In our Society’s Youth combat program, our efforts are focused predominantly on fun and safety, while teaching our children the importance of chivalry and fair play. Our youth combat uses similar rules to our Armored Combat, with protection and weapon construction more carefully geared to the youth in the varying age categories. Strike calibration is very specific at the lower age groups, focusing much more on safety and control, eventually reaching an age that is focused on preparing for a youth to enter the adult armored combat program.
Additionally, we focus on keeping the equipment as simple as possible as we begin, to avoid a large financial commitment to an activity that has the risk of only keeping our children’s interests for a relatively short time. Basic hockey equipment is all that is required at the junior level, although a tabard allows for a more medieval look, and swords are constructed of PVC or shaved rattan cores under pipe insulation. A child goes through an inspection and authorization almost identical to the adult armoured combatant, where Marshals are looking specifically to ensure the child is enjoying him or herself and can play safely.
Parents are asked to take an active role in their children’s training by either finding them a mentor, or themselves becoming a Marshal. If you have any questions about youth combat, please contact either your local marshal or local Senechal, and they can put you in touch with the proper authorities.