Thrown Weapons Rules
The rules listed here are taken directly from the Missile Weapons manual for the Middle Kingdom. Should something here not match the most current edition, then the manual always takes precedence. DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a complete reprint of all of the missile weapon rules that pertain to thrown weapons. These rules are presented here for convenience. The official manual should always be referenced for the entire rule set. That manual and various forms can be found here
RULES AND CONVENTIONS
2.1.1 RULES FOR THROWN WEAPONS PARTICIPATION IN THE SCA, INC.
A. RULES OF THE LINE:
- Side-arm throwing of weapons requires an adequate safe zone and the Marshal in Charge's permission.
- Throwers must ask the Thrown-Weapons Marshal for permission before filling in on the line
- All throwers on the line must throw from approximately the same distance.
- Throw only at designated targets.
- Do not throw until commanded to do so.
- Do not retrieve until commanded to do so.
- If "HOLD!" is called, put down your weapon(s) and step back from the line.
- Step aside or back once you have completed throwing.
- Do not throw weapons that have not been inspected. Any weapon hit by another weapon must be re-inspected by the thrower.
- Do not stand or walk behind throwers on the line.
- Just before EACH throw, look behind to ensure that it is clear.
- Do not swing weapons aimlessly or in a careless manner. Always be aware of what may be in the path of your weapon when it is swung.
- Be aware of sharp points and edges of weapons.
- Stay alert. Weapons can and will bounce back from the target if mis-thrown.
2.1.2 CONVENTIONS FOR THROWN WEAPONS - S.C.A., INC.
A. RANGE SET-UP:
- The range will be identifiable at all times. Rope, tape, poles, etc., may be used to mark off the range and the safety area
- The Marshal in Charge should be easily identified.
- The throwing line is the closest position from which a throw can be made.
- Hard targets for knives and axes should be at least 10 feet away from the throwing line (down-range). A hard target is any target made of materials that provide a solid resistance. This includes, but is not limited to, logs, plywood, etc.
- Hard targets for spears should be at least 20 feet away from the throwing line.
- Soft targets for spears should be at least 10 feet away from the throwing line. A soft target is any target made of materials that do not provide solid resistance. This includes, but is not limited to, hay bales, Styrofoam, etc.
- A safe zone shall be established that takes into consideration the weapons being used and the range conditions. The safe zone includes the area behind and to the sides of the targets as well as behind the throwing line.
B. RANGE PROCEDURES AND COMMANDS
- The Marshal will call the throwers to the line.
- The Marshal will look to see that all is clear down-range.
- The Marshal will look to see that nobody is directly behind the throwers, in the path of the swing, or in the arch traversed by the swing.
- The Marshal will call out "Range clear!" or the equivalent, and wait momentarily for any responses.
- If all is clear, then the order "Throw when ready!" or the equivalent will be given.
- When finished, the throwers are to put down any weapons in hand, step back from the line and wait until the order to retrieve is given.
- When all throwers are finished, the Marshal will call "Weapons down!" or the equivalent and wait for compliance.
- When all weapons are down, then the Marshal will give the command, "Retrieve weapons!" or the equivalent.
C. THROWN-WEAPONS MARSHALS
- Requirements for Thrown-Weapons Marshals:
- a) All Thrown-Weapons Marshals (TWMs) shall be knowledgeable about throwing weapons, range safety, and S.C.A., Inc. and kingdom throwing weapon rules.
- b) All Thrown-Weapons Marshals are officers of the S.C.A., Inc. and shall maintain membership as required by the S.C.A., Inc. By-Laws, and shall be warranted by their kingdom as required by Corpora.
- Responsibilities of Thrown-Weapons Marshals:
- a) The kingdom Thrown-Weapons Marshal shall ensure that the kingdom thrown- weapons rules include, at a minimum, basic range safety standards, equipment standards, warranting and reporting procedures for Thrown-Weapons Marshals and injury reporting procedures.
- b) No thrown-weapons activities are to take place at an event unless a warranted thrown-weapons marshal is present.
- c) In the event of any disagreement, the Marshal in Charge (MIC) shall have complete say and control in resolving the dispute, subject to appeal to the kingdom Earl Marshal or the Crown. Appeals may be made via the appropriate procedures as specified in kingdom and S.C.A., Inc. law and policy.
- d) The commands of the Marshal in Charge are to be followed explicitly by all throwers while on the thrown-weapons range. Failure to follow the Marshal in Charge's instructions may result in removal from the range.
- e) The Marshal in Charge may request the assistance of other Marshals in running the line and inspecting equipment. However, the responsibility for safely setting up and running the range remains with the Marshal in Charge.
- f) The Marshal in Charge or the assisting Marshals have the authority to see that all thrown weapons are inspected for damage and compliance with the rules of the line.
- g) Equipment that does not meet the standards laid out in these rules shall not be used.
- h) Equipment deemed dangerous by the Marshal in Charge shall not be used.
