New Rules for Combat Archery
As of Pennsic 39
Update for Pennsic XL (40)
There is a change this year to limit the number of missiles per fighter per battle to only 50 missiles. After the fighter has shot 50 missiles they must then change to a different weapon form to continue fighting in that battle. A separate fighter may *NOT* carry another 50 missiles for the first fighter to use after the initial 50 have been shot.
- ALL Combat Archers at Pennsic 4039 are REQUIRED to have read the following information as pertinent.
- Knowledge of these Regulations will help ensure a safe and healthy war for all; failure to take the time and effort to understand them is both unsafe and unacceptable for not only yourself but to others on the field.
- Few changes have been made (although there are some) to existing Pennsic standards in an attempt to standardize these Regulations for the benefit of the entire CA community over the next decade. Any changeswhich have been made are the result of that same attempt at safe standardization and/or Royal negotiation.
- All armor inspections shall occur at Inspection Point.
- All initial combat archery weapon and initial ammunition inspections shall occur at Inspection Point during posted hours (likely 9-1 daily).
- There will be no “in-battle” re-inspections of ammunition under any circumstances, including within a battlecomprised of 2-parts (such as traditional Castle Battles).
- Immediate post-battle (on-field) re-inspections of all ammunition are likely (weather and logistics permitting).
- All arrows or bolts must be inspected for a specific day's use, and be marked with the “color of the battle”.
- All arrows or bolts must be labeled in English, showing the owner's name and kingdom on the shaft.
- After each battle involving combat archery, the arrows/bolts need to be re-inspected for the next official Pennsic sponsored battle.
- It is strongly encouraged to get your Combat Archery ammunition inspected AT LEAST the day before any battle since showing up on the day of the activity will likely result in insufficient time to have equipment inspected.
- Inspections will officially cease 45 minutes prior to the posted start time of any battle so that the marshals have time toget ready for the battle. Marshals not fighting may volunteer additional time but are not expected to.
- No “in-camp re-inspection” of combat archery ammunition is planned. The Marshal-in-Charge of Combat Archery forPennsic reserves the right to grant an exception for re-inspection location in extreme circumstances. All approved inspection forms and requirements for the inspecting marshal must be used.
- All marshals who are qualified in their own Kingdom to inspect combat archery ammunition or equipment and plan oninspecting at this Pennsic MUST sign in with the Pennsic Combat Archery Marshal in Charge (or his designee) and be “oriented” on the areas they will be inspecting by the appropriate staff. Oriented marshals will then be issued a badgethat will quickly identify what they are allowed to inspect at Pennsic 39 having met those requirements.
- NO MARSHAL may inspect combat archery equipment and ammunition unless they have signed in, been issued aninspecting marshal badge, and been oriented for consistency with the conventions of the MIC and CA-MIC for the current Pennsic.
COMBAT ARCHERY EQUIPMENT SPECIFICS
b) Measure the draw weight of the bow with a calibrated scale to ensure it is within appropriate specs. The handbow must be designed/constructed to draw @28” or it cannot be used in SCA combat.
c) Check the bow itself for cracks or gouges, as well as for significant limb twist that could make the string leave the tips
d) Handbows measuring over 30 and less than 50 pounds must be marked with a 4-inch wide band of red material
(tape, cloth, etc) on the upper limb of the bow.
a) Check that the lock mechanism releases smoothly under simulated pressure
b) Check that the lock mechanism is solid and will not accidentally release.
c) Ensure the stock has no failures between the bow and lock
d) Ensure that the string is not showing excessive wear
e) Measure the draw weight (in inch-pounds) of the crossbow with a calibrated scale and ruler to ensure it is within
f) Check the prod for cracks or gouges, as well as for significant prod twist that could make the string leave the tips
g) Crossbows measuring over 600 and under 1000 inch-pounds must be marked with a 4-inch wide band of red
material (tape, cloth, etc) on the outer right hand side of the prod as viewed by the bowman.
