Text included verbatim from the SCA Inc. Marshal's Handbook are Copyright © The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
All other text is copyright ©The Society for Creative Anachronism, New Zealand, Inc. and The Society for Creative Anachronism Australia Ltd. It may be freely copied for SCA purposes provided it is copied in full and this notice remains intact.
The cover art is by Lord Ronan / Nigel ( http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/npreslan/index.html)
All other images are copyright ©Alasdair Muckart and David Maclagan and are released under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by- nc- sa/3.0/
This book covers those disciplines which interact on the war field so these rules apply only to the field of armoured combat, including combat archery, siege, and "heavy" tournament combat. This book does not cover fencing, equestrian, or target archery activities; they are covered in separate manuals.
Feedback on any aspect of the book is welcome and can be sent to the Lochac Earl Marshal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Kingdom Earl Marshal has overall responsibility for the Lochac marshallate.
There are three hierarchies that go by the name "marshal": authorised marshals, marshals who are group officers, and marshals who have specific roles at events.
"Rostered marshal" is a general term for authorised Marshals and Senior Marshals who are current SCA members (subscribing members, not just event members). It doesn't include Auxiliary Marshals.
|Auxiliary Marshal||Marshal||Senior Marshal|
|Subscribing Membership required||N||Y||Y|
|Marshal in Charge (field)||N||Y||Y|
|Marshal in Charge (event)||N||Y||Y|
A Marshal or Senior Marshal whose Subscribing Membership has lapsed counts as an Auxiliary Marshal until their membership is renewed.
An auxiliary marshal is a person who knows the basics of observing combat and how to move around safely on the combat field. They are not expected to be able to operate independently as a marshal.*
If you are an authorised combatant you are automatically an Auxiliary Marshal as well (unless you are under 18). You can authorise as an Auxiliary Marshal without being a combatant; see: Authorisation of auxilliary marshals.
Auxiliary Marshal authorisations are separate for each type of combat (eg armoured combat, rapier, etc). For example, an armoured combat authorisation grants an Armoured Combat Auxiliary Marshal authorisation, but not a Rapier Auxiliary Marshal authorisation.
Auxiliary marshals are not Rostered Marshals
An auxiliary marshal may:
An auxiliary marshal may not:
A Rostered Marshal may:
A Senior Marshal is a Rostered Marshal who may also:
Baronies must have a Group Marshal as one of their officers, and Shires, Cantons and Colleges often do.
The term Knight Marshal can be used for the Group marshal of any official branch smaller than a kingdom, and whether or not the officer is a knight, or even an authorised fighter.
Group Marshals must be members.
Group Marshals do not have to be authorised Marshals, or authorised Fighters.
The Group Marshal is responsible for the administration of the marshallate in their group. They are not necessarily required to organise marshalling for any specific event (that is the responsibility of the Marshal in Charge for the event, who is appointed by the event steward).
Group marshals report to the Kingdom Earl Marshal. (see section: Chain of command and procedures for reporting).
The Group Marshal has a role in the chain of appeals, if they are a Rostered Marshal in that area (see section: Chain of Appeals at Events).
A deputy of the Earl Marshal who is responsible for a specific area of combat (e.g. Kingdom Rapier Marshal, or Kingdom Archery Marshal).
They are appointed by the Kingdom Earl Marshal for a two-year term, as described in Lochac Law.
A deputy marshal must be a Senior Marshal (or the equivalent for disciplines which do not have Senior Marshals) in the area for which they are responsible, and must be a member.
The Kingdom Earl Marshal (KEM) is responsible for overseeing all combat-related activities in Lochac.
They are appointed by the Crown.
They must be a member.
They must be a Senior Marshal (or equivalent) in at least one of the following fields: armoured combat, rapier, equestrian.
The KEM must have deputies with responsibility for any combat-related activities for which they are not themselves a Senior Marshal. They may have warranted deputies for other areas (e.g. a KEM who is a Senior Marshal for both heavy and fencing may still choose to have deputies for one, or both, of those areas).
In addition to their warranted deputies, the Kingdom Earl Marshal may appoint other deputies, for various purposes as they see fit, e.g. running test programs, maintaining the combat handbook, or maintaining the marshallate website.
The Kingdom Earl Marshal must appoint a deputy within six months of assuming office, capable of assuming the office in case of emergency.
