Rapier Activities at Gulf Wars

General Conventions

  • Fighters are expected to behave in a courteous and chivalric manner to all participants and marshals. Failure to do so will result in removal from the field. 
  • SCA Society rapier rules are the default regarding marshal issues. Tournaments may be fought under different rules at the discretion of the tourney organizer. 
  • Fighters are required to call thrusts and draw cuts. Blow calling is the sole responsibility of the fighter receiving the blows. Fighters may, at their discretion, call blows good outside of those required (for example push or tip cuts).
    • Tournaments may choose to alter this standard.
    • C&T fighters are required to call percussive blows.
  • Fighters struck below the knee are permitted to knee walk, except in the Ravine or where otherwise noted.
  • Fighters may run to engagement if they can do so safely. Fighters within active engagement range may run to maintain engagement ( i.e. if your opponent runs in an effort to break engagement, you may pursue ), and may throw shots while doing so.
    • All fighters are responsible for their own safety and that of others, and may not run nor throw shots while running if it is unsafe to do so. 
    • Running engagement is not permitted in the ravine. A double-time walk to engagement is permitted. 
  • All fighters are engaged at lay on. 
  • Attacks may only be delivered from inside an opponent’s front 180.
    • Point stalking is not permitted. A fighter may not initiate a shot until they have gained the front 180 and can legally hit their opponent. 
    • As a good rule of thumb:  if your opponent has no chance of seeing you before you throw a shot, you should reconsider throwing the shot.
  • Death from Behind is not permitted in any war point. 

Weapons and secondaries

  • Spears are not permitted in any war point. Any use of spears must be cleared by the Marshal of the Day, or the RMiC. 
  • RBGs or other projectile weapons are not permitted in any war point. Any use of RBGs or other projectile weapons must be cleared by the Marshal of the Day, or the RMiC.
  • Two-handed weapons are defined as any weapon with a handle length 10 inches or longer.
    • Two-handed weapons must be wielded with two hands at all times.
    • Should a fighter wielding a two-handed weapon lose the use of a hand, they will no longer be permitted to use that weapon, but may trade it in for a single-handed weapon. 
    • Two-handed weapons are not permitted in the ravine.
  • Shields, canes and other secondaries may not exceed 48” in any direction.
    • The total area of any secondary may not exceed 453 square inches, the equivalent of a 24’ round ).
  • All non-standard secondaries or weapons must be approved by the RMiC.
  • Equipment shall not be purposefully discarded onto the field during melee. Marshals may collect any intentionally dropped equipment and remove them for the duration of the scenario.


  • All holds are general, unless otherwise announced.
  • Holds will be called whenever a fighter or spectator’s safety is in imminent danger.
    • Situations which immediately resolve themselves do not constitute imminent danger. It is in the best interest of the fighters to allow situations to immediately resolve themselves (for example, allowing a fighter to pick up a dropped weapon or regain their footing). 
  • During a hold fighters are asked to take a knee if possible, so that marshals can more easily identify the issue. 
  • During a hold, fighters may introduce themselves or discuss safety concerns. Fighters may not discuss tactics during holds. 
  • Unless otherwise ordered by the marshals, armor is not to be removed by fighters on the field during holds ( masks stay on ).
  • In timed battles, holds will stop the clock. 
  • Please be mindful of word choice when giving on orders on the field ( for example, filling a gap instead of a hole in the line, maintaining a line instead of holding a line, etc ).


  • Fighters in any battle may call themselves dead at any time. 
  • Dead fighters are expected to remove themselves from the field as soon as they can safely do so.
    • Dead fighters may not ‘die through’ the opposing line unless told to do so by a marshal or opposing fighter. In all cases, dead fighters are to make an effort not to interfere with live fighting.
  • Fighters who are killed should hold their weapon(s) over their head with the points down, or otherwise make obvious their status. 
  • Dead fighters may not give orders or information. 
  • Dead fighters may continue to walk off the field during holds. 
  • Resurrection lines must be fully crossed. Resurrection points must be touched with a hand or weapon. 


