[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index][Search Archives]

SCA Tournament Heraldry

Poster: SCAVard@aol.com

For those heraldy who might some day be called upon to perform Tourney 
Heraldry, the following article by Lord Lancelin Peregrinus is forwarded. It 
is also available on the web at 
<http://www.dnaco.net/~theroots/sca/heraldry/tourneyh.html> This is 
Midrealm-specific, but just about all of these apply in general.  But by all 
means, if given specific instructions by the Herald-in-Charge or 
Marshal-in-Charge, heed those.  These are merely guidelines.

Sunny, 64-degrees.  Ah, what a forecast for a tourney!
// Vard //

Lord Edvard Gayer, Chronicler
Barony of Dun Carraig, Atlantia
SCA Tournament Heraldry
by Lord Lancelin Peregrinus, CDH
Flaming Gryphon Pursuivant Emeritus 


There are many kinds of tournaments, and many details to heralding one which 
cannot be covered here. The most important thing is to make sure that the 
tourney heralds communicate with the Marshal and the List Minister. These 
officers may not be used to heralds who wish to take an active part in 
things. List heralds should by all means make suggestions and offer help, but 
they must defer to both of the other officers as far as the running of the 
actual tournament is concerned.


The Middle Ages
o Heralds' origins are in medieval tournaments 
o Announced upcoming tournaments 
o Announced entrants by name and arms 
o Kept score 
o Kept records (armorial rolls) 

SCA Tournaments
o Announce tournament sign-ups and beginning time at events 
o Add color and ceremony 
o Keep spectators informed of what's happening 
  + Who's on the field or coming up 
  + Who won the bout 
  + Points of honor 
  + Authorizations 
  + Breaks 
  + Final rounds 
o Keep fighters informed 
  + Who should be arming, etc. 
o Help setup and run list when necessary 


o Tabard or Baldric 
o Staff or baton 
o Hat if standing in the sun 

o Warm up slowly, just like a singer 
o Have water or fruit juice available 
o Don't be "macho," find a replacement if voice starts to go 

o 3" X 5" cards (or equivalent), one for each fighter 
  + Fighter's name 
  + Phonetic spelling if pronunciation is not obvious 
  + Blazon of arms born (if desired) 
  + Minister of Lists may make up these cards; make sure that you can read 
them and that they have everything you need 
o Talk to Marshal-in-Charge about procedure for starting each bout 
  + Especially important if at a distant event 
o Talk to Minister of Lists or whoever is organizing list 
  + Make sure you know how much of your help is wanted with list 


o Stay alert (very important) 
o Stay close to List Table 

o Will receive three sets of two cards each, announce as follows: 
  + "A and B, please report to the List!" 
  + "C and D should be arming!" 
  + "E and F should be preparing to arm!" 
o All three sets may not be available, especially near the end of the 
tourney; just announce what is known. 
o Ask Minister of Lists if you are confused about what to announce 
o Always announce first two fighters, even if already on the field 
  + You can say "Now on the field, A and B" or "Now in this list,..." 
  + This way, the spectators know who's fighting 
o Avoid using titles, except for martial ones (Sir, Prince, King, Count, 

o Hustle out to where marshals and fighters are standing 


o Be at the place where the marshals will start the bout 
o Don't make them wait on you (they might start without you!) 
o Stand between the fighters, facing the spectators (if on only one side) or 
facing the Crown, so that you can be heard 
o Know which direction represents the Crown for the salutes 
  + The King, if He is present 
  + The Queen, if She is present 
  + The Royal thrones, if set up 
  + The Prince and/or Princess 
  + The Baron and/or Baroness (who represent the Crown in Their Barony) 
  + A Midrealm ensign (flag with badge on it) 
  + Some pre-determined direction 

o Wait until both fighters look ready to go 
o Ask quietly "My lords, are you ready?" 
o When they are, do the salutes: 
  + "Salute (or "Honor" or "Do honor to") the Crown of the Middle Kingdom (or 
whatever kingdom you're in)." Help the fighters out by pointing to the 
direction of the Crown. 
  + "Salute the Lady (or "Lord" or "Lord or Lady" or "Gentle") for whom you 
fight this day (or "who inspires you this day")." 
  + "Salute your most noble and worthy opponent." 
  + Variations on the wording of the salutes should be used for variety, or 
to speed up the proceedings. 
  + Under certain circumstances the salutes may change 
    - In demo fighting, usually the spectators are saluted and the salute to 
the Crown (potentially confusing) may be left out. 
    - Salutes may be shortened or left out when the combattants have already 
fought bouts, in order to save time. 
o After the salutes, say "Please pay heed to the Marshal" 
o Get out of the way fast. 

During the Bout
o Return the cards for the current combattants to the List Table 
o Stand by for the next set of cards 
o Be alert to the fighting 
o Announce points of honor 

After the Bout
o Announce the winner 
  + Ask a Marshal first if you are in doubt 
o Immediately start announcing the next combattants (if you have the cards 
from the List Minister) 
o You can ask for the next cards, but do not nag. 

o Make sure that the spectators know which are the final bouts 
o After the last bout, make a big deal of announcing the winner of the 


It is the job of each herald, as well as the Herald-in-Charge, to watch out 
for his or her safety. List heralds sometimes have a tendency to try to kill 
themselves by doing a whole tournament. They should make sure that they have 
water and hats if appropriate, and watch for signs of exhaustion or vocal 
strain. Remember that they may not have time to go looking for someone to 
take their place. The Herald-in-Charge can do it for them, or better yet, 
have the tourney heralds sign up in shifts in the first place.
Lancelin Peregrinus, CDH (Grant G. Root), lancelin@dnaco.net
Flaming Gryphon Pursuivant Emeritus
This article may be freely distributed, provided the text is not modified.
Last Revision: Monday, 10-Mar-1997 00:08:46 EST
List Archives, FAQ, FTP:  http://merryrose.atlantia.sca.org/
            Submissions:  atlantia@atlantia.sca.org
        Admin. requests:  majordomo@atlantia.sca.org