One person may fill several of the roles listed below. For example, it is common for the Marshal in Charge for the event, Marshal in Charge for a field of combat, and one of the Field Marshals to be the same person.
For every area where combat is taking place, there must be a Marshal in Charge for that field who has overall responsibility for that combat.
The Marshal in Charge of a field may be a different person for different bouts or scenarios in the same tournament or war.
The Marshal in Charge of a field:
Different people can be Marshal in Charge for armoured combat, rapier, equestrian and archery at the same event: they are separate roles.
The Marshal in Charge of an event:
Combatant authorisation procedures can be found in Combatant Authorisations.
The Earl Marshal may, at their discretion, allow alternative authorisation procedures if those described below would be impractical.
You must complete and send the authorisation form, signed by the authorising marshal(s) to the Kingdom Lists Officer. It is the candidate's responsibility to see that the Lists Officer receives the completed paperwork in a timely manner.
If your authorisation has expired in the last 4 weeks, your authorisation may be renewed rather than needing to be done as a new authorisation.
An Auxiliary Marshal authorisation is automatically renewed as part of a combat (re)authorisation (if held), unless the authorising marshal has a reason to withold it.
At the discretion of the marshal performing the renewal, recent marshal activity by the candidate (eg marshalling a tournament or war) may be counted as demonstrating marshalling ability; holding a separate bout or scenario purely for renewal purposes does not need to happen.
The authorising marshal must be satisfied that you are aware of any changes which have happened in the rules since your last authorisation or renewal.
The authorising marshal must not perform a "tick-box" authorisation; they must be take the time to check that you know the rules and can safely function as a marshal.
Only a Senior Marshal can authorise an Auxiliary Marshal.
If you are authorised for armoured combat, you are automatically authorised as an auxiliary marshal (unless you are under 18).
Auxiliary Marshal authorisations are separate for each type of combat (eg armoured combat, rapier, etc).
You must show the authorising Senior Marshal that:
Only a Senior Marshal can authorise a Marshal.
You must have been authorised as an Auxiliary Marshal in that field (e.g. Armoured Combat) before you are authorised as a Marshal.
You must show the authorising Senior Marshal that you:
It takes two Senior Marshals to authorise another Senior Marshal.
Only one senior marshal is required to renew an authorisation for another Senior Marshal.
You must have been authorised as a Marshal before you are authorised as a Senior Marshal.
You must show the authorising Senior Marshals that you have a thorough knowledge of, and willingness and confidence to enforce:
The authorising Senior Marshals must have personally observed you functioning as a marshal in a variety of situations.
The Kingdom Earl Marshal may, at their discretion, waive the requirement for the second Senior Marshal or may grant the authorisation themselves after conducting a thorough test of the candidate by phone*.
A new Senior marshal may not conduct authorisations until they have received their card from the lists officer (signed paperwork isn't enough) *.
It takes a Senior Marshal and a Siege Marshal, or a Senior Marshal who is themselves a Siege Marshal, to authorise another Siege Marshal.
You must have been authorised as a Marshal to be authorised as a Siege Marshal.
You must show the authorising Marshals that you know:
A new Siege Marshal may not conduct authorisations until they have received their card from the lists officer (signed paperwork isn't enough) *.
The standards which armour and weapons must meet are set out in Equipment inspection.
At events where there is fighting on several days, equipment inspections may be conducted once and recorded for the rest of the event. Usually this is done by putting a sticker on a mandatory piece of equipment. The Marshal in Charge may organise another method for recording inspections.
The Marshal in Charge must notify all relevant marshals, combatants and lists officers of the marking or recording system before inspections. Ideally the system used should be announced before the event, as well as at the event itself.
It must be possible to tell which marshal carried out a given inspection, whatever the system used for recording it.
Everyone must make sure that their equipment continues to meet the armour and weapons standards throughout the event. If in doubt: get it inspected again.
For long events consider whether borderline equipment will still be in sufficiently good condition to pass an inspection at the end of the event.
Each combination of weapons and armour someone will use must be inspected.
If participant wants to use any item or equipment combination that was not checked at the time of their inspection, they must have that item and/or equipment inspected as appropriate (i.e. in combination with the rest of their armour and weapons) by a marshal prior to it being used.*.
Each time someone takes the field their equipment and weapons must be briefly inspected for missing items or obvious failure.
