Ensuring the young warriors are equipped with protective gear is the primary concern of any parent and marshal on the fighting field.
Swords (Boffers): The correct size for the plastic conduit inside for swords is 1/2" or 3/4" schedual 40 PVC pipe. The standard sword, from ended to end when fully padded, shall not exceed 30" long (For ages 6 and under use 1/2" PVC and the swords are no longer than 24"). For great swords use ¾" schedule 40 PVC plastic pipe. Length of great swords be no longer than 4 feet. Check with your local marshal for other weapons standards. All PVC must be capped and wraped with strapping tape prior to adding padding.Wrap at least 1/2" of foam around the PVC, then secure with duct tape. Do not spiral-wind the tape, but lay it from hilt to tip (spiral wrapping will compress the foam too much). Be sure to color tape at least one edge to delineate the cutting edge. There is No Thrusting allowed in Youth Combat, but in case of an accidental thrust, the tip of the boffer the foam must exceed the plastic pipe by 1 1/2 inches, then covered in duct tape. Ensure that there are no hard spots on the boffer swords, you should be able to press the foam and not feel the PVC underneath. Check your boffer often to ensure it is not broken.
Armor- all participants must have: helmet, street or ice hockey helmets, neck protection, must wrap around the neck and cover the cervical and thoracic vertebrate; elbow and knee protection, simple sports pads are acceptable; groin protection, a athletic cup is ideal for boys but troy protection can be used for both boys and girls; a gambison covering the torso with the minimal thickness of a sweatshirt; and closed toed shoes are also required.
Here are some suggestions for safety
Elbow and Knee protection- standard children's street hockey padding, shown here augmented with formed metal plates. We like using CX Sports Bubble Tech from Walmart. They are $10 per set and come in blue, green or red.
Neck protection- gorget-type collar has to wrap all the way around the neck and cover the cervical and thoracic vertebrae. Foam padding with leather glued to the outside is good, use Velcro to latch. Click here for photos of neck armor making.
Groin protection- baseball cup is preferred for boys, but a padded skirt or Troy protection is sufficient for both boys and girls. Click here for photos of groin armor.
Gambison (padded tunic)- body protection with minimal thickness of a sweat shirt. A sweat shirt can even be worn under garb.
Helmet- head protection, minimally a street hockey or similar protection with eye slits arranged so that a boffer sword cannot penetrate. Eye slits no more than 1" (no steel helmets, aluminum may be used if it is lightweight enough); Adult SCA helms unacceptable due to their size and weight. There have been some excellent examples of handmade helmets including leather and metal. Many Museum Replica's are also availible on eBay and the web in 18 gauge and can be used. Many sporting goods stores will carry street or ice hockey masks for about $40. For Loaner armor we use Franklin SX Pro GRM1000 (or 2000) model 7782F. The least expensive source I have found is from Hockey911 . They were $42 each plus tax and shipping. They come in a variety of non-NFL Team designs. For Kingdom of Caid helms we use the Skull design. Baronies of the Angels and Starkhafn use the Inferno design. Barony of Altavia uses Serpent. Tricolor design is less expensive. Match the designs to your group or personal colors. All Sport Helms should be painted or covered to hide their modern orgins.
Designs: Skull, Inferno, Serpent (or Viper or Snake), Lightning, Predator, Tricolor.
This page updated June 16, 2006
Click here to return to main Youth Boffer Tournament page