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Re: Many Questions - Boffering

Poster: "Robin A Jensen" <griffaud@hearts.tez.net>

> As far as I've been able to find out, there are no kingdom-wide boffer
> regulations in Atlantia yet.  If there are, please tell me!
Where have you inquired? Yes, there are some "standards" in development
Kingdom-wide, compliments of the hard work of our former Kingdom
Chatelaine, Lady Rosine of Rowanwald. See me when you get the chance, and I
will give you the goods.

> So my experience is based on West Kingdom standards.  In the West, they
use the
> foam pipe cover sold at hardware stores to insulate pipes.  Cut a length
of PVC
> pipe that extends no more than 4 inches into the foam insulation.  Duct
> the insulation to the pipe firmly, then wrap *one* layer of duct tape
> the entire sword.  Don't make the sword 'blade' too long, or it will whip
> combat and hurt the kids (not to mention tearing itself apart more
Actually, the closed cell foam "water weenies" you can get for pool type of
recreation are far superior to pipe insulation. This foam, when used in
lengths appropriate to asword, do not tend to 'whip'.

> Western Armor standards are as follows:
> Good helmet made of leather or solid carpet padding (not the cheap-o
> The helm is made with the same pattern I've seen on adult helms made from
A bicycle type helmet has been decreed the absolute best, but I have seen
(and built) leather skull caps and such. The only ABSOLUTE requirement
EVERYONE who assisted on the standards agreed upon was safety goggles.
After much testing (on five children at my house alone, and countless
others at events, including adults) the only real injury anyone could
sustain would be an eye injury. Goggles on the field, or don't fight. In
our local group, that is the only ABSOLUTE requirement for boffer fighting,
any age participant. Now, other items are recommended......

> Long sleeve tunic and ankle-lenght trousers or skirt (almost all the
girls prefered trousers).
It was suggested that down filled winter coats, sweatshirts, or other armor
type garments be worn, but this does not seem to be mandatory. I think this
is preference of the marshal and the child's parents. We do not usually
require armor, as, again, it is supposed to be touch kill.

> Close-toed shoes.
Not required, but that just makes common sense (maybe there isn't enough of
it to go around).
> Garden gloves.
Gloves have been donated, and purchased. The littler kids are more bothered
by hand shots than the big kids or adults, so I recommend (in my several
years of experience) small gloves. Winter mittens also are a great
> In An Tir, they don't allow head shots and don't use helmets.  In the
West they
> do allow head shots and do use helmets.
With safety glasses, head shots are not the problem they may be in other
locales, but again, rules need to be adapted to the audience participating.
With the younger kids (10 and under) we do not permit head shots, or
shoulder shots, but it happens anyway.
> I've seen people here make boffer armor - padded gamesons for the kids. 
> don't like those, as boffer is supposed (IMO) to be a touch sport and
> have to really whale away with the boffers for a 'touch' to be felt
> all that padding.  Not Safe, IMO.
The concept of wearing 'armor' adds to the ambience of 'fighting like mom
and dad do'. No matter what a fighter is wearing, touch kills are supposed
to be effective. Boffer is certainly not conducted with the same speed and
ferocity of scadian combat, and when a person is hit, they usually know.
(They don't always acknowledge the blow, but that is an entirely different,
and educational, matter.) So the padding is obviously not intended to
"protect" someone from a blow, but to add to the "game" we play.

> Having long sleeved tunics and having *any* touch count as a good blow
> the 'whaling away' factor to a minimum.  It also encourages very good
> work!
> Shields can be made from thin board or layered heavy cardboard, rimmed
> garden hose and painted quite attractively.  I prefer two layers of heavy
> corrogated cardboard, or four/five layers of regular corrogated
> Glue layers perpendicular to each other.  Wooden shields can cause
> if not wearing padding.
Since the fighting is done with swords made of foam, I am not sure how
wooden shields cause injuries to a person not wearing padding. Shields made
from 1/4" luann (plywood) are fine, in my experience. The edges must be
finished with something, (bicycle inner tube, leather, pipe insulation,
etc) but since there is no shield bashing, no child has ever been injured
by a shield in the time I have been building and using them. Cardboard
shields seem to last about a half a tournament, or until the first child
falls on them. Other types of shields children use, and with great success,
are the plastic toy store variety. As a matter of fact a lot of kids think
it is 'cool' to wear the whole plastic-armor getup. Personal preference, I

> I've seen classes offered to kids in shield and sword techniques. 
Usually 1
> hour or so during a regular event or at a Collegium.
> The Queen's Guard in the West used to marshall the boffer tourneys at
Crown and
> Coronations.  Many other fighters would gather to watch, as well.  The
> year olds in the boffer tourneys were going to be Heavies soon!  Best to
get a
> good look at one's future opponents.
> Problems with kids not acknowledging blows, or behaving in unchivalrous (
> unsportsmanlike) ways were ameliorated by having a few knights or the
> come and watch (and speak to kids as necessary).
Kids will be kids. Sometimes a Peer watching the fight just encourages them
to 'resist' the blow. Better to offer a short instructional period wherein
all the participants of the tourney are given the expectations of the

> West uses determinate marshalling in boffer fights as well.  If the
> have to ask the kids in a fight three times "do you think that blow
> you?" then the fight is declared a draw.  That's any combination of three
> - either kid or all one kid.
Normally, only one warning is enough, but if a child is highly 'resistant'
to boffer weapons, as a marshall, after warning them at least twice, I
inform them that if necessary, I will call the next blow. After that I have
called a boffer fighter dead. It only has to happen to ONE child to get the
message across.

> I've seen fewer boffer battles here.  I used to herald them in the West,
but am
> consumed by A&S here.
We have participated in or conducted boffer tourneys at most of the events
we have attended in the last couple of years (with five kids what do you
expect?). Keep an eye open and you, too, may see a boffer tourney.

> What standards are evolving in Atlantia?
>         - Anarra
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