Zorn Vongal (Mountain Raiders)

All rules are intended for the enjoyment and safety of our participants.  These rules are heavily based on the common Dagorhir rules, but modified for increased safety with younger participants in mind. Rules are kept as simple as possible, to keep battles exciting and fast-paced, and to keep the system easy to learn. Though realism is plays a role, safety and playability are far more essential. Highlighted sections illustrate major variances from the common Dagorhir rules, and are open to change by Charlottesville Battle Gaming.


"Rule Zero"

Common sense supersedes loopholes. In applying the rules, safety comes first, followed by playability, then "realism." Please read the rules thoroughly (several times is recommended). The rules are written to be self-explanatory, clear, and detailed, but not every angle of every situation can be covered. Often a rule is clarified later in the same (or subsequent) paragraph. Loopholes will not even be considered by the Heralds (referees), officials, or other players. If you are ever in doubt about any portion of the rules or any situation, do not hesitate to ask a Herald.



  1. Participation

    1. The standard minimum age for participation will be 10; however, players will be assessed based on age, size, and capability before being allowed on to the battlefield. Players will be organized into combat groups that best reflect their attributes for both their safety and their overall fun.

    2. All participants must sign a release form before they will be allowed to participate in any event or battle practice. For those who are under 18, a legal guardian must sign the release form and have it notarized prior to the participant being allowed to join.

      1. For participants ages 10-12, a legally responsible party (i.e.  parent/guardian) must remain on-site at all times

      2. For participants ages 13-17, the minor must have reliable contact information and transportation.

      3. Authorization for participation should not be assumed nor construed to represent Zorn Vongal acceptance of responsibility for any player. Zorn Vongal does not, under any circumstances, accept responsibility for any player, adult or minor.

    3. All participants are encouraged to wear a costume ("garb") that meets or preferably exceeds minimum requirements. The intent of this rule is to maintain a non-obtrusive appearance appropriate to a fantasy/medieval setting. Garb is preferred on the battlefield and is strongly encouraged when in public areas. Garb not only benefits the player, but enhances the experience of other players and improves the overall atmosphere of the event. Examples of garb are as follows:

      1. A tunic, shirt, dress, or vest of crotch length or longer. Clarification: Obviously modern clothing such as sweat-pants, pajama pants, modern skirts, etc is not acceptable.

      2. Non-obtrusive pants, kilt, skirt, leggings, or similar legwear. Bare legs are acceptable, but not recommended due to the nature of combat in the game.

      3. Non-obtrusive footwear (moccasins, earth-tone shoes, boots, sandals, etc.). Bare feet are acceptable if expressly allowed by the parent or guardian.

    4. Frowned-upon Garments and Patterns/Logos: The intent of this rule is to limit the amount of obviously modern looking items in the game. It is sometimes possible to wear modern clothing in a way (by modification or concealment for example) that it is not considered forbidden. A herald or member of the staff will make final decisions on this.

      1. Frowned-upon garments include but are not limited to: blue jeans, non-earth tone shoes, camouflage patterns such as military fatigues, visible T-shirts or other obviously modern clothing, and modern hats.

      2. Real swords, knives, or weapons of any sort (even in sheaths or cases) may not be worn or carried during combat. EVER.

      3. Garb should not have clearly profane, sexual, drug, or alcohol-related logos or prints. Articles of this nature can and often will result in being removed from the battlefield and asked to depart the play area. In such cases, the player would not be allowed to return until the player was wearing acceptable clothing.

      4. Cleats and spikes are not permitted on the battlefield.

      5. The staff reserves the right to allow certain forbidden garments to accommodate special needs, because of weather conditions, etc. These exceptions will be made on a case by case basis. Players are encouraged to overcome this with proper garb when it is possible.

    5. If spectators, parental guardians, staff, or similar bystanders  are present and not playing, they are encouraged, but not required, to wear garb.


  1. General Rules

    1. Game organizers reserve the right to eject or exclude any person from the game for the following reasons:

      1. Violating local, county, state, or federal laws which impact the group or the events, including but not limited to violations which endanger the safety of members, spectators, or bystanders; violations which endanger the group’s use of facilities.

      2. Endangering the safety of persons or property, including actions demonstrating intent to cause actual injuries or harm on the battlefield.

      3. Endangering the group’s ability to use event facilities and/or related equipment

      4. Abusive or profane language or other behavior unbecoming of a player or other representative of the group using a "reasonable person" standard.

      5. Disobeying the game-related requests and instructions of those in charge of events.

      6. Anything not noted above but negatively impacts the game or is deemed to cast the group as a whole in an unsuitable manner; using a "reasonable person" standard.

    2. The Herald (Game Referee) is the primary authority responsible for interpreting and enforcing these rules on the battlefield.

