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> LARP Safety, a vague idea
MattWest
post Jul 6 2009, 10:53 AM
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I wonder whether it might be worthwhile creating some sort of LARP safety network across the country as a whole. What I mean is if the CMT were to get in touch with other LARP groups across the country and put in place some kind of documented monitoring system for LARP safety / knowledge-sharing system for LARP safety. We all know Laby is teh awesome but when it comes to safety collective knowledge is invaluable.

The reason I mention it is because I'm wondering if such a thing could be useful when dealing with insurers as well as for safety reasons. Of course it could become a double-edged sword if a liability issue ever arose - it could be relied on to say "we're safe because we did XYZ" or to say "you're not safe because you didn't do XYZ" etc. It all depends very much on the facts of each situation I suppose. And it could be a double-edged sword dealing with insurers too, make no mistake about it. But safety standards are important.

I can also appreciate that if overdone a LARP safety network could be enormously time-consuming and the CMT have their hands more than full juggling full-time Laby responsibilities with actual gainful employment.

However I think for the future of the hobby as a long-term option it might be a good idea. I wonder what others think?

Things that could be shared could be info on for example:-

1. official policy on phys-repping of unarmed blows
2. *style* of phys-repping unarmed blows [precisely how are the blows struck and how are they aimed]
3. official policy on weapon phys reps, practical issues surrounding weapon checks etc.
4. policy on and style of weapon blows
5. policy on bows (e.g. not used in confined dimly lit spaces; maximum draw)
6. policy on crossbows
7. policy on throwing weapons (no core)
8. policy on shields and shield use
9. no grappling etc.
10. practical measures regarding situations where characters cannot see
11. safety calls
12. fire exits, uneven surfaces, etc.
13. logging frequency and nature of safety incidents
14. other

I have to stress that this COULD be a double-edged sword. However ethically I think that it is something that the hobby OUGHT to be doing. It would show how seriously we all take player safety. Everyone would be devastated if anyone suffered a serious injury in LARP. I've never seen such though playing a LARP in Durham I did once give someone a bloody nose by accident because their unarmed combat system is to strike fake blows which don't connect... and he moved forward just as I did my (fairly light) fake blow which connected straight with his nose (in the dark). I have never seen anything like that happen in Laby from unarmed combat possibly because our unarmed combat style is less theatrical and more pragmatic. We just get on with the business of light taps rather than curling hands into fake fists etc. I prefer our system and it seems safer to me. Also it's rather silly to have brawls where blows don't connect at all. [Laby can be a teensy bit risky due to cave surfaces and darkness but that's a more specific Laby thing and we all have to be a bit careful.]

Well, it's just a thought; I don't know what's already in place if anything but I've never heard of any such network existing in any formal sense and I think it ought to, to include all boffer-LARP systems throughout the UK (in due course) so that everyone can be given some kind of reassurance as to safety standards. I think the Laby standards are very good and Laby can lead from the front but this is about safety for all LARPers and the secure future of our hobby.

It may be that now is not yet the time for such an initiative but if so perhaps it could be reconsidered in future.

Cheers

Matt


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OOC:- Matt West

IC:- A. bin Razil of the Carrion Scavengers Hetyan (Ishmaic Onyx Wizard and Knight of the Land, suitable for a Max 750); Yosh (monastically trained knife-thrower, suitable for a Max 2k, semi-retired); Hassan bin Kassim of the Perished Sands Hetyan (mage, suitable for a Max 1500); Haram of the Blackened Bones Hetyan (please smile for the crazy evil witch!) (suitable for a Max 750); Flaig (Pilgrim of the Forge, around the 500 mark, played on Borderwatch guild specials); "Murk" ('the Mercenary formerly known as "Sunflower"') (as featured in Primal Times No. 24) ("suitable" for a Max 1K, allegedly); Sahra bin Flambo of the Placid Waters Hetyan (290 points of fire and spear, plus any monster points; "Sahra" means "Desert"); various others


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JulianW
post Jul 6 2009, 11:17 AM
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Matt, why do you need everything written down and codified for you? (and why does it take you so many words to put your point across?)

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Stuart
post Jul 6 2009, 11:26 AM
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I don’t think there’s a need to go beyond the stringent efforts that the CMT already have in place to ensure player safety. I think the frankly incredible safety record of Labyrinthe is a clear indictment of the success of their policