Melee/War Combat

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  1. There shall be at least 1 rapier marshal for every 8 combatants supervising melee/war combat. At least one of these marshals must have current authorisation as a rapier marshal and is responsible for reporting any issues to the Rapier Marshal in Charge.
    • For example, a field of 8 to 16 combatants requires two marshals, a field of 17 to 24 requires three marshals and so forth.
    • If there are not enough marshals available then the number of bouts or number of combatants in melees being run at any given time must be reduced to match the number of marshals. In no case is a bout or melee to be run without appropriate Rapier Marshals to supervise the combat.
  2. All rapier marshals supervising melee/war combat must be briefed by the Rapier Marshal in Charge prior to activities commencing.
  3. A briefing of all participants must be conducted prior to the start of the melee/war activity. This briefing must include details of the planned scenario/s and a revision of the melee rules.
  4. All combatants must be inspected prior to the first melee /war activity being started. This means for multi-day events if a melee/war activity is on a later day the previous day's inspection is no longer valid.
  5. The Rapier Marshal in Charge shall provide procedures for the identification and removal of "dead" combatants, removal of abandoned equipment, rules of engagement and rules for engaging from behind.
  6. Combat must have regular breaks (at least every 20 minutes) for water and to reduce unsafe behaviour (where tensions run high or injuries occur).
  7. In melees, combatants are engaged with all opponents immediately upon the marshal's command to begin.
  8. Combatants may strike any opponent with any legal blow if they are within the front 180° arc of their opponent. A combatant who approaches an opponent from behind shall not deliver a blow until they are within that frontal arc. A combatant may never strike an opponent from behind except with rubber band gun shot (avoiding the head as outlined in 2.3.9(c))
  9. Killing from behind is allowed only if it has been specifically announced by the supervising marshal before the scenario.
    1. If a melee scenario allows killing from behind, a combatant does so by laying the rapier blade over the opponent's shoulder, to at least a third of the length of the blade, while calling "You are Dead " (or other short, courteous phrases) in a loud, clear voice. Reaching around the neck is forbidden. The opponent will be deemed "killed" from the instant the blade touches their shoulder and shall not attempt to spin, duck or dodge away.
  10. If death from behind is not allowed in a given melee, a combatant who deliberately ignores an attacker behind them, or repeatedly manoeuvres so as to keep their back to an attacker (thereby preventing any attack on them) may be considered for misuse of the rules and obstructive behaviour.
  11. Special scenario melees such as bridge or town battles may impose additional restrictions as needed by the marshals.
  12. Cut and Thrust rapier combat may NOT be used in melee combat.
  13. If a melee scenario includes the use of rubber band guns, all marshals must be wearing full rapier combat armour.