  • All armor and weapons must be inspected prior to participation in any of the battles, tournaments or any other fighting activity at Gulf Wars.
  • Fighters must show proof of authorization as well as their medallion during inspection. 
  • All fighters are required to have read and understood these Gulf Wars conventions prior to inspection. Copies will be available at rapier point. 
  • Fighters should make an effort to be inspected by a marshal from their home kingdom. If they are unable to, they may be inspected to society standards. 
  • Inspection stickers must be worn prominently on masks or helmets.
  • Inspections must be performed on the rapier field.
    • The RMiC may choose to allow Kingdom Rapier Marshals, generals, or their chosen designee to perform inspections in camp. 
  • Those wishing to assist with inspections must be current members of the SCA and an authorized rapier marshal. Marshals may perform inspections only after signing in to the Marshal Log Book by presenting the Marshal of the Day with proof of membership, authorization, and site medallion. 

Marshal Concerns

  • The purpose of reporting is not punitive, but an effort to better collect data and ensure the safety of all participants. 
  • Fighters are expected to report any adverse events ( incidents or injuries ) that occur as soon as they can reasonably do so.
    • Incidents may include things like equipment failure, attitude problems, blow calling issues or excessive blows.
    • An injury may include anything that results in bleeding, and/or requires a combatant to retire from the field, even briefly. This includes heat injuries.
  • Fighters may report to any marshal helping to run an activity, the Marshal of the Day, or the RMiC.
    • Marshals will pass such reports on to the Marshal of the Day and/or RMiC. 
  • The more information you can provide, the better.
    • For equipment failure, manufacturer and age of the item
    • For injuries, a brief description of the injury, events leading to the injury, and weapons used.
    • For attitude or blow calling / throwing issues, names or descriptions of the fighters and marshals involved. Medallion numbers should be collected if possible.
  • In some situations, the marshals may ask fighters to attend a marshal’s court for the purpose of gathering additional information and providing a moderated environment for communication.
    • If you are asked to attend a marshal’s court, you are required to do so.
    • KRMs or representatives may be asked to attend the marshal’s court as well.

Rapier War Points

Field Battle

  • All conventions listed above are in effect.
  • This scenario consists of three untimed, non-res battles.
  • Victory Condition: Last side standing.
  • Starting sides for the field battle will be decided by the commanding generals (coin toss or rock-paper-scissors).
    • Sides will rotate 180 degrees each battle
  • Any fencer stepping out of bounds (defined as touching the line) will be considered dead. Causing an enemy to retreat out of bounds is considered a valid tactic.

Ravine Battle

  • All conventions listed above are in effect.
    • For the ravine, knee walking, running, and two-handed swords are not permitted for safety reasons.
  • This scenario consists of a single 45 minute res battle.
  • Victory Condition :  Control over flag emplacements throughout the battle. 
  • The field will be divided long ways, with fighting perpendicular to King’s Highway ( ‘along the V’, not ‘down the sides’ ).
    • Three flag poles will be placed along the centerline of the field.
    • Resurrection points will be placed equidistant from the center line.
  • The flagpoles will have flags on a rope representing the two armies. While controlling a flag, an army must detail a fighter to keep their flag raised.
    • Flags may not be tied, counterweighted, or otherwise secured in place and must be held by hand. 
  • Every 5 minutes throughout the battle, the raised flags will be documented by a tally sheet. Sides may send a runner to check that chart any time they wish. The winner of the battle will be the side with the most tallies. 

Town Battle

  • All conventions listed above are in effect.
  • This scenario consists of two 30 minute res battles with a ten minute break between.
  • Victory Condition: Control over buildings throughout the battle.
  • Starting sides will be decided by the commanding generals (coin toss or rock-paper-scissors). Sides will rotate after the first battle.
  • The town battle layout will be identical to that of the heavy weapons scenario, utilizing up to six buildings, 12 foot wide rivers, bridges, and resurrection points.
    • Both the main entrance and the breach may be utilized; the castle doors may not be closed.
    • The walls may not be climbed. 
    • The bridges are considered covered.
    • Only members of the Order of Defense are permitted to cross the river. All non-members must cross at the bridges. MoDs are required to wear visible regalia (white collar and / or medallion) to take advantage of this rule.
  • The town defenders will start anywhere in the interior of the castle. The attackers will start at the starting line outside the castle. 
  • The two teams will attempt to establish control of the buildings. Every 10 minutes there will be a short hold to determine control of each building.
    • Control is determined by occupation of the building, defined as having both feet fully inside the doorway. 
    • If only combatants from one side has occupants inside a building, they will receive one point for that building ( two points for the building inside the fort ). No points will be awarded for unoccupied buildings. 
  • The winner of the scenario will be the side which accrues the most total points.

