Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbow Inspection Criteria
The inspection process is composed of two parts - a check on SCA-legality, and a safety check. Checking to insure that a given bow does not use cams or spring-loaded flipper rests is self-explanatory. In regards the safety check on the other hand, you are quite right, there is nothing in the regs that requires many of the safety points that marshals look for nowadays. They are advisories, based on the marshal's individual training and experience (which varies from person to person), and backed up by the marshal's authority to administer the range. That you chafe at the restrictions and at the occasional lack of knowlege or expertise on the part of marshals is understandable - you are a highly skilled archer and manufacturer of equipment. But most others aren't. One would hope that you would be willing teach a class in crossbow mechanics and safety, to the betterment of the marshallate.
As an example: In a previous communication I attempted to explain that I do regard an erratically-releasing bow as not merely a performance issue but as a safety issue as well. Because, to me, erratic releases tend over time to grow stronger, and to gradually compromise the the structure of the tool. If I am incorrect in feeling thus, fine, instruct me, that I may do my job better. But even if it were simply an isolated performance issue, I should still feel justified in commenting on it in an inspection - as I do regarding longer-than-needful strings on longbows, and other performance matters. Because while I see my job as primarily that of safety officer, I also try to be someone who can help archers get more out of their experience.
If you wish to return the SCA to it's pristine origins, marshal-less and casual, fine. Frankly, I sympathize a bit - I've been a part of the SCA for over thirty years, and I well recall the happy days when we were all just slightly goofball college students sleeping on each other's dormitory floors. That world has vanished, though. Today, we live in a world in which the lawyers and the insurance companies have made their willingness to go into a feeding frenzy at the slightest sign of someones broken hangnail preventing them from having a meaningful experience abundantly clear. If we don't provide a safety net, in the form of a proactive marshallate, for the many clue-free participants out there, we get torched. But don't think that my advocacy of a strong marshallate is based on cover-my-butt economics - if there were no lawyers or insurance agents in existence (O dies felix!), I would still do my best to insist on an active marshallate, because I believe that people can e!
njoy their time on our ranges best if they are safe as we can make them. And that means having a few rules in place. If that is intolerable to you, or if you think our program too badly flawed to work with, address such concerns to the SAM, the SEM, and the BoD. I will be fascinated by their responses.
Nigel, warranted safety weenie
> What you have written seems to make entirely too much sense. This caused--
> me to go back and re-read the actual Society rules regarding
> crossbows. Upon seeing them I was shocked to realize that nowhere is
> string float or prod tightness even mentioned! Since these are things the
> marshals around here test, I assumed they had been written into the actual
Three things never heard from the mouth of a Celt:
"Do these colors match?"
"Is this too much jewelry?"
"Is that my drink?"
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]