Sporting Activities

Archery, Heavy Armoured, Rapier and Thrown Weapons

The Society for Creative Anachronism has developed several unique ways to engage in western style martial arts, from Knights in shining armour to the dashing and dazzling speed of Rapier. These communities are tight knit and enthusiastically welcoming of all newcomers interested in trying their hand. Our fighters strive to display and embody the modern middle ages ideals of Chivalry and Honour, on and off the field.

How do we display these skills? There are Tourneys, which may be for fun, for a prize, for a Championship title, and at the ultimate level for the right to wear the Crown and bestow one on the gentle who is your Inspiration. Occasionally conflict darkens our lands, and the drums of war beat; it's all in good fun, though, as we never lift our blades or bows in anger.

For those who are wary of donning armour and risking a bruise or two, we also engage in target archery and thrown weapons, and are blessed to have Kingdom-renowned representatives for both, with Hartwood's archers and throwers regularily earning top ten medallions.

Hartwood is proud of our sporting community, and eager to share these amazing experiences with any who care to learn.

A crossbow hand-crafted from maple by Maurius.


The Shire of Hartwood has an extremely strong archery community practicing several times a week during the outdoor season (April to October – weather permitting). Our standard round is called a royal round and consists of 6 arrows from 40, 30, and 20 yards as well as a timed 30 second round at 20 yards.

While archery is the SCA is designed to strive towards historically accurate gear we understand there are often financial restrictions. That is why you will see the medieval archery gear (longbows, crossbows, and horse bows) on the range along with modern longbows, the occasional gun-trigger crossbows (range safety permitting), and modern recurve bows. We do mandate the use of wooden arrows and feather fletches and don’t allow compound bows of any kind.

Archery is an excellent family activity and we encourage kids to get involved. We do have a minimum age of 5 for young archers though they may be limited in their participation due to limited range marshals. Please note that all kids must be accompanied by a parent at all times.

In the off season you will see the archers gathering to learn leatherwork, arrow making, marshal training (how to run a range), even the occasional class on bow making or crossbow making; all the aspects associated with archery.

We look forward to seeing you on the range!

Asa and Dieterich face off.


The flash of steel, whirl of capes, and intricate dance of Rapier combat is a spectacal to behold. This is a sport of speed, finesse, and wit reminiscent of the Three Musketeers. Rapier fighters study the fencing manuals left by the Masters of old, using blunted steel swords and lighter armour than their more heavily armoured brethren.

Rapier combat is a popular sport in the Society for both participants and spectators, with opportunities for both Tournament fighting and War scenarios. Tourneys may be for Championship titles, for prizes, or simply for fun -- ask a fighter about his favourite 'silly' off-hand weapon, or for a tale of the best 'bar room brawl' scenario they've fought. Rapier combat is often the most enjoyable show at an event.

It's easy to believe that the grace displayed in melee combat is choreographed; it isn't. Rather, our fighters train on a regular basis to gain these skills and follow the armouring and combat rules laid out by Society to ensure a fun and safe environment. Experienced fighters mentor and train newcomers, and can advise on the selecting of blades and armouring choices. Limited amounts of loaner gear are available; additionally, there are Youth Combat programs in development so the entire family can be included. If this is something that interests you, contact the Minister of Blades to find a local practice near you.

An axe stuck in a target.

Thrown Weapons

One of the many "sporty" things you can engage in is thrown weapons. The "science" of throwing knives, axes (tomahawks) and spears at targets that do not throw back can be both fun and theraputic.

There are no pre-requesites. Everyone older than 9* can learn to throw these weapons. Qualified instructors and loaner weapons are available at every practice. You will be in great company! The Shire of Hartwood boasts some of the best throwers in our Kingdom. Their job is to help you improve week to week, keep you safe and do everything possible to make sure you have fun.

When standing around the water cooler on Monday, not everyone can report that they threw short axes, long knives and deadly spears over the weekend.

For the competitive individuals your scores are posted in the Kingdom database and your averages can be compared with throws Kingdom wide. Who knows, there may be a ludicrous (highest division) thrower in there just waiting to burst forth.

* Youths younger than 19 MUST be accompanied by a responsible adult and sign a liability waver. It should be noted that youths younger than about 13 rarely have the strength to successfully throw these weapons.