      1. A Herald has the right to remove anyone from the field for behaviors described above.


  1. Types of Combat and Damage

    1. As stated previously, in combat, common sense supersedes perceived loopholes. In all manners concerning these rules, Heralds and event organizers shall have final say. When resolving rules questions, Heralds shall consider the matter according to the following criteria: safety first, playability second, and "realism" last.

    2. Weapon Combat: To "kill" or "wound" someone on the battlefield, you must use a weapon which has passed safety inspection for that event.

      1. All weapons must be checked and marked by weapons checkers appointed by the event organizer before they may be used in combat.

      2. There are five classifications of weapon types, divided into melee and projectile weapons, which are designated by colored tape: Blue, Red, Green, Yellow and White. Players are never allowed to strike to the head with melee weapons. Airborne missile weapons are allowed to strike to the head.

        1. Blue melee weapons are shorter hacking and smashing weapons which are intended to be used primarily with one hand. Blue weapons cannot be considered red weapons even when used with two hands.

        2. Red melee weapons are longer hacking and smashing weapons intended to be used primarily with two hands. A red weapon must be used with both hands to count as a red weapon; if used with a single hand, it counts as a blue weapon.

        3. Green melee weapons are stabbing weapons, such as spears, sword points, daggers, and stabbing points on pole arms.

        4. Yellow projectile weapons include arrows, crossbow bolts/quarrels, and thrown javelins. Arrows and crossbow bolts may never be used as hand weapons; however, hand-held javelins may be used as green melee weapons.

        5. White projectile weapons are rocks and other blunt-force projectile weapons which only must be thrown and are only legal to the head.

    3. Hit Locations:

      1. Hit locations include Torso, Leg, Arm, head and Neck, Feet and Hands

        1. Torso: shoulders (including arm sockets), chest, stomach, crotch, sides, back, and buttocks.

        2. Leg: From the top of the foot (including ankle) to the torso (below the buttocks).

        3. Arm: From point where hand joins the wrist to the shoulder socket

        4. Head: Off limits to all weapon/shield strikes except yellow and white projectile weapons.

        5. Neck: Off limits to all weapon/shield strikes except yellow and white projectile weapons. NOTE: Neck is unaffected by hits from white projectile weapons.

        6. Hands and Feet: Intentionally blocking any blow with a hand which is not gripping a weapon or the handle of a shield results in the loss of that arm. Intentionally blocking any blow with foot results in the loss of that leg. Gripping the blade or point of your opponent's weapon with your hand results in the loss of that arm.

          1. Hands and feet are unaffected by weapon hits if:

            1. The foot is on the ground; if the foot is in the air when it is hit, it is considered a hit to the leg.

            2. Hands are holding a weapon or the handle of a shield. When not holding anything, hands are considered part of the arm.

    4. Judging Hits:

      1. A hit from a hand-held weapon counts when the weapon's striking surface hits with sufficient, but moderate force. Clarification: taps, grazing, and glancing shots do not count as sufficient force. The strike should be solid, in such that the player struck is immediately aware of the strike. The strike should not be delivered with so much force as to intentionally cause bodily harm. (i.e. baseball bat swings)

      2. Hits from projectile weapons count when the head of the weapon merely strikes the target: stopping or being slightly deflected.

    5. Weapon damage varies according to weapon type and whether the target area is armored. 


  1. Weapons

    1. General

      1. All weapons are subject to rejection for any safety or construction discrepancies as determined by the weapons checkers appointed by the event organizers.

      2. Weapons Checkers and Heralds have the final say in determining how to classify a weapon, e.g., whether a weapon with a circular cross-section is a "sword" or a "club."

      3. A safe game weapon is one which when used as intended will NOT result in bruises, break bones, or knock out teeth if an unarmored person is struck with a full-strength swing.

        1. In order to ensure Rule 4.1.3, before being allowed onto the field, all weapons are tested at full force by event appointed Weapons Checkers, unless previously failed by weapons checking staff for safety.

      4. All weapons must have cloth covering over all striking surfaces

      5. Two-and-a-half-inch rule: No part of a weapon's striking surface, whether the tip, the edge, the face or any other part, may pass easily more than 0.5" through a 2.5" diameter hole when tested in the direction of the strike.

      6. Two-inch rule: No non-striking component of a weapon, such as a cross guard, a non-striking tip, or a pommel, may pass easily more than 0.5" through a 2" diameter hole when tested perpendicular to the striking surface or shaft of the weapon.

      7. The flat (non-striking surface) of bladed weapons must be safely padded to prevent injury from hits from the flat of the blade.

      8. Hafts on axes, flails, maces, polearms, and the like must be safely padded except for a reasonable area for a handhold. This means the haft padding on swung weapons must be as safe as their striking surface. The haft on spears (which are thrusting-only weapons) is not required to be as heavily-padded as that of a swung weapon.

      9. No swung weapon may have more than 1/3 of its overall length unpadded, nor have more than 30" unpadded.

      10. Single-edged weapons such as glaives and cutlasses must have their non-striking edge clearly marked with a 12-inch piece of silver or gray tape at least 1 inch wide.

