Archery Authorizations Concern and Hysteria
- OK, I can no longer hold back and must step out of lurk mode in this thread...
First, Artur - you need to chill out. No one is yet pushing for Corporate to require authorizations Society-wide. What works in one Kingdom / area can not be applied like a blanket to others due to cultural/etc diffences or simply a lack of need.
In the East all MARSHALS are warranted (authorized) after going through training with at least two other marshals, taking a written test, and establishing a Royal Round average themselves (to ensurethey know how to handle their OWN equipment). Note that the average does NOT need to be a certain score or higher, just three scores within the past twelve months. We don't even need to maintain an average after becoming a marshal (though most do anyway since they enjoy shooting...)
Now, as to trying archery for the first time at an event, I must agree with you on that point - I have seen a few people that HAVE decided to stay in the SCA after going to their first event and getting to try archery (as well as some who got to put on loaner armor and see what it feels like to get hit) - that will be true of any activity if there is a moderate interest in that sort of thing already there (or lurking in the person's sub-concious). I actually teach a Beginner's Archery Class at most events I attend and most of the people who show are first-timers (either to an event or at least to the range). I also have loaner gear (bows, arrows, finger gloves, armguards, the whole works) to ENCOURAGE people to try it out. I am, of course, right there with any new person to ensure they are safe and correct any safety errors. I also go through the safety and shooting basics before I let them knock their first arrow. In most cases, all my 'newbies' can hit the 4' x 4' target butt I use within their first two ends... That gets them excited about shooting and want to do more! (thus another archer is born)
As for putting a 'newbie' into a competition, I've seen that too... In that case, the person was new to the SCA but not archery (though he had not shot a bow for many years since school). He was rusty but knew the basics of use. Once he was taught the 'SCA Safety Stuff' he went on to compete in a specialty shoot challenge that same day. Though he did not win, he placed fourth and was very pleased with his performance. I certainly would not encourage just anyone to compete on the first day they pick up a bow at an SCA event but it can happen!
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