SCA Youth Combat
Youth Combat ProgramThe SCA's Youth Combat program gives children from ages 6 through 17 the opportunity to participate in a kid-friendly and safe version of adult combat. The program emphasizes courtesy, honor, and service as well as skill and safety. Boys and girls participate together, separated only by age, not gender. The youths practice and compete with each other, just as their adult counterparts compete only with adults.
At SCA events, youth fighters participate in a variety of tournaments and melees, ranging from double-elimination and round-robin tourneys, to "Warlord" tourneys, where youth fighters lead teams of other fighters in melee battles. There are even tournaments to determine Youth Combat Champions, who serve as honor guards for their Baron and Baroness, Prince and Princess, or King and Queen.
At the Pennsic War and Gulf War, youth fighters in each of the age brackets compete in practices, tournaments, and battles with dozens of other fighters.
Youth Combat is divided into three age brackets:
Safety FirstBefore youth fighters are permitted to take part in tournaments and battles at SCA events, they must first demonstrate to the marshals that they understand the rules and are safe in the combat list.
Armor & WeaponsRequirements for youth armor and weapons vary by division and by kingdom, but generally parents can armor their youth fighters with standard athletic gear like elbow and knee pads, athletic cups for boys, hockey or lacrosse helmets, and hockey gloves. Body armor and neck protection may need to be built by hand.
Weapons can be made from a variety of materials. Rules may vary by Kingdom, but in general, swords and great weapons are built using a core of 3/4-inch Siloflex or PEX tubing, or 3/4- to 1-inch rattan (often called "shaved rattan"). All youth weapons must have their striking surfaces covered in foam padding and duct tape.
Please see the left-hand menu above for Society-wide and Kingdom regulations on armor & weapons. Your local youth marshal can also provide guidance.