3. Shafted Ammunition
a) Neither Fellwalker nor solo Tennis Ball ammo will be permitted at Pennsic.
b) All other Society approved heads will be permitted at Pennsic as long as they meet the Society and your
individual Kingdom standards for construction.
c) Fiberglass-shaft arrows and bolts must be equipped with a Society approved anti-penetration device (APD).
d) Fiberglass-shaft arrows/bolts must be covered from behind the blunt, to the front of the Anti-Penetration
Device(APD), in a sturdy tear-resistant tape, such as strapping, electrical, or duct tape.
e) Based upon the type of ammunition measure all dimensions for conformance. No more than ½” of
overallvariation will be tolerated regarding maximum length from standards .
f) Grab both head & tail and pull “away” with moderate force. If either head or APD moves longitudinally, the
g) Hold the shaft and APD close together and attempt rotation. If so, the ammunition fails and needs re-securing.
h) Hold the shaft and head close together and attempt rotation of the collar using minor torque so as not to overly
stress any existing glue seal. If greater than slight rotation of collar upon shaft occurs, the ammunition fails.
i) “Slight rotation” has been roughly defined by previous Pennsic MIC/KEM’s to mean no greater than 1/8” lateral
movement of the collar around the shaft.
j) If ammunition is a type with foam, check that the foam tip cannot be forced more than 1/2" into a legal faceguard.
If penetration COULD occur more than ½” inside a grill, the ammunition fails.
4. Tubular Ammunition
i) Check that shaft is constructed of Siloflex (or approved equivalent) tubing with the following
specifications:100 PSI pressure rating and either 1.25 inches exterior diameter or 1 inch interior diameter.
ii) Examine length:
(1) A tubular (Siloflex or equivalent) combat arrow has a maximum length of 28 inches.
This is measuredfrom where the bow string touches the nock to the base of the approved tip.
The 28 inches length is the maximum length, a shorter length may be used for those having a shorter draw length. A nock may be cutinto the tail end, but may be no deeper than 1/2 inch.
(2) Crossbow Bolts - The maximum length of a tubular (Siloflex or equivalent) combat crossbow bolt is
28 inches as measured from where the prod string touches the bolt to the base of the approved tip.
There is no minimum length for a crossbow bolt.
iii) Wooden knocks MAY NOT be installed or used.
i) Check tips for conformity to Society standards of either of the following types as well as any specifics
(1) Modified Baldar Blunts
(a) Any classic style of Baldar Blunt can be used in this manner.
(b) Older or newer style “egg” shaped Baldar Blunts are not approved for use on tubular (Siloflex or equivalent) combat shafts.
(c) The modified Baldar Blunt must be slipped ½ inch over the tubular (Siloflex or equivalent)
(d) Baldar Blunts may be modified by separating/ cutting the fins from the outer collar, but the
outer collar must remain intact.
(2) Rubber Stopper
(a) A rubber stopper, size 6.5 should be used (preferably with a ¼ inch hole in the center to allow
(b) The stopper must be inserted ½ inch into the shaft.
(c) It is suggested to use the white/off-white rubber stoppers that are gum rubber because they are softer and compress better than the neoprene.
ii) Check that tip is secured to the shaft:
(1) Modified Baldar Blunt:
(a) Baldar Blunt is secured properly according to Society standards
(b) Fiberglass-reinforced (strapping) tape is the only material approved for securing the Modified Baldar Blunts onto the shaft and one of the two materials used for securing the rubber stopper into the shaft.
(c) Electrical tape may not be used.
(2) Rubber Stopper Head Shaft (2 Methods)
(i) Traditional Lacing Method for rubber stoppers:
1. The rubber stopper must be inserted ½ inch into the tubular (Siloflex or equivalent)
2. The rubber stopper must be attached with 1/8 inch or less diameter strong cord.
3. Two pieces of cord must be crossed through the shaft underneath the base, over the
stopper then tied securely. The knots must be located on the side of the blunt and not
on the tip. (Atouch of glue on the knots helps keep them from loosening up)
4. The cord must be securely taped to the rubber stopper using a minimum 3/4 inch
(ii) Fiberglass-reinforced (strapping) tape method:
1. The rubber stopper must be inserted ½ inch into the tubular (Siloflex or equivalent) shaft.
2. The Modified Baldar must be slipped ½ inch over the tubular (Siloflex or equivalent)
3. The rubber stopper or modified Baldar must be secured with several pieces of
fiberglass reinforced (strapping) tape that will cross each other on the top of the tip.
