and forms must be completed in accordance with the instructions on those forms. Forms that are incorrectly filled out, or incomplete, will not be processed by the lists officer and will have to be redone and submitted again.
  4. Deliberate forging of authorisation paperwork or test results is a serious matter and will result in severe sanctions against those involved.
  5. It is the responsibility of the newly-authorised combatant to ensure the relevant paperwork is submitted to the correct lists officer or deputy within the required timeframes.
  6. Authorisation forms must arrive with the lists officer not more than three calendar months from the date of the authorisation. Forms that arrive later than this will not be processed, and the associated authorisation process(es) will have to be redone.
  7. The newly-authorised combatant should keep a copy of the authorisation paperwork if they wish to participate in combat-related activities before they have received their authorisation card. If an authorisation card has not been received within one month of submitting the paperwork, the combatant should contact the relevant lists officer and ensure the paperwork has been received and is correct.

Practical Component

  1. The candidate must present themselves on the field in armour for inspection.
    1. The armour must be inspected on the body and must pass the current armour requirements for combat. This inspection must be complete and exacting.
    2. Any deficiencies in the candidate's armour and equipment must be permanently corrected before the person may authorise or renew, no temporary fixes are permitted.
  2. The authorisation process shall be conducted in accordance with one of the following sections as appropriate to the type of authorisation being sought by the candidate.
  3. The authorising Senior Marshal and examining authorised fighters shall confer to decide if the candidate exhibits adequate performance in the minimum criteria for authorisation listed below:
    • Does the candidate know and understand the Rules of the Lists
    • Does the candidate know and understand the Conventions of Combat as they apply in Lochac?
    • Does the candidate exhibit safe behaviour on the field, for both themselves and others?
    • How does the candidate react to pressure? Do they fight back or become disoriented and confused?
    • Can the candidate defend themselves adequately?
    • How does the candidate react to a call of "HOLD"?
    • Can the candidate feel and judge received blows?
    • Does the candidate have adequate calibration of thrown blows?
    • Can the candidate repeatably accurately judge 5 metres range to a closing opponent?

Heavy Combat Authorisation Test

The heavy combat authorisation entitles the authorised fighter to fight both as a heavy combatant and as a plumed participant.

  1. If any portion of the authorisation procedure is not satisfactorily completed, the procedure shall be stopped and the candidate shall be told of the problems observed and instructed as to how to correct the problems.
  2. The candidate may authorise using any legal weapons form with the exception of fibreglass spear.
  3. The examining combatant must be armed with sword and shield.
  4. For the first few minutes of the bout for authorisation, the candidate and the authorised fighter shall fight at 1/2 to 3/4 speed and verbally acknowledge all blows landed. During this phase of the authorisation, the Senior Marshal and witnessing experienced fighter should get an impression of the new fighter's style, technique, ability to call blows, and ability to defend themselves.
  5. If the first portion of the bout has progressed satisfactorily, then the combatants will proceed to full-speed list-type combat, properly enacting all received blows. The full-speed combat rounds must cover the following scenarios:
    1. Candidate fights standing against a standing opponent; and
    2. Candidate fights standing against a kneeling opponent; and
    3. Candidate fights from their knees against a standing opponent; and
    4. Candidate fights from their knees against a kneeling opponent.
  6. During this phase, the authorising Senior Marshal and witnessing experienced fighter should observe the new fighter's control, reaction to blows, and ability to cope with pressure.
    1. At some point during this combat, the examining marshal should call a hold without warning to ensure the candidate reacts appropriately.
  7. The candidate must demonstrate that they can "die" defensively in a manner appropriate to war combat; i.e. On their side covering themselves with their shield with their legs pulled up as close as possible, as well as in a manner appropriate to tournament lists combat.
  8. The candidate must demonstrate that they can correctly enact a kill from behind, as well as correctly respond to one. The candidate must be able to demonstrate an understanding of the different ways in which a kill from behind may be enacted.
  9. After the authorisation bouts, the candidate and the examining fighter shall move at least 10-12 metres apart and shall repeatedly close with each other in turn, both at a walk and at a run, and the candidate shall be required to enact a called kill appropriate to a plumed combatant on their opponent when they have closed to 5 metres. The authorising Senior Marshal and the examining combatant must satisfy themselves that the candidate is able to repeatedly judge 5 m to a reasonable degree of accuracy.
  10. If the authorising Senior Marshal and examining authorised fighters agree that the candidate meets these requirements, the authorising Senior Marshal will notify the fighter that they are now authorised and shall complete the authorisation paperwork with the newly authorised fighter.

