Be it known to all

3 May 2017 by gebhard, 1 Comment »

Over the years, the number of people competing in Crown Tournament has gotten a lot smaller compared to days of yore. There could be a number of explanations for this: the disappearance of an Invitational Crown list, the start of the Tournament of Chivalry, and the general addition of a number of other ways an Unbelt can gain word fame without fighting in Crown.

These explanations are not necessarily the causes of a decline in participation, but instead may stem from one common branch.



How it began

Before we get to that, let’s a take a look at the flyer for the very first tournament.

All knights are summoned to defend in single combat the claims of their ladies to the title of “fairest”, signified by the crown which will be awarded to him who the Judges deem fights most bravely.

Consider these words for a moment.

However big the SCA has gotten and however long someone has been in it, what makes the SCA is collections of small magical moments. You can see this from the very beginning.

What has changed?

From the first tournament until now, the SCA was fundamentally about making a magical moment for someone else in a display of pageantry and by making a public statement of who they fight for and why.

The goal then is to prove that intent by fighting bravely and honorably, not by winning.

How many times have you heard conversations like the following?

“Are you fighting in crown”
“Have you thought about what you’ll do if you win?”
– Or –

“Are you fighting in crown”
“No. I can’t.  I don’t have the time right now if I won.”

The conversation I’d really like to hear a little more is:
“Are you fighting in crown?”
“Yes. I made something really nice for my lady to wear.  We made new banners, and it’s going to be an amazing day. It’s something we’ve really been looking forward to.”

I think the core of the problem, if there is one, is that too much emphasis has been placed on winning, and too little on making a special day for someone else.

In how many other venues can someone be both figuratively and literally fought for? It’s a rare circumstance that our Crown Tournament offers, one that maybe is being lost when someone is focused only on winning Crown. There should be more reasons to enter than merely to win.

Your not in this alone

Only one person is going to win the tournament.  But, if you put in the effort to look good, spend time to make a day special for someone you’re with, and fight bravely and cleanly before all, then everyone can walk away having won the greatest prize, a piece of the dream.


*Edited for clarity

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One Comment

  1. William Rayne says:

    Hi Sir,

    Silent fan of your blog.

    I agree with what I gather as the intent of this particular entry, but respectfully disagree on some key points.

    I strongly feel that one should ONLY enter Crown with the intent to win. The tournament is not to be taken lightly. The goal being to put your consort on the throne. I believe it is an incredible slight to enter, and fight these noble opponents with any less than your absolute best.

    That said, if you enter with the intent to win, you run the risk of winning. And, reigning is an incredible commitment. You have the real-world monetary commitment, and the larger societal commitment of making magic for the Kingdom. It’s a big job, and one that shouldn’t be taken on a whim.

    I am all for Pageantry and honoring one’s consort. I think one should definitely make banners, create art, infuse pageantry into their presentation if they are planning to fight in Crown.

    I also think that this can be done at other tournaments as well. Many folks are starting to host more and more tournaments geared toward the pageantry and magic of which you speak.

    Instead of encouraging everyone to fight in Crown because of the magic of the Tournament, why not propose that more tournaments be infused with said magic?

    I believe fighting in Crown is definitely something everyone who strives on the path should do and think about. I believe it’s a grand showcase for your consort. I also believe it’s not to be entered without serious contemplation on if you and your consort are ready and able to serve the kingdom as king and queen.

    We’re not a backyard society of 25 people anymore. The game has grown. And, with that, the responsibility of those on the throne.

    The pool may not be as big, numerically, but the skill and competition in Crown tourney these days is certainly DEEPER than it’s ever been.

    Just my own thoughts on the subject, unbidden as they are.

    With all respect and sincerity,
    William Rayne

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