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Overall rules for the warriors

For the duration of Muinaslaager the organising committee will appoint a War Chief, who will have command of all the warriors participating in Muinaslaager. Warriors will be all those participants who carry and are, by the assessment of the War Chief, able to use weapons during Muinaslaager. If the War Chief and/or the organisers decide that a warrior is unable and/or unworthy to take part of the war games of Muinaslaager and/or bear arms, then this warrior is allowed to stay in Muinaslaager only as a participant.

The organisers strongly recommend that all warriors go through the necessary medical procedures (for example tetanus vaccination) prior to the event, as the on-site medical resources are understandably limited and everyone is ultimately responsible for their own health. Furthermore, all re-enactment groups and individuals arriving to Muinaslaager are expected to bring minimal medical supplies and personnel able to use them (at least one person per group). All participants are expected to offer their aid to every injured person, whether this would be a member of the audience, another participant or a fellow warrior.

Rules of behaviour

Armed warriors are bound to follow these rules in the area or close proximity of Muinaslaager:

• Warriors are expected to follow the directives of the War Chief and other organisers, to behave in the spirit of camaraderie, decency and courtesy, to take care of their weapons and equipment and to take part in the war games and communal work for the event;

• Warriors must come to Muinaslaager with their own weapons and equipment, which must comply with the authenticity and safety rules set by the organisers. Warriors are personally responsible for their weapons and armour. The abandoning of weapons and other equipment is condemnable. According to custom of Muinaslaager it is strictly forbidden to stick your weapons to the ground and in growing trees;

• For warriors the consumption of alcohol is allowed only in reasonable amounts and never during the wargames of Muinaslaager. Warriors who have consumed alcohol are not allowed to carry weapons in Muinaslaager and are forbidden to participate in war games;

• Warriors participating in war games and especially in the armed combat must uphold the principles of safe conduct and common courtesy. All weapons and equipment must pass the authenticity and safety check. If a participant gets injured, the combat must cease immediately and the injured person must be tended for. Warriors, who are removed from the activity by the organisers, must immediately leave the site and cannot participate in the following war games;

• Prior to every combat/war game the organisers will explain the rules and details of the activity. By the beginning of the activity all the participants must have understood and comprehended the rules and directives set by the organisers;

• The personal and organisational ranks, privileges and customs of the warriors are respected and allowed only if these will not interfere with the overall rules of Muinaslaager and do not contradict the directives of organisers and the War Chief. The group leaders and chieftains are also required to take part of the communal work;

• If the rules and content of the combat/war game stipulate a winner, then other participants of the same activity have the right to protest the decision in front of the organisers during one hour time after the activity has concluded. The organisers will hear the complaints and will announce the winner and hand over the rewards after one hour since the end of the activity. The decision of the organisers is final and cannot be contested;

Requirements for weapons and armour

Kiruvere Muinaslaager will set its historical period between the 9th and 12th century AD (roughly the years 850-1150) with the geographical location centred on Estonia. All the weapons and equipment used and on display in Muinaslaager must comply with the set period in shape, colour and workmanship, must look and feel authentic and fit the historical period. The quality of all weapons, items and pieces of armour will be evaluated as well (weapon, item or piece of armour with authentic look, but poor quality cannot be carried or used in Muinaslaager). The use of unauthentic armour is allowed only in hidden form with the permission of the organisers and on the condition that the use of this armour does not contradict the rules of Muinaslaager.

Therefore all warriors and other participants of combat and war games must previously pass the authenticity check of weapons and equipment, which will be carried out by the organisers/appointed persons. As well as authenticity rules, all weapons and armour displayed or used in Muinaslaager must comply with the following criteria:

• Armour requirements in Kiruvere Muinaslaager:

1. Helmet – Helmet must protect and cover the head of the warrior and it is recommendable that the helmet also partially protects the face. It is recommended to use conical “Norman helms” with a nasal or their local analogues. The helmet must be carried with a mandatory neck protection such as an riveted aventail or coif, with the additional clothing underneath. Chainmail aventail or coif can be replaced with a thicker cloth armour on the condition that this complies with the set authenticity and safety rules;

2. Body armour – The types of body armour allowed in Muinaslaager are riveted chainmail hauberks with additional padding worn underneath (thinner gambeson, thicker woollen shirt) and clothe- or leather covered thicker gambesons or shirts as independent armour. All other types of armour requires a special permission from the organisers. The armour must protect the warrior’s body at least from elbows and knees up and have to be sufficient by the opinion of the organisers for armed combat;

3. Armguards – If warriors armour does not protect the entire arm it is mandatory to wear hidden armguards that protect the arm from wrist to elbow. All visible armguards are not allowed;

4. Gloves – Gloves must protect both hands of the warrior during the armed combat. There is no historical data about armoured gloves of that period. Therefore the gloves used in Muinaslaager must look and feel historical in shape, colour and workmanship. The organisers ask that the gloves be taken under careful observation, as these items tend to look unhistorical;