- i) While on duty, all Thrown-Weapons Marshals are responsible for the enforcement of the rules and safety standards for thrown-weapons activities or events.
- j) As part of their duties, Thrown-Weapons Marshals are responsible for taking all reasonable steps for ensuring that all throwers are familiar with and comply with the S.C.A., Inc. and Kingdom Thrown-Weapons Rules.
- k) All kingdom level Thrown-Weapons Marshals are required to report quarterly to the S.C.A., Inc. Archery Marshal. This is in addition to any reports to their superior required by kingdom law.
- l) The Marshal in Charge at an event shall report, to the kingdom Thrown- Weapons Marshal and any others required by kingdom law and policy, all injuries requiring professional medical treatment as a result of activity on or about the range.
- m) The Kingdom Thrown-Weapons Marshal shall report to the Society Archery Marshal any injuries related to thrown-weapons activities which required professional medical treatment as well as any potentially dangerous circumstances or incidents involving thrown-weapons activities in the kingdom and their outcome.
2.1.3 RULES FOR THROWN WEAPONS PARTICIPATION -MIDDLE KINGDOM
A. RULES OF THE LINE
- Each thrower shall recognize that his/her equipment is a potentially lethal weapon, and understand the possibilities of physical injury to him/herself or others, and shall assume onto him/herself all risk and liability for harm.
- A warranted Thrown Weapons Marshal must be present at all S.C.A., Inc. events and practices.
- All thrown weapons must be inspected by a Thrown Weapons Marshal (or supervised TWMIT) before they may be thrown.
- Throwers shall behave in a courteous and safe manner at all times.
- Throwers shall stand behind the marked line when throwing (despite their natural pace length) to assure a safe zone from bouncing weapons.
- Only throwers and the line marshals are allowed in the throwing range. (see special circumstances).
- At the call of "HOLD!" throwers shall immediately lower their weapons. As the word "HOLD" is exclusively used when safety issues are at hand, it should not be used to end timed rounds (use "stop" or "time"). Further, any participant, Marshal or spectator has the authority to call "HOLD" on the thrown weapons range should they observe a perceived unsafe situation. However, the Marshal-in-Charge will evaluate and will execute any required corrective action before allowing throwing to resume.
- Throwers may not throw at a target containing other thrower's weapons without their expressed permission.
- Throwers shall retrieve their weapons only at the command of the marshal.
- Throwers should only pull their weapons from the targets.
- Throwers are responsible for continuously assuring that their equipment meets the Equipment Standards after its original inspection. Should any questionable damage occur - consult with the Marshal-in-Charge.
- Inappropriate behavior on the part of any participant or spectator may result in the Marshal-in-Charge removing that person from the shooting area.
- A copy of these "Rules of the Line" (Section 2.1.1A & 2.1.3A) must be posted near the thrown weapons line.
2.2 EQUIPMENT STANDARDS
2.2.1 THROWN WEAPONS EQUIPMENT STANDARDS - S.C.A., INC.
- Each thrower has the final responsibility for the proper care and safe use of their weapons, and for knowing and following their kingdom's thrown-weapon rules.
- A thrower shall not knowingly use unsafe equipment.
- If a thrower is unsure of the safety of their equipment they shall request the assistance of a Thrown-Weapons Marshal in inspecting their equipment.
- The Thrown-Weapons Marshal assisting in the inspection shall make a reasonable attempt to locate any unsafe conditions or violations of kingdom rules and inform the thrower of what is found and how to correct it.
- The inspection by the Thrown-Weapons Marshal may not find all equipment faults and is conducted as a service to all the throwers on the line. It does not remove the throwers' primary responsibility for the safe condition of their own equipment.
- Any equipment observed by a Thrown-Weapons Marshal to be unsafe shall not be used until it is made safe and reinspected by a Thrown- Weapons Marshal.
- Equipment and safety standards vary greatly depending upon the type of thrown weapon and the techniques that are used to throw the weapon. All inspections and decisions should be made with the following considerations:
- a) How will the user be throwing the weapon? E.g., for knives, will it be thrown by the handle or the blade?
- b) Is the weapon designed to be thrown?
- c) Is the weapon sturdy enough to be thrown?
- d) How sharp is the blade?
- e) How balanced is the weapon?
If the weapon is so unbalanced that it would be awkward to swing, the thrower should demonstrate that it can be thrown safely.
- f) Is the weapon either excessively light or heavy in weight?
- g) Is the weapon either excessively short or long?
- h) Is the handle taped?
If a weapons handle has been taped or reinforced, it must have been done for a reason. Ask the owner about it. Give it extra attention; make sure that it is structurally sound and safe. Duct tape is not an acceptable fix for a handle with a major crack. If it cannot be inspected due to coverings, it should be failed.
- Throwing knives should be of a size and weight which allows them to be thrown safely and easily.
- The handle of the knife should be firmly attached.
