Pilfering Personal Peerage Pie?!

In regards to the Omnibus Peerage, one argument that is heard: We will water down the concept/reality of what Peerage is by including more. I will attempt to dismantle that theory. I will use certain groups as examples, but this is a ubiquitous argument and is not limited to, or singling out any specific group. They are examples. Nothing more, nothing less.

Driving in ones lane

Who is made ‘less’? When someone is elevated, they are elevated for what they master in, in their lane. Meaning this candidate is a master of the thing they are, in the space they chose. Someone who is recognized as a Laurel for their woodworking mastery will not be a detriment (nor necessarily as boon for that matter) to the Equestrian community. These two worlds might collide in a weird Venn-y diagram-my world, but not likely. Both will enjoy the benefits of having one so recognized in their ranks, continuing to do what they do, in their mastered field.

What this means is that one being recognized or elevated in their space in no way detracts from the other. Presumably these people are recognized for the work they have done, and hopefully continue to do. These individuals will be asked for support by the Society and Crown on their areas of expertise. It is about singling out individuals who are masters and thought leaders in their space. It identifies people who can be depended on for wisdom and intelligence. In other words, there is no pie. Anyone recognized as a Peer already, is not harmed or damaged in any way. Their voice rendered no less valued, their mastery not diminished in any way.

Peers… they live!

Whether we agree on the mechanics of how and why, one thing we should all agree on, is that Peers already exist, they simply haven’t been recognized as such. In each wonderful area that exists in the Society we could go to those communities, and ask, “Who is the most amazing person in your ‘space’?”. I would wager that any person who is active in that space, has at least one immediate answer. I would further bet that many of those people named would already be Peers in that area. The glaring exception would be people in specific groups in the SCA (eg: archery). Given that they do exist, that by any metric ever used to determine worthiness, a person meets or exceeds them all, why AREN’T they a Peer?

They can be a Peer already

“If they are an archer, they can become a Laurel!” If the argument is to be believed, that ‘granting a Martial Peerage would water down the pool’, then by recognizing an archer as a Laurel, or a Martial Peer would literally take the same space. Meaning regardless of what the individual is a candidate for, you are still adding N+1. So why not recognize them for who they are?

Take the example of an archer is recognized for their art and not their mastery of the martial skill (of which their art is derivative) couldn’t that be insulting? Perhaps this is hard for some to understand because they don’t know much about archery specifically, but this example can be overlaid to anything else. An example I think most people can recognize is this: There is a candidate in the fighting community who exemplifies all Peer traits, is a master of their martial form, derived arts such as making armor, weapons, teaching, and more… Would any member of the Chiv community accept them being made a Laurel for their armor making skill in lieu of a Knight for everything they are? Would that not be insulting to all the dedication and value they bring to every other aspect of the Society?

Let’s do both!

The Society and Crown have recognized individuals as multiple Peers, again and again. If they argument is to be believed that we cannot ‘water down’ the Peerages, then why do multiple Peers exist? Certainly there are members of the Laurel who are also members of the Chiv, and in each space, deserving. Using the water down argument, recognizing someone as a Peer in another space would be wasteful.

But it isn’t, and anyone who knows a worthy individual who holds multiple Peerages, has them for a reason. WHAT are those reasons? The reasons one conjures are the same exact reasons used for allowing recognition for individuals for who they are and what they do, not ASPECTS of who they are and what they do.

Dude, shut up

I will for now, but I’ll conclude with this. If the concept of Peerage is a necessary one, and we as a Society value those candidates, let us recognize those individuals for who and what they are. Respect their space as we continue to respect yours.

In service to the Dream in equity…

Why Are You Doing This? – Omnibus Support

Valiance Proposal Unofficial Badges

The Poll…

I was recently in a conversation with a new friend, who is not terribly familiar with the Proposal, or people’s motivations. They asked about my motivations, and it occurred to me, there may be a group of people who are doing this so they can become peers. It hadn’t occurred to me before.

Prior to that conversation, there was another with a wonderful person who is already a Peer, and the same friend. In this conversation I made the case that, “One should’t seek Peerage as a goal, rather as an ideal.” Luckily I was exposed in a deliberate and informed manner, some counter arguments: The merits of seeking this position and what it can mean.

Having considered the arguments and doing my best to look at this issue through the lens of persons on the ‘outside’, as well as those approaching this from a different perspective, I believed a simple poll would help inform not only myself, but I hoped to get a direct answer from a range of people gauge ‘truth’ from other’s perspectives. It has been pointed out unconstructively, “The poll is poorly written’. Despite not being an expert in this field, I attempted to draft a simple, direct poll that got to the heart of: ‘motive’ of support. However a fair point was made regarding bias of support despite being a poll about support.

The poll was live over the span of a few months and shared on social media and Discord to  groups related to the Proposal, or those who might be affected by it.

Now the results…

question1 question2 question3 question4 question5


I have now, and always been a supporter for a few reasons:

  • There is no valid defensible reason for NOT having a Peerage that covers all martial areas* as does the Laurel for Arts This would directly cover the three pillars of Society: Arts, Service, and Martial**
  • The Society, from lack of a direct path to peerage, have potentially lost out, or pushed away, many people who are Peers, some who have been for decades.
  • Intentionally NOT having a path for specific segments of Society  for who and what they are is damaging to the individuals, AND The Society

About Me

To anyone reading who doesn’t know me, I am a relative nobody in this Society who values friendship and camaraderie above all else. I have ZERO ambitions. When I show up, I want others to have a good time, be engaged, informed, and have fun. Even if it means acting a fool in the process. Self deprecating humor has served me well in my life and has sucked the wind out of detractors. No, there is no hidden message or meaning here. If you ask, I’ll tell you. If I have enemies, Id like to know why. No, I’m not perfect (insert line about glass houses etc here).

