Society Marshal

SCA Fencers

Rapier Combat

Deputy for Rapier

Master Laertes McBride (Greg Wylie), e-mail

Deputy, Special Projects

Mistress Xandra Rozina Xiberras Galea (Rozi)

Deputy, Cut and Thrust Combat

Master Robert MacFarland

Rules and Policies:

Rapier Combat Handbook pdf
revised October 2013
See updates below
Rapier Combat Handbook Appendix 6 - Exceptions To Allowed Blades Rules
Rapier Experiment Proposal Form
To be submitted to the Society Rapier Marshal by Kingdom Rapier Marshals

Rules and Policies Updates:

The following section 2.C has been added to the Rapier Marshals Handbook (October 2013 edition):



C. Definition of sword types

Sword Requirements:

Blade Length* Grip Length**
Dagger 18" or less 10" or less
Single Sword 18" to 48" 10" or less
Two-Handed Sword 30" to 48" At least 10" but no greater than 1/3 Blade Length

* "Blade Length" is measured from the tip to the top of the tang (i.e. where the tang and forte meet).
** "Grip Length" is measured from the base of the tang to the end of the pommel.

Swords that fall outside of these dimensions may be allowed at the discretion of the Kingdom Rapier Marshal, or the duly-appointed representative. The overall length of a weapon must still not exceed 60".

This update to the rules is to help establish baselines for the weapons we use. Hopefully, these definitions will make things easier when defining rules and conventions for interkingdom events. They are not designed to restrict any weapons currently approved for use.

Cut and Thrust Rapiers

A question has been raised about melees and cut & thrust rapier, and what the rules do and do not say. Starting with the Sidesword experiment and continuing when it morphed into the cut & thrust rapier authorized form, it has been the stated position of the rules and this office that melees were not allowed with this combat form. Recently, a question was raised about the wording in the rules.

The rules passage in question is:

6.E. Cut and thrust rapiers may not be used in melees.

Upon speaking with the author of the 2006 rules in which the passage first appeared (and has been carried forward ever since), there is a typo that is now causing confusion eight years later. This section should, in fact, read:

6.E. Cut and thrust rapier may not be used in melees.

It is not the cut & thrust blade types that are banned from melee, it is the cut & thrust category of combat (which, in turn, includes Cut & Thrust only blades).

This is not a change in policy - just a clarification. This office has begun the process to officially correct the typo.

September 5, 2014 ruling - Spears / Pikes / Polearms

Section 5 has been added to the "Weapons and Parrying Devices" section of the October 2013 version of the handbook:

  • All weapons longer than 60" overall, or with a handle longer than 18" which are not configured and used in a manner that a marshal would identify as a "sword" are defined to belong to this category of weapon.
  • Use:
    • These weapons can only be used in Heavy Rapier and Cut and Thrust combat. They may be used only for thrusting in Heavy Rapier combat.
    • Use of this type of weapon requires a separate authorization.
    • Combatants who use this type of weapon may only strike opponents with the blade of the weapon.
    • For single tournament combat, this type of weapon is considered a non-standard device. An opponent may decline to face a non-standard device without forfeiting a bout.
    • A fighter using this type of weapon must have both hands on the weapon and in the same position at the end of an attack as they had at the beginning of the attack. Invalid attacks include "pool cuing", sliding, completely releasing the haft and any other process that reduces a fighter's control of the weapon.
    • A fighter may not "set" this weapon by bracing the base in the ground or against the foot or body, or locking the back arm.
  • Approved designs:
    • Total weapon length shall not exceed 8 feet.
    • The minimum blade length is 36" measured tip to the top of the tang.
    • Total weapon weight shall not exceed 3 pounds.
    • The only weapons in this class that are approved for use must be similar in design to the commercially available Alchem pike and Amazonia spear. Blades must meet blade flexibility standard (Appendix 1.B.).
    • Non-commercially produced designs must meet the blade flexibility standard and also must have the blade securely attached to the haft by mechanical means (i.e. screws or pins). Weapons of this design must be approved by the Kingdom Rapier Marshal or a designated deputy before being used on the field.
    • Hafts must be composed of pine, cedar, hardwood, or rattan.
    • No weapon may have a cutting surface at both ends.
    • Any other designs, including non-steel blade designs, must be submitted through the approved experimental process (Appendix 2).

February 21, 2014 Ruling - Use of Flexi-Daggers

October 2013 version of the handbook:

"2.B.v. Blades with a cross-section similar to a foil or epee (ie., foils, epees, double-wide epees, musketeers and flexi-daggers) are not allowed in Heavy Rapier, nor Cut & Thrust combat."

This section is reworded to:
"2.B.v. Full length blades (i.e. greater than 18" in length from tip to top of the tang) with a cross-section similar to a foil or epee (i.e., foils, epees, double-wide epees and musketeers) are not allowed in Heavy Rapier, nor Cut & Thrust combat. In addition, flexi-daggers are not allowed for Cut & Thrust combat."

This ruling allows flexi-daggers to continue to be used in Heavy Rapier combat on a society level. As usual, kingdoms are allowed to be more restrictive about the use of these blades in their rules.