Youth Rapier Marshal 101 Class Outline

Last Modified: 2019-02-19 Revision: eb37e1e

Target Audience

The goal of the Youth Rapier 101 class is to provide individuals with the basic background required to become a warranted youth rapier marshal.

Missions and Goals

The goal of Youth Rapier is to recreate pre-17th century fencing.

  1. All participants and their parents/legal guardians are expected to read, understand, and be willing to follow the kingdom and society rules PRIOR to authorization.
  2. Youth combat is intended to train children to fight safely and honorably, but we aim to keep it fun and light hearted at all times.
  3. It is our mission to function as ambassadors of the SCA Adult Rapier Community. You serve the youth program to help children get an early introduction into our combat programs and the SCA. To avoid conflict with parents, it is your mission to communicate clearly and adhere to the rules strictly.

Definitions

  1. Responsible Adult: A parent, court-appointed legal guardian, or person given medical authority over a child by a notarized Youth Combat Medical Authorization for Minors signed by one of the parents, listing the name of the responsible adult and specifically delegating this authority.
  2. Two person rule: All youth rapier activities, including training, sparring, and combat must be actively managed by a youth rapier marshal and at least one additional unrelated adult.
  3. Equipment: Youth rapier follows adult rapier equipment requirements with the exception of the use of plastic rapiers in Division 1 and Division 2 as appropriate.

Responsibilities of a youth rapier marshall

  1. Maintain an active rapier marshal warrant. See https://marshal.atlantia.sca.org/rapier/ for more information.
  2. Maintain an active SCA approved background check. Email seneschal@atlantia.sca.org for more information on obtaining an SCA approved background check.
  3. Take this class at least once every three years.
  4. In addition to normal marshal responsibilities:
    1. Teach the pre-authorization class to potential parents and youth combatants
    2. Perform authorizations in all divisions
    3. Perform inspections prior to combat, in the presence of the Responsible Adult for the participant
    4. Take an active role in combat management, sportsmanship, and assistance with blow calling
    5. Never be alone with children at an event or practice unless those children are your own.
  5. Ensure all youth rapier activity follows the two-person rule at all times.
  6. You, other marshals, MOLS, or other SCA officials MUST NOT take responsibility for children that are not your own.
  7. DO NOT discipline children that are not your own under any circumstances. Your role is to inform the responsible adult for that child and leave any disciplining to that adult. You may, however, ask that adult to remove their child from the activity if talking it out isn’t working, or if the adult will not keep their child from disrupting a practice or event.

Responsibilities of the Responsible Adult

  1. Understand this is a contact sport and that injuries may occur. Parents are ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of their children and assume all risks and liabilities for any harm or medical condition arising from the youth’s participation in these activities. This legal requirement cannot be delegated to the SCA or to the marshals on the list field. The assumption of responsibility shall be signified by completion of all legal documents required by the SCA, their resident kingdom, and owners of event sites.
  2. Have the right and responsibility to remove their child from any contest or activity they deem inappropriate or hazardous. Parents ultimately have authority on what their child may or may not do, but it is up to the Youth Marshal in charge of an event to see that the required conditions are met before a child can participate.
  3. Behave in a courteous and responsible manner at all times.
  4. Suggest becoming an warranted Youth Rapier Marshal so that they can work closely with their child in this activity.
  5. Be responsible for their child’s safety, with the Youth Rapier Marshals guiding the armoring/safety process.
  6. Read and understand these rules and standards and are to make sure that their child follows them

Child’s Participation Requirements

  1. Must show a blue SCA membership card OR the Youth’s Responsible Adult may sign a “Minor’s Consent to Participate Form” for the youth for each event or practice until a membership card can be acquired.
  2. A child must have a “Minor’s Consent to Participate and Hold Harmless” waiver signed.
  3. Children participating in Youth Martial activities have EITHER:
    1. Parent present at the event/activity
    2. OR a “Medical Authorization Form for Minors” (or a country specific alternate) designating a responsible adult, present at the event or activity, as able to authorize medical treatment in the case of emergency (a form of temporary guardianship). This waiver must be signed by a parent.
  4. Children, age 10 or younger, must have a Responsible Adult at the list field at all times while the participant is engaged on the list field.
  5. Children, age 11 or older, must have a Responsible Adult on event site and within sound of the field while the participant is engaged on the list field.
  6. The Responsible Adult never relinquishes responsibility for their children.

Requirements for adults training children

  1. Biological parents, adoptive parents, or any court appointed legal guardian may always work with and spar with their children.
  2. Adults must be authorized in the same weapons form as the division the child is participating in and currently practicing with. Division 1 and 2 requires a light rapier authorization. Division 3 may require a light rapier authorization, heavy rapier authorization or both.
  3. Adults working with children must follow the same weapon and armor standards.
  4. Adults may only work with children in controlled practice or training situations.

