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Re: Suspension of Certain Combat Arrows

Poster: Julien de Montfort <julien@spiaggia.org>

While Gorm has a couple of good points, I do wish to reiterate that
combat arrows of all kinds, and Baldar Blunts in particular, have been
tested repeatedly not only in independent tests but also by virtue of
literally years of use on the combat field, with an exteremely low
incidence of injuries (to be honest, this is the first apparently
verified incident I've heard of, and even back when the issue was
raised last year on the SCA Missile Weapons List, when they were
compiling the latest version of Society-wide standards for missile
weapons, I remember that no-one could come up with more than one
verified injury on the field due to bounceback and that was out of
years of experience represented on that list).

As the other gentle brought up, I don't feel this is any more
dangerous, and certainly far less dangerous, than your average woods
battle.  When combat arrows boince off people, they tend to either drop
fairly close down to the target or spin outward as opposed to a
straight linear bounceback -- a straight bounceback, especially in
excess of a couple feet, would be a breathtakingly rare occurence on
the field, I would hazard to say.  "Laboratory Testing" is fine, but
usually those are done with stationary targets, such as walls or
dummies, and seldom against moving targets as you would have on the
field, or against individuals in tabards, or leather, or with
funny-shaped elbow cops, etc.  Such differences can make extraordinary
changes in results.

In light of the injuries (actually, I had only heard of a single
injury, and that was a cut to the cheek of a fighter, and not two of
them, but I have no idea as to what actually occured), I think it was
wise for Steafan to look back into the question of them, but to suspend
them during the process I feel is a bit on the harsh side.  As
mentioned, the Baldars have been verified and okayed through much of
the known world for a long time now, and to suspend a weapon every time
the is an injury would be crushing to the sport we all enjoy.  Imagine
if, as a result of a broken wrist at event X, swords were suspended
from use until the Earl Marshal did more testing on them?

The heavies out there may checkle a bit at the ludicrousness of that
possibility, but to many combat archers, that is exactly what the
current situation has done.  For this most recent Kingdom's Crusade
event, the Crown had put a call out to Atlantia that they wished to see
no less than 40 archers on the field this year.  Our canton rose to the
challenge, and we fielded 11 of the 30 or so that were in attendance.
In preparation to that, we, as a group, spent upwards of $1000 in
supplying everyone with dozens and dozens of arrows, correct-poundage
bows, field-legal armor, etc., all to the standard which was adopted by
Atlantia.  Now the vast majority of that equipment has been rendered
inoperable for the time being.

I am all for safety, and I am all for safe equipment and regs that
support same.  But this is a dangerous sport by its very nature,
however you look at it, and injuries do and will happen.  A happy
medium is drawn between what a person is willing to risk, and the
enjoyment they get out of their sport.  With an apparent track record
of safety that is better than virtually any other weapon we have out
there on field, to see a particular type of tested, approved and common
arrowhead withdrawn at each possible incidence of injury seems a bit
hasty, IMHO.

My Thanks,

On 11/11/98, Gorm of Berra spoke thusly:
> Poster: Gorm of Berra <gormofberra@mindspring.com>
> Lewis, Don wrote:
> >
> > Poster: "Lewis, Don" <don@infodata.com>
> >
> > Hello everyone.   There were allot and I mean allot of the baldar
> > arrows used at Kingdom Crusades this year and I saw no problem with
> > arrows.  What has happened that would stop the use of these combat
> At Kingdom's Crusades this year there were two injuries caused by
> "bounceback" of baldar blunted arrows.
> For those who may not be familiar with the term, "bounceback" is when
> arrow richocets straight back when it hits a target.  Unlike the front
> end of an arrow, which is padded up to at least 1 1/4 inches by
> blunts, or other means, the back end is no bigger than the nocking
> point.
> Also, nocking points are rather pointy in and of themselves.  This may
> not be necessary, but it seems to be true.
> So, when these arrows are travelling backwards, it is very easy for
> nock to slip into an area of a fighter's armor that the head
> And then cause injury, including the possibility of putting someone's
> eye out literally.
> Because our arrows are not sharp and pointy on the tip, there will
> always be some minimal bounceback, but some independant tests have
> demonstrated bouncebacks in excess of 10 feet.  This is dangerous.
> However, I would think the solution lies not in the tip end, but in
> nock end of the arrow.  Making the nock less dangerous would seem to
> the best solution.  There is a web page created by the Society Archer
> Marshall (I am not certain if he is the current AM, or a past AM)
> he describes a device that appears, on initial testing at least, to
> reduce the likelihood of injury significantly.
> The URL is:  http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/articles/anti_bounce.html
> I would encourage everyone involved in CA activities, and everyone
> interested in them, to peruse this article and consider.  Even if this
> is not the best solution, it would seem to be at least a springboard
> constructive leaps forward.
> Gorm of Berra
> gormofberra@mindspring.com
> I'm not a combat archer, but my lady is...her arrows aren't affected,
> she uses Markland Style blunts, but the problem is bigger than just
> that.
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Seigneur Julien de Montfort                  De sable, seme d'hermines
"Solum Dice Nullus Sunt Suficio"             d'or, tres amphorae et un
Seneschal, Web Minister, pursuivant@large        caid palissade argent
Canton de Spiaggia Levantina                   http://www.spiaggia.org
Bright Hills, Atlantia                             julien@spiaggia.org
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