"Today, August 18th, 2014 the Mandrake style tips are no longer allowed to be used on fiberglass spears in AEthelmearc. The Mandrake style tips are legal/allowed on other weapons and rattan spears. Icefalcon, Pellinor style tips, and well made handmade 2" tips are allowed on fiberglass spears. "
I have given this a lot of thought. I felt we had a viable standard that would prevent pentration, before Pennsic. The incident at the Champions battle proved that belief was wrong. Add the other documented incidents.. and how hard it was trying to find the middle ground between the tip folding while having sufficient give. I do NOT feel the mandrake style tips are safe to be used on our field, on fiberglass spears. I'm not comfortable with these tips pentrating helms and possibly causing serious or potentially permanent damage to someone's eyes.
At Pennsic the SEM held a meeting with the Kingdom Earl marshals. One of the main topics of conversation was concerns over the Mandrake tip on Fiberglass spears. We had one go inside a helm at War Practice 2 years ago and it bruised the fighters cheek.I gauged the helm after the incident and had him put it back on so I could see where it was, etc.. and we re-inspected all of the spears.
There were three other documented incidents of the tips going inside helms. In those cases it was always on wet days.. the helms were legal and the spears were inspected after the incident and passed inspection.There were a lot more personal accounts of these helm pentrations at Estrella, but apparently they weren't documented or sent to the SEM.
I felt fairly confident that the standard we used last pennsic, any folding over of the tip under hand pressure (not the extreme stuff some marshals were doing), just if it starts to fold, it needs more foam and/or tape, so it can't fold.I realized over the course of the week at inspection point, that the line between folding over and sufficient give was a fairly fine line.. and pretty subjective, even with guidance. Then on Sunday, during the champions battle a spear that had been inspected that morning, went inside a fighters helm hard enough to give him a black eye. We know the fighters involved, it was wet and the fighter delivering the blow slipped, so it was harder than intended. However, the helm was legal (5/8" gaps), it was checked for padding, etc.. the spear was re-inspected after the incident, by three different marshals and passed, including Sir Oskgar, the MIC.
During our discussion, most of the kingdom earl marshals expressed concern with these tips, on fiberglass spears. A couple were considering banning them. Asoph, the Society Earl Marshal listened to our concerns and responded with more facts on the incidents that were reported to him. He said the design of the tip is that it will fold under pressure, they were NOT designed to be used on Spears. In the years that they have been used on other weapons (ones they were designed for), there has never been a documented issue with them. He has no incidents of them causing problems on rattan spears, either. When you add rain or any lubrication, the odds of helm pentration increase (from reported issues). Other concerns, documented issues with new spear tips or new foam failing after one battle were discussed, as well.
We discussed 2" spear tips. Everyone seemed to like the well made home made spear tips, especially since it's easier to inspect them and see how the foam is doing. The Pellinor tip was discussed, with lots of positive feedback. Sir Gregorie, Middle KEM stressed it was important to use strapping tape, that was pulled tight. He said as long as it's built right (easily checked during inspection) they've had no issues. Ice Falcon tips got positive comments. There was feedback on making certain they weren't taped down too tight.
Please spread the word. I'm going to see if I can create a poll, to track every armoured combat marshals acknowledgement of this change.
Tessa, Kingdom Earl Marshal