Plumed Participant Authorisation Test

The plume participant authorisation allows the participant to take the field as an unarmed Plumed Auxiliary, or as a plumed combatant when combined with a weapon authorisation such as thrown weapon, combat archery or siege engine.

  1. Plumed participant authorisations shall be conducted by an authorised Senior Marshal, and an authorised heavy combatant armoured and equipped with sword and shield. Additionally, an authorised experienced plumed participant is required if the heavy combatant is not also an experienced plumed participant.
  2. The candidate must demonstrate that they know how to "die" safely both in response to kills called from 5 metres range, and to kills from behind.
  3. The candidate and the examining fighter shall move at least 10-12 metres apart and shall repeatedly close with each other in turn, both at a walk and at a run, and the candidate shall be required to call out when they have closed to 5 metres of their opponent. The authorising marshal and the examining combatant must satisfy themselves that the candidate is able to repeatedly judge 5m to a reasonable degree of accuracy.
  4. Candidates must be informed that, even with plumes, they may still be targeted and struck by siege missile fire and thrown weapons on the war field, and that these can be capable of hitting with force equal to a good blow from a heavy fighter, but do not warrant calling a hold. They must be aware that they may also be struck by accident and that a plume is no guarantee of avoiding such strikes.
  5. If the authorising Senior Marshal and examining authorised fighters agree that the candidate meets these requirements, the authorising Senior Marshal will notify the fighter that they are now authorised and shall complete the authorisation paperwork with the newly authorised fighter.

Weapon-Specific Authorisation Tests

Fibreglass Spear Authorisation Test

The fibreglass spear authorisation allows authorised Heavy Combatants to use fibreglass spears.

  1. Fibreglass spear authorisation may not be undertaken unless the fighter is already holds a heavy combat authorisation.
  2. No combatant may use a fibreglass spear outside of practice until they have successfully completed this authorisation.
  3. Fibreglass spear authorisations shall be conducted by a Senior Marshal and an experienced authorised combatant who holds a current fibreglass spear authorisation. These may be the same person. Additional witnessing marshals and combatants may be required at the discretion of the authorising marshal.
  4. The candidate shall be verbally examined to ensure they understand the nature of the weapon they are using before the authorisation may proceed. The key things the candidate must know are:
    1. what types of strikes are permitted with fibreglass spears; and
    2. what the kill and wound zones for that weapon are; and
    3. what, if any, specific risks are inherent in their maintenance and use.
  5. The candidate and the authorised fighter shall then fight authorisation bouts as per Heavy combat authorisation test.
    1. These bouts shall be fought twice, once with both fighters using fibreglass spears, and once with the examining authorised combatant using sword and shield.
  6. After the bouts are concluded, the marshal and examining authorised fighter shall confer to decide if the candidate exhibits adequate performance in the minimum criteria for authorisation listed below:
    • Does the candidate understand the particular nature of the weapon they are using?
    • Does the candidate exhibit safe behaviour on the field, for both self and others?
    • How does the candidate react to pressure?
    • Can the candidate defend themselves without blocking with the spear haft etc.
    • Is the authorising fighter able to feel and judge blows, both those received and those thrown?
  7. If the marshal and examining authorised fighter agree that the candidate meets these requirements, the marshal will notify the fighter that they are now authorised in the new weapons form and shall complete the relevant paperwork with the newly authorised combatant.

