Alliance Seattle Weapon Guidelines

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Alliance Chairperson
Alliance Rules
Seattle Staff
Alliance Seattle requests that you look over this post for information about weapon safety guidelines. Please note that by and large these guidelines will also be enforced in Alliance Oregon.

In addition, weapon construction guidelines for the national organization have been updated as per the National forums' ARC Clarifications and Addendum sections. You should probably look over those updates first, as there have been changes to the size and requirements for weapons that will extend to our chapters. For example, waylay tips are no longer required on all weapons (see the national clarification for details).

Weapon Construction Guidelines

The rulebook specifies exact measurement guidelines for all Alliance safe weapons. To aid in knowing whether your weapon will pass or fail, Alliance Seattle is publishing the following guidelines for weapon checking. To ensure the highest chances of having your weapons passed by a marshal, please perform these tests on your weapons before you leave home - it will make everyone's life easier.

1. Thrusting and waylay tips.
Both thrusting and waylay tips should be measured to ensure their uncompressed size is at least the minimum necessary for the weapon classification. The marshal should push into the foam from the ends to ensure no core can be felt. The marshal should push into the foam from the side of the thrusting tip and/or waylay tip to ensure no core can be felt. The marshal should ensure the tip foam compresses at least 50% of its total length.

Tips should be checked two ways: straight-pressure (tip to core) and fold-over (corner to core). If you can feel core, it fails. Compression to less than 3/4" should fail as well, since it is no longer padding anything. The width of the tip should never be more than the thrusting tip length (so, 2" minimum). Tip should decompress to original length within 1 sec.

Foam heads on "headed" weapons such as blunt weapons, axes, and polearms must be shown safe to a marshal's satisfaction. Our expectation is that they will prove at least as soft as a normal latex sword blade, if not softer.

2. Weapon size.
Overall length minimum and maximum should be checked on a new weapon. Foam thickness on striking and safety surfaces should be checked. On weapons which have previously passed and not been altered since, these can be bypassed. Headed weapons must have a noticeably different head, such that their striking surface should be obvious at a glance.

3. Striking surface and safety padding checks.
The striking surface should be grasped firmly in one hand to check for whether the core can be felt. A thumb can be used to push into the foam with firm but not damaging pressure, to see if the foam can be felt. The weapon should be struck firmly against the weapon owner's arm or leg, as well as against the marshal's arm or leg. The core should not rattle loosely in the foam. The striking surface should not have tears which penetrate further than the minimum safe thickness of the foam (i.e. if the foam is 6/8" thick, it is acceptable for tears to go ~1/8" into the foam), though any tears or rips should be pointed out and the owner should be advised to fix them soon. The foam should be secured firmly to the core both above and below the grip(s).

4. Whip/flex checks.
The weapon should be tested for flex. There are two methods for this: first, whip the weapon back and forth rapidly in the air and observe the flex of the tip. Second, hold the weapon in both hands as far apart as appropriate for the weapon and apply firm but not breaking pressure to see how far the weapon flexes.

A good guideline to look for is no more than 1" per foot in length from highest likely point of grip.

5. Alternate construction materials
Please remember that alternate materials for weapon construction need to be passed by a marshal *prior* to being used in a weapon. Alternate materials are defined as any material not explicitly allowed for weapon construction in the Alliance rulebook. We expect most weapons to be constructed from fiberglass/graphite (kitespar) cores or PVC (though the kitespar cores are generally preferred and encouraged for most weapons).

Of particular concern are the materials used for weapon cores. The following materials are *never* allowed for use as a weapon core:

Wood (bamboo may be excepted, but is discouraged)
Thin-walled bamboo (such as the kind found in craft stores for decoration- this can shatter easily)
Metal (excepting aluminum for use in Staves only)
Any non-graphite golf club (exceptions may be made for other non-metal lightweight clubs)

Alliance Seattle does allow homebuilt latex weapons, however, they must still conform to all safety requirements for Alliance weapons. Note that we do allow latex weapons with thrusting tips when they can be demonstrated to be safe for thrusting.

Latex Weapon Guidelines

Alliance Seattle approves the use of latex weapons as outlined in the Alliance ruleset (see

As always, individual weapons will be safety checked every game. This is no different for latex weapons from boffers. We urge our participants to take additional care when fighting with latex weaponry, especially if they have not used it before. Be aware that the great majority of latex weapons are not thrust-safe, and latex weapons will need to be individually cleared for thrusting where applicable.

When purchasing a latex weapon, please try to be aware of the manufacturer as per the lists below. In addition, you may want to double check the length on weapons by directly emailing the reseller - several times, we've seen two different resellers of the same weapon list it at two different lengths. There are several places that will custom make latex weapons (including Mark, an Alliance player from the SF area); you might try either his site at or look at Action Props via if you are looking for such.

We recommend the following manufacturers for latex weapons:

Iron Fortress
Forgotten Dreams
Action Props
Iron Liege (for their Hybrid weapons, which may or may not be thrust legal depending on the precise weapon dimensions)

We specifically recommend *against* the following manufacturer due to quality control issues:


In addition, we urge caution when purchasing Calmacil weapons. These weapons are beautifully made but are significantly stiffer and heavier than most other lines of latex weaponry, and will require extra caution when using them in combat.

We also note that pick-like protrusions on blunt weapons are likely to not pass safety inspections, and for that reason would advise people to avoid this type of blunt weapon.

Weapon Check Policy

On the first night of an event, you are required to have your weapons checked by a Marshal before receiving your tags. To facilitate this, Marshals will be given cards to hand out to people after checking their weapons. To receive your tags at Logistics, you must turn in one of these cards. Cards are not required at further Logistics periods within the same event.

If you have questions or comments on these policies, please open a thread in this forum. Alternatively, you may contact Alliance Seattle rules staff via email or private message.
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