5. Shield – The shield must be made of planks and the rim of the shield must be covered with leather. It is recommended to make the shield from splint planks and cover it with rawhide. It is allowed to use sawed planks, but the shield must meet the set historical period in shape, colour and workmanship. NB! Every warrior must bring with him enough shields for every event. The organizers recommend bringing at least 2 shields for every warrior;

6. Visible leg guards are not allowed in Muinaslaager. The only visible leg protection can be authentic leg wrappings. Since the armed combat may include strikes and stabs to the knee and below it, the use of unauthentic leg protection is strongly recommended;

• Requirements for the weapons in Kiruvere Muinaslaager:

1. Weapons must comply with the overall era of Muinaslaager in shape, colour and workmanship. Weapons must also look and feel authentic and according to the set historical period. Allowed weapon types for the armed combat are saxes, swords, axes, javelins (the use of javelins requires a special permission from the organisers) and spears. All allowed weapons must be historically used types and resemble as much as possible their originals from Estonia and its neighbouring areas during the set historical period (9th till 12th century). All other types of weapons are to be used only with the permission of the organisers. All weapons, armour and other equipment used in combat/war games have to pass the mandatory authenticity check;

2. Special rules must be followed concerning the use of javelins and bows. If the organisers have not specifically allowed the use of such weapons in some activity, then the use of these weapon types is strictly forbidden. All the arrows used in combat must be made safe by adding an appropriate softening arrowhead to the tip and must have fletching. It is forbidden to use arrows in combat with a sharp arrowhead or with no arrowhead at all. All participants who wish to use their bows in activities, must pass an additional test in front of the organisers, who will make sure that the person is able to use his/her weapon;

3. All the weapons used in armed combat must be blunted and safe by the opinion of the organisers. The weapons must have maintained their original and intended shape as much as the compliance with the safety rules allows. The use of sharp or non-blunted weapons in combat is strictly forbidden, but the organisers encourage the wear and display such weapons for the sake of historical accuracy of Muinaslaager. The combat with such weapons however is forbidden even if all parties involved express their wish to do so. The blunted as well as the non-blunted weapons are to be kept out of the reach of audience. Members of the audience can have access to the weapons only under the supervision of warriors. Strictly forbidden is to hand a weapon to persons who are under the influence or behaving violently. Warriors whose use and behaviour with weapons is deemed unworthy by the organisers, will lose the right to carry and use their weapons for the duration of Muinaslaager, their weapons will be confiscated and handed back after the event;

4. The weapons, armour and other equipment used and on display in Muinaslaager must be clean, well maintained and by the opinion of the organisers safe for the users, other participants and members of the audience. Rust and jagged edges are forbidden concerning safety. Weapons broken or dangerously damaged during the use cannot be continued to use in combat. Organisers suggest that all warriors will previously clean and fix their weapons or bring the necessary tools to Muinaslaager. The public use of modern tools and techniques in Muinaslaager is forbidden (hidden use is allowed), but there is plenty of sand and rocks on the beaches of Muinaslaager;

5. All warriors and other participants of the war games are expected to behave correctly and respectively towards themselves, their equipment, other participants and members of the audience. Improperly behaving warriors will at first lose their right to bear arms and participate in war games, if their behaviour is repeatedly considered rude and unfit, the persons in question must leave Muinaslaager and their future participation will be questioned;


Rules of engagement

Mandatory rules for all the combat activities and other war games in Muinaslaager are as follows:

1. All participants of the activity at hand must strictly follow the rules and directives of the activity. Since the activities taking place in Muinaslaager will not promote fierce competition, rude and aggressive behaviour will be seen as unfit and the guilty participants will be disqualified. In the case of especially rude behaviour or breaking of the rules of engagement, the guilty participants can lose the right to bear arms in Muinaslaager, lose the right to participate in activities or they can even lose the right to be in Kiruvere Muinaslaager. In every activity there will be an organiser/appointed person present to announce the rules of the activity and to see that these rules are followed. The decisions of the organiser/appointed person are final and cannot be contested;

2. The rules of armed combat are set primarily for the safety of the participants and for the show for the audience. Weapon strikes and stabs to the knee and below it are forbidden. Weapon strikes and stabs to the face, groin and unprotected places are forbidden. All weapon strikes and stabs coming from the below up are forbidden. All stabs with swords and saxes are forbidden. Spear must be used holding the spearhead direction downwards. Strikes with the axe must be slowed. If warriors are not sure with the aim of their weapons, they cannot control their weapons sufficiently or cannot slow down their strikes, then organisers demand that this sort of fighting be ceased. The fighting in Muinaslaager is intended to be friendly and camaraderie and the aim is not to injure your opponents;

3. If the rules and ideology of a certain activity sets a winner, then other participants of the same activity have the right to contest the winner in front of the organisers within one hours time after the activity has ended. The organisers will hear the arguments and will announce the winner after one hour from the end of the activity. The decision of the organisers is final and cannot be contested;

4. If warriors wish to have an additional activity (competition, duel, war game etc.), then they have the right to perform this activity in Muinaslaager on the condition that this activity is coordinated with the organisers, does not disturb other participants or members of the audience and is not contradicting the rules and ideology of Muinaslaager;

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