      11. Restrictions:

        1. The pommel of a weapon must be padded to prevent injury in the event of an accidental "hit" and must not easily go through a 2 inch-diameter hole.

        2. All swung weapons must conform to the following:

          1. Blue weapons must weigh at least 12 ounces.

          2. Red weapons must weigh at least 24 ounces

          3. Balance above the un-padded handle section.

        3. The shaft or blade of a red or blue weapon may not flex greater than 45 degrees when the weapon is swung in the plane/direction of the striking surface.

        4. The shaft of a spear or javelin may not flex greater than 90 degrees under reasonable testing stress.

        5. No weapons other than aluminum-shafted arrows may have any metal in their construction beyond a single coin used to cap the ends of a core and/or counterweights attached securely to the grip solely to increase balance to the weapon.

        6. No weapon may have a spike or blade at the butt (pommel) end. Note that double-ended weapons (below) may have stabbing points at ends; this is different from a blue sword with a green stabbing spike on the pommel.

        7. No swung weapon may have more than 1/3 of its overall length unpadded, nor have more than 30 total inches unpadded.

        8. Double-ended weapons such as quarter staves are always considered to be blue weapons.

        9. No weapons other than Shields and Arrows may have a wooden core.

        10. Disallowed weapons include but are not limited to: Nets, lassos, pungee sticks, nunchucks, tonfas, double-ended daggers, punch daggers

      12. Miscellaneous - Whenever you strike an opponent from behind, simultaneously call out the color of your weapon ("Red!" "One-Handed Green!") so that your opponent will know how to react. If a weapon color is not called out, expect that your opponent will treat it as a hit from a blue

    2. Blue Weapons

      1. Blue weapons are edged (hacking) or mass (smashing) melee weapons intended primarily for one-handed use.

      2. Blue weapons must have a minimum total length of 12 inches and a maximum total length less than 48 inches. Weapons must have a minimum 6-inch striking surface.

      3. Blue weapons other than flails may have green stabbing tips or spikes.

      4. Flails:

        1. The ball of a flail must have a minimum circumference of 16 inches (measured at its narrowest point) and weigh a minimum weight of 4 oz.

        2. The end of flail haft must follow the 2-inch rule.

        3. The maximum "chain" length on a flail is 6 inches.

        4. The rope or cloth of the flail "chain" must be completely covered with segmented foam (rings) to reduce the risk of injury if the chain strikes a fighter and reduce the risk of the chain wrapping a weapon or limb.

        5. Flails are always blue weapons regardless of length.

      5. Double-ended Weapons:

        1. Double-ended weapons must not be more than 7 feet long.

        2. Double-ended weapons must have a minimum of 18 inches in length of a cylindrically padded striking surface on each end.

        3. Both ends must pass as green or neither end will pass as green.

      6. Blue weapons that are 18" or shorter do not have balancing or minimum weight requirements.

    3. Red Weapons

      1. Red melee weapons are long hacking and smashing weapons intended to be used primarily with two hands.

      2. A swung weapon (sword, axe, mace, glaive, halberd, etc.), 48 inches or longer is considered a red weapon when swung with two hands

      3.  A red weapon used with one hand counts as a blue weapon for damage

      4. Red weapons may have green stabbing tips.

      5. Red weapons go through armor on the first hit when used two-handed

      6. All Red weapons when used two-handed can destroy a shield with two solid blows from their legal striking surface (e.g., a solid hit from the haft of a glaive would not count). Blows which are mostly blocked by another weapon and light or glancing hits to a shield do not count as "shield breaking" hits. The fighter wielding the shield judges if the blows are solid "shield-breaking" red hits; however, the physical size of the fighter delivering the blows must always be considered; i.e., a "solid" hit from a smaller, lighter person will generally feel "lighter" than one from a more massive fighter.

      7. Red weapons must weigh at least 24 ounces and balance above the top of the hand-grip.

    4. Green Weapons

      1. Green weapons are stabbing weapons, such as spears, sword points, daggers, and stabbing points on pole arms.

      2. One-hand green thrusts do not penetrate armor, including "pool-cue" style thrusts where the spear slides through one hand while being pushed with the other.

      3. To penetrate armor, a green weapon must be thrust with both hands from the beginning of the thrust until it has connected solidly with the target.

      4. Spears must have at least 1/3 of the haft padded, but because spears are strictly thrusting weapons (as opposed to hacking weapons), the padding does not have to be as thick as on a hacking weapon.

    5. Yellow Weapons

      1. General

        1. Yellow weapons must be used at half-drawn (arrows) or thrown with half force (javelins) at ranges closer than 20 feet.

        2. Yellow weapons must be used at half-drawn (arrows) or thrown with half force (javelins) at ranges closer than 20 feet.

