What – Thrown weapons in the SCA traditionally consists of three primary weapons; the knife, axe, and spear. Recently, at the Society level, plumbata (think Roman lawn darts) and the sling with soft ammunition were added. In the context of the East Kingdom, the sling is considered experimental, the plumbata is accepted. Non-traditional weapons are assessed on a case by case basis pending the attending marshal’s approval.
Weapons are typically thrown under a marshal’s supervision at wooden targets from a short distance (defined as 10’-20’, and a long distance 20’ plus. (Note: spears are the exception and have a slightly longer defined minimum range and are sometimes thrown at soft targets). Participation can range from the casual thrower to interkingdom competition. It’s totally up to the participant.
Where – Official thrown weapons activities typically take place outdoors at an officially published local practices or at traditional garbed events where space permits. Always check your event listings to see if the activity is included. Because safety is a top priority when playing with real weapons, the thrown weapons range will be typically set up with barriers at a location which prevents stray traffic from wandering through. At garbed events, look for it on the edges of the site. Better yet, ask a friend to show you where.
When – Due to the nature of the equipment, Thrown weapons is typically an outdoor activity. You can expect to see it during the months of May to October in most areas where the activity is occurring. Once in awhile, you’ll find a diehard at either end of season. For local practices, consult your group calendar or ask to find your group’s thrown weapon marshal.
How to Start – Our Current Thrown Weapons Marshal is Tomas Thrown; please email him with any questions about thrown weapons in Malagentia.
Malagentia annually holds two events that feature thrown weapons- the Great Northeastern War in July and Harvest Moon Shoot in September.
The thrown weapons community is always eager to share their love of the activity with any and all who are interested. In the East Kingdom, this means anyone age 5 and up. When you first start, there will generally be loaner equipment to use so you don’t need to worry about buying equipment.
Closed toed shoes are recommended but not necessarily required. Details on footware will be posted prior to a practice or an event but better safe than sorry. Additionally, there will be a list of common sense rules and etiquette to read. Aside from that, it’s a few lessons from a capable instructor and a lifetime of application and fun. No really, it’s that simple to start.
The East Kingdom has an excellent website which expounds on these simple ideas. Once you’re hooked there is also a Facebook Group called the East Kingdom Thrown Weapons Community Discussion Group – Official. If you really want to take it to the next level, there is a Society group as well called the SCA Thrown Weapons Thrower.
Don’t let the equipment deter your exploration. Many of the best throwers went from loaner gear to starting with a camp hatchet from a local hardware store or used tool store and expanded from there. If you really want to acquire more equipment, it’s best to consult members of the community for a recommended list of vendors.