1.1. All participants agree to follow all rules in the Riverbend War Manual.
1.2. The minimum age for participation in Riverbend is 12.
1.3. All participants under the age of 16 must meet the following requirements to participate:
1.3.1. Must complete the minor waiver, including a notarized signature of a parent or legal guardian
1.3.2. A parent or legal guardian must be present (within line of sight) at all times.
1.4. All participants aged 16 to 17 must meet the following requirements to participate:
1.4.1. Must complete the minor waiver, including a notarized signature of a parent or legal guardian.
1.4.2. Must present a state-issued picture ID.
1.4.3. A parent or legal guardian must be present at their first practice.
1.5. All participants aged 18 or older must meet the following requirements to participate:
1.5.1. Must complete the adult waiver.
1.5.2. Must present a state-issued picture ID.
2.1. The objective of Riverbend is to simulate medieval/medieval-fantasy combat through athletic contest that is accessible to a wide range of ages and athletic ability.
2.2. The four core values of Riverbend are, in order:
2.2.2. Playability – The second consideration of every rule is to ensure that the rules are as balanced as possible so that participants from many different age groups and athletic backgrounds can compete.
2.2.3. Quality – The third consideration of every rule is to provide the highest quality experience for Riverbend’s participants to maximize enjoyment for fighters, crafters, and spectators.
2.2.4. Realism – The final consideration of every rule is to recreate medieval/medieval-fantasy combat as realistically as possible.
2.3. The four core values form a hierarchy whereby Safety outranks Playability, which outranks Quality, which in turn outranks Realism.
2.4. Any perceived loophole in the rule is superseded by common sense and must satisfy the four core values.
3.1. A hit may only be scored by a stab or a slash/hack from a melee weapon or by the point of a missile weapon.
3.1.1. A hit from a swung weapon must strike with sufficient force, usually passing through at least 60 degrees of rotation during the swing.
3.1.2. Hits must strike with sufficient force to be felt through chain or leather armor.
3.1.3. A hit from a missile weapon may only be scored by the missile weapon’s striking surface and only if the missile weapon deflects 30 degrees or more when striking the target.
188.8.131.52. Missiles may only score one hit (no ricocheting).
184.108.40.206. Missiles that touch the ground are dead, even if they bounce, and may not score a hit once they have touched the ground.
220.127.116.11. Missiles that deflect 30 degrees or more from a shield are considered dead.
18.104.22.168. Arrows are considered to pass through weapons, and strike the target as though the weapon were not there.
22.214.171.124. Swinging at an arrow with a hand, foot, or weapon is illegal, and results in death.
126.96.36.199. Javelins may be blocked by any method that prevents the head from striking the target or from causing an anvil.
188.8.131.52. Arrows must be fired at half-draw at targets 15 feet or less away.
3.2. Bows may not be used to block hits, nor may they be targeted by weapons.
3.2.1. Intentionally striking a bow with a weapon results in death for the attacker.
3.2.2. Intentionally blocking attacks with a bow results in death for the archer.
3.2.3. If an attacker’s weapon becomes entangled with a bow a hold must be called immediately.
3.2.4. Bows may be broken by touching them with a striking surface or hand while they are on the ground, and not being held
3.3. A hit scored on any portion of an unarmored target zone disables the entire target zone.
3.4. A hit that lands on the border of two target zones or strikes two target zones simultaneously disables the more critical target zone (or the armor on the more critical target zone, if both are armored).
3.4.1. A hit that lands on one armored target zone and one unarmored target zone (including target zones whose armor has been disabled) disables the unarmored target zone.
3.5. Disabling any two limbs, the body, or the head target zone results in death.
3.5.1. Dead fighters may continue swings already in motion, but may not initiate new swings.
3.6. There are 6 total target zones: two legs, two arms, the body, and the head, which is only targetable by arrows.
3.7. A hit may be scored on any of the six target zones
184.108.40.206. Each leg consists of the portion of the body below (not including) the hip, crotch, and buttocks.
220.127.116.11. The foot is the part of the leg below (not including) the ankle, roughly the part of the leg covered by a tennis shoe
18.104.22.168. A foot that has all or part of the bottom of the foot on the ground is considered part of the ground, and a hit may not be scored on it.
22.214.171.124. A leg that becomes disabled must be knelt upon.
126.96.36.199. A disabled leg may be used for balance, but not for propulsion.
188.8.131.52.1. Disabled legs must be dragged behind the fighter, and the knee must remain on the ground.
184.108.40.206. A fighter whose leg becomes disabled may not begin any new attacks until their knee is on the ground, though swings that are already in motion may continue.
220.127.116.11. Fighters may not switch which leg is disabled.
18.104.22.168. If the knee of a disabled leg is on the ground, any hits scored on the disabled legs are considered to have struck the ground.
22.214.171.124. If both knees are on the ground, or neither knee is on the ground, a hit to the disabled leg is considered to have hit the good leg.
126.96.36.199.1. Such a hit may strike the leg armor provided armor was present in the hit location on the other leg.
188.8.131.52. Each arm target zone consists of the portion of the arm below (not including) the shoulder.
184.108.40.206. The hand is the part of the arm below, and not including, the wrist.
220.127.116.11. A hand that is grasping the handle or haft of a weapon, the back of a single-edged weapon that is at least 6” wide (from striking surface to back of blade), or the handle of a shield is considered part of that weapon or shield, and may not be disabled when hit
18.104.22.168. An arm that becomes disabled must be placed behind the back.
22.214.171.124. A fighter has one second to transfer objects such as weapons from a disabled arm to their other arm.
126.96.36.199. A disabled arm is part of the body target zone, and any hits that land on it once it becomes disabled count as a hit on the body target zone.
188.8.131.52.1. Any hits that strike an already-disabled arm are considered to have hit the body target zone, even if it is away from the body.