        3. Yellow weapons do no damage if they strike shields and game-legal head/neck armor such as a helmet or coif.

        4. Players may not ever carry another fighter's missile weapons around without the owner's express permission. You may return fire with missiles that have been shot/thrown at you, but if you leave the immediate area where the missiles were fired/thrown, you may not take any missiles other than your own with you. Players must always return the owner's missiles to the owner upon request.

      2. Javelins:

        1. The maximum weight of a javelin is 1.5 pounds.

        2. Javelins must be between 4 and 7 feet in length.

        3. Because they may be used as both thrown- and hand-weapons, all javelins must pass standards for both yellow and green classifications; "yellow only" javelins are not allowed.

        4. Players may not ever carry another fighter's missile weapons around without the owner's express permission. You may return fire with missiles that have been shot/thrown at you, but if you leave the immediate area where the missiles were fired/thrown, you may not take any missiles other than your own with you. Players must always return the owner's missiles to the owner upon request.

        5. Javelins are exempt from weapon flex rule and instead must not flex more than 90 degrees.

        6. Any block which stops the head of the javelin from striking its target is a legal block, including catching the javelin by the shaft or blocking it with any weapon.

        7. Javelins must be padded along their entire length.

        8. Javelins may not easily pass (<0.5") through a 3.5" diameter hole. The softer padded face of the javelin must be at least 3.5" wide in all directions. The stiffer structural base foam must be at least 3" in diameter where it meets the open cell face foam.

      3. Archery:

        1. All bows must have a draw weight of 35 pounds or less at 28 inches draw.

        2. Compound (pulley) bows are not allowed.

        3. Crossbows must have a maximum draw weight of 35 lbs with a draw length of 12"

        4. Arrows must always be shot; they can never be used as hand weapons.

        5. To be an archer at an event, a player must bring at least 2 passing arrows to the field.

        6. If an arrow is deflected, even minutely, it is considered to have hit.

          1. An arrow must strike with its head to cause a hit.

        7. Once an arrow has hit an object (changed its path) it is harmless. An arrow cannot strike multiple targets.

        8. To better simulate the speed and power of real arrows in flight, the only things which can stop arrows are shields or game-legal head armor such as a helmet or coif. Arrows cannot be caught, blocked, deflected, or knocked out of the air by anything else, including hands, feet, weapons, or other equipment. If an arrow is blocked intentionally with anything other than a body part, shield, or head armor, the fighter doing the blocking is dead automatically.

        9. Bows may be used to turn aside thrusts without suffering any damage. However, if a bow is hacked or smashed by a red or blue weapon, the bow is considered broken. A healer may heal a bow.

        10. Archers are allowed to call shots for clarity, i.e., they may call out to let their target know where a hit landed or if the hit was "good," as in the case of a glancing or ricocheting arrow.

        11. If an arrow strikes a limb which has already been hacked or smashed by a blue or red weapon, the arrow is considered to have continued as if the limb were not there, hitting whatever is in its path.

        12. If a weapon accidentally blocks an arrow from hitting a target, the arrow is considered to have hit the target anyway.

        13. If an arrow hits a fighter's hand, that arm is lost (regardless of whether the hand held a weapon or shield).

        14. If an arrow hits a foot which is off the ground, that leg is lost.

        15. Arrows:

          1. A draw stop (generally a ring of tape around the shaft) is required to prevent arrows from being drawn more than 28 inches.

          2. Arrows may not easily pass (<0.5") through a 2.5" diameter hole. The softer padded face of the arrow must be at least 2.5" wide in all directions. The stiffer structural base foam must be at least 2" in diameter where it meets the open cell face foam.

          3. All arrows must contain a penny secured perpendicularly (flat) at the end of the shaft, unless it is an arrow with a golf tube shaft. In this case, a washer slightly larger than the golf tube's rolled edge must be used instead.

          4. All arrow striking surfaces must be constructed of open-cell foam.

          5. All arrows must have at least two full vanes/fletchings (feathers) and a nock.

          6. Tapes that are masking-like, unenforced cellophane, rigid, metal based, hard, sharp, or of poor adhesion quality may not be used in arrowhead construction. Examples include but are not limited to: ducting, packaging, scotch, masking, and painter’s tapes. (Note: DUCT tape is allowed, as DUCTING tape is a separate type)

          7. All wooden arrows must have their shafts wrapped in tape.

          8. There can be no tape on the striking surface of an arrow

          9. The head of the arrow must not be able to move easily in relation to the arrow shaft. This movement includes but is not limited to: twisting without return, twisting more than a quarter of the shaft circumference with return, plunging up and down, wobbling from side to side.

          10. In order to avoid confusing golf tube arrows with javelins, no arrow using a golf tube shaft may have a yellow cover.

    6. White Weapons:

      1. Rocks must be at least 4" in diameter and constructed of foam with a little tape as possible, and all aspects of their construction must conform to the 2 ½-inch rule.