Equipment must be inspected again after repairs or modifications.
Any event allowing siege engines for combat must have an engine inspection station. The inspection station must have a field with a firing line and range markers at 40 and 80 yards (36 and 73 metres) from the firing position.
Siege engine inspection has two parts, which are to be done before combat use: the Marshal inspects the engine and ammunition, and the crew demonstrates the engine in action.
The inspection procedures must include at least the following:
Siege structures must be inspected before being used at an event.
The inpecting Marshal should check structural integrity, stability, condition of hardware, and condition of any safety devices (barriers, walls, etc.). If possible, inspect seige structures with a maximum load of armored combatants on board. If the structure is designed to move, the movement should be demonstrated during the inspection.
When the term "war" is used in the Society Marshal's Handbook it refers to wars between kingdoms. Some material about negotiations between kingdoms has been omitted from these rules because it is so unlikely that we will have an inter-kingdom war in Lochac in the foreseeable future.
Aside from the enforcement of the rules and conventions of combat, there are three near-equal priorities in marshalling; safety, fair witness, and showmanship. Overemphasising any one at the expense of the others will tend to make the fighting less enjoyable for everyone. In other words, do not forget that you as marshal are part of the spectacle as the tournament and must act accordingly, but equally you are there to watch for hazards.
Inspect the field: The Marshal in Charge or the Marshal of the Field should inspect the field for hazards such as slippery ground, holes, snakes, etc. Reduce such hazards as far as possible before combat (move the field if you need to).
Brief the marshals: The marshals for a scenario or battle should be briefed separately from the combatants and before the meetings of all participants. Emphasis at this briefing should be on communicating the rules and scenario limits for each battle and on preventing accidents that could arise from hazards during the scenario such as terrain, weather and surrounding noncombatants.
Brief everyone: Gather all the participants, including marshals and combatants, and explain the format and limits for the tournament or scenario. Answer any questions. One briefing is enough for a series of similar scenarios; if they vary radically repeat this before each battle or tournament.
Alternative signals: Alternative means to signal "Hold" or "Lay On", such as whistles, air horns or other such devices, may be used in large battles. The alternative system must have been explained to all participants before the combat, and everyone must be able to hear it.
All combat at official events must be overseen by at least one Rostered Marshal.
There is no upper limit on the number of marshals who may be marshalling a combat, but care should be taken that when many marshals are present, they do not get in each other's way, or unnecessarily block the view for spectators.
It is the responsibility of the Marshal of the Field to ensure that there are enough marshals for the scenario.
For melee and war scenarios, the society marshals' handbook recommends a minimum of 3 marshals for the first 20 fighters, and one additional marshal for every 15 fighters.
|Number of combatants||2-5||6-9||10-25||26-40||41-55||etc|
|Recommended number of marshals||1||2||3||4||5|
Auxiliary Marshals can be used to make up the number of marshals (as long as there is a Marshal of the Field, and they are content that with the number of Rostered Marshals present).
Marshals should station themselves around the edges of the fight to allow control of boundaries while keeping as much of the fighting as possible in view.
In very large melees, it may be desirable to have some marshals in the middle of the field, in addition to those around the edge. If you are mid-field, be careful that you do not get so interested in the fight in front of you that you back into or forget to watch another bout moving around behind.
When missile weapons are being used, there should be marshals around the edges specifically watching the paths of missiles and making sure they are not coming close to the combat boundaries or spectators.
For a given bout or scenario you can either marshal or fight (or participate in another way), not both.
A call of "Hold!" is a call for an immediate cessation of all activity on the field.
Holds may be called by anyone, including spectators, for any of the following reasons:
For more details about Holds, please see the section on Holds in the Fighter's Handbook.
When siege engines are being used there must be a Siege Marshal on the field to oversee them.
During combat, each end of the field that has a siege engine must have at least one Siege Marshal. It is recommended that there be a siege marshal for every 3 engines.
Non-combatant participants (which includes marshals) on the field during siege combat must be armoured to the standards for marshals overseeing war combat with arrows, set out in Non-combatant armour requirements.
The Society Marshal's Handbook states the following:
"Before any unapproved weapon or material can be used at Society activities, a test plan and a sample of the proposed weapon or material must be submitted to and approved by the Society Marshal or a designated deputy."