184.108.40.206.2. If the torso is fully armored on that side of the body, a hit to a disabled arm disables the torso armor, rather than disabling the torso.
220.127.116.11. Disabled arms may be used to break a fall to prevent injury (Safety), but may not be used to gain advantage, such as by pushing away an opponent or to gain leverage in a grapple situation.
18.104.22.168. The body target zone includes the portion of the torso below the neck, including the shoulders, hips, crotch, and buttocks, as well as any disabled arms.
22.214.171.124. The head target zone includes the neck and head, roughly the area above the neckline of a T-shirt.
126.96.36.199. The head target zone may only be targeted by arrows.
3.8. Anvilling occurs when a hit is scored on a fighter by the fighter’s own weapon as a result of a hit from another fighter.
3.8.1. Anvilling occurs when any part of a fighter’s weapon is knocked into a target area by another fighter’s weapon and strikes with momentum equivalent to 1/3 or more of a normal hit.
3.8.2. Anvilling occurs when a fighter lays any part of a weapon against any part of their body, other than a hand that is part of a weapon, and that weapon is struck by an opponent’s hit.
3.8.3. Anvilling occurs when a weapon that is worn is struck by an opponent’s hit if that shot would have struck the target location.
3.8.4. Anvilling occurs when a fighter grips the striking surface of their own weapon with their hand, and that weapon is struck by an opponent’s weapon.
3.8.5. An anvil hit is equivalent to the type of hit that struck the weapon: either blue, green, double-green, yellow or red.
3.8.6. Weapons that are worn become part of the target area to which they are attached.
3.9. Gripping weapons
3.9.1. Fighters may grip the non-striking surface of any weapon, including an opponent’s, without losing a limb.
3.9.2. If a fighter grips the striking surface of an opponent’s weapon while the opponent is holding a non-striking surface of the weapon, the fighter’s arm is disabled, even if armored.
3.10.1. All or part of a target zone may be armored.
3.10.2. Body, leg, and arm armor confers an extra hit to each target zone it covers, provided the hit lands entirely on the armor.
188.8.131.52. Armor confers only one extra hit per target zone, regardless of how many separate pieces of armor are worn.
184.108.40.206. One piece of armor may confer an extra hit to multiple target zones by overlapping onto an adjacent target zone.
220.127.116.11. Armor only protects that portion of the target zone that it covers.
3.10.3. Head armor protects the head target zone from all hits that strike the armor completely.
3.11. Green hits are hits from thrusting weapons.
3.11.1. A green hit may be one- or two-handed.
3.11.2. One-handed green hits are identical to hits scored with blue weapons.
3.11.3. Two-handed green hits ignore armor and disable armored and unarmored target zones alike.
18.104.22.168. Both hands must remain on the weapon during impact for a thrust to count as two-handed.
22.214.171.124. A two-handed thrust must be accompanied by the words “double-green” or “double”after the strike,for clarification.
126.96.36.199. A two-handed thrust should jar the target substantially more than a one-handed thrust to count as two-handed.
188.8.131.52. Two-handed thrusts that do not strike with sufficient force to score a two-handed hit may be judged by the target to be sufficient to count as a one-handed thrust.
3.12. Red Hits are two-handed hits from two-handed swung weapons.
3.12.1. Red hits ignore armor and disable armored and unarmored target zones alike.
3.12.2. A red hit must be accompanied by the word “red” after the strike, for clarification.
3.12.3. A red hit may only be scored when both hands remain on the weapon during impact.
3.12.4. A red hit should jar the target substantially more than a one-handed swing with a red or blue weapon to count as a red hit.
3.12.5. A red hit should jar both the shield and the arm to which it is attached to score a red hit against the shield.
3.12.6. Red hits that do not strike with sufficient force to score a red hit may be judged by the target to be sufficient to count as a blue hit.
3.12.7. Red hits may damage and destroy shields.
184.108.40.206. A destroyed shield is instantly obliterated
220.127.116.11. All hits that strike a destroyed shield first disable the arm (or arm armor), then the body (or body armor), even if those hits would pass through the shield and miss were it not there.
4.1.1. It is each player’s duty to call only hits that have been scored on themselves, never on other players, with two exceptions:
18.104.22.168. Arrows and javelins may be called by the person who shot/threw them if a hit was scored and the target is either not aware that a missile struck them or could not tell if the missile struck point-first.
22.214.171.124. Any player who was potentially hit may ask their attacker for their opinion on whether the hit was sufficient, in which case that attacker must give their honest opinion.
4.1.2. All hits scored on armor must be announced vocally by the target
4.1.3. All strikes that make contact with a player’s garb, armor, hand on weapon, or skin must be accompanied by the word “light” or “graze” or other explanation if it was insufficient to count as a hit.
4.1.4. All strikes that make contact with a player’s dead leg, hand-on-weapon, foot-on-ground, or head must be accompanied by the a verbal acknowledgement of the hit describing why the hit did not result in a disabled limb or death, such as “dead leg,” “hand,” “foot,” or “head.”
4.1.5. Only one target zone may be disabled per swing.
4.1.6. A swing or stab that strikes multiple players scores a hit only on the first player that is struck sufficiently.
4.2. The Responsibilities of Death
4.2.1. The first responsibility of a player who has been killed is to indicate that they have died by falling down and, optionally, dying vocally.
4.2.2. The second responsibility of a player who has been killed is to look dead by dropping all weapons, lying down, keeping one or both elbows on the ground, and remaining motionless.
4.2.3. The third responsibility of a player who has been killed is to remove themselves from influencing nearby action quickly and safely, keeping a hand or weapon on the top of their head to signify that they are dead.
