SCA Board of Directors seeks comments regarding changes to waterbearing in the SCA

Patrick Anderson, President of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., addresses the issue of official sanctioning of Waterbearers in the SCA. Comments from the populace are requested.

Patrick Anderson writes:

Earlier this year, I was asked by several people in the waterbearing community to examine the various laws of states and countries related to waterbearing as an organized and official activity of the SCA, Inc. Various states have informed officers of the SCA, Inc. that while our activity does not directly violate the food codes or health regulations of their states, if there were to be an outbreak of illness, the SCA, Inc. could be held liable for that outbreak. Several health care professionals and attorneys have reviewed this topic and agree with this assessment.

I was asked to examine the best way to both ensure a safe fighting environment for our fighters, and to comply with the various state and country laws. The relevant laws vary from state by state, county by county and country by country. I determined that the best way to do this would be to make “waterbearing” unofficial and unsanctioned by the SCA, Inc. and proposed this change to the Board. The only other option would be to regulate waterbearing, and to regulate it such that it follows the various food safety codes of the various states and countries the SCA participates in. This would be unwieldy, impractical and expensive for the SCA to do. Further, it is likely that waterbearers would not be able to continue to serve our fighters using any of the current methods of waterbearing.

The proposal put before the membership for comment would stop waterbearing by any SCA branch or other official group. The SCA would not have an office of waterbearer at any level. Marshals would still be permitted to allow waterbearers on the field, but any waterbearing must not be done by any officially sanctioned or regulated groups of the SCA. Households are welcome to provide water to fighters, as are unofficial and unrecognized “guilds”. This does not bar groups from putting out the "serve yourself water coolers" at events. (In my Kingdom they are usually the big orange cylinders.)

The Board and Corporate officers understand that many people have spent time waterbearing within the official framework, and now hope that you continue to volunteer unofficially. This proposal has been brought to enable fighters to continue to have a waterbearing service provided to them, without the extremely strict governance that official waterbearing will require.

The actual text of the proposed rule is below. This rule has not yet been approved by the Board, and is being sent out for comment here. The Directors request comments from the membership regarding this proposed revision no later than October 1st, 2008. Please send them to:

Corpora Revision
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas CA, 95036

Thank you for commenting.

Patrick Anderson
President, Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.

Proposed language to be added to Corpora:

The activity of providing beverages to combatants and spectators at SCA Combat activities is not regulated, warranted, organized, controlled, or sanctioned by the SCA, Inc. or any affiliate or subsidiary entity. All warrants, authorizations, or other formal recognition of this activity are by publication of this change revoked. This document does not either address or restrict such volunteer activity or the methods by which it occurs.


Patrick Anderson
Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036

You may also email

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.