Events: Armor Requirements
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A. Armor Construction
a. Helms shall be constructed of steel of no less than 16 gauge, or of equivalent material. Be aware that steel of less than .0625 inch (1/16 inch or 1.6 mm) is too thin, even if it is sold as 16 gauge. Alternative materials such as stainless steel, brass, bronze, or like materials are permissible as long as the material is equivalent to 16-gauge steel. (Note also that the mass of the helm is an important part of the protection. No titanium, fiberglass, or other ultra-light materials may be used.) If a spun-metal top is to be used in the construction of the helm, it shall be a minimum of 14-gauge steel. The process of spinning the top thins the metal, thereby requiring a heavier gauge.
b. All joints or seams shall be constructed in one or a combination of the following ways:
· Welded on the inside and outside.
· Welded with a single bead that extends through both surfaces.
· Lap joints welded or brazed at the edges of both pieces.
· Helms will be riveted with iron or steel rivets no more than 2-1/2 inches (63.5 mm) apart, or with equivalent riveting techniques. Screws and or pop type rivets, along with other lightweight rivets, are not to be used.
· Welds must be sound and rivets secure.
c. Face guards shall prevent a 1-inch (25.4-mm) diameter dowel from entering into any of the face guard openings.
d. The face guard shall extend at least 1 inch (25 mm) below the bottom of the chin and jaw line when the head is held erect.
e. Bars used in the face guard shall be steel of not less than 3/16 inch (4.8 mm) in diameter, or equivalent. If the span between crossbars is less than 2 inches, 1/8-inch diameter bars may be used.
f. All visors shall be attached and secured in such a way that there is minimal chance that they will become detached or come open in normal combat use.
g. There shall be NO major internal projections; minor projections of necessary structural components shall be padded. All metal shall be free of sharp edges. Face guard bars or mesh should not attach to the interior of the helm, unless of structurally superior design and workmanship.
h. All parts of the helm that might come into contact with the wearer's head shall be padded with a minimum of ½ inch (13 mm) of resilient or closed-cell foam, or shall be suspended in such a way as to prevent injurious contact with the wearer. Similarly, parts of the helm, which might come in contact with the wearer's neck or body, should be padded.
i. All helms shall be equipped with a chinstrap or other means of preventing the helm from being dislodged during combat. An equivalent might be, for example, a strap from helm to breastplate or a chin cup suspension system. A “snug fit” is NOT an equivalent. The chinstrap shall be at a minimum ½ inch in width and shall not be placed in the helm in a manner that could strangle the wearer.
j. If the helmet requires a "chin-cup" style retention system then the use of a plastic martial arts or football type mouthpiece is highly recommended .
2. Eye Wear:
a. The lens of all eyewear shall be shatterproof industrial safety glass or plastic. Ordinary glass lenses are prohibited. The wearing of contact lenses or “sports glasses” is strongly recommended.
3. Neck Armor:
a. The neck (larynx and cervical vertebrae) must be covered by either the helm, gorget of rigid material, mail or heavy leather camail or aventail, or by a collar of heavy leather lined with foam or other equivalent padding. The neck (larynx and cervical vertebrae) must stay covered during typical combat situations to include turning the head, lifting the chin, etc.
4. Body, Shoulder, and Groin Armor :
a. The kidney area, the short ribs, and the lower spine shall be covered with a minimum of heavy leather worn over ¼ inch (6 mm) of closed cell foam or equivalent padding.
b. For men, the groin must be covered by a minimum of a rigid athletic cup (e. g., a hockey, soccer, karate, boxing, or baseball cup), worn in a supporter or fighting garment designed to hold the cup in place, or equivalent armor.
c. For women, groin protection of closed-cell foam or heavy leather or the equivalent is required to cover the pubic bone area. The wearing of a male style athletic cup by female fighters is prohibited.
d. Chest protection in the form of a gambeson is recommended , but not required, as a minimum for all fighters. Separate breast cups are prohibited unless connected by or mounted upon an interconnecting rigid piece, i.e., heavy leather or metal breastplate.
e. A minimum of heavy padding over the shoulders and shoulder points is recommended, but not required.
5. Hand and Wrist Armor:
The outer surfaces of the hand and wrist of both arms must be covered by one or a combination of the following:
a. A metal basket hilt with enough bars or plates to prevent a blow from striking the fingers or the back of the hand. If a basket hilt is used, a vambrace or partial gauntlet shall cover the remaining portions of the hand and wrist.
b. A gauntlet made of rigid plates; either lined with padding or closed cell foam, or designed to transfer potentially injurious impact to the surfaces being grasped.
. A gauntlet of heavy leather lined with closed cell foam or heavy padding. (Note: A hockey glove is considered to be the equivalent, but looks blatantly modern, and their use is discouraged.)
d. A shield with a shield basket or equivalent. (Note: a shield alone is NOT sufficient, since it covers only the back of the hand but not the fingers or thumb.)
e. Street hockey gloves are NOT equivalent. Street hockey gloves may be used in tandem with a demi-gauntlet and basket hilt. Street hockey gloves may also be used behind a shield in tandem with a shield basket.
6. Arm Armor:
a. The elbow point and bones at either side of the elbow joint must be covered by a rigid material underlain by at least ¼ inch (6 mm) of resilient padding or closed-cell foam, by a shield, or by an approved equivalent. This armor shall be attached in such a way that the elbow remains covered during combat.
7. Leg Armor:
a. The kneecap and both sides of the knee joints must be covered by rigid material lined by at least ¼ inch (6 mm) of resilient padding or closed-cell foam or an approved equivalent. This armor shall be attached in such a way that the knee remains covered during combat.
b. A minimum of heavy padding over the thigh of the leading leg is strongly recommende d, but not required. A minimum of heavy padding over both thighs is strongly recommende d, but not required, for fighters fighting without a shield.
c. All individuals will wear sturdy footwear while engaged in combat activities.
1. Shields shall be edged with leather or other padding, or constructed in such a way as to minimize the damage to rattan weapons or other fighters.
2. No bolts, wires, or other objects may project more than 3/8 inch (9 mm) from any part of a shield without being padded. (Rounded shield bosses are not considered to be projections.)
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