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The Second Year

The First “Rules of the Lists” Printed
April, 1968 AS II

The May issue (#6) of TI printed the first Rules of the Lists. Also in that issue were the decrees that henceforth the Herald shall keep a College of Arms and that all members of the nobility should register arms with the College. The Grand March was restricted to the nobility.

The Rules of the Lists, May 1968, excerpted from Tournaments Illuminated

  1. The Head and the Face must be protected from injury. A heavy sabre mask shall be considered minimum protection.
  2. There shall be no thrusting except with lance or shortsword.
  3. NO Tournament weapons may be made of metal, and no steel may be drawn on the field.
  4. The Morgenstern (Morningstar) is banned from the Lists, and may be used only in Melee or in demonstration fights.
  5. If a shield is to be used as an offensive weapon by a fighter, the shield becomes subject to weapons restrictions and must be cleared by the King, or by the King's representative.
  6. Any weapons mutually acceptable to the combatants in a fight may be used on the field, providing they have been cleared by the King or His representative; except as in Rule 4 or as otherwise ruled by the King.
  7. A bladed weapon may not be grasped as a means of stopping a blow.
  8. If a weapon is broken on the field, the combat will stop while the fighter is rearmed. If the fighter falls or drops his weapon, the combat will stop while he recovers.
  9. No projectile weapons shall be allowed; and no weapons may be thrown except light javelins from a distance of 5 yards or greater, except as otherwise ruled by the King, subject to rules 6 and 10.
  10. All weapons on the field must be inspected and approved by the King or His representative.
  11. Fighters are expected to behave as though the weapons are real, and injuries will be judged accordingly. All fighters are presumed to be armored except as otherwise stated.
  12. All combatants must be presented to, and must be acceptable to, the King.
  13. Combatants will behave as knights and gentlemen, even if they have not attained this station as yet.
  14. All persons under 21 years of age who plan to fight on the field must be under the specific sponsorship of a Knight, Master, or adjudgedly competent adult fighter, except in the case where such person may have attained the rank of Knight or Master. No one may sponsor who has not fought in Formal Tournament, or who is not 21 years of age.
  15. Any combatant fighting in the lists for the Crown must have a Lady, though her person need not be revealed until her crown is secure.

“The College of Arms was Randal's idea. He moved fast when he saw a group he wanted to belong to. The Grand March being restricted to the nobility was, I think, a direct consequence of several hassles about who was to march where and when for the Grand March of the March Crown tourney.
     “I believe it was somewhere in here that a rather momentous meeting took place amongst most of the movers and shakers (with some pointed exceptions) of the SCA at the time. Luise and I were invited by Herald of Breakstone and I don't think that he necessarily had the permission of the Band of Brothers to do so. I think I've already talked about this meeting, wherein a lot of the offices were established and their areas of influence were delineated (many continuing to the present day).
     “At the meeting were Jon de Cles, Duke Siegfried and his then-wife Marynel of Darkhaven (the meeting took place at their house), Henrik of Havn and Leanne of Maywood, Karina, Edwin Bearsark, Harald and his then-wife Janet of Breakstone, Randal of Hightower (and possibly his then-wife Allison, but I don't remember), and others. Notable by their absence were then-king William the Silent and Queen Sheryl, Richard of Montroyal, and Fulk de Wyvern. I don't recall if any other Hodgheads were present, but I don't believe they were.
     “If I haven't described this meeting before, please let me know and I'll elucidate further. For the moment, I will just say that the offices of Seneschal, Herald, and Marshal were solidified and some of the hierarchy that continues to this day was established.” – Stefan de Lorraine, who found all the wheeling and dealing interesting and was probably inspired to join into the politics and eventually become Seneschal as a direct result of the meeting.

[There shall be no thrusting except with lance or shortsword.] “Presumption being short sword point can be controlled well by one hand, not a broadsword point. The lance point is only for thrusting so the defender will expect a thrust and defend accordingly.” – Henrik of Havn

[... cleared by the King or His representative ...] “Historical comment – the King’s representative here was the Earl Marshall, but he was not mentioned by title to prevent any conflict that might arise from ending in a stalemate. This in effect was how the power of the crown developed into the “King’s Word is Law” in fact.” – Henrik of Havn

Description of this event, © Copyright 1980 by William R. Keyes (Wilhelm von Schlüssel)
This is from The History of the West Kingdom, Volume 1 (the only volume produced). When reading this text, please keep in mind the following disclaimer:

Disclaimer: This history may have errors in it, as much of the detail is “remembered” history, or as one of the cover pages of the original type-written manuscript states “The material within is derived from the information printed in The Crown Prints and in The Page, and from the memories of the participants.” The original document was typed on onion-skin paper, with hand-written notes (often in the margins). All attempts have been made to reconcile the notes with the original document.

Annotations, when they are added, are from The Annotated History of the West, Volume 1, which is the same text as Master Wilhelm's mentioned above, with commentary from members of the SCA who were active at the time of the event, and are added to help clarify questions and expand on what happened and why. This volume is copyright © Ken Mayer (Hirsch von Henford).

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