What are Battle Games & Medieval Combat Sports?

Over the last 45 years Medieval Combat Sports and Battle Games have evolved into full-blown international organizations and events, with varieties all over the world.  Medieval Battle Games can be separated into three main categories:

  • Historical Reenactment
  • Combat Sports
  • Live Action Role Play

(Many games are a combo of two categories.)

with 4 different equipment types:*

  • Live Steel
  • Bamboo or Rattan
  • Fiberglass and Foam (full-contact)
  • PVC and Foam (light-touch)

*Equipment rules vary by game.  Please see each individual game’s rules for more information.

The Shield-Shop sells equipment for foam-based combat sports and for Live Action Role Play (LARP) games. Click here for a link to a document comparing of some of the American versions of these games, and how they relate to one-another in rules and game play.

Foam-fighting games have players of all ages and interests, from all over the nerd-to-jock spectrum, including many military men and women. Medieval Combat Sports and Battle Games are affordable, good exercise, fun for kids and adults, and easy to start anywhere.

Shield-Shop Brawl
A brawl goes down at Battle for the Ring 2015 in California.

Since the Shield-Shop focuses on safety, play-ability, and durability, we build all of  our equipment to the American full-contact combat game standards. Below are some links to those games, as well as to one of the largest medieval battle games.

Full contact : Belegarth, Dagorhir     Largest: Amtgard

Similar to basketball, combat games have many variations that support more or less players. Popular examples are:

  • 1 v 1
  • Alpha & Omega (2 v 2 tourney with the pairs being a vet and a newbie)
  • 4-Man Tourney
  • 10-Man Tourney
  • Valhalla (never-ending-resurrection battles with teams of 2-4)
  • Forest Battles (resurrection battles with a goal, in the woods. Capture the flag is a good example)
  • Skirmishes (10-30 players)
  • Field Battles (30-3,000+ players)
  • … and any themed version you can possibly imagine

Below is an example of some in-game footage:

Like traditional sports, Medieval Battle Games are made up of weekly team practices and monthly or yearly events. Unlike traditional sports, most Battle Games have no required membership or attendance, many are free or have one-time fees, and most practices are in public parks and are open to new players (many practices have loaner gear just for them in fact!).

To find out more, and to find a weekly practice in your area, please scroll to the links provided above; all three games have maps available that show where and when they hold practices and events.

Have fun!

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