4.2.4. The fourth responsibility of a player who has been killed is to remove themselves from the field of play entirely, provided that doing so does not distract players that are alive or interfere with ongoing action, while keeping a hand or weapon on the top of their head to signify that they are dead.
4.3. The Laws of Death
4.3.1. A dead fighter may not influence the fight in any way, such as by:
126.96.36.199. physical interference (except while dying realistically)
188.8.131.52. Moving or throwing weapons and equipment, except to remove hazards from the field or to remove their own equipment that is on their person at the time of death.
184.108.40.206. Providing vocal assistance for strategic aid or to warn team-mates of unseen dangers.
4.4. Players may mark their equipment with orange tape around the pommel (or on the back at the center-bottom if it is a shield) to indicate personal equipment.
4.4.1. Personal equipment dies when it is dropped intentionally or when its bearer is killed, and may not be reused.
4.4.2. Personal equipment may be transferred to another player only while the bearer is alive.
4.4.3. Personal equipment may be stolen during a grapple and used only to kill its original bearer, after which it must be dropped.
4.4.4. Fighters may not refuse the use of any equipment that is not marked with orange tape to anyone while it remains on the field.
4.5. Fighters must report their full and accurate damage and armor condition and friend or foe condition promptly when asked by another live fighter, herald, or reeve.
4.6. Portrayal or reporting of an injury or condition causes that injury or condition to take effect.
4.6.1. A knee that is knelt upon for any reason other than to regain balance or stand up results in a disabled leg.
4.6.2. An arm that is held behind the back or tucked into a belt behind the back is considered disabled.
4.6.3. Saying that you are dead makes you dead.
4.6.4. Reporting that a piece of armor is disabled makes that armor disabled.
4.6.5. Fighters may not intentionally deceive opponents about their condition.
4.7. Fighters may not crouch next to legged opponents to attempt to deceive other fighters into thinking they are legged as well.
4.8. Scouts and Peasants
4.8.1. Scout is a class of fighter for those under 16 years old or those that do not wish to be involved in body contact while fighting.
220.127.116.11. A scout may not be grappled, nor may they grapple.
18.104.22.168. A scout may not be contacted with a shield, nor may they make contact using their shield, except for shield nudges and shield screens.
22.214.171.124. Scouts may not be shield kicked, nor may they kick shields
126.96.36.199. Scouts under the age of 16 may not use bows.
188.8.131.52. Scouts 16 years of age and older are restricted from using two-handed weapons other than spears, and one-handed weapons longer than 32”.
184.108.40.206. Scouts under 16 years of age must undergo a weapons orientation prior to using two-handed weapons.
220.127.116.11. Scouts 16 years of age and older are restricted from using shields larger than 90” in perimeter (28” round shield).
18.104.22.168. A scout is identified as anyone wearing a scout sash (white with an orange stripe) or anyone carrying a bow or arrows.
22.214.171.124.1. Scout sashes may not be removed during a battle, but archers may drop their bow and arrows to exempt themselves from scout rules.
126.96.36.199.2. Only archers may handle arrows
4.8.2. Peasants are limited in what weapons they may use.
188.8.131.52. Peasants may not use two-handed weapons, shields, flails, armor or bows.
184.108.40.206. Peasants may not use or carry multiple weapons.
220.127.116.11. Peasants may not use any weapon longer than 30”.
4.9.1. All full-contact combat involving Scout-class fighters is prohibited, except for shield nudges and screens
4.9.2. Shield Contact
18.104.22.168. Bashing is defined as charging your opponent and using the face or edge of your shield to make contact with your opponent’s shield or body.
22.214.171.124.1. It is legal to bash an opponent in the front quadrant, or the side quadrants when they are aware of the bash and have sufficient time to brace
126.96.36.199.2. Bashing an opponent with a disabled leg is illegal.
188.8.131.52.3. Bashing an opponent into a legged opponent or a scout is illegal.
184.108.40.206.4. Bashing an opponent who does not have a shield is legal.
220.127.116.11.5. It is illegal to bash an opponent into hazards such as trees or concrete/paved surfaces.
18.104.22.168.6. Your shield may not make contact with your opponent’s head or neck during a bash.
22.214.171.124.7. Bashes must target your opponent’s center of mass, not knees or legs.
126.96.36.199.8. You may not land on top of or trample your opponent during a bash.
188.8.131.52. Shield Checking
184.108.40.206.1. Shield checking or shield edging is defined as using the edge of a shield to make contact with an opponent’s body, weapon, or shield while stationary or charging from one step away or less.
220.127.116.11.2. Shield checking is legal from 3 quadrants, excluding the rear quadrant, regardless of whether the target is aware of your presence.
18.104.22.168.2.1. Shield checking an opponent in a direction perpendicular to your path is legal.
22.214.171.124.3. A shield may not make contact with an opponent’s head or neck during a shield check.
126.96.36.199.4. Shield checking legged opponents is legal.
188.8.131.52. A shield screen is holding or placing your shield in front of a moving opponent when your feet are planted.
184.108.40.206. A shield nudge is incidental contact against an opponent’s body or equipment when the intent is not to knock the opponent over.
220.127.116.11. Shield screens and nudges are legal from the front quadrant against scouts.
18.104.22.168.1. Shield screens and nudges are legal from all four quadrants against other fighters.
22.214.171.124. Shield Kicking
126.96.36.199.1. It is the responsibility of the fighter delivering the kick to stop the kick if the target moves their shield during the kick.
188.8.131.52.2. Shield kicking legged opponents is legal.
184.108.40.206.3. Spinning round-house or other kicks where the kicker loses sight of the target during the kick are illegal.
220.127.116.11.4. One foot must remain on the ground during contact.
18.104.22.168.5. Shield-kicking is legal from the direction in which the opponent’s shield faces.
22.214.171.124.6. A shield must be held in the hand or strapped to the arm to be kicked.
126.96.36.199.7. Bucklers may not be kicked.
188.8.131.52. A grapple is defined as any kind of direct physical contact between two fighters, such as grabbing limbs with hands or body checking.