      2. The maximum weight of a rock is 1.5 pounds.

      3. Rocks must be thrown; a fighter may never strike another fighter with a hand-held rock.

    7. Shields:

      1. Shields must be safely padded on the front and all edges. Any dangerous protrusions (bolts, handles, etc.) on the rear must be taped and/or padded for the user's safety.

      2. A shield may be used or worn in any manner, and it will still remain a shield; e.g., a shield may be carried on the arm, held in one or two hands, worn on the back, or propped against a fighter's side.

      3. A fighter may wear or carry only one shield at a time in combat.

      4. A shield may not be taller than the distance between the wielder's chin and their ankles, nor wider than 3 feet.

      5. The minimum diameter of a shield is 12 inches.

      6. Shields may be virtually any shape, but must have handles and/or arm-straps. If a shield is made to strap onto the body and has no means to carry it on the fighter's arm, it is not allowed. As with all weapons rules, Weapons-Checkers and Heralds have the final say in determining what is a shield versus what is armor.

      7. All Red weapons when used two-handed can destroy a shield with two solid blows from their legal striking surface (e.g., a solid hit from the haft of a glaive would not count). Blows which are mostly blocked by another weapon and light or glancing hits to a shield do not count as "shield breaking" hits. The fighter wielding the shield judges if the blows are solid "shield-breaking" red hits; however, the physical size of the fighter delivering the blows must always be considered; i.e., a "solid" hit from a smaller, lighter person will generally feel "lighter" than one from a more massive fighter.

      8. When a shield is destroyed by two red-weapon hits, the wielder of the shield must immediately drop the shield. Additional hits from any type of weapon that strike before the shield is dropped count as though the shield isn't there (generally counting first against the shield-wielder's arm, then their torso).

      9. Anvilling, laying a weapon on a shield to avoid taking damage to the shield, is not permitted. Thus, a weapon must intercept the red weapon before it strikes the shield. If the blocking weapon is driven back against the shield by the hit from the red weapon, it does not constitute anvilling. If the red weapon continues past the attempted block with significant force, the blow still counts as a red-weapon hit.

      10. Fighters may use a red weapon while also using a shield, but all red hand requirements stand.

      11. Shield "spikes" are for ornamentation only and do no damage.

      12. Shield Kicking: Under normal circumstances, Shield Kicking is not allowed. Shield Kicking is allowed only during some scenarios. A Herald will announce this before the beginning of the scenario, and will closely monitor all Shield Kicking to ensure safety. If directed by a Herald, players must immediately cease Shield Kicking. Refusing to halt will result in immediate ejection from the battle and possible restriction from future battles.

        1. When players are allowed to kick shields, they may do so, provided the kicker keeps one foot on the ground. (No flying kicks!) Shield kicking must be done with regard for the safety of other fighters and will be monitored carefully by the Heralds.

      13. Shields may be covered in non-latex based soft plastic sealant (e.g. Plasti-dip) as an alternative to cloth as long as they pass all other requirements.

    8. Shield Bashing and Checking:

      1. - A shield bash means using a shield to strike an opponent starting from a distance more than two steps away.

      2. A shield check means using a shield to strike an opponent starting from a distance two steps away or closer.

      3. Players may shield bash an opponent on their front or side. Bashing an opponent from the rear is prohibited. Bashing an opponent who has lost a leg is prohibited.

      4. Players may shield check an opponent from any direction. Players may shield check opponents who have lost a leg.

      5. It is NEVER permissible to strike a fighter in the head or neck with a shield.

    9. Grappling:

      1. Grappling is defined as wrestling in a safe and reasonable manner, attempting to subdue or unbalance your opponent without strikes, throws, or joint/nerve holds.

      2. Under normal circumstances, Grappling is not allowed. Grappling is allowed only during some scenarios. A Herald will announce this before the beginning of the scenario, and will closely monitor all grappling to ensure safety. If directed by a Herald, players must immediately cease grappling. Refusing to halt will result in immediate ejection from the battle and possible restriction from future battles.

      3. A person in armor or rigid plastic safety equipment or carrying a bow and/or arrows may never initiate a grapple.

      4. Players are not allowed to initiate a grapple starting more than two steps away from an opponent.

      5. Grappling from behind should be done with great caution and will be closely monitored by Heralds for safety.

      6. Body checks (blocking your opponent's movement using one's body) are allowed.

      7. Punching and kicking are never allowed, except in the case of shield kicks as outlined above.

      8. An unarmored fighter may choose to initiate a grapple with any opponent, including those who are armored.

      9. No fighter may ever choose to initiate a grapple with an opponent carrying a bow and/or arrows.

    10. Miscellaneous:

      1. Whenever you strike an opponent from behind with a non-blue weapon, simultaneously call out the color of your weapon so that your opponent will know how to react.