Swashbuckler Battle

  • All conventions listed above are in effect.
  • This scenario consists of three 15 minute resurrection melees (“rounds”).
  • Victory Condition: Goals scored by designated fighters (“Swashbucklers”)
  • Starting sides will be decided by the commanding generals. Sides will switch ends of the field after each round.
  • The layout will consist of a large rectangle in the field outside the fort, with entrances located along the middle of the long sides.
    • Goals of approximately 10×10 feet will be marked in each corner of the field. 
    • Resurrection points will be located behind each team’s entrance.
    • Fighters may only enter the field through their side’s marked entrance.
  • Any fencer stepping out of bounds (defined as touching the line) will be considered dead. Causing an enemy to retreat out of bounds is considered a valid tactic.
  • Each side will designate three Swashbucklers prior to lay-on.
    • These Swashbucklers will be marked with distinctive tabards supplied by the rapier marshal-in-charge.
    • The Swashbuckler role (and tabard) can be passed to another fighter at their team’s resurrection point.
  • Goals are scored by a live Swashbuckler stepping completely into one of the two goal areas on their opponents’ side of the field.
    • Any fighter other than a Swashbuckler stepping into any goal will be considered dead.  Swashbucklers may step into any goal without consequence.
  • Any fighter who successfully scores for their side as a Swashbuckler:
    • Must inform the scorekeeper.
    • Must hand off the Swashbuckler tabard at their rez point.
    • Does not resurrect for the remainder of the round (a bearpit for successful Swashbucklers will be held off to one side for bragging rights).
  • The team with the most points at the end of each round  will win that round. The team that wins 2 or more of the three will win the scenario. Points do not carry over. 

Other Rapier Activities

ActivityStart TimeDayDescription
Calontir Stile Fyrd C&T Bearpit9:00 AMMondayA Cut and Thrust Bearpit tournament sponsored by Calontir’s Stilefyrd
Rapier Novice Tourney 10:00 AMTuesdayOpen to fighters that have been authorized in rapier for one year or less AND has not won any tournament before. Sponsored by the Bladesmen of Gleann Abhann.
Lady Rapier Tourney10:00 AMWednesdayOnce again, Lady Rapier Tourney comes to Gulf Wars! Round Robin tourney with top competitors moving to finals. Lots of fencing! Bring your best.You or your person are welcome in our tourney if you self-identify as a woman, trans, or non-binary. Come fight your best and meet and network with friends. 
Verona Street Brawl11:30AMWednesdayRival groups stalk their opponents in the streets of Verona while trying to avoid the notice of the authorities that will arrest them for disobeying the Prince’s edict against public brawls.
Trimarian Rapier Tourney9:00 AMThursdayA 45 minute bear pit, with prizes for most wins, period fight, and most chivalrous. A C&T pit will be run if there are sufficient participants. Will start promptly on time; latecomers are permitted to join on arrival.
Everyman Tourney1:00 PMThursdayOpen only to fighters that have not yet achieved a MOD, White Scarf or equivalent rapier award.
Spears at the Barrier3:00 PMThursdayOne-on-one tournament using rapier legal spears. Combattants will be divided by a barrier between themselves at waist height. Target area includes everything above the waist, with legal (i.e., point only) blows permitted. Participants must also remain within a fixed distance of the barrier, delineated by a visible ring. 
Ansteorra Rose Tourney9:00 AMFridayFighters must be sponsored by a Rose from any kingdom (Or any principality’s Rose equivalent) to compete. Each Rose may sponsor up to two rapier fighters of any rank. Fighters must be presented to the list by their sponsoring Rose or have a written letter of introduction to check in between 8AM to 9AM on the morning of the tournament. Fighting will start as close to 9AM as possible.
Friendship is Magic Meet and Beat10:00 AMFridayFighters are invited to join this Meet and Beat upon removal from the Rose Tourney. Name tags will be provided.