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Description of Equipment



Neither the SCA nor the Kingdom of Atlantia have specific regulation for equipment (except for minors). The following descriptions are generated by various sources of experience and trial and error. They are recommendations for items commonly used within the SCA mounted games. A marshal always has the right to disallow any equipment based on any safety concerns.

Saracen Mace - A mace or short sword used for the Saracen head course. The Interkingdom Equestrian Competition (IKEqC) limits the length to 22 inches. It can be made of rattan so ask your heavy friends to contribute old swords that have broken at the basket. It is suggested that all striking surfaces be padded with 1/2 inch of closed cell foam which in turn should be covered with duct tape or fiber tape for durability. Some kingdoms may request that the weapon also have a lanyard.

Saracen head stands can be made to stand with portable holes or in buckets of sand or cement. If using buckets, 5 gallon buckets work best to prevent tipping but for portability, plant a 4-5 foot high 4x4 post in a 1 gallon bucket of cement then place all into a 5 gallon bucket of sand at the site. Glue velcro to the top of the post and to the bottom of the heads.

The heads can be made from styrofoam blocks or wig stands can be purchased from most wig shops. Tethering the heads to the posts will help the ground crew but the tether should not be so long as to catch on a riders sword or hand when passing by. The tether should also not interfere with the beheading - for example some run through a hole in the base and if the rope is too tight to slide easily through this hole, the head does not fall off the base causing a loss of points for the rider.

An alternative to targets that are knocked off a stand, is on that rings a bell, thus resetting itself. Quoting Alicia "A loop is made of hose and is attached to two "sides" of a piece of PVC. A bell is hung in the center of the loop, hanging down towards the end of the PVC pipe. I will say that one problem I saw with the loop of hose with the bell, was some folks got their sword stuck in the loop, so those using this idea should be careful. To counteract this, you can cover the loop with material or whatever so no "hole" is seen. Due to these concerns, a variation I made on this idea is, I attached just one ~8 inch piece of hose to one side of a PVC pipe with a single screw, so no loop. It stands up to all winds, etc, but when you hit it, it falls over, and to reset it, just ride back by and stand it back up"

Reed chop -

Ring Tilting and Pig Sticking Spear - A spear made of rattan, wood dowel, or pultruded fiberglass and 7-10 feet in length. They should be a minimum of 1 inch diameter and 1 1/4 is preferred except at the point where it may be tapered and fitted with a spear point. Spears used by minors must be blunt tipped. Spears used for IKEqC should be marked and held at least 5 feet from tip. Some kingdoms require other distances to be marked and held - check the conventions of the kingdom you are visiting.

Ring Tilting stands are just a taller version of the Saracen stands and can also be set up in portable holes or buckets. Some implementations attach the cross piece to a height extension piece that gets attached to the Saracen base. Others use separate 6 foot posts of either 2x2 or 4x4 wood or 1 inch PVC waterline. The rings are most commonly held on with velcro but magnets are also used and are often release better.

Targets for Pig-sticking can be as simple as paper plates. Styrofoam blocks decorated as baby pigs are also much fun. Wrap blocks in tape to increase durability. Flat blocks are easier to stick than round styrofoam balls. For blunt spears, try a squeaky toy that can be heard when hit or a large cracker like item (Matza bread is great) that breaks when hit and can be left for the birds.

Quintain Lance - Rattan or protruded fiberglass 10-12 feet in length and a minimum of 1 inch diameter with 1 1/4 inch diameter preferred. Fiberglass will be straight to begin with but should be stored flat - leaning it against a wall will warp it. Some people use hardwood closet rods with leather covered tip and have had no problems, other people have experienced very bad splintery breaks from such lances when used with the quintain. Some kingdoms will not allow anything other than rattan and fiberglass shafts for the quintian. Tips can be constructed much like heavy spear lances but without as much padding or compression. Some compression is good to prevent a bounce back force on the rider. Further construction of tips and counter weights is covered in the SCA Equestrian Handbook available from Milpitas.

Quintain construction requires a large stable base as described in the SCA Equestrian Handbook or post-hole digger for planting the 10 foot 4x4 upright post three feet into the ground. The cross bar holding the target and counter weight needs to be level and rotate easily. An alternative is a "Mock Knight" which consists of the upper body of a human shape on a spring release. The human "falls down" when hit. Take care that the tension can be adjusted so that it is not to strong as to knock a smaller rider from the horse rather than the rider knocking down the knight!

Some additional descriptions and pictures can be found in the Society Equestrian Handbook




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