Youth Combat Archery – It Should Be a Thing!

Youth combatants in Aethelmearc

There have been several discussions over the years regarding youth combat archery, and though I have not been privy to them all, I have engaged in a few. As the Score Keeper for the IKCAC it has become more of an issue lately as youth who wish to participate must use ‘adult’ equipment. We have to date had at least one youth score entered, but using equipment they aren’t required to use in their own combat (for those that enjoy the sport) it is a real change. For those that are trying it for fun (including adults) it is different to have a helm and gauntlets on regardless of course.

What are the concerns?

So what are the blockers for creating rules for CA for youth? Initially the concerns are in the area of poundage of certain bows. For instance my crossbow hits fairly hard at ~520 ppsi (pounds per square inch). This would simply be too much given the armor requirements that youth is currently using. Not to mention Baldars hit a little harder than UMHW.

So whats the solution?

The overarching goal is to not replicate work. If this is already underway, let’s work together to promote the idea. The more we all work in concert, the more quickly this will become a reality. This is totally achievable, if not, why not. I truly hope we can open discussions about this across the known world and address any potential pitfalls or concerns. Please comment below with your thoughts and there is a draft document as a supplement.

It strikes me however (see what I did there?) that limiting youth to recurve would do the trick. Perhaps limiting the head type to UHMW as well. This more resembles ‘archery tag’ rules/equipment. Perhaps even requiring more padding as is required for Rapier.

Remember that for the IKCAC it isn’t as relevant, but what we might be looking for is consistency and standards. Regarding combat though, we should afford youth the same fun that adults enjoy! Combat Archery is so much fun and many youth are attracted to archery (target and combat). Being able to bridge this gap can be an important tool in broadening their horizons and opportunities. Not to mention the differing skillsets and related arts.

Call to action!

Please share your thoughts and concerns in the comments and the shared doc.

References:
https://sca.org/officers/marshal/docs/marshal_handbook.pdf (VII.G.6.e.ii)
https://www.sca.org/officers/marshal/youthcombat/docs.html
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oZhjBQZJVWCfeczqZS006fPK0LSsGmU-W5Y3TxpeJCY/edit?usp=sharing

Thinking outside the (IKCAC) box

With a recent refresh of the rules for a new 2019 (and future) seasons, an interesting idea was put forward by a friend in An Tir…

During the distance, and close range, there is no issue, you can set up multiple targets (30 and 10 yds) and simply switch targets. The interesting part comes in regard to the ‘advancing round’.

What if there are three targets set up on the range (30, 20, and 10 yds), and in lieu of advancing forward physically, there is a point or post 5 yards behind the (green) shooting line.

How the range might be set up using the post method
How the range might be set up using the post method

After shooting the two rounds at the thirty, you move to the ‘Advancing Round’. Once you get your two shots off at 30, you may advance and shoot at the 20, and repeat. What if instead of advancing, you physically walked/ran to a post behind the line, returned to the line, then shot normally?

How the participant would travel around the post
How the participant would travel around the post

Its an interesting concept, and one that I think would work… However there are some potential issues..

Loaded behind the line:

One should not have a spanned crossbow/bow or arrows/bolts loaded on their bows behind the line for any reason. This is especially true in a mixed line. One can argue that a shoot, solely dedicated to IKCAC, in a safe space, where all participants are aware, this can be done safely, that is not the scope of this post.

I prefer to load as I walk. The same way I perform in combat: always moving, always loading, always hunting. Using this method, one should not be loading while traveling to and from the post, to the line. It creates a safety hazard. What if the prod should break while in action and the bow is pointed ‘down line’ towards other participants? If using the post method, shoot, move to post and back, get back on the line, load and shoot.

Comfort of archers

It is the case that most archery lines are not comfortable, nor familiar with the type of explosive movement that can occur in combat archery. People leisurely shooting their Royal Rounds 10 feet away, may be greatly distracted by someone suddenly running off the line and back.

If one were to attempt this method, make sure all participants are not only aware this is happening, but are ok with it. All the line marshals as well as the MiC should be aware and be assuaged of any safety concerns.

Additionally, make sure the participants of the IKCAC are comfortable with the set up! Some may refer the physical advancement. If it can be run either or both ways, do what is best for the populace and participants!