      2. Strikes ignore sheathed weapons (i.e., one that is attached/hanging from one's belt or over one's back) or any other worn object, including baggy clothing such as cloaks. If an attack would have made legal contact with a fighter had the object been absent, then it should be counted as a hit. A weapon must be in a fighter's hand to intercept an attack.

      3. Anvilling, the act of laying one's weapon on a shield or body part to avoid taking damage, is not permitted.

  2. Armor

    1. General

      1. All types of armor provide the same level of protection

        1. Armor is subject to the same restrictions as garb with regards to resemblance to modern clothing and incorporation of modern symbols. Armor may not be constructed in such a way as to resemble clearly modern hats, caps, jackets, trousers, etc. (this is not an exhaustive list) nor may it incorporate clearly modern symbols and designs. Armor does not waive the garb requirement for the wearer unless all modern clothing is completely covered by the armor.

        2. Only items specifically constructed as armor and recognizable as armor shall be counted as armor. Armor shall be counted as such only when worn as intended. No item with an obvious function other than armor, such as straps, quivers, pouches, boots, scabbards, bandoleers, etc. (this is not an exhaustive list) shall be considered to be armor regardless of the material of its construction.

      2. Armor protects only the area it covers: e.g., one hit from a blue weapon to an unarmored elbow results in the loss of that arm, even if the rest of the arm is armored.

        1. Hits to areas that are both armored and unarmored must be taken to the unarmored area.  Gaps in armor coverage of ¾” or less shall be ignored.

      3. Armor may not be concealed and must remain visible to other fighters. Players may wear a surcoat or tabard over armor so long as the armor is easily visible.

        1. Items of garb that appear to be armor, at the discretion of either the events’ armor checker or garb checker, or any herald, may not be worn on the field.

      4. The front, back, and sides of any part of the body are considered a single strike zone for armor coverage. Hits anywhere on armor on the left leg are considered hits to the "left leg armor," and hits to a fighter's armored chest, sides, and back are considered hits to the "torso armor" even if the hits land on different pieces of armor such as a breastplate and backplate. Think of armor protection in the game this way: armor lessens the damage from some types of hits, but does not eliminate damage entirely. Hence, an armored fighter will "survive" the first blue weapon hit to his back, but a second blue hit to the same fighter's chest armor will have done enough damage to "kill" the fighter.

      5. All armor within a strike zone counts as a single piece of armor no matter how many separate pieces of armor are actually present.

      6. Armor does not offer protection against red weapons swung with two hands, two-hand green thrusts, or yellow (projectile) weapons except as shown below.

      7. Head and neck armor and helmets protect from yellow and white weapon hits to the head and neck.

      8. The first hit from a blue weapon to an armored strike zone has no effect.

      9. The second blue hit:

        1. To an armored torso results in death;

        2. To an armored limb results in loss of the limb.

      10. A one-handed green thrust has no effect on armor, even if previously struck with a blue weapon.

      11. Armor protection against blue weapon strikes is not eliminated due to a previous yellow or two-handed green weapon hit.

      12. Rigid plastic safety equipment for knee and elbow protection is permitted but must be concealed under clothing. It does not count as armor.

        1. Zorn Vongal authorizes the use of Lacrosse-type grilled helmets for participants UNDER 18 ONLY for safety purposes.

          1. Helmet must be covered (cloth, leather, or plastidipped foam) and present a genre-appropriate appearance (i.e. be passable as garb by appearance).

          2. As such, these helmets will pass as armor

      13. No one wearing armor or rigid safety gear may initiate grappling.

      14. Rigid body armor including helmets must not have projections which protrude more than 1/2 inch from the armor.

      15. Rigid armor including helmets must have no spikes or points and must have blunted edges.

      16. Armor must not be able to catch any appendages such as fingers.

      17. Armor must be passed by heralds from two separate realms, assuming an inter-realm event.

    2. Metal Armor:

      1. Metal armor may be made of iron, steel, bronze, brass, copper, or titanium.

      2. The minimum thickness of non-chainmail metal armor is 0.9mm (usually called 19 gauge).

      3. Chainmail, defined as armor constructed solely of interconnected metal rings, must not be able to have its weave penetrated by a 3/8” thick rod (dowel) in order to pass as armor.

      4. The maximum thickness of metal armor is 1/8”.

      5. Rigid metal hand, knee or elbow armor is forbidden (ring or chainmail is permitted).

      6. Helmets may have non-period grills for safety.

        1.  Must be constructed of 5.2.1 metals or leather

        2.  Safety grills that do not meet armor requirements are not counted as armor do not protect from yellow and white weapon hits to the face.

    3. Leather Armor:

      1. The minimum thickness for leather armor is 3/16 inch and may be achieved by layering several pieces of thin leather.

      2. Armor that is metal studded or scaled, or has metal brigandine plates or rings, based on non-armor backing, can only be counted as armor if the studs/scales/plates/rings are not more than ¾” apart.  This can be easily tested by moving a penny around the surface of the armor.  If at any time the penny is completely flat on the backing without touching any studs/scales/plates/rings, the armor fails.