184.108.40.206. Your opponent’s safety is your responsibility during a grapple.
220.127.116.11. All other combat rules remain in effect during a grapple.
18.104.22.168. Grabbing an opponent’s shield is considered initiating a grapple.
22.214.171.124. Grabbing an opponent’s weapon is not considered initiating a grapple unless part of the hand is also grabbed.
126.96.36.199. Grappling a legged opponent is legal; however it is the initiator’s responsibility to ensure that the legged opponent is not injured during the initial contact.
188.8.131.52. Grappling may not be initiated by a fighter with a higher class of armor, as defined by the following:
184.108.40.206.1. Unarmored is the lowest armor classification, followed by leather armor or any rigid safety equipment, followed by chain armor
220.127.116.11.2. A fighter’s armor classification is defined by the piece of armor with the highest classification.
18.104.22.168. Prohibited Actions
22.214.171.124.1. Punching, kicking, or other striking of an opponent.
126.96.36.199.2. Throws and trips, except where the target’s fall is completely controlled.
188.8.131.52.3. Joint locks, pressure points, choke holds.
184.108.40.206.5. Any action whose sole purpose is malicious.
220.127.116.11. Body Checking
18.104.22.168.1. Body checking is a type of grappling defined as using your body or shoulder to check an opponent’s body.
22.214.171.124.2. Body checks may only be delivered to an opponent’s body or shoulder (center of mass)
126.96.36.199.3. You may not land on top of or trample your opponent as part of a body check.
188.8.131.52. Allowed Actions that are not considered grappling:
184.108.40.206.1. Body checking a shield
220.127.116.11.2. Hand-to-shield contact when the shield is not grabbed.
4.10. A hold is a temporary stoppage of all combat due to an injury that requires immediate attention or an impending safety concern.
4.10.1. A hold is signified by the word “hold,” which should not be used in other circumstances.
4.10.2. All fighters should repeat the word “hold” until all combat stops so as to notify nearby fighters who might not have heard the original hold call.
4.10.3. All fighting stops when the hold is first called, and any hits that happened after the original hold call are not counted.
4.10.4. Fighters may not use a hold to gain advantage, and must return to their original positions immediately prior to the hold.
4.10.5. Any participant may call a hold when an unsafe situation develops.
5.1.1. All fighters are required to display sportsmanship and respect fellow fighters.
5.1.2. Antagonizing or insulting behavior (except in jest or in character) may be grounds for a yellow card.
5.2. Intentional targeting of the head with a melee weapon is considered extremely poor sportsmanship and is punishable by a red card.
5.3. Accidental Head-hits
5.3.1. A fighter who has been struck in the head may not have any hits scored against them nor may they score hits them until they consent to resume combat.
18.104.22.168. Consent may be given verbally or by continuing combat.
22.214.171.124. Players who have been struck in the head may not use this to gain advantage, such as by changing position, adjusting equipment, etc. except to restore pre-head-hit conditions.
5.4. Intentionally blocking a hit with your head is unsportsmanlike.
5.5. Intentionally hitting any player who is known to have been struck in the head before they consent to resuming combat is unsportsmanlike.
5.6. Fighters who repeatedly engage in unsafe behavior with a specific type of weapon may be banned from using those weapons at the discretion of the herald or acting heralds
5.7.1. Fighters who fail to adequately take their hits may be penalized, at the discretion of the heralds, including:
126.96.36.199. Verbal warnings
188.8.131.52. Temporary loss of fighting privileges
184.108.40.206. Yellow cards
5.8.1. Fighters who continually call hits on other fighters will be subject to verbal warnings, temporary loss of fighting privileges, or yellow cards, at the discretion of the heralds.
6.1. Heralds (Referees)
6.1.1. Heralds are charged with enforcing and interpreting the rules and maintaining order on the field.
6.1.2. To qualify as a herald one must be certified by the leadership of Riverbend, including a training course and passing a written exam.
6.1.3. Heralds may make subjective calls on the field, such as calling hits that were missed, enforcing sportsmanship rules, and ensuring safety.
6.1.4. Heralds are required to be in uniform at the time that “lay-on” is called for a fight.
6.1.5. Heralds are identified by yellow- and orange-striped tabard.
6.2. Reeves (Linesmen)
6.2.1. Reeves serve as additional eyes for heralds.
6.2.2. Reeves observe fighters and may report to heralds during or after a battle.
6.2.3. Reeves may make objective calls on the field, such as enforcing boundaries.
6.2.4. Reeves are identified by a yellow tabard with orange trim.
6.3. Head Herald
6.3.1. A head herald will be designated at each practice or event.
6.3.2. The head herald’s responsibilities include weapon check and running fighting.
6.3.3. The head herald has final authority on interpretation of the rules, including weapon checking.
6.4. Temporary Heralds
6.4.1. The highest ranking realm leaders in attendance are authorized to act as temporary heralds (even if they have not passed the herald training course) when one of the following occurs:
220.127.116.11. One or more complaints about hit-taking or sportsmanship is lodged.
18.104.22.168. When the realm leaders personally witness poor hit-taking, sportsmanship, or safety concerns.
22.214.171.124. To satisfy the minimum herald requirements
6.4.2. Temporary heralds have the full rights and responsibilities of a normal herald while acting as a temporary herald.
6.5. Minimum herald requirement
6.5.1. A minimum of one herald is required if the number of fighters exceeds 20.
6.5.2. At least one herald or reeve is required for every 20 fighters (40 fighters = 2, 60 = 3, etc.)
6.6. Weapon’s Checkers
6.6.1. Any participant of Riverbend may aid in weapon’s check, though the final passage or failure of a weapon must be made by a certified weapon checker.
