Dirty Tricks are unchivalrous tactics or actions in combat that place an opponent at a disadvantage. Some are highly unsafe, others merely unfair. Unsafe or overly unchivalrous dirty tricks are forbidden by the rules of the list; other dirty tricks are not specifically forbidden but are very frowned upon.
Dirty Tricks in Re-Creationist Combat
Any fighter worth his salt will avoid using dirty tricks, since the SCA and re-enactment groups are small, insular worlds, and a reputation as an unchivalrous fighter is not something that is easily lost.
Some Dirty Tricks to Avoid
- "Thugging a List", that is, having one or more fighters eliminate the tough opponents from the Lists to guarantee a friend a win at the tournament. Infamously, several crowns have been won in this fashion.
- Using a highly polished metal shields or armour to cast reflected sunlight in an opponent's eyes. While not forbidden, be aware that highly polished metal and bright sunlight can seriously distract your opponent, and could be construed as an unchivalrous maneuver.
- Using offensive or obscene language to an opponent in order to make them angry or fight more erratically. Homophobic, sexist and racist language been used in the past against homosexual, female or non-white fighters, repectively, since these tend to be "hot-button" terms for the victim.
- Loading a rattan weapon with shot or lead sinkers to give it more weight and more striking power. This is a tremendously dangerous practice, especially if the weight shifts during a blow. If a marshal even suspects a weapon is altered thus, he will tear it apart looking for proof; if he finds evidence, the guilty party will never fight in the SCA again.