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Re: Awards and all that...

Poster: Christopher Mark Faulcon <mfaulcon@or.atinc.com>

Odinson13 wrote:

> I also tend to think if a king or prince is going to chosen in combat, it
> should be by meele. Although Irish celts chose leaders sometimes in single
> combat, European crowns usually require civil war if heredity was ruled out.

Whilst I think this is an interesting idea, I don't think this is a system we
should adopt in the SCA. As I recall, a recurring complaint on this list, and and
an opinion I've heard many times at events, is that the same five fellows are
always king. This is not an opinion I agree with, nor do I agree with the
resentful tone it is ussually delivered in, but for people that support this
idea, choosing crowns by melee would be even worse.

Most people who become king do so by expending tremendous effort and energy
training themselves in the sport of SCA combat, and in general are quite good. As
a result, many are knighted, and collect students and squires who seek their
teaching and guidance on their own path to chivalry. One could reasonably expect
the squires and students of these people to support them in a crown melee, if for
no other reason than to show gratitude for the instruction they receive. I submit
that what is currently seen as a small 'crown club' would in fact become
extremely exclusive; I beleive, in fact, that the pool of serious crown
contenders would shrink to three.

Even assuming I am mistaken, consider the other possiblity. How would crown
entrants attract followers? Ideally, people would be convinced to support a
candidate based on their merits and service to the kingdom, but the potential for
power-brokering and back room dealing is enormaous. Supposing I wanted to be king
under this crown melee system; what's to stop me from going to one hundred
different people and promising them all court baroncies in return for their
support, another entirely medieval practice? Or more practically, what's to stop
knight A from saying to knight B, "I'll support you in this upcoming crown melee,
If you'll knight my squire." I realize that it may not be intended to work that
way, but I also know that many people have tried to subvert the system we have
now. Look at how the original ideas of the founding fathers of this country have
been subverted by the special interests and partisan politics of today. This
proposal is not much different.

For all its lack of medieval authenticity, I think the current system is balanced
and fair. As anyone with experience on the list field will tell you, any
particular person can best any other on any given day, and that day is often
crown tourney. That is the nature of fighting.

Martin Lochner

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