6.6.2. Certified weapon checkers must pass a training course and a written exam.
6.6.3. Only the head herald may recheck any failed weapon, at its owner’s request, but only in the presence of the original herald that failed it.
6.7.1. Arguing with a herald’s or reeve’s ruling is grounds for a verbal warning, yellow card, or red card, at the discretion of any herald
6.7.2. If a player wishes to discuss a call made by a herald or reeve they may do so after the battle is concluded and at least 50’ from the fighting field.
126.96.36.199. Any discussion must take place in the presence of a second herald, reeve, or realm leader, if available.
6.8.1. A yellow card is an official warning.
188.8.131.52. Yellow cards may be issued in the event of unsafe or unsportsmanlike conduct, repeated violations of the rules, or other infractions at the discretion of the heralds.
184.108.40.206. Verbal Warnings should be issued prior to a yellow card, except in extreme circumstances.
6.8.2. A red card is a temporary suspension of fighting privileges for the remainder of the day.
220.127.116.11. Red cards are issued for severe breaches of the rules such as threats of violence, blatantly unsafe behavior, or habitual violation of the rules.
18.104.22.168. A player that receives a second yellow card on a single day automatically receives a red card.
22.214.171.124. Players that receive more than one red card in a season or players who receive a single red card that was not the result of receiving two yellow cards may be suspended from fighting or banned from the realm at the discretion of the leadership of Riverbend.
7.1. The striking surfaces of all weapons must be covered in appropriately-colored cloth.
7.2. Blue Weapons are one-handed swung weapons, such as swords, maces, flails, axes, etc.
7.2.1. All blue weapons must be marked on the pommel with a continuous strip of blue tape visible from 360 degrees.
7.2.2. Blue weapons may not be swung with both hands, except to parry an opponent’s weapon.
7.2.3. Blue weapons may score one hit of damage per swing.
7.2.4. Blue weapons, except for flails, may have a green-class tip at the end opposite the handle.
7.2.5. The striking surfaces of blue weapons must be covered in white, gray, black, or blue cloth.
7.2.6. Heavy Blue Weapons are heavy, omni-directional weapons like one-handed clubs, maces, and flails
126.96.36.199. Heavy blue weapons have one striking surface that is omni-directional or multiple striking surfaces that are not 180 degrees-opposed from each other.
188.8.131.52. Flails are heavy blue weapons.
7.2.7. Light Blue Weapons simulate one-handed weapons that have one or two directions of striking, such as swords, axes, and hammers.
184.108.40.206. Light Blue Weapons have one striking surface, or two striking surfaces that are 180-degrees opposed from each other.
7.3. Green Weapons are one- or two-handed thrusting weapons, such as daggers, spears, rapiers, etc.
7.3.1. All green weapons must be marked on the pommel with a continuous strip of green tape visible from 360 degrees.
7.3.2. All green weapons must have a green cloth cover on the striking surface.
7.3.3. All green weapons may be wielded with both hands for a double-handed thrust, and thus must be padded sufficiently to safely deliver two-handed thrusts.
7.3.4. Weapons of another class that also have a green thrusting tip are referred to by a combination of their color class: blue/green, red/green, brown/green.
7.3.5. Green weapons deliver one hit of damage to target locations when thrust with one hand.
7.3.6. Green weapons deliver two hits of damage to target locations when thrust with two hands.
7.3.7. Green weapons do not damage shields.
7.4. Red Weapons are two-handed swung weapons, such as pole-arms, two-handed swords, large axes, giant maces, etc.
7.4.1. All red weapons must be marked on the pommel with a continuous strip of red tape visible from 360 degrees.
7.4.2. All red weapons must have white, gray, orange, red, or black cloth coverings.
7.4.3. Red weapons may score a red hit if wielded with two hands.
7.4.4. Red weapons may score a single (blue) hit if wielded with one hand.
7.4.5. Light Red Weapons are directional weapons like two-handed swords and two-handed axes.
7.4.6. Heavy Red Weapons are heavy, omni-directional weapons like giant maces or clubs.
7.4.7. Red weapons may have green-class tips at the end opposite the handle.
7.5. White weapons are arrows.
7.5.1. White weapons may only be fired from a legal bow, and never wielded in melee.
7.5.2. White weapons do one hit of damage.
7.5.3. White weapons are the only class of weapon that may target the head.
7.5.4. White weapons do not need to be marked with appropriately-colored tape.
7.5.5. The striking surface of white weapons may be covered in any color cloth.
7.6. Yellow weapons are javelins.
7.6.1. Yellow weapons must be marked on the pommel with a strip of yellow tape visible from 360 degrees.
7.6.2. The striking surface of yellow weapons must be covered in yellow cloth.
7.6.3. Yellow weapons may not be swung.
7.6.4. Yellow weapons may have only one striking surface.
7.6.5. Yellow weapons may be thrown at the body, arms, and legs, or wielded as a melee weapon as a short-spear.
7.6.6. Yellow weapons must pass safety check as both a thrown weapon and a green weapon.
7.6.7. Yellow weapons may not target the head.
7.7. Brown Weapons are double-ended staves.
7.7.1. Brown weapons deliver hits identically to blue weapons when swung, whether wielded with one hand or two.
7.7.2. Brown weapons must have cylindrical striking surfaces.
7.7.3. Brown weapons may have green-class stabbing tips, in which case they must have stabbing tips at both ends of the weapon.
7.7.4. Brown weapons do not need to be marked with appropriately-colored tape.
7.7.5. The striking surfaces of brown weapons must be covered in brown, black, blue, gray, or white cloth, except for green stabbing tips.