Elbow room

Space can always be tight, but if there is room to run the IKCAC on its own, that may be a better fit. Though in some cases, a mixed line may be preferable. A mixed line also affords greater visibility to the IKCAC to participants who may not otherwise know it exists. If there is loaner gear, it also makes it easier for someone to walk up and try it out the same we afford in target archery! That said, make sure there is plenty of space for all activities. We want to ensure we are working together!

Conclusion

We all need to make sure the thing we love, is what we do. Talk to your Autocrats, and your Marshals in Charge. It is our job to not only make sure our thing is happening, but that it is advertised, has space, and is done safely!

A new season of the IKCAC is here!

Friends, with a new year brings great promise: to fling more arrows and bolts into a shiny new IKCAC target!

February 1st is the beginning of the new season, so get your targets made and dust those arrows and bolts off! Get them in before December 1st though!

The rules, and target have been reimagined to make the shoot easier, and target easier to construct and set up!

Its as close as you can get to the battlefield without a fighter card!

So what has changed?!

We have added a youth division so our younger friends can compete across the Kingdoms!

We are splitting the adults into two divisions: hand-bow and crossbow.

Plywood Target Example PVC Target ExampleThe target is basically two rectangles. This will make it easier to build! The construction method and materials doesn’t matter, as long as the size is correct and the scores can be easily recorded. But have no fear, if you have the ‘old’ target, you can continue to use it through the 2019 season! We appreciate people may have made on or still have one (as I do!).

The scoring system has been simplified. Now just keep your tally and the math is super easy: 2 or 4 points per.

The IKCAC now lives on it own section on the scores site!


So what does this all mean? The shoot is far more approachable now! We hope to bring you a shoot that is fun, opens doors, and fosters inclusion.

Talk to your local marshals, ask them to include the IKCAC at events and practices! It is a lot easier, and fun to do!

Get out there and get shooting!

Your Faithful Servant and Score-keeper – Cameron de Grey

Tracking Martial Participation

Tracking Martial Activities: Getting number we can track.

We have set up an online event/practice tracking form to help marshals develop a better sense of how many participants we have in all martial activities. The event/practice tracking tool entry form can be found here (http://bit.ly/martial-event-report-form).

If you wish to view the data that has been collected you can access the form here.

This form is not intended as a replacement for recording scores, etc, but simply an additional tool for tracking overall participation.

What are the potential benefits?
Numbers! Many people show up at practices and events, but we don’t always know how many. If we start tracking and gauging, our marshals and staff can make more informed decisions about creating space for that martial activity. We can track year over year growth or shrinkage. Are people migrating from one martial activity to another? Picking up a second or third? Is there a new activity that needs local group support due to growth?
Autocrats (or event stewards) can benefit. We can take numbers to autocrats and make a case as to expected numbers, and space requirements. In some cases there may not be a drive to have a particular activity. One can make the case that a budding group needs to promote a martial skill because there are a few participants, but could grow if assisted. The more we talk to autocrats and communities, the better we represent our communities, and the staff recognize and respect same.
We can map and gauge activities across the known world. Is there thrown weapons in Lochac? Darts in Artemisia? If not, why not? Are there emissaries in one Kingdom that can reach out and assist another? In this way we hope it will open lines of communications across sympathetic disciplines.

What will it require from marshals and staff?
Each event or practice might require a sign in sheet.
At the end of each practice or event, the number of participants will need to be entered into the form. It need not be done on site, but perhaps as a post event wrap up.
If there is a Royal Round, or other kind of competition,  the scores would need to be entered into their respective existing form(s). In many areas, sign in sheets are a standard, we are simply looking to spread the standard, and add basic reporting. Yes this creates slightly more ‘paperwork’. We think the amount of work is minimal compared to the potential benefits, but the final decision of course, is yours, and your groups.

The scores site has a form for tracking participation, but it requires each individual to be entered, this is an attempt to simplify that aggregation.

What we hope to achieve is to allow the Society, and martial activities to see across the known world, in one place, who is doing what, and where. We deeply believe in the benefits. Adopting this initiative can have substantive effect numbers to reflect on, and share. By tracking, we can make informed decisions, and better promote the things we love.

Please comment and share!