Combat Archery Authorisation Test

  1. In order to authorise as a combat archer, the candidate must first be authorised as either a heavy combatant or a plumed participant.
  2. Combat archer authorisation may be conducted in the same authorisation session as the candidate's heavy combatant or plumed combatant authorisation, provided they pass those requirements.
  3. The candidate shall demonstrate an understanding of the construction requirements for combat archery ammunition and that they are able to check ammunition and correctly identify any issues with it.
  4. The candidate shall demonstrate that they are able to nock, draw and loose arrows in a reliable and safe manner while armoured. The authorising marshal should assess the candidate's ability to do so without accidentally loosing an unaimed shot.
    1. The candidate and the examining heavy combatant shall move approximately 20 metres apart and the examining combatant shall attempt to close on the candidate while they fire at least three rounds and attempt to remain outside of 5 m range of the closing heavy combatant. The authorising marshal and examining plumed combatant shall assess the ability of the candidate to handle their weapons in a safe manner while moving.
  5. If the candidate is authorising as a heavy archer, they must demonstrate the ability to safely discard their bow and arm themselves with melee weapons while under pressure from a closing heavy combatant. The candidate must demonstrate that they understand appropriate circumstances under which to yield to a heavy combatant if they are caught within range part way through the transition.
  6. If the candidate is authorising as a plumed archer, they must demonstrate the ability to "die" safely and appropriately in response to called-kills from a heavy combatant. They must also demonstrate when and how to yield safely so as to avoid being struck by a heavy combatant.
  7. If the authorising Senior Marshal and examining authorised fighters agree that the candidate meets these requirements, the authorising Senior Marshal will notify the fighter that they are now authorised and shall complete the authorisation paperwork with the newly authorised fighter.

Siege Engine Authorisation Test

  1. In order to authorise as a siege engineer, the candidate must first be authorised as either a heavy combatant or a plumed participant.
  2. Siege engineers must be authorised individually, not as crews.
  3. Siege engineer authorisation may be conducted in the same authorisation session as the candidate's heavy combatant or plumed participant authorisation, provided the pass those requirements.
  4. The following are required for a siege engineer authorisation:
    1. either a rostered Senior Marshal who is also an authorised Siege Marshal; or
    2. both a rostered Senior Marshal and a rostered Siege Marshal; and
    3. a siege engine available to be used during the authorisation with sufficient experienced authorised crew for that engine; and
    4. at least one experienced authorised armoured heavy combatant armed with a melee weapon.
    In the event that there are no experienced or authorised engineers available the authorising Marshals shall discuss the authorisation in detail with the Kingdom Earl Marshal who may waive the requirement at their sole discretion.
  5. The candidate must demonstrate an understanding of the rules governing siege weapons in Lochac, how they must be engaged and how they may be destroyed.
  6. Having presented themselves armoured appropriately and having passed inspection, the candidate must successfully conduct an unassisted safety inspection of the engine.
    The authorising marshals should question the candidate after this process to ensure they understand any issues specific to other types of engine than the one being inspected.
  7. The candidate must demonstrate that they understand the different types of siege weapons and the general risks and hazards specific to each type.
  8. The candidate must demonstrate a thorough understanding of how to make the engine safe, how safely to load and discharge the engine, and be able to accurately describe the hazards specific to the engine they are using.
    1. If the engine requires multiple crew, the candidate must clearly verbally direct the crew through these processes without assistance.
  9. If the candidate is authorising as a plumed siege engineer, they must demonstrate an understanding of how to "die" appropriately in response to called kills from heavy combatants.
  10. If the candidate is authorising as a heavy siege engineer, who will defend their engine with melee weapons, they must demonstrate the ability to make their engine safe, arm themselves appropriately and defend their engine safely when pressed by an approaching heavy combatant.
    1. They must also demonstrate an understanding of how to "die" appropriately if they are unable to defend themselves during the process of making the engine safe and arming themselves.
  11. It is strongly recommended, but not required, that engineers be observed for at least one battle before authorisations are made final.
  12. If the authorising Senior Marshal and examining authorised fighters agree that the candidate meets these requirements, the authorising Senior Marshal will notify the fighter that they are now authorised and shall complete the authorisation paperwork with the newly authorised fighter.