220.127.116.11. Both ends of a brown weapon must be covered identically.
8.1. Shields protect the bearer from multiple hits when attached to the arm or held by a hand.
8.1.1. Hits scored on shields that are not attached to the arm or held by a hand pass through the shield and strike the target as though the shield were not present.
8.2. Shields may be destroyed by red hits.
8.2.1. Light shields are destroyed by one red hit.
8.2.2. Heavy shields are destroyed by two red hits.
8.3. Only one shield may be worn at a time.
8.4. Two bucklers may be worn on opposite arms.
8.4.1. Bucklers are small shields with a perimeter less than 50”.
8.5. Shield specifications
8.5.1. Shields must be padded with at least 1.25 inches of padding on the face of the shield
8.5.2. Shields must be padded on the edge of the shield with padding at least 1.75 inches thick.
8.5.3. Edge padding must be at least 2.25 inches wide.
8.5.4. Edge padding must be securely affixed to the core of the shield.
8.5.5. The core of a shield should not be able to be felt on the edges or face.
8.5.6. Shields must be flat (not curved) on their back.
8.5.7. The maximum thickness of shields is 6”
8.5.8. The maximum perimeter of a shield is 120 inches.
18.104.22.168. Perimeter is measured by stretching a measuring tape around the perimeter of the shield, ignoring concavities.
8.5.9. The following table gives minimum weights for heavy shields, based on shield perimeter.
8.5.10. Shields not meeting these minimum weights are considered light shields.
8.5.11. All shields must be covered on the face and edges with opaque cloth.
9.1. Types of armor
9.1.1. Chain Armor
22.214.171.124. Chain armor consists of interlocking rings and plates.
126.96.36.199. Rings must be made of iron, steel, stainless steel, bronze, brass, a period metal, or a metal with density greater than steel.
188.8.131.52. All chain armor must resist deformation as well as maille constructed of .375 inch interior diameter, 14 gage Steel rings, in a European 4-in-1 pattern.
184.108.40.206. The maximum interior diameter for maille rings is 7/16 inch.
220.127.116.11. Welded rings are not allowed
18.104.22.168. No chain armor may have gaps between rings.
9.1.2. Leather Armor
22.214.171.124. Leather armor is constructed from tanned animal hides.
126.96.36.199. Leather armor must be at least 3/16 inch thick at all points.
188.8.131.52.1. This thickness must be achieved with one or two layers of leather, only.
184.108.40.206. Leather armor may use non-period embellishments (aluminum rivets, suede lining, etc.) provided the thickness of the leather is sufficient.
220.127.116.11. Adjacent pieces of leather in a piece of armor must overlap each other or be sewn or laced tightly against each other to prevent gaps.
9.2. Prohibited types of armor:
9.2.1. Plate armor, including metal helmets
9.2.2. Plate-maille, where the metal plates overlap.
9.2.3. Padded or cloth armor
9.2.4. Bone armor
9.2.5. Rock armor
9.2.6. Studded leather armor, except when the leather is of sufficient thickness
9.2.7. Bamboo or wood armor
9.3. General Armor Rules
9.3.1. A piece of armor must be visible from all 4 quadrants to count as armor.
9.3.2. Armor must be easily recognizable as armor.
9.3.3. A piece of armor must pass the construction guidelines at all points, or else the entire piece fails.
9.4. Head Armor
9.4.1. Helmets must be constructed of maille or leather.
9.4.2. Metal face-bars are illegal
9.4.3. Any participant wearing head armor that prevents the bearer’s eyes from being visible to opponents must fight as a scout.
9.5. All armor that poses a risk of injuring opponents or damaging their weapons is illegal.
10.1. Required Costuming
10.1.1. Medieval or medieval-fantasy costuming is required for participation in Riverbend.
10.1.1.1. After 3 practices, at least one piece of garb is required.
10.1.1.2. After 6 practices, full garb is required
10.1.1.3. Fighters in violation of the appropriate minimum costuming rules are considered peasants.
10.1.2. Some loaner garb may be available.
10.1.2.1. New fighters may borrow loaner garb during their first six practices at no cost.
10.1.2.2. Veterans may rent garb for $2 per practice, if not loaned to new fighters, who have priority.
10.1.3. Full garb consists of the following
10.1.3.1.1. Brown or black boots or tennis shoes that are free from visible logos or slogans.
10.1.3.1.2. Socks must be hidden or color-coordinated with garb so as to not be noticeable.
10.1.3.1.3. Other period footwear such as moccasins, sandals, etc.
10.1.3.2. Leg wear
10.1.3.2.1. Modern pants such as sweatpants and martial arts pants of a neutral (white, gray, black) or matching color (matching to other garb and shield covers).
10.1.3.2.2. Period pants for males and females
10.1.3.2.3. Dresses and skirts for females.
10.1.3.3. Torso covering
10.1.3.3.1. Period tunics, shirts, etc.
10.1.3.3.2. Modern shirts worn under other garb or armor are allowed provided they are mostly covered and do not detract from the costuming. (i.e. matching or earth-tone colors)
10.2. Loaner Garb
10.2.1. New fighters may borrow loaner garb during their first six practices at no cost.
10.2.1.1. New fighters must wear loaner garb if it is available.
10.2.1.2. If a new fighter does not wear loaner garb because is not available, they are exempt from the peasant rule during their 6-practice grace period.
10.2.2. Veterans may rent garb for $2 per practice, if not loaned to new fighters, who have priority.
10.3. Optional Garb
10.3.1.1. Headwear such as helmets, cowls, head wraps, or period hats.
10.3.1.2. Any participant wearing headwear that prevents the bearer’s eyes from being visible to opponents must fight as a scout.
10.3.2.1. Armor itself may count as sufficient costuming when it completely hides any non-period costuming worn underneath.
10.3.2.2. Armor with a significant number of holes or gaps, or armor that does not completely hide non-period costuming is insufficient to count as sufficient costuming.