- The throwing surface should be free of burrs or protrusions that can cut or injure an unprotected hand upon release.
- Axes should be of a size and weight which allows them to be thrown safely and easily.
- The handles of all axes should be firmly attached.
- Some axes are designed to allow the head to slide up a tapered handle and pressure-fit on. The heads will come off if they are pushed toward the butt of the handle. When the axe is used, the head is forced into place and seats tightly. The inspecting marshal should ensure that the head does indeed seat tightly and will not slip over the taper.
- The haft cannot have any major cracks.
- The haft cannot have any burrs or rough surfaces that can cut or give splinters to an unprotected hand upon release.
- Spears may not be excessively long or heavy.
- Spear heads must be firmly attached to the shaft of the spear.
- The shaft cannot have any burrs or rough surfaces that can cut or give splinters to an unprotected hand upon release.
- The shaft must be sound and without major cracks.
E. SPECIALIZED THROWING WEAPONS:
Specialized throwing weapons are any weapons that have been designed with more than one impact surface to increase the chances of the weapon sticking in the target. Because they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they must be judged on an individual basis.
2.2.2 THROWN WEAPON EQUIPMENT STANDARDS OF THE MIDDLE KINGDOM
- Each knife must have a single point.
- Knives may have one or both edges sharpened. It is neither required nor safe to have excessively sharp cutting edges on throwing knives.
- The knife must be free of cracks in the blade or handle. Taped handles are permissible on knives.
- The Ax handles must be blunt on both ends (see 2.2.2D - Specialized Throwing Weapons).
- The ax head and handle must be free of major cracks. Handles may not be taped as this could hide this type of defect.
- Ax heads must not be of a size, weight or configuration that will cause undue damage to the target.
- Throwing spears may not exceed 8 feet in length inclusive of any butt caps.
- Butt caps must not be pointed, which could cause injury to someone approaching the target.
- Spear points must be of a configuration that will not cause undue damage to the target. Barbs are not allowed. Quillions are allowed.
D. SPECIALIZED THROWING WEAPONS
- Non-spiked hammers and maces, which are not specifically designed to stick in a target, are not allowed.
- Throwing axes with spikes and spiked hammers belong to this category. As such, the Marshal-in-Charge will determine if they are acceptable to be used on the range.
- Weapons must be of a weight and configuration that will not cause undue damage to the target.
2.2.3 MIDDLE KINGDOM THROWN WEAPONS EQUIPMENT EXPERIMENTATION
Continuing experimentation with alternate materials and historical weaponry discovered in the course of study has broadened the range of weaponry and armory available for participants in the S.C.A., Inc. and the Middle Kingdom. In all cases where a participant wants to try out something new, safety should be considered paramount. Any Marshal can restrict or refuse the use of experimental equipment or construction materials that are considered to be unsafe. Restrictions and refusals can be appealed to the next level in the Marshallate, up to the Kingdom Earl Marshal and Crown. The Kingdom Earl Marshal or designated deputy can also appoint special testing supervisors from among senior Marshallate staff to field test equipment and materials for general use. All equipment not classified in Section 2.2 - Equipment Standards (see above) are considered experimental and subject to Marshallate restriction in practices and competition. For equipment constructed of other than Section 2.2 accepted standards, the equipment must be inspected and approved by the Kingdom Earl Marshal or a designated deputy. The primary concern of this section is to maintain safety.
B. STANDARDS AND RESTRICTIONS
- Use of experimental equipment and materials
- a) Marshals can restrict or refuse the use of any experimental equipment or construction technique found by the marshal to be unsafe or dangerous to the user or other participants.
- b) The decision to refuse or restrict an experimental item can be appealed up the Marshallate chain of authority, until a final decision is made by the Kingdom Earl Marshal or the Crown.
- c) Anyone producing experimental equipment must first show the item to the Marshal-in-Charge, explain the experimental nature of the item, and request a thorough inspection and test before the item can be used. This is meant to include any equipment configuration from outside the European area and its nominal contacts during the recognized period of historical recreation in the S.C.A., Inc..
- d) Unauthorized use of experimental equipment, that is, without the express permission of the Marshal-in-Charge and without the knowledge and consent of the other participants is grounds for being barred from participation. The participant will be reported to the Regional Deputy Marshal, the Archer General, Kingdom Earl Marshal and subject to other restrictions including Marshals Court and any other action deemed appropriate by the Kingdom Earl Marshal.
- Construction and Materials
- a) Construction of experimental equipment will follow the guidelines as prescribed in Section 2.2 - Equipment Standards (see above).
- b) Materials other than those described in Section 2.2 will be subject to testing to ensure safety in use and failure, and are subject to restriction based on testing as specified by the Kingdom Earl Marshal or a designated representative.
C. EXPERIMENTATION PROCEDURES
Experimental procedures will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Kingdom Earl Marshal, Archer General or designated Deputy Earl Marshal.