Jonathan Mayshar wrote:Kevin, do you really want the HEMA Alliance to pick a Newton level for fabric, or perhaps several and apply them to different weapons?
Jonathan, I really don't care one way or the other. I honestly think that 350N standard fencing jacket protection is a minimum for all steel weapons, but I assume that most of the HEMAA membership would be against such a rule. However, what I'd like to point out is that you need to give organizers tools to judge what is and isn't acceptable. If you're going to make up terms (or use terms borrowed from other, similar, activities) then it makes sense to define them.
I also noticed that sabers don't require any puncture resistant material. That might need to be clarified. Sabers are thrusting weapons too.
Jonathan Mayshar wrote:Michael-Forest, I think you are conflating two different areas in this debate. Talking about the *type* of occipetal protection would be a continuum issue, but the policy deals differently with the binary of yes/no occipetal. If you want to be covered for a back of the head injury, wear a back of the head protector. If you think that activity X should not require back of the head protection, you shouldn't have a problem agreeing to be outside the policy if a back of the head injury occurs doing activity X.
The reasonableness-on-continuum thing would come into play if you wore a piece of looseleaf paper on the back of your head, or if, as in Kevin's example, you wore 3 T-shirts for 3-layer puncture resistance.
Except that the most recent revision doesn't require occipital protection...
I think that what Michael-Forest is talking about is the continuum of activities, not the continuum of protection. Aside from tournament play, which is well defined here, there are no best practices for any other activity. For example, let's say we're doing static drilling with thrusting rapiers. In this case, I might argue that back of the head protection is unnecessary, as all strikes should arrive to the front of the head. Let's say a fencer flinches, and turns his head and is hit on the back of the head. Would, I as the organizer be covered? Probably.
Now let's consider freeplay, Michael-Forest's example. Many HEMA clubs do freeplay without back of the head protection (especially with nylons). If there were an injury would this be covered? It's not clear, since some HEMA groups do it with, and some without. The policy doesn't really help organizers determine what is reasonable. Further, instructors become personally liable if they make a incorrect decision that is, in effect, a judgement call. Without some more structured guidelines it's hard for people to make informed choices. (otherwise it's easy to play it safe by requiring tournament level gear for any activity). Even a few examples levels of protection would go a long way to helping flesh out the guidelines.