10.3.3. Safety Equipment
10.3.3.1. Safety equipment such as pads must be hidden under garb or not noticeably modern in appearance.
10.4. Peasant Rule
10.4.1. The peasant rule stipulates that fighters in insufficient costuming or displaying one or more piece of non-period costuming will be limited in what equipment they may use.
10.5. Scouts are required to wear a white sash with an orange stripe in the center running the length of the sash over the top of all other garb and armor.
10.6. Non-period Costuming
10.6.1. Fighters with visible non-period costuming are considered peasants.
10.6.2. Examples of non-period costuming include, but are not limited to:
10.6.2.1. Garb made of fabrics with modern prints and designs
10.6.2.2. Garb made of obviously modern fabrics (spandex, etc.)
10.6.2.3. Garb with visible pockets (e.g. cargo pants)
10.6.2.4. Garb of a satirical or derisive nature
10.6.2.5. Garb with printed slogans, unless period in nature.
10.6.2.6. Garb with modern logos.
10.6.2.7. Non-period headwear
10.6.3. Visible safety equipment, such as knee-pads, gloves with non-period logos or printed slogans, or protective headgear is considered non-period.
10.6.3.1. Visible safety equipment that cannot be worn under other costuming and has not yet been modified to be period in appearance can be used during a grace period of 2 practices without resulting in the bearer being considered a peasant.
10.6.3.1.1. The grace period may be extended at the discretion of the realm leaders in situations where the modification of the equipment is extensive.
10.6.3.2. Protective headgear covered in leather, furs, or other period materials to achieve a period appearance is considered period.
10.7. Unsafe and Prohibited Costuming
10.7.1. Unsafe costuming is defined as any part of a costume that poses an unreasonable risk to its bearer, other participants, or equipment.
10.7.2. Unsafe costuming is prohibited from the field at all times.
10.7.3. Examples of unsafe costuming include, but are not limited to:
10.7.3.1. Glasses without shatter-resistant lenses
10.7.3.2. Real knives, swords, or weapons of any variety
10.7.3.3. Jewelry such as rings, ear-rings, necklaces, or bracelets.
10.7.3.4. Metal helmets
10.7.3.5. Plastic helmets that cover the face.
10.7.4. Prohibited Costuming
10.7.4.1. All garb must pass the standards of modesty and decency. Garb that allows the potential for nudity or lewdness is prohibited.
10.7.4.2. Sunglasses are prohibited without a doctor’s note.
10.7.4.2.1. Any participant wearing glasses that prevent the bearer’s eyes from being visible to opponents must fight as a scout.
10.7.4.4. Spikes, cleats, and steel-toed footwear.
11.1. General Specifications
18.104.22.168. The maximum flex for blue, red, green, and brown weapons is 45 degrees.
22.214.171.124. The maximum flex for yellow weapons is 90 degrees.
126.96.36.199. White weapons must have rigid shafts with minimal flex.
11.1.2. No weapons may contain liquid, shot, or other moveable mass.
11.1.3. All weapons except flails must have a fixed balance point.
11.1.4. All weapon cores must be made of PVC, graphite, or fiberglass, except for arrows which may use metal shafts.
188.8.131.52. Arrows with damaged shafts may not be used.
184.108.40.206. No weapon may use a wooden or bamboo core.
11.1.5. Lanyards on weapons are prohibited.
11.2. Blue Weapons
11.2.1. All blue weapons must have striking surface or incidental padding on the top two-thirds of the weapon.
11.2.2. All striking surfaces must be at least 1.375 inches wide.
11.2.3. Heavy Blue Weapons
220.127.116.11. Heavy blue weapons are one-handed weapons with omni-directional striking surfaces, or striking surfaces in more than two directions.
18.104.22.168. Heavy blue weapons must be sufficiently padded to strike safely regardless of the rotation of the weapon.
22.214.171.124. Heavy blue weapons must weigh at least 0.5 ounces per inch of length, plus 2 ounces.
126.96.36.199. The balance point of a heavy blue weapon must be at least halfway from the pommel to the tip.
188.8.131.52.1. Flails have no balance point requirement.
184.108.40.206.2. The maximum length for heavy blue weapons is 36 inches.
11.2.4. Light Blue Weapons
220.127.116.11. Light blue weapons are one-handed weapons with a single-direction striking surface, or two striking surfaces 180 degrees opposed.
18.104.22.168. Light blue weapons must weigh 0.333 (1/3) ounces per inch of length, plus 2 ounces.
22.214.171.124. The balance point of a light blue weapon must be at least one third of the weapon’s length from the pommel to the tip.
126.96.36.199. The maximum length for light blue weapons is 48 inches.
188.8.131.52. Light blue weapons must have striking surface for at least the last 12” of weapon.
184.108.40.206. Light blue weapons must have an oblong handle that allows the direction of the striking surface to be determined by feel.
220.127.116.11. Flails are considered heavy weapons for the purpose of determining minimum weight.
18.104.22.168. Flails have a maximum overall length of 30 inches.
22.214.171.124. Flails have a maximum hinge length of 6 inches.
126.96.36.199. Flail chains must be constructed using a rope core.
188.8.131.52. Flails may have only one hinge.
184.108.40.206. Flails may have only one head or striking surface.
220.127.116.11. The head of a flail must have a perimeter of 16 inches when measured on any two perpendicular axes.
18.104.22.168. The hinge of a flail must be covered in segments of courtesy padding with no more than 1 inch of rope exposed total.
22.214.171.124. Flails must contain Incidental padding for the last 4 inches of the shaft.
126.96.36.199. Flails must contain omni-directional courtesy padding at every point above the halfway point of the shaft.