Opinions on the poll

The poll has supported (what my have been my obvious bias in the writing) this is something that needs to happen, and those who fight for it, are not doing it for themselves. Assuming the best in people (as I like to do) I believed this would be the case. There are so many worthy individuals who would be in line before me. I truly hope, and believe, others feel the same way. I still don’t think people should strive for an honor or ‘position’, though I can understand some arguments for it.

This issue for me is the #FirstWorldProblem of application of civil rights in the SCA. Of course pale in contrast to ‘real world issues’, it is very important nonetheless. Leaving out specific segments of Society, or having to ‘find ways’ to honor them because there is no direct path, is (IMHO) disgraceful. Further, bolstering a bias through exclusion has been detrimental to the social fabric of the Society. I can’t prove that, I can only speak from personal experience.

Wrapping it up

There is certainly a lot more to say here. Friends who know me will believe me when I say I can gas on and on, and am very driven on this topic. What is also clear is that I wear my heart on my sleeve in this area. Thats OK. I believe, despite decades of the Society saying ‘NO’, that we will get there.

It isn’t about me. It is about the amazing people in this Society who have long deserved recognition. Period. I believe this unofficial poll shows that many others feel the same. That’s my take-away, and I hope yours as well.


* please share your reasons for opposing!

** are there other segments of Society not covered by this?

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!

Informal Polling Results

Friends at the time of writing, below are the results of the informal polling.

I think it is safe to say that there is consensus on sharing participation. There is certainly room for discussion here.

What is next?

As it stands now we have a way to enter participants. Either by adding them to an active scoring shoot (eg: IKAC) with a ‘score’ of zero, or by creating a separate ‘shoot’ that only exists for tracking participation.

What would this require?

We as a community, and those who are in positions to ask for action via policy (eg: Kingdom Head Marshals. DEMs, etc) to make it part of the official workflow.

The staff going off on their own could work, we could do this solo without support. This would (IMO) fail on two fronts. If it isn’t a ‘requirement’ not all would do it. Secondly, we should actively seek the support of our Majesties, Kingdom Marshals, and staff. Not only does this draw attention to the issue, but inclusion and conversation is always a better way to get ‘buy-in’.

Why is it important?

As I mentioned in an open letter,  it not only helps the cause of the Valiance Proposal (Omnibus Peerage), but can also help Autocrats and staff in making provisions for martial activities. Additionally the reporting on its most basic level can far more accurately reflect our numbers to the B.o.D.

Clearly, I am NOT the decision maker. My goal here is to spark conversation. We as a community go through waves, and if possible Id love to see the winds of change turn these waves into tsunamis. We cannot be complacent, and never accept ‘no’ as an option.

If we can be a force to not be ignored, we will achieve our goals of ‘everyone in the Society being afforded a path to recognition for what they are passionate about, and a master of’.



Are scored shoots activities recorded across all martial disciplines?

some but not all (48%, 27 Votes)
yes (23%, 13 Votes)
no (13%, 7 Votes)
yes, but not a rule (11%, 6 Votes)
depends on the marshal (4%, 2 Votes)
no, we had not thought of this before (2%, 1 Votes)
no, we aren’t interested (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 56

Which disciplines do you currently track participation in?

archery (88%, 56 Votes)
thrown weapons (mixed) (61%, 39 Votes)
combat archery (23%, 15 Votes)
atl atl (13%, 8 Votes)
equestrian (mixed) (11%, 7 Votes)
siege (9%, 6 Votes)
darts (mixed) (6%, 4 Votes)
none of the above (2%, 1 Votes)
don’t know (2%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 64

Are participation numbers shared or made available publicly?

yes (36%, 20 Votes)
yes, as part of our reporting the numbers are automatically shared (22%, 12 Votes)
no, we share numbers if asked (16%, 9 Votes)
don’t know (15%, 8 Votes)
no (7%, 4 Votes)
no, we have no direct way to do it (4%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 55

If participation numbers are shared publicly, how?

Kingdom web site (44%, 21 Votes)
Facebook (40%, 19 Votes)
personal web sites (current marshal site etc.) (25%, 12 Votes)
Baronial/Shire/etc web site (23%, 11 Votes)
none of the above (19%, 9 Votes)
e-mail lists (10%, 5 Votes)
other social media (8%, 4 Votes)
Total Voters: 48

Does your Kingdom have individual scoring sites for recording scores?

yes, we use scores.sca.org (44%, 23 Votes)
yes, but we only add scores for specific (scoring) shoots (17%, 9 Votes)
no (other reason) (15%, 8 Votes)
yes, we made our own (10%, 5 Votes)
don’t know (8%, 4 Votes)
yes, we use several (6%, 3 Votes)
no, we have no appreciable martial activities to track (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 52

Would you be willing to share your participation numbers?

yes, even if it adds an additional step (46%, 24 Votes)
no, not sure how to effectively accomplish this (15%, 8 Votes)
as a participant, I’d love to see the number (15%, 8 Votes)
yes, but as part of a year end accounting etc. only (12%, 6 Votes)
yes, as long as there is no additional work (10%, 5 Votes)
no, do not see the merit (2%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 52

regarding participation, do you currently use a sign in sheet for martial activities?

yes, all of them, all the time (40%, 21 Votes)
yes, but only some (32%, 17 Votes)
no, we only record scoring activities (19%, 10 Votes)
yes, but different systems capture different disciplines (9%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 53

Do you support sharing participation numbers inter-Kingdom?

yes (96%, 50 Votes)
no (4%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 52