by Charissa de La Sirra
Starting at the age of six, young people may participate in youth combat. Youth combat is run like the adult version of combat, complete with armor, padded weapons, marshals and rules. The rules of combat change according to the age group. For example, the youngest age group has the lightest armor requirements and the lightest blow calibration - touch. The oldest group is very close to adult requirements.
As in all things, youth orientated, parents need to be closely involved. Since the equipment is special, there sometimes is loaner gear available, to try this out before procuring all of the equipment. A young person will have learn the rules and demonstrate knowledge of rules, with the ability to play safely in an "authorization" before being allowed to participate in youth combat. Of course, there is paperwork and permissions involved in this process. For more detailed information see Youth Marshal's Web Page
Rapier is also available to youth. Currently the starting age is 14, do check current rules to be sure. More information is available at Rapier Marshal's Web Page