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The marshal's inspection is a process an SCA combatant must undergo before entering the field. It is to ensure that all armour and equipment is safe to use, and that the appropriate armour/protection and weapons are being used.

An inspection for a heavy goes something along the lines of:

  • Is your groin protection in?
  • Check boots - do they cover the ankle? are they "sturdy". This can mean a whole bunch of different things. Some kingdoms permit elasticised boots, others do not. Talk to your local marshal or consult your Kingdom's combat handbook for more details.
  • Check there is knee padding on beneath the leg armour. Are all rivets and buckles attatched. No sharp edges on the armour, and no gaps in the articulation.
  • Check kidney protection. Does it adequately protect your kidneys? Is it thick enough?
  • Check elbows. Same as legs, essentially.
  • Gorget is in?
  • Now for the helm. The marshal will make sure your tongue is clear from your teeth and will attempt to lift your helm up off your head to check how loose it is. He/she will then push against the faceplate to ensure your nose and no part of your face touches metal.
  • Hand protection: is it adequate? If using a basket hilt, the demi-gauntlet will be checked to see that the gap between demi and basket is small enough that a sword cannot get between it.
  • Weapons: all shield edges will be checked for bits hanging off or any plastic tubing that has come off or is dangerous. The sword will be inspected for any dangerous bits, that it's all taped correctly and safe to use.

An inspection for a light fighter goes something along the lines of:

  • Is your groin protection in?
  • Check boots - as above
  • Check the light is wearing adequate knee and elbow padding.
  • Check kidney protection - as above
  • Gorget in?
  • Helm is checked as above.
  • Arrows are inspected by making sure there are no splits or fractures in the arrow shaft, that the arrow is correctly taped with fibre tape, that the blunt is in place (and that there is actually a blunt on there!) and that the flights are all in good order.
  • Check that the bow is of correct poundage, and in a safe condition to be used.

An inspection for a fencer goes something along the lines of:

  • Is your groin protection in?
  • Check boots as above
  • Check the face mask and hood -- is the mask tight? Any exposed skin or frayed materials?
  • If fencing schlager, check the gorget; it should cover the notch over the sternum and the vertebrae at the base of the neck.
  • Ensure that armor is properly designed (in Atlantia, that means 4 layers of trigger on the body, as well as underarm protection -- a modern fencing jacket under garb suffices).
  • Look at the gloves; are there any holes in them? Do they gap at the wrists?
  • Are the legs covered with abrasion-resistant materials?
  • Are the weapons safe? Blades should have a gentle C-curve (no S-curves), and be free of burrs. Tips should have a button, with contrasting tape securing the button to the blade.