In Lochac, the designated deputy shall be the Lochac Kingdom Earl Marshal or the warranted deputy marshal responsible for the discipline in which the test is being carried out.
Before any unapproved weapon, material or equipment can be used at events, a test plan must have been approved by the Kingdom Earl Marshal. The plan must include:
If it is impractical to send physical samples of the item, the Kingdom Earl Marshal may at their discretion accept detailed documentation, which must include photographs, sufficient for the KEM to understand and judge the nature and proposed application of the weapon, material or equipment to be tested.
Unless otherwise specified, physical samples sent for evaluation will be returned no later than the conclusion of the test period.
Items under test may be used at fighter practices, tourneys, and in small melees. A small melee is one where there are few enough combatants to gain their individual consent to use the experimental weapon/material without delaying the combat.
Before any combat where an experimental item is to be used, all combatants and marshals must be informed of the test and that the item is not approved for general SCA use. All combatants and marshals must consent to the use of the item before combat begins. If any marshal or combatant involved objects , the experimental item may not be used.
All items under test shall be marked with alternating bands of red and green tape totalling 15 cm in length. The markings must be visible during normal use. Participants in the test should bear the appearance of these markings in mind and give consideration to whether their appearance is appropriate to a given event.
The Kingdom Earl Marshal must update the Society Earl Marshal on the progress and results of any testing that has occurred in their quarterly report.
At the end of the test period, the Kingdom Earl Marshal will provide the Society Marshal with a test summary. This summary shall include a list of any injuries reslting from the use of the weapon, material or equipment and any concerns from fighters and marshals raised during the testing.
The Society Marshal, after consultation with the Earls Marshal, shall determine if the weapon, material or equipment is suitable for SCA combat-related activities.
The general Chain of Command of the marshallate in Lochac is as follows:
As per Corpora, real-world law always takes precedence over all SCA laws.
Reporting is an important function of the marshallate. The flow of information from individual marshals through group marshals to the Kingdom Earl Marshal, and ultimately to the Society Earl Marshal is what allows those officers to make informed decisions about the game.
Reporting of incidents as required by these procedures does not constitute formal escalation, and will not be accepted as such. Incidents can be entirely and satisfactorily resolved at a lower level of the marshallate, but must still be reported to the Kingdom Earl Marshal. If formal escalation of any incident is required it must be done in accordance with the procedures set out in Sanctions.
Failure to report as required may be grounds for actions such the removal of a group marshal, or the suspension of a marshal's marshallate authorisation.
Failure to report on injuries or disciplinary incidents may be grounds for revocation of authorisations or further sanctions.
Reports are to be submitted electronically.
Injury reporting procedures are set out in Managing Injuries.
Group marshals of stand-alone groups must report to the Kingdom Earl Marshal quarterly between the 1st and 15th of February, May, August and November.
Canton and college group marshals must report to the knight marshal of their parent group six-monthly between the 1st and 15th of April and October.
The dates on which officers, including marshals, shall report are set out in Lochac Kingdom Law. The laws of Lochac can be found on the Kingdom Seneschal's website at http://lochac.sca.org/laws/ . All marshals who are required to report on a regular basis should familiarise themselves with the schedule set out in those laws. In the event of discrepancies between Kingdom Law and this document, Kingdom Law takes precedence.
Other than reports of revocation of authorisation per Revocation of authorisations or serious injury reports as outlined in Reporting injuries, reports should be supplied to the knight marshal of the group sponsoring the event within 30 days of the date of the event.
Reports must note any incidents where:
In the event that an incident occurs, a brief report should be gathered from all involved, including other marshals on the field, chirurgeons etc.
These reports should be noted in writing and taken as soon as practical after the incident.
Reports from Baronial or Shire Knights Marshal of groups who have subsidiary branches, including colleges and cantons should include a summary of the reports received from the Knight Marshal of the subsidiary group(s).
Reports should contain a brief summary of the state of fighting in the group and details of any incidents or injuries incurred at official events or practices.
In addition to the regular reports, Knights Marshal of groups must provide such additional reports as required by the Kingdom Earl Marshal.
Warranted Deputies to the Kingdom Earl Marshal shall report to the Kingdom Earl Marshal quarterly.
Other Deputies to the Kingdom Earl Marshal shall provide reports as requested by the Kingdom Earl Marshal.
