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(LONG) Re:MR:Pay-to-Fight

Poster: "Edward R. Ewen, Jr." <tewen@gandalf.cs.wcu.edu>

M'Lord Gawain,

Today you wrote:
> I believe I understand the position you are taking on this, you spoke
> yourself well, but I just cannot bring myself to accept your arguments.

Well, allow me to thank you for the first part of the above ;)

> If I understand rightly, you are saying that the $20.00 membership fee,
> for an associate membership, may put a financial burden on a new or
> occassional player, if they want to fight in the SCA:  heavy, archer or
> rapier.

> Considering, by our Kingdom Laws (as I understand them), you must own
> your own gear before your authorization,

> I spent the following money on... the minimums... any fighter [would] need:
> 	------------
> Total:	$231.00

> If I've had to spend this much, at a bare minimum (and I've tried to do
> this as cheaply as I could). in order to fight, I'm not going to choke
> at spending less than 10% more, in order to be able to authorize.
> If the newbie / OP dosen't have $20.00 to pay for a membership in order
> to be able to fight, they surely aren't going to have enough money to
> put together their own kit, even building most of it themselves.

I would have to argue these points, though not from the strength of 
TotalConviction(tm)....there is much validity to your argument.

However :)

Were all that was required the kit itself, the additional 10% would 
indeed be reasonable.  When taken in a larger context however, it can 
become burdensome. 

By way of example:

I attend about 6 events a 'season'.  Here in Southern Atlantia most 
events last the weekend and average 6 hours total travel time.  By 
implication, before I attend an event, I must possess at least:
       -Enough garb to last a weekend        cost:$0 - $100
       -Sufficient 'auxiliary' stuff to 
        camp for the weekend (tent, 
        sleeping-bag, etc)                   cost:$0 - $300
       -Random requirements (feast gear, 
        lantern, et al.)                     cost:$0 - $100

and, of course:
        -the minimums any fighter 
         would need                          cost:$231

                            Total Prepatory Costs:$231 - $731

Now, I've got the minimums I'll need to last the weekend and fight, but 
I've actually got to go to the event, and that costs too:

                        cost  per event          6 events / year
                       ------------------       -----------------
     -Event fees             @$10                     $60
     -Travel Costs*          @$20                     $120
     Total Cost    /event     $30               /year $180

*Travel Cost based on avg 400 miles round trip @ 20 mpg 

Then there the additional things necessary to survive a weekend event:

     -Food      (unless you _like_ eating once in a weekend)
     -Beverages (add many $$$ if alcohol is included here ;)
     -An occasional purchase at a merchant etc.

My personal average is just around $80 per event. Extrapolated over my 6 
events per year this comes to:

       80 * 6 = $480 / year

(Mind, I have no idea how much anyone _else_ averages, I've become 
somewhat jaded in my old age ;)

So, by these figures, a first year participant can expect to spend:

         Total Prepatory Costs:$231 - $731
              Base Event Costs:$180
     Additional Event Expenses:$480
  For a total 1st year cost of:$891 - $1391

And that's not all, having paid all this, there is the cost associated 
with weekly meetings/practices, general wear and tear on equipment, the 
occasional demo, and any monies spent trying to get abbove the minimum 
necessary requirements...figure these in and you end up with a figure of 
over $1000 per year, not counting prepatory costs.

Suddenly that additional $20 does become important.  It can mean being
able to attend an event, or buy a new foil blade, or add to your three 
sets of: garb, beginner.  

I still feel that people who wish to will mature into dues paying 
members, and that requiring membership for what is (arguably) our 
largest initial membership draw is not beneficial. Non-members in no way 
detract from our organization and are in many ways beneficial. Why 
are we promoting _any_ policy which makes it more difficult to participate?

> I mean no disrespect by this reply, I'm just trying to hash it out
> logically to the best of my meager ability.

Please, never feel that disagreement equates to disrespect or offense.  
It is only by discussing these issues that we advance, to the betterment 
of all.

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