    4. Armor may not be constructed of plastic or other non-period materials.

  3. Wounds and Healing

    1. Wounds:

      1. When in doubt of any of these rules, ask a Herald.

      2. When killed, scream and fall to a prone position on the ground.

      3. When you lose an arm, drop anything that is in that hand and put the arm behind your back. Do not switch equipment from the lost arm to your non-injured arm (this so called "magic switch" is specifically prohibited). Do not use your "lost" arm to aid in shield checking, shield bashing, or grappling.

        1. If the arm was hacked or smashed with a blue or red weapon, any other strike to the same arm counts as a torso hit, because in the combat rules the arm would not be there to intercept the hit.

      4. If you lose a leg, you must immediately kneel on that knee. To move from place to place you must either crawl, dragging the injured leg, or have comrades carry you. Hopping around on your uninjured leg is not allowed. However, you may make a lunge off the good leg toward an opponent. Any strike to a leg that has already been lost does not count. If both legs are wounded, you may only "knee walk", drag yourself by your arms, or be carried in order to move.

      5. If both knees are on the ground, and the leg wound is from a hacking or smashing weapon, then any hit to either leg is considered a hit on the good leg.

      6. If the target is lunging/rolling around and has a wounded leg (hacking or smashing) and is hit in either leg (even the one already hit) it is considered a hit on the good leg.

      7. If you have two limbs hacked or smashed by red and/or blue weapons, the result is death. Wounds from green and yellow weapons do not count towards this rule, even if they are inflicted by the green stabbing point of a red or blue weapon.

      8. If asked, a fighter must accurately describe their current armor damage and wound status. Players may never fake death or wounds during a battle to mislead opponents.

      9. At no time may the dead speak to the living, unless it is to shout a safety warning that is "outside" of game combat; e.g., "Look out, you're about to step off a cliff!"

    2. Healing:

      1. The Healer cannot heal her/himself or their own equipment.

      2. To heal a person, the Healer must be in direct physical contact with the injured person.

      3. A healer may not heal a person while either are under direct attack. If the Healer or injured person is attacked or distracted, or contact is broken for any reason, the entire Poem of Healing must be read or recited again.

      4. A Poem of Healing must then be recited or read aloud. The minimum length of a poem of healing is 180 syllables and must be approved at event check-in.

      5. When the healer completes reading the Healing Poem, all wounds and any items held by the wounded fighter are healed or repaired (i.e. armor, bow, shield, etc.).

  4. Addendum 2016

    1. Battle Practice Rules:

      1. A minimum of one Herald must be on the field during any official practice period. This means that while warm-ups are still authorized, a Herald must be on the field before the field becomes active for the practice.

      2. First practices: New fighters are always welcome to come out. We love to see new friends join us in our favorite game. However, with being new comes the mistakes of being new. Learning safe weapons handling, stance, basic blocking, basic attacking, sufficient striking force, hit calibration (taking of hits), head shot avoidance (both in attack and defense), and the like are all natural parts of learning the game.

      3. New fighters are limited to a single blue sword until -at a minimum- after their third official, waivered practice. By their fourth official practice, they will have had time to learn and practice the basics over and over again. This also allows heralds to watch and assess the new fighter’s progression and to make adjustments early. If the fighter has not been able to demonstrate sufficient basic skills by their fourth practice, they will continue to fight single blue until they do.

    2. Stance and Style: Fighting is a very personal thing. How one stands is much related to their personal comfort level, just as it is their overall fighting style. That being said, there are certain things fighters should not do. These things lead to injuries for not only the fighter, but also their opponents and sometimes other fellow players.

      1. Incorrect swing direction: Typical swings should be performed at 45-degree angles, and never either horizontally or vertically. If a swing is travelling along the four main points of the compass, then the fighter runs a very high risk of striking their opponent’s head. Not doing so comes with practice, but most importantly- proper practice.

      2. Eyes on the opponent: Taking one’s gaze away from the face of the opponent causes the fighter to lose a full view of their opponent. In the heat of battle, this can easily lead to a head shot due to the opponent moving in such a way the fighter does not see their opponent’s head/face/neck. By watching their opponent, eye-to-eye, the fighter can better view the entirety of the fight using their peripheral vision, thereby executing successful attacks and blocks without fear of inadvertent injury to either player.

      3. Hunched over/leading with the chin: There’s a reason professional fighters pull their faces back- getting hit in the face hurts. If you find yourself leaned over, toward your opponent, you drastically increase the likelihood you will get hit in the head. Making a small target is natural, but it will lead to your own injury. Instead of leaning over, keep your back straight and upright, bending at the knees into a light squat. This will allow you to still have an effective lunge while serving to keep your face away from your opponent.