The reports of Deputy Kingdom Earl Marshals shall contain a summary of the state of the area of combat for which they are responsible, and details of any incidents, injuries or sanctions that occurred during the quarter.
The Kingdom Earl Marshal must report to the Crown of Lochac, Lochac Kingdom Seneschal and the Society Earl Marshal quarterly as required by Kingdom Law. The laws of Lochac can be found on the Kingdom Seneschal's website at http://lochac.sca.org/laws/ .
The report of the Kingdom Earl Marshal shall contain:
Marshals may only accept appeals in those areas for which they are Rostered Marshals. In the event that a group knight marshal, for example, is not a Rostered Marshal, they may not hear an appeal; and an armoured combat marshal may not hear an appeal on a ruling from a rapier marshal.
Any individual wishing to appeal a marshal's ruling at an event for any reason must do so through the appropriate chain of appeals, beginning with the marshal immediately superior to the marshal who made the initial ruling.
The chain of appeals is as follows:
If any of those marshals are not at the event, the appeal may be made to the next marshal in the chain.
For rulings which apply only at the event, such as the compliance of weapons or armour, the chain of appeal ends with the highest-ranking marshal from the list above who is at the event.
Appeals on rulings which apply beyond the event at which they were made, such as revocation of authorisation, must be made directly to the Kingdom Earl Marshal.
A marshal from any kingdom may revoke any authorisation card from any kingdom for just and stated cause.
If your authorisation has been revoked, you may appeal the sanction, but you must surrender your card and abide by the sanction until the appeals process is complete.
The chain of appeals for revocation of authorisation is as follows:
Any marshal who revokes an authorisation must report this, in writing, to their superior officer and the Kingdom Earl Marshal as soon as possible.
Any marshal who revokes an authorisation without due cause may be subject to sanctions themselves.
The Kingdom Earl Marshal must notify the Society Earl Marshal of any revocation of authorisations.
Breaches of real-world law must be referred immediately to the appropriate authorities, in addition to any steps taken by the marshallate.
The dispute procedures in Kingdom Law must be followed at all times.
The preferred solution is to resolve any incidents as quickly and with as little fuss as possible, by asking those involved to voluntarily correct any issues with their conduct or equipment.
In the event that formal action must be taken by a marshal in response to an incident, the following procedure shall be followed:
In the event that an issue cannot be resolved and must be escalated, or the marshal attempting to resolve the issue requires support, they shall call on, in order of preference:
If the violation cannot be stopped, and participants continue to engage in combat-related activities, the Marshal in Charge and the Event Steward and/or local Seneschal shall end the event.
In any case where voluntary correction is not made after the problem has been pointed out, a written report shall be made to the Earl Marshal as soon as possible after the event.
In addition to removing a combatant from the field at the time, long-term sanctions are available.
Sanctions with effects lasting more than a single event shall be applied by the Kingdom Earl Marshal after the conduct of a court of chivalry at which the sanctioned individual will be given the opportunity to defend themselves.
Possible sanctions include:
Further sanctions which may be applied as a result of serious violations include banishment by the Crown, and ultimately revocation and denial of membership by the Boards of Directors.
If any of these long-term sanctions are in progress, the Society Marshal must be informed.
If authorisation has been revoked, it is acceptable to inform the Earls Marshal of any Kingdoms to which the sanctioned individual might travel. Once long-term sanctions have been applied, a report shall be made to the Society Marshal.
An authorisation from any Kingdom may be suspended/revoked in another Kingdom, should it prove necessary and appropriate. Such suspension/revocation means that the fighter may not fight anywhere in the Society until and unless the issue is resolved. Accordingly, the Earl Marshal shall inform the Earls Marshal of the neighbouring Kingdoms.
Furthermore, if the fighter is subsequently reauthorised, the neighbouring Earls Marshal shall again be notified.
These rules shall have precedence as set out in section I.A of Corpora. Real-world law always has precedence over any SCA rules.
Temporary changes may be made to these rules by proclamation of the Crown. See section II of Lochac Law (http://lochac.sca.org/laws/)
Permanent changes to Lochac standards and conventions may only be made using the following procedure, and shall only come into effect after all of the following steps are complete:*
The procedure for requesting changes to these rules is as follows:
The Earl Marshal may make typographical corrections and minor changes clarifying wording of a rule without going through the process above if the meaning or intent of the rule isn't changed.