Minimum armour

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Minimum armour is a modern term used to describe the absolute minimum of protection that an individual must be wearing in order to participate in a form of recreationist combat.

Minimum Armour in Australian Re-Enactment

Interclub Combats

The minimum armour needed to participate in combat between different clubs includes:

  • helmet
  • gauntlet
  • period clothing or padding, equal to at least one layer of good wool plus a linen shirt must be worn during organised combat.
  • shoes
  • Groin protection such as a cricket box
  • rigid breast protection for female combatants
  • protection for the chest and mouth is recommended for all warriors.

Paraphrased from Guidelines for Interclub Combat

Other groups have more stringent guidelines.

New Varangian Guard

  • 2.1.0 General Standards
    • 2.1.1 Additional armour is always recommended.
    • 2.1.2 Elbow and knee protection is highly recommended.
    • 2.1.3 Mouth guards are recommended.
    • 2.1.4 Sturdy footwear must be worn during training and combat.
    • 2.1.5 Under armoured combats may be performed by appropriately trained people for display purposes.
    • 2.1.6 All skin on the arms and legs must be covered during training and combat.
    • 2.1.7 The preferred padding materials are non-synthetics.
    • 2.1.8 Body armour is defined as a gambeson or other armour providing at least the same level of protection specified for gambesons.
    • 2.1.9 Armour requirements
      • 2.1.9.1 Training Sessions - The minimum armour required to participate in a training session is a helm, gauntlets, groin protection for males and females, and breast protection for females.
      • 2.1.9.2 Combat - The minimum armour required to participate in combat is a helm, body armour, gauntlets, groin protection for males and females, and breast protection for females.
      • 2.1.9.3 Display Combat - There is no minimum armour required to participate in display combat but common sense should be used.
  • 2.2.0 Arming cap or helm padding
    • 2.2.1 Padding must be a minimum of 12 mm thick in its uncompressed state and must be capable of being compressed.
    • 2.2.2 An arming cap or helm padding must cover the back of the head to the neck and cover the temples.
  • 2.3.0 Breast Protection
    • 2.3.1 Rigid breast protection is required to be worn by females in both training and combat.
    • 2.3.2 The Breast Protection may consist of sheet leather, scale or lamellar or commercial available items.
    • 2.3.3 Fencing breast cups are not an acceptable item of Breast Protection.
  • 2.4.0 Gambeson
    • 2.4.1 A gambeson is recommended basic armour.
    • 2.4.2 When a gambeson is worn without other armour it must be as least protect the groin area, the torso, the points of the shoulders and the armpit areas.
    • 2.4.3 A gambeson must be padded to a minimum of 12 mm thick on the body and 6 mm on the arms in its uncompressed state and must be capable of being compressed.
    • 2.4.4 The addition of a padded collar on a gambeson is highly recommended.
    • 2.4.5 Other padded armour must conform to the above specifications.
  • 2.5.0 Gauntlets
    • 2.5.1 Mailed hand protection should consist of a leather mitten or glove extending to the wrist with mail neatly and securely fastened to the back and thumb. Padding under the mail is recommended.
    • 2.5.2 Padded hand protection must provide at least 6 mm thick padding extending over the digits, the back of the hand and the wrist.
  • 2.6.0 Groin Protection
    • 2.6.1 Rigid groin protection is required to be worn by males in all training and combat sessions.
    • 2.6.2 Padded groin protection is required to be worn by females in all training and combat sessions.
    • 2.6.3 Commercial products such as a cricket box or martial arts protector are preferred.
  • 2.7.0 Helm - General Combat
    • 2.7.1 Construction
      • 2.7.1.1 A helm must be deep enough to protect the temples.
      • 2.7.1.2 The minimum thickness for the walls of a mild steel helm is 1.6 mm.
      • 2.7.1.3 The minimum rivet diameter for use in a helm is 2.8 mm.
      • 2.7.1.4 Helms must be worn with an arming cap, helm padding or a suspension arrangment.
    • 2.7.2 Fastening
      • 2.7.2.1 A helm must be securely fastened by a chin strap or equivalent manner so that the helm cannot accidentally fall off or turn to block vision.
      • 2.7.2.2 The fastening must be quick releasing and easily accessible by others from the outside to facilitate first aid.
    • 2.7.3 Neck Protection
      • 2.7.3.1 Neck protection is recommended.
      • 2.7.3.2 Neck protection should consist of either an aventail or separate coif or arming cap which protects the back and sides of the neck and head and extending down to at least the shoulders.
      • 2.7.3.3 Similar protection for the throat is recommended.
  • 2.8.0 Lamellar
    • 2.8.1 The minimum thickness for lamellar armour is 3 mm in leather or 1.2 mm in mild steel.
    • 2.8.3 Some Lamellar body armour do not extend to cover all the body as required in the armour specifications. These types of armour must be supplemented to meet the required armour specifications.
  • 2.9.0 Leather
    • 2.9.1 The minimum thickness for leather armour is 4 mm in stiff cowhide.
  • 2.10.0 Mail
    • 2.10.1 The recommended mail ring is a spring steel wire ring of 1.4 mm thickness and an 8 mm inner diameter.
    • 2.10.2 Other sizes of mail rings may be used if documentable.
    • 2.10.3 A mail hauberk may be made of lighter rings than stated in Section 2.10.1 but must be worn in conjunction with a gambeson.
    • 2.10.4 A mail hauberk worn my itself must cover the mid thigh, the torso, the points of the shoulders and the armpits.
    • 2.10.5 A gambeson is recommended to be worn under a mail hauberk.
  • 2.11.0 Scale
    • 2.11.1 The minimum thickness for scale armour is 3 mm in leather or 1.2 mm in mild steel.
    • 2.11.3 Some scale body armour do not extend to cover all the body as required in the armour specifications. These types of armour must be supplemented to meet the required armour specifications.
  • 2.12.0 Shield
    • 2.12.1 Metal coverings with the exception of a rim and a boss are prohibited.
    • 2.12.2 The minimum thickness for a shield boss is 3 mm in mild steel.
  • 2.13.0 Throat Protection
    • 2.13.1 Throat Protection is recommended in General Combat. See Section 2.7.3. Neck Protection.

Taken from New Varangian Guard Inc. Combat Rules and Safety Standards