Each piece muststart from at least 1 inch down the shaft (measured from the
intersection of the tip and shaft), go up over the head and then back down the other
side of the shaft at least 1 inch.The entire head must be covered with fiberglass-
reinforced (strapping) tape when finished.
4. The ends of the cross-over pieces must be secured with a wrap of fiberglass-reinforced
(strapping) tape around the tubular (Siloflex or equivalent) shaft at that point.5. The
intersection where the head meets the tubular (Siloflex or equivalent) shaft must also
be secured with a piece of fiberglass-reinforced (strapping) tape wrapped around the
(iii) Check that tip is appropriately foam padded and side-wrapped:
(1) Resilient Foam must be used which is, by Society definition, dense, plastic, closed-cell
foam such asethyl polymer.
(2) Both rubber stopper and Baldar Blunt heads must have resilient foam padding secured
on the tip.
(3) Rubber stopper heads must also have a side wrap of foam.
(a) The side wrap of resilient foam must extend from the tip of the padding to at
least ½ inch over the tubular (Siloflex or equivalent) shaft and be secured with
fiberglass-reinforced (strapping) tape.
(b) The diameter of the head must be at least 1 ½ inches after taping.
(c) The side wrap of resilient foam must be wrapped around the padding/stopper
/shaft so that the ends of the foam meet without a gap.
(d) At least 3 pieces of ¾ inch fiberglass-reinforced (strapping) tape, or more as
needed, must bewrapped around the side wrap to hold it together without a gap
(one piece around the middle of the side wrap, one piece around at the bottom
edge, and one piece around at the tip edge).
(e) The side wrap must be secured to the tubular (Siloflex or equivalent) shaft with
several pieces offiberglass-reinforced (strapping) tape that will cross each other
on the top of the Resilient foam. Each piece must start from at least 1 inch down
the shaft (measured from the bottom edge of the sidewrap), go up over the head
and then back down the other side of the shaft at least 1 inch.
(f) The ends of the cross-over pieces must be secured with a wrap of fiberglass-
reinforced (strapping) tape around the shaft at that point.
(g) The total diameter of the final head assembly must be at least 1 ½ inch.
(h) It shall not be possible to force the head of any combat archery ammunition
more than ½ inch into a legal face guard.
(iv) Inspect nocks (if any):
(1) A nock may be cut into the tail end, but may be no deeper than ½ inch.
(i) Wooden nocks are not legal to be used with tubular (Siloflex / equivalent)
(v) Inspect fletching (if any):
(1) Ammunition may have fletches as long as they are securely attached and made of a soft
(2) Fletches may not project farther than 1/2 inch from the shaft if they are less than 1.5
(3) The fins must meet the construction standards approved at Society Level
(a) The tail end of the Siloflex (or equivalent) must be left solid for at least 1 inch.
(4) Cuts no longer than 2 ½ inches may be made beyond that in order to install fletches but
must have a 3/16 inch hold drilled at the ends of each cut (stop holes) to keep the cut
from going further.
(5) Additional Ammunition Information
a) Check the shaft for signs of cracking or other failure.
b) All combat archery ammunition must have the owner’s name & Kingdom
displayed clearly on it in legible English.
c) Ammunition inspected is under the care and responsibility of the person who
brought it to inspection.
d) Ammunition cannot be more than 10% yellow (as yellow is reserved for Siege).
e) The CA-MIC and his specific designees may examine other Society-legal
ammunition from non-principalKingdoms in the presence of an authorized
Pennsic CAM from the same Kingdom in question for possible inclusion and
inspection AFTER significant discussion, verification of the CAM’s knowledge of
the intricacies ofthe standard, and approval of the Pennsic MIC. This is solely at
the final discretion of the MIC (or his designee).
RULES SPECIFIC TO COMBAT ARCHERY
- All bows, crossbows, ammunition and conventions shall meet, at minimum, all Society standards for construction while also any delineated heightened restrictions contained herein or declared by the Pennsic MIC as needed.
- Combat archers need only a half gauntlet made to the standards for gauntlets but without finger protection.
- As with any weapons form, an archer may yield to an opponent, and archers should feel free to loudly express their "dead/yield" status. Courtesy taps delivered by an opponent should be accepted by the Combat Archerycombatant as the gift they are. Likewise an opposing fighter throwing excessive or repeated blows into a "subdued/dead" opponent will face disciplinary action.