Additional Policies

  1. SCA policies relating to the attendance and participation of children at events and activities are found in the Seneschal’s Handbook. Nothing in this document will be construed to overrule, change, or substitute for those policies.

Divisions

  1. Participants will be divided into the following divisions:
    1. Division 1 will be for youths ages 6-9, and may authorize in plastic rapier.
    2. Division 2 will be for youths ages 10-13, and may authorize in plastic rapier and light rapier.
    3. Division 3 will be for youths ages 14-17, and may authorize in light rapier and heavy rapier.
  2. The listed age range for each division is not absolute. Reasonable adjustments based on size and/or maturity is allowed at the request of the child’s Responsible Adult with approval of the supervising Youth Rapier Marshal.
  3. Acknowledging that there might be a limited number of youth combatants at an event or practice, combatants may fight others in a younger division with the following provisions:
    1. Permission of the responsible adult for all participants.
    2. Permission of the Youth Combat Marshal-in-Charge.
    3. Older participants must adhere to the weapon standards, calibration, and rules of the younger participants being fought (e.g. Division 2 combatants may fight a Division 1 combatant at Division 1 calibration with Division 1 weapons).
  4. Kingdom rules allow a child, aged at least 16, to authorize in adult combat. Once a child has authorized in adult rapier, they are only allowed to participate in youth rapier combat as an adult. (As in, only training youths in a controlled environment.)

Authorizations

Authorization is about safety, understanding, and a good attitude, similar to an adult rapier authorization. The following are the relevant changes:

  1. The authorizing child’s Responsible Adult must be in attendance.
  2. Authorizations must be run by TWO youth rapier marshals, with one of the youth rapier marshals acting as the usher.
  3. Prior to the sparring component of the authorization, the authorizing child must first reasonably demonstrate the following techniques.
    1. Lunge and Thrust.
    2. Step Forward and backward in a proper fighting stance, moving the foot in the leading direction first.
  4. The authorizing child should mock-spar with an adult youth rapier marshal who is using the same weapon type that the child is authorizing to use. The adult should put forth only enough effort to see the authorizing child demonstrate the following abilities. Proficiency is not required, but safe execution is required.
    1. The authorizing child must thrust and strike the adult with a safe and controlled level of force.
    2. The authorizing child must be struck by an adult using a child’s level of force with an adult’s level of control.
      1. The authorizing child must keep a reasonably cool attitude.
      2. The authorizing child must be satisfied with the exercise, and still willing to continue and enjoy the experience.
    3. The authorizing child must be able to safely parry incoming attacks that are very slow in speed.
    4. The authorizing child must be able to move their feet in a controlled manner such that they will neither harm their opponent, nor be harmed, by over enthusiastic body motion or clumsiness.

Running a Practice

  1. All kingdom and society rules must be followed.
  2. Armor and weapons must be inspected in the presence of the childs’ Responsible Adult by a warranted youth rapier marshal prior to engaging in the activity.
  3. In the event of repeated bad behavior such as excessive force, tantrums, or failing to obey the youth rapier marshal in charge at the practice, youth rapier marshals may ask a parent to remove their child from the practice.
  4. Children must have a Youth Rapier Authorization to participate in melee practices, melee drills, or mock tournaments.

Additional procedures for tournaments

  1. Tournaments must be planned and approved by the MIC and MOL for an event ahead of time.
  2. Children must have a Youth Rapier Authorization to participate in tournaments or melees.
  3. Armor and weapons must be inspected in the presence of the child’s Responsible Adult by a warranted youth rapier marshal, that has signed in with the MOL, prior to engaging in the activity.

Additional procedures for incidents

  1. Injury: Parents are ultimately responsible for providing care and supervision of their child. However, a youth rapier marshal may:
    1. Call for emergency medical help if the situation calls for it.
    2. Assist a parent in providing care for an injured child.
  2. Verbal Incidents: It is your duty as a youth rapier marshal to handle disagreements gracefully, settle them as an arbiter if you can, and to avoid allowing arguments to disrupt practices and events.
    1. Do your best to talk out disagreements with parents after practice, remaining calm. Remember that it is your duty to help teach fencing to children and to oversee an honorable, fluid, and peaceful practice.
    2. It is not the responsibility of a youth rapier marshal to discipline children under any circumstances. Your role is to inform the responsible adult for that child and leave any disciplining to that adult. You may, however, ask that adult to remove their child from the activity for the day if talking it out isn’t working, or if the adult will not keep their child from disrupting a practice or event.
  3. Prevention: The best policy for any practice or event is to prevent incidents with best practices. Be aware of your surroundings and develop a relationship with the parents at your practices and events so that you have as many eyes assisting you as possible.
    1. Be familiar with the rules on space management for an adult list field found in the adult rapier marshal handbook.
    2. Keep the children at your practice engaged with drills and exercises.
    3. Keep a stocked first aid kit with you.
    4. Keep a copy of the youth rapier handbook and the adult rapier handbook with you at all times.

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