Rules of the Lists

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  1. The basic rules for SCA combat are contained in the Rules of the Lists in the Corpora of the SCA Inc. These rules cover all combat within the SCA including but not limited to tournaments, non-tourney martial field activities such as wars, combat archery, and Society period fencing. The observance of honour and chivalry and the safety of the combatants are considered over-riding elements. The following is intended to bring together the appropriate rules for conducting both tourney field combat and other SCA combat activities.

Rules of the Lists

  1. Each fighter, recognising the possibilities of physical injury to themselves in such combat, shall assume unto themself all risk and liability for harm suffered by means of such combat. Other participants shall likewise recognise the risks involved in their presence on or near the field of combat, and shall assume unto themselves the liabilities thereof.
  2. No person shall participate in martial activities requiring authorisation outside of formal training sessions unless and until they shall have been properly authorised under Society and Kingdom procedures.
  3. All combatants must be presented to, and be acceptable to, the Sovereign or their representative.
  4. All combatants shall adhere to the appropriate Armour and Weapons Standards of the Society, and to any additional standards of the kingdom in which the event takes place.
  5. The Sovereign or the Marshallate may bar any weapon or armour from use upon the field of combat. Should a warranted Marshal bar any weapon or armour, an appeal may be made via the established marshallate chain of command up to and including the Sovereign to allow the weapon or armour.
  6. Combatants shall behave in a knightly and chivalrous manner, and shall fight according to the appropriate Society and Kingdom Conventions of Combat.
  7. No one may be required to participate in martial activities. Any combatant may, without dishonour or penalty, reject any challenge without specifying a reason. A fight in a tournament lists is not to be considered a challenge, and therefore may not be declined or rejected without forfeiting the bout.
  8. Fighting with real weapons, whether fast or slow, is strictly forbidden at any Society event. This rule does not consider approved weaponry that meets the Society and kingdom standards for Society combat and/or Society rapier combat, used in the context of mutual sport, to be real weaponry.
  9. No projectile weapons shall be allowed and no weapons shall be thrown within the Lists of a tournament. The use of approved projectile weapons for melee, war, or Combat Archery shall conform to the appropriate Society and Kingdom Conventions of Combat.

Applications of the Rules of the List

Application of Rule 1
"Other participants" include marshals and support personnel whose activities bring them close to fighting in a situation where boundaries are not clearly defined.
Heralds, list pages, and similar officers who leave the field entirely before combat begins are exempt from this requirement, as are water-bearers and chirurgeons who remain in fixed support points outside the tournament field or battle area.
Water-bearers and chirurgeons who take part in mobile support groups within the overall boundaries of a battle area must receive a basic orientation in field safety.
Application of Rule 2
The Crown and/or marshallate of each Kingdom shall establish standards and procedures for the authorisation of fighters to participate in combat. These procedures shall adhere to the combat authorisation procedures in this handbook.
At Kingdom option, these procedures may involve either a general authorisation to participate in armoured combat or a set of separate authorisation procedures for the use of (or for combat AGAINST) specific weapons or classes of weapons.
The Crown and/or marshallate of each Kingdom shall establish standards and procedures for the authorisation of combat archers and missile users to participate in combat.
Kingdoms may establish such additional limitations on the participation of minors as may be deemed necessary.
It is usual for authorisations from other Kingdoms to be accepted, although exceptions may prove necessary in the case of specific individuals.
The Crown may not simply grant an authorisation, unless the recipient has successfully completed the authorisation process as delineated in Society and Kingdom law.
Application of Rule 4
Kingdoms may apply armour and weapons standards that are stricter than the Society standards, should they be deemed necessary, but may not reduce or waive any Society standard.
Application of Rule 5
If a fighter regards an opponent's weapon or armour as unduly dangerous to self or opponent, they can request that the marshal on the field re-inspect the item. Either fighter has the option of appealing the decision of the re-inspection marshal to the marshal in charge and ultimately to the Sovereign.
Application of Rule 6
Engaging in any Society combat activity with the deliberate intent to inflict bodily harm to an opponent is strictly forbidden.
Application of Rule 7
No one is required to engage in SCA combat should they prefer not to do so.
Application of Rule 8
Since fighting with real weapons is forbidden at any Society event, threatening the use of such weapons is likewise expressly forbidden.
At the discretion of the Sovereign and the Marshal-in-Charge, recognised experts may be permitted to present choreographed demonstrations with real weapons under strictly controlled conditions.
No one may wear any real weapon onto the field while participating in combat or present during combat.
At the discretion of the Sovereign and the Marshal-in-Charge, an exception may be made for marshals or other non-combatants to wear knives bonded with peace straps.
Posing for still photographs with real weapons is permitted.
Application of Rule 9
The prohibition on thrown weapons refers to weapons thrown in combat or thrown in a hostile manner. It does not apply to "tossing," defined as a gentle, short-range method of transferring or removing a tournament weapon or item from the list field or area of combat.
The use of bows and arrows, firearms, slings, javelins, throwing axes, throwing knives, or any other projectile weapon is forbidden within tournament lists, or in any other situation where spectators cannot be separated from the potential line of fire by more than the effective range of the weapon.