- Minimum range for a shot at Pennsic is "clears the bow".
- Targeting of the back of an individual (alone or in an organized unit) is prohibited at Pennsic. A cluster of folks may be targeted in THEIR situation 180 degrees and a rearward facing opponent shot thusly should accept thestrike. This applies equally for an opponent who has rotated after release. But the actual specific targeting of the back side of any specific individual is prohibited.
- There is no limit on the amount of ammunition an archer may carry unless defined in a specific battle scenario. ***UPDATE FOR PENNSIC XL: There is a change this year to limit the number of missiles per fighter per battle to only 50 missiles. After the fighter has shot 50 missiles they must then change to a different weapon form to continue fighting in that battle. A separate fighter may *NOT* carry another 50 missiles for the first fighter to use after the initial 50 have been shot.
- Per Royal Agreement, NO GLEANING of any ammunition will occur at Pennsic 39.
- Ammunition must be re-inspected (post-battle) by approved designated Pennsic Combat Archery marshals prior toreuse in the next battle and should not be lifted from the ground during any battle except for safety.
- REMINDER: Inspection of ammunition WILL NOT OCCUR between 2 portions of an extended battle (eg.BETWEEN the 2 portions of a Castle Battle) as there is neither appropriate time, nor oversight, nor focus to do so properly. CA’s are thus encouraged to ration their ammo appropriately for any multi-part battle.
- Absolutely no wood or metal is permitted in ANY part of ammunition construction (nocks, shafts, heads, APD’s).
- If an equivalent material to tubular ammunition standards/Siloflex is used in construction of tubular ammunition,documentation proving that the material used conforms to specs in the Society rules for tubular ammunition must be provided at inspection.
- Pavises shall follow the rules set forth in the current Society Combat Archery rules revision. A combat archer maycarry and use shield or pavise; however, as long as they are carrying such, they cannot span (cock a crossbow or draw a handbow) nor loose their weapon.
- Archers may have a backup weapon or thrown weapon on them, but MAY NOT draw it until their bow has beensafely disposed of (taken off the field, discarded in a low traffic area, handed to another combatant, etc). Upon drawing a backup weapon to enter combat, both hands must be appropriately armored.
- Any direct strike upon a marshal, even unintentional, causes instant death (and should garner an immediateapology).
- Marshals in a combat archery battle need to be aware of the additional safety concerns and take on heightenedresponsibility for their own safety, including wearing proper eye protection/helm (and throat armor is strongly suggested)
POST BATTLE SORTING
After ANY Pennsic sponsored battle, ALL Combat Archery participants are expected to help collect ALL arrows/bolts (notsimply their own) and bring them to the designated area for re-inspection (likely SOUTH of Battlefield just outside boundary).
- After each battle, all fiberglass ammunition shall be placed in one pile & the tubular ammunition in another to facilitate re-inspection (by the marshals).
- The piles should then be subdivided by bolts & arrows forming 4 piles.
- Combat Archers (not marshals) will then divide the piles by owner (so cooperative help is appreciated at this criticaljuncture).
- Once an owner claims a pile is likely complete, marshals will begin the re-inspection process for ammunition integrity as quickly as available. Be sure you do not remove your arrows/bolts from the field until they have been inspected after the battle, as it is vitally important that we ensure the safety of all ammunition as well as obtain incidents of failure, if any.
- This process should also reduce loss due to theft as any ammunition noted as heading “away” should be suspect and questioned.
- Editorial: Patience is needed and anything you can do to aid the process is welcome; the marshals have protocols to follow to insure the safety and integrity of the ammunition being inspected. Anyone not able to assist can/will be promptly moved rearward in the inspection process to allow those “more helpful” be on their merry way faster.
OVERPOWERED AND NON-INSPECTION WARNING
Anyone using fiberglass-shafted ammunition in a heavy bow or heavy crossbow will be banned from all fighting activities for the rest of the War and will be subject to other disciplinary action via the proper heavy weapons violation inquiry procedure.Likewise, ANY use of un-inspected ammunition or weapons on the battlefields of Pennsic will prompt immediate removal from the battlefield and will be subject to other disciplinary action (including potential fighting ban) via the proper heavy weapons violation inquiry procedure.