Your First Event
If you’d like to come along to an SCA event… please do, we’d love to meet you! Newcomers are alwaysmost welcome.You can check our Events Calendar for details of upcoming events such as feasts, tourneys, displays and archery days. These events are “garbed events”, meaning that you need to wear medieval clothing to the event. If you’d like to borrow some garb, please contact our Chatelaine and she will be able to help you (and answer any other questions that you might have.) Please also see our What To Wear page.
We also have various Meetings and Activities happening thru the week. You don’t need to wear garb to these activities. Just turn up and say hello! This is a great way to get to know us and to learn more about what happens.
The first thing that you need to do when you arrive at an event is to sign in. You’ll usually find the Constable’s table somewhere near the entrance of the venue.
They will collect your entrance fee, check your membership card and ask you to sign one of the event indemnity forms. If you’re not already a member, then a $5 per day ‘event membership’ is required (on top of the cost of the event itself).
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BRING?
If you are coming to a tournament, demo, archery day or other outdoors event then you’ll need to bring something to sit on (chair, cushion, rug), your own drinks and nibbles (and things to eat them with.) If you’re coming to a feast, then tables and chairs are provided, but you’ll need to bring your own Feast Gear.
You’ll find that many of the ladies will bring something to work on while they watch the proceedings – hand sewing, embroidery, etc.
Quite often you’ll see mention of a “potluck lunch” at an event. This means bring a plate of food to share for lunch – preferably something that would have been served in medieval times – meats, breads, salads, pies, tarts, nuts, fruit, cheese, etc.
LORDS & LADIES
In the SCA, we encourage everyone to choose a medieval name for themselves, and we generally only refer to each other using those chosen names. Of course, a newcomer is not going to know anyone’s name, so how do you address someone in the SCA? The easiest way is to simply say M’lord or M’lady. That covers every situation.
But if you do happen to know someone’s rank or title, then by all means use it. So the Baron and Baroness can be called “Your Excellency”. The King and Queen “Your Majesty” and a Knight, Sir Kane, Sir Thomas, etc.
The title Lord or Lady (with a capital L) denotes someone who has been given an award of arms from the King or Queen. So they can be called Lord John, or Lady Helena, etc. If they’ve not received that award, then they are referred to as M’lord John or M’lady Helena.
When an event is about to begin, you will hear someone loudly shouting “Oyez, oyez, oyez!” That person will be the Herald. It is their job to announce to all what is about to happen throughout the event. When the Herald calls, everyone is supposed to stop what they are doing and listen to the announcement.
Court is held to officially open or close an event, to recognise achievements by the giving of awards, to make important announcements, to honour the victors of tourneys, winners of competitions, and more.
A Royal Presence area will be set up for the Baron and Baroness who are acting as representatives of the King and Queen.
The Herald will announce that Court is about to begin, and ask everyone to “gather and draw nigh”. You’ll see the Baron and Baroness seated with several people standing behind or nearby. There might be a Lady-in-Waiting, Guardsmen, Champions and the Herald.
Various people will be called to court, depending on what’s needed at the time. You’ll notice that when someone is called to Court, they bow or curtsy when they begin to approach, bow again when they are in front of the Baron and Baroness, and then perhaps kneel. When their business in Court is finished, they’ll get up, bow again and walk backwards away from the Court. Another bow when they are a distance away, and then turn to walk away.
Now this bit feels quite odd until you get used to it. Even when there is no one there, you still should bow or curtsy when you walk past the Royal Presence to acknowledge the Crown. So when you see someone curtsying to empty chairs and a Lochac banner, they have not lost the plot. They are doing the right thing!
TOURNEYS & ARCHERY
When there is a tournament or archery happening, safely is paramount. Our fighters hit each other, hard, with rattan.
In order for fighting or archery to take place, there must be an authorised Marshall present. The Marshall is like a referee/safety officer. He tells them when to begin, and if he sees a problem, when to stop. If you hear someone shout “HOLD” during a fight, it means there is a safety issue. Either someone’s armour has failed, someone has wandered into canes (amongst other things), and arrows are dangerous. So… there are rules that need to be followed.
the list field, or there is another problem which means the fighting must cease immediately. Anyone who sees a safety issue can shout “hold” – not just the marshall.
Before someone can become a fighter, they have to be trained properly and need to be authorised to show that they know the rules. For every event, their armour and weapons must be inspected beforehand to ensure that they are safe. For archery, the bows and arrows must meet certain safety specifications.
The fighters area is called a list field, or an eric. This area will be clearly marked out with ropes. The ropes are to keep the fighters within a defined area and to warn spectators to not pass into the combat area.
The archery area is clearly marked and positioned so that there is no danger of passersby being accidentally shot!
During the tourney, the Herald will announce who is fighting and other announcements as needed. The List Keeper keeps records of who is fighting who, and the outcome of the bouts