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Combat Archery Authorizations

Types of Combat Archery Authorizations
Combat Archery Authorization Procedures
Chivalry-Sponsored Combat Archery Authorizations


Types of CA Authorizations

Combat Archery as an additional authorization for an Armored Combat fighter who already has a weapon and shield authorization.

  • There is no special permission or trainer required.  
  • Guidance/advice from a current/experienced Combat Archer or Combat Archery Marshal is highly recommended.  See the 35-Foot Spear website for additional useful information and advice.
  • Chivalry-Sponsored Combat Archery bypass authorization (Alternative Primary Weapon Program) for someone who does not have an Armored Combat authorization.  (See details below.) 

Special permission for someone who does not have an Armored Combat authorization. 

  • This does not require a Chivalry sponsor but does require permission from the Regional Armored Combat Marshal or the Kingdom Earl Marshal, and is only granted in special cases. 

Note: In order to gain any further weapon styles, the combatant who went through a bypass authorization must undergo a weapon and shield authorization first.   (MK-Marshals Section) 

Authorization Procedure

As with any Armored Combat authorization, there must be two authorizing marshals.  They may be two Combat Archery Marshals who have CA authorizations, or two Armored Combat Marshals who have CA authorizations, or one of each. 

See the Marshal’s section of this Handbook and/or the 35-Foot Spear Website for more details on how to run a CA Authorization. 

NOTE- Although authorizations can take place at official practices, it is generally discouraged, due to the need for permission from the Regional Armored Combat Marshal or Kingdom Earl Marshal, marshals who are unfamiliar with the fighter, the number of required fighters, etc. 

Prerequisites - Before starting, the marshals should confirm that the authorizee meets the basic requirements to do an authorization. 

  • Has read and understands the Rules of the List, the Conventions of Combat, and the Armor and Weapons Standards of the Middle Kingdom and the Society for Creative Anachronism.  (~MK)
  • Is a paid member of the Society for Creative Anachronism.  (~MK) 
  • Has a signed waiver and/or blue membership card.  (~MK)
  • Has their authorization card, their Chivalry Sponsor is present, or has proof of permission for doing a Bypass authorization. 
  • Their armor meets all the minimum requirements for Combat Archery.  (The archer must pass armor inspection before stepping onto the field for the duel or melee parts of the authorization.) 

PART 1-The authorizee must demonstrate a basic knowledge of the CA rules before stepping onto the field. 

  • A CA Marshal will administer the test.  This may be given in a written or verbal form.  If internet access is available, the test may be taken online. 
  • These test questions are included in the “CA Authorization Self-Test” on the 35-foot Spear website. 
  • The authorizee must answer at least 80% of the questions correctly.  Any wrong answers (and any other questions) will be discussed/clarified before continuing the authorization. 

PART 2- The authorizee must participate in a duel with an experienced combat archer.

  • The archers will begin 10 to 30 yards apart.
  • The authorizee will fire several shots at the experienced combat archer to demonstrate they can use their equipment. 
  • As the authorizee continues to shoot, the experienced combat archer will move around the area and return heavy fire at the authorizee.  
  • At one or more points during the duel, the experienced combat archer should move to a position where the authorizee cannot safely fire at them.  The authorizee can move to better/different positions, but must recognize when they cannot fire in a particular direction because of the risk of the shot leaving the field. 
  • The authorizee should be allowed to discharge up to 24 shots before a pass/fail determination is made, unless it is readily apparent that the authorizee is unsafe or inaccurate.
  • The authorizee must demonstrate safe use of their equipment, accurate targeting, and appropriate responses to return fire. 
  • If the authorizee passes, the melee scenario will be set up. 

PART 3- The authorizee must participate in a full melee combat scenario.

  • There must be four or more armored combatants per side in addition to the authorizee and the authorizing Marshals.
  • One authorizing Marshal can either participate or observe from close by. The other authorizing Marshal should be observing from near the edge of the field to note how the authorizee behaves within the broader context of the melee.
  • At one or more points during the melee, an armored combatant must charge the authorizee, so the authorizee must yield or die appropriately.  See photos in Appendix A at the end of this Handbook and/or on the 35-Foot Spear website for details on safe positions. 
  • The authorizee must demonstrate proper engagement of targets, acceptable responses to being pressed and charged, and situational awareness (including recognition of the limitations imposed by boundaries and spectators on available targets). 
  • Attempting to block with bow or crossbow is grounds for failure. 

Note- When yielding, be aware of the range of the opponent’s weapon (for example: polearms are about 9 feet; spears are about 12 feet).  If you don’t want to get hit, make sure you yell “yield” well outside your opponent’s range. 

Paperwork - If the authorizee passes, they must make sure all paperwork is filled out, and that they know what to send where. 

  • MK Authorization Activity Report:  The Armored Combat Marshal-in-Charge has this.  Check with the MIC or the person running the list table. 
  • MK Authorization Tracking Form:  Send the bottom half to the Clerk of the Roster.  Keep the top half as an authorization card OR get an existing authorization card initialed. 

Chivalry-Sponsored CA Authorizations


To allow someone without a weapon and shield authorization to get Combat Archery as their initial authorization.

To expand the number of combat archers while providing a more "period" approach to the use of archery on the field of battle.

Note:  This program is not to see how many new CA authorizations can be generated, but rather to increase combat awareness and to offer continued guidance in the Rules and Cultural Expectations for combat archery among the Armored Combat Fighters.  (MK -- Marshal’s Section) 

Note: It is hoped that members of the Chivalry that take part in this program will continue to oversee the combat archers they train.


Any member of the Chivalry may undertake the training of Combat Archers.

Anyone wishing to authorize CA as a first authorization may seek out a member of the Chivalry for training. Members of the Chivalry may also seek out gentles they feel would be interested in becoming combat archers.

Any member of the Chivalry who agrees to take on such gentles agrees to become responsible not only for their training in CA, but also for their training in the culture of Armored Combat as practiced within the Midrealm.  (MK -- Marshal’s Section) 


The Chivalry sponsor MUST be present during the authorization!  The Chivalry sponsor must ALSO sign the authorization form. (MK) 

The Chivalry Sponsor is not to be one of the authorizing marshals. 

The authorization must follow the same procedure as a regular CA authorization, and must take place at an SCA event during a melee.  (MK)