Youth Combat

All youths ages 6–17 are invited to join us on the battlefield for the Pennsic Youth Combat Program.

The basis for the Pennsic 49 Youth Combat rules is the Society Youth Combat Handbook issued in July 2017.

Youth Combat Age Divisions

  • Division 1: ages 6–9
  • Division 2: ages 10–13
  • Division 3: ages 14–17

Youths who have been moved up a division, or held back because of size, strength, or maturity, and youths from kingdoms with different age divisions, may participate in the division that is most appropriate based on their home participation division.

Procedural Notes

Loaner Gear

The Youth Combat program at Pennsic supplies a small amount of loaner gear. Gear borrowed will need to be signed out at the MOL table and returned by the end of the day.


Each Kingdom may elect to hold authorization sessions for Youth Combat during the week. Check at the Youth Combat administration tent for more information. Youth fighters are not required to be authorized to fight at Pennsic.


Youth combatants are expected to provide service at Pennsic. At a minimum, this will take the form of field sweeps for trash and water bottles in our own lists as well as the surrounding area.


We encourage parents/notarized guardians and marshals in training to volunteer at the Youth Combat list.
Registration and Supervision A parent/legal guardian/notarized guardian must accompany their child/youth to the field and complete the registration process. To accommodate the growing number of youths attending Pennsic with a single parent/notarized guardian, or with parents/notarized guardians who are very active at Pennsic, the following parental presence rules will be in effect at the Youth Combat lists.
  1. Division 1 participants must have a parent/guardian/notarized guardian or other adult (age 18 or older as designated by their parent/legal guardian/notarized guardian) remain with them during Youth Combat sessions.
    1. The parent/legal guardian/notarized guardian must identify and introduce the responsible adult to the youth marshals in charge so that the youth marshals can confirm the parent-approved responsible adult designation and make sure that rapid contact information (cell phone number and/or home camp location) is documented on the youth combat sign-in forms.
    2. The designated responsible adult is required to have the rapid contact information with him/her during the Youth Combat sessions.
    3. Parents/notarized guardians must repeat the above procedure if they decide to appoint additional or different responsible adults during the course of Pennsic.
  2. Division 2:
    1. In accordance with the Pennsic Youth policies, participants under the age of 10 must be within voice range or in sight of a responsible adult or teenager while participating in Youth Combat. This encompasses the area immediately surrounding the Youth List Fields.
    2. Youth fighters ages 10-12 must be accompanied by a responsible adult when attending evening combat sessions, since those sessions typically run from 7-9 pm and children ages 10-12 must be accompanied after 8 pm per Pennsic Site Rules.
  3. All Youth Combatants and their responsible parent/adult/teenager will sign-in with the marshals for each session. Even if a Youth Combatant has attended the morning session, a separate sign-in is necessary for the afternoon session.
The marshals in charge of Youth Combat at Pennsic, as listed on the Pennsic staff list must present proof of a current SCA required background check(s) before they can assume their roles at Pennsic. Additionally, the Background Check Policy applies to marshals in charge of the individual list fields for Divisions 1, 2, 3 and the youth combat administration tent.
Pennsic Youth Combat Rules of the List
  • No youth combat may occur without the presence of a warranted youth marshal.
  • The word “HOLD” is to be used by marshals, fighters, parents or spectators to stop combat activities when they see a problem. When witnessing a behavior, weapon, or armor condition that is unacceptable or dangerous, “HOLD” is to be used.
  • Any combatant who refuses to obey the commands of the marshals shall be removed from the field.
  • Parents, guardians, mentors and other observers are expected to act with courtesy and behave in a responsible manner when in the list area.
  • Shields must be appropriate to the size, strength and control of the fighter. A fighter may be asked to demonstrate control with a shield if it appears to be too heavy or large for the fighter to handle properly.
  • Shields may not be used as offensive weapons. NO deliberate or offensive contact between shield and the opponent’s body is allowed.
  • At no time shall there be tournament combat between different divisions.
  • “Death From Behind” conventions will not be used.
  • Engagement shall be the same as for Adult Heavy Combat at Pennsic.
Armor and Weapons


Prior to participating in youth combat activities, and at the beginning of each session, all equipment must be inspected and shall meet all safety and armor requirements of the appropriate division.

Armor Standards

Per the SCA YC Rules with these additional notes; HELMET: A helmet with a lengthy open slot across the face, such as a catcher’s mask eye slot which does not have a nasal guard, will not be permitted in Div 2 or 3.

Weapon Specifications

Standards are per the SCA Youth Combat rules, with these additional notes: DIVISION 1: Cores of 1/2 inch nominal Siloflex are permitted for use in smaller hands. Golf tube cores are also permitted, but grandfathered. Throwing hammers made without a solid core, which otherwise meet the safety criteria for weapon builds, may be used in melee if the marshal permits thrown weapons. Javelins made with a 3/4 ” Siloflex or PEX core and standard thrusting tips may also be used in melees where the marshal permits thrown weapons.

Shield Standards

Standards are per the SCA Youth Combat rules. There is a minimum shield edge thickness of 1/2 inch.