      4. Turning away/flinching: These are dangerous enough when done individually, but especially so when done together. Turning away from your target, whether it be from fear or by instinct puts your body at risk. Your opponent expects you to actively engage in the game. When a fighter suddenly cease fighting and turns away, they often cinch up their neck, shoulders, and torso to avoid the expected strike. This means the attacking opponent has to rapidly adjust their strike in mid-swing in order to compensate for the change in opponent’s posture and avoid hitting their opponent’s head.

      5. Poor grip/incorrect swings: Much like turning away and flinching, these are dangerous to both the attacker and the opponent. A poor grip and an incorrect swing puts the attacker’s joints at risk of sprain or worse. More so, incorrect/wild swings can injure your opponent. An incorrect swing can become wild because it inherently lacks control, and uncontrolled swings nearly never land on their intended targets. Instead, they fall all over the map, often landing in the worst locations- heads and faces.

      6. Stabbing: Stabbing is not for the beginner fighter. Stabbing requires a lot of control and this is something new fighters simply lack. This is not their fault, but with stabbing comes danger. All fighters have a tendency to arch their stabbing thrust in an upward arch, in the direction of an underhand toss. Even when slight, this curved direction combined with momentum can easily find itself directed toward faces and throats instead of chests and limbs. To counteract this, all stabs should be performed palm-down, thereby reducing the likelihood of an errant strike.

    3. Hits:

      1. “A Hit is A Hit” no longer applies. All fighters are encouraged to use sufficient force.   If the fighter receiving the hit felt the strike was overly light, they should notify their opponent regarding the force of the hit but still take the hit. Likewise, if the strike is too hard, the fighter receiving the strike should also notify their opponent. Over time, fighters should naturally gravitate toward a strike with reasonable force.

        1. If a fighter consistently hits too hard or too soft, both that fighter and the complainant would need to be pulled off the field to address sufficient strike force. If a strike is ever made to intentionally harm another player, that player would be banned for the remainder of the season (at a minimum).

        2. No part of this rule is to be misconstruded as prohibiting any player from choosing to take light strikes. All players may choose to accept light strikes at any time, but should be aware other fighters are not required to do the same. 

    4. Head Shots:

      1.  This is a huge problem facing our sport. Even in the adult field it is an issue. At a recent event, hosted by our Chapter President in Roanoke, one fighter was struck in the head SEVEN TIMES. The fighter was pulled off the field, but only after the seventh hit, due to poor communication during the battle sequences. From our Chapter President’s Post-Event Address:

Things that were brought to my attention. 1. Headshots! This is not okay guys. There were a lot of headshots by both veterans and newbies alike... We need to work on this so we aren’t known as the headshot realm, I like fighting everywhere and reputation is part of this game. Local area leaders should implement a system for this such as 10 push-ups a headshot or fighter sits out a round or two after multiple offenses.

It’s not just inexperienced fighters who have this problem. That event hosted fighters from all over Central and Southern Virginia, and more than a few of them were relatively new to the sport. So, in order to make our field safer for all players and more in-line with our realm’s leadership, the following rules amendment stands:

  1. Any headshot swung with sufficient force as to cause harm to another player immediately results in the player being out for the remainder of the practice.

  2. Headshots, when light, incidental, and non-harmful, result in the striking player doing 10 push-ups (or alternative exercise as directed by the Herald) immediately, then taking death for that round.

    1. The receiving player may, at their discretion, waive the push-up requirement for the striking player, unless otherwise called by the Herald

  3. If a player strikes three headshots during a practice, that player must complete their third set of 10 push-ups, then cease fighting for 30 minutes to reflect on the circumstances that caused the headshots and what they can do to improve their fighting.

  4. After the player resumes fighting, if that player strikes another headshot, regardless of force, the player is ejected from the field for the remainder of the practice.

  5. If the player is ejected from the field twice in any two-month period, the player will be allowed to only fight with a single blue sword for at least three practices, then on the fourth practice, must demonstrate sufficient control with the weapon and a good grasp of the combat basics, as determined by the Herald. If the player has not been able to demonstrate sufficient basic skills by their fourth practice, they continue to fight single blue until they do.

  6. Our game is not just an aggressive game, but rather a game of controlled aggression with maturity, honor, and integrity. Bad shots will happen, but they should also be an exception, not a regular occurrence. When you pit lots of people against each other on a crowded field, incidents will happen from time to time. However, when you have people who are both aware of their surroundings, aware of their capabilities, and fight within their limits, these things happen far less. Getting into auto wrecks happen, but it's usually because at least one party was not following the rules of the road or were attempting to outperform their capabilities. Same thing here. It's up to all fighters to exercise maturity, honor, integrity, and take responsibility for their performance, limitations, and act accordingly. When people find themselves unwilling to do so, they become a danger to all others playing and must be removed from the field of play.