You'll quickly notice that these guidelines are written with lots of room for the Safety Staff member to make a judgement call on whether a weapon is safe or not. This is intentional, to allow the Safety staff member the authority to determine a weapon's safety.
A Safety staff member is completely within their authority to disallow any weapon for criteria not in this list. If a player wishes to appeal a Safety decision, the Directors hold final decision authority.
General Foam Weapon Construction
- ONLY permitted core materials are: PVC, graphite rod, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. All other materials are forbidden.
- The core of a weapon may NOT be felt during a swing.
- All striking surfaces must be padded adequately to prevent personal injury when striking an opponent with strong force on that surface.
- If the striking surface of a weapon is shaped (flat of a sword, side of an axe blade, etc), the flat side must also have sufficient closed cell padding to remain safe during a swing.
- If the striking surface of a weapon is NOT shaped (fun-noodle shape, etc), the striking edge must be designated with contrasting-color tape or fabric.
- All non-striking surfaces must be padded adequately to prevent personal injury from incidental contact.
- Foam density must be such that it can flex with easy pressure from the Safety's hand.
- No weapon, regardless of size or construction, may flex more than 30 degrees from true during a strong-contact swing.
- Handles and grips do not require padding, so long as they are not in danger of striking a target (subject to safety approval).
- Hafted weapons must be at least 80% covered in closed cell foam. Handgrips must be far enough away from the striking surface to not pose an immediate danger of hitting the target.
- Any significant variance in foam density of the same kind renders a weapon unsafe for combat. This rule is speaking about "weak spots" or "soft spots" in an otherwise-uniform piece of foam. It also applies to gaps in the foam at connection points.
- Flail and hinged style weapons will be evaluated on a case by case basis. The flexible/rope/chain section of a flail-type weapon cannot exceed 8", not including the striking head.
- Striking head of a flail-type weapon must be made entirely of foam.
Boffer Weapon Notes
Some specific rules apply to boffer-style weapons. Because there is no uniformity of manufacture, boffer weapons will be subject to particular scrutiny in regards to safety. Brittanis suggests that home-made boffer weapon makers build their weapons carefully and with safety in mind at all times.
Brittanis highly recommends that boffer makers work hard to shape, decorate and construct their weapons to LOOK like the real thing as much as possible. Bonus Character Points are awarded to weapons with greater aesthetic appeal.
- Weapons wrapped in a spiral fashion are forbidden. Foam density and hardness will be checked carefully.
- Metallic tapes of all kinds are forbidden. This applies to materials actually MADE from metal, not gold or shiny silver COLORED tape.
- Duct, electrical, cloth, and strapping tapes are approved for use in weapon construction.
- It is HIGHLY recommended that boffer weapon makers GLUE the foam to their cores with contact cement rather than secure with tape. This method is far more secure and results in less foam slippage along the core, and preserves weapon durability for much longer.
- All surfaces of a boffer weapon must be covered in tape. No exposed core is permitted.
Latex and Urethane Foam Notes
Because of the typically-higher density foam used in these weapons, it is easy to swing too hard and potentially bruise or injure a target. Staff will not hesitate to remove a player's permission to use latex weapons if they are found to be fighting irresponsibly.
Only Staff can permit the use of these kind of weapons, and it will be noted in your Player File. Bottom Line: SWING WITH LESS FORCE THAN YOU THINK YOU SHOULD.
- Use of Latex and Polyfoam weapons in Brittanis is a PRIVILEGE. It is not a right. It can and will be revoked by the Directors for unsafe fighting.
- These weapons will almost NEVER have a Thrusting Tip (see below).
- Because of the variance in construction between companies, each weapon will be evaluated individually. Just because one of your buddies bought the exact same sword, and his sword passed Safety, DO NOT ASSUME yours will pass too. You know what happens when you assume...
Most polyfoam and latex weapons (in the US, anyway...) are made with the core FAR too close to the tip for a thrusting tip to be safe. Please be aware of this before trying to get a latex/urethane weapon to pass.
- Thrusting tips will be judged on a case by case basis. If approved, thrusting legal weapons will get a second, differently-colored tag from Safety.
- Boffer thrusting tips must secure the core tip with a piece of penny-sized hard metal or hard plastic to prevent core puncture.
- Amount of tape on striking surface of a thrusting tip must be kept to a minimum to allow air movement during compression. Cloth tape is HIGHLY recommended.
- Boffer thrusting tips must consist of a majority of open-cell foam.
- All other thrusting tips must have a minimum of 2 inches of foam between the end of the core and the end of the weapon striking surface.