188.8.131.52. The shaft of a flail must be straight.
11.3. Green Weapons
11.3.1. Green-only weapons have no minimum weight requirements, nor balance point requirements.
11.4. Red Weapons
11.4.1. All red weapons must have striking surface or incidental padding on the top two-thirds of the weapon.
11.4.2. All red weapons must have a minimum of a 9” handle.
11.4.3. Heavy Red Weapons
184.108.40.206. Heavy red weapons must be sufficiently padded to strike safely regardless of the rotation of the weapon.
220.127.116.11. The minimum length for heavy red weapons is 36 inches.
18.104.22.168. The maximum length for heavy red weapons is 72 inches.
11.4.4. Light Red Weapons
22.214.171.124. The minimum length for light red weapons is 48 inches, or 36” if the weapon meets the weight and balance-point requirements for a heavy red weapon.
126.96.36.199. Ther maximum length for light red weapons is 10’.
188.8.131.52. Light red weapons must have an oblong handle that allows the direction of the striking surface to be determined by feel.
11.5. White Weapons
11.5.1. White weapons have no minimum weight or balance point requirements.
11.6. Yellow Weapons
11.6.1. Yellow weapons have no minimum weight or balance point requirement.
11.6.2. Yellow weapons have a maximum weight of 16 ounces.
11.6.3. The maximum length for a javelin is 84”.
11.6.4. The minimum length for a javelin is 48”.
11.6.5. Yellow weapons must be padded along their entire length with incidental padding.
11.7. Brown Weapons
11.7.1. Brown-weapons must weigh 0.333 (1/3) ounces per inch of overall length, plus 2 ounces.
11.7.2. The balance point for brown weapons must be on the handle.
11.7.3. The striking surfaces of brown weapons must be at least 18 inches in length, and shaped cylindrically.
11.7.4. Brown weapons may not have handles longer than one third of the overall length of the weapon.
11.7.5. The maximum length for brown weapons is 84 inches.
11.8.1. The maximum draw weight for bows is 35 pounds.
11.8.2. The maximum draw length for bows is 28 inches.
11.8.3. Crossbows, compound bows, horse-bows, modified bows, and hand-made bows are illegal.
11.8.4. Bows must be designed for a draw length of 28 inches.
11.9. Pommels must be less than 5” in length, and may not be wider than 4” at any point.
12.1. Definition of Types of Padding
12.1.1. Striking Surface Padding – The padded part of a weapon that can score a hit.
184.108.40.206. Striking Surface padding must be sufficiently stiff as to prevent the core from being felt during a full-force hit.
220.127.116.11. Striking Surface padding must be sufficiently soft as to not cause excessive sting or bruising during a swing.
18.104.22.168. Striking Surfaces of weapons must be sufficiently padded so that a full force swing from an average adult male should not cause injury.
22.214.171.124. Tape on a striking surface should be minimized to prevent sting.
126.96.36.199. Striking Surface padding must be covered by an appropriately-colored opaque cloth cover.
12.1.2. Incidental Padding – The padded part of a weapon that cannot score a hit, but could possibly make direct contact with an opponent during a swing.
188.8.131.52. Incidental Padding is required on those parts of a weapon that are likely to come into contact with an opponent during normal combat.
184.108.40.206. Incidental Padding must be at least 1” thick
220.127.116.11. Incidental Padding must be sufficiently stiff as to prevent the core from being felt during a swing.
18.104.22.168. Incidental Padding does not have to be as soft as striking surface padding.
22.214.171.124. Incidental Padding must be covered by cloth or tape.
12.1.3. Courtesy Padding – The padded part of a weapon that might make contact with an opponent during combat, but is unlikely to do so in the direction of the swing.
126.96.36.199. Courtesy Padding may be used in any situation where padding is required, but it is unlikely that the weapon will contact an opponent.
188.8.131.52. Courtesy Padding must be at least 1/2” thick
184.108.40.206. Courtesy Padding need only be sufficiently stiff to provide some protection in the event of contact.
220.127.116.11. Courtesy Padding must be covered by cloth or tape.
12.2. Other terminology
12.2.1. Arrow – A missile weapon with a padded tip, unpadded shaft, and a nock and fletchings at the end opposite the padding that is fired from a bow.
12.2.2. Double-ended weapon – A weapon simulating a quarterstaff.
12.2.3. Handle – The non-padded part of a weapon.
12.2.4. Injury – Long-term serious harm
12.2.5. Flail – A heavy blue weapon with a hinge.
12.2.6. Flex - The amount a weapon bends when put under stress similar to that encountered during combat, such as by striking a rigid, immobile surface or by bending the weapon over the head.
12.2.7. Javelin – A thrown spear.
12.2.8. Omni-directional – Usually referring to padding: having padding on all 360 degrees around a shaft.
12.2.9. Pommel – The padded, non-striking surface at the bottom of all weapons except white weapons and brown weapons, that prevents the end of the core of the weapon from being exposed.
12.2.10. Sword – A light blue weapon with either two 180-degree-opposed striking surfaces, or a uni-directional striking surface, and non-striking flats.
12.3. Non-striking surfaces, such as on the back of uni-directional swords, must be marked with a strip of tape or cloth of a color that contrasts with the weapon cover.
12.4.1. No part of a striking surface may protrude more than 0.5” through a 2.5” hole.
12.4.2. No part of a pommel, cross-guard, or other part of the weapon may pass more than 0.5” through a 2.0” hole.
13.1. Smoking is prohibited within 50’ of the fighting field.
13.2. Profanity is prohibited within 50’ of the fighting field.
13.3. All weapons, shields, and armor must be fully checked to comply with the guidelines for weights & measures (Section 11) once per season.
13.3.1. If a weapon, shield, or armor is modified physically in any way it must be re-checked before it may be used.
13.4. All weapons, shields and armor must be fully checked for safety (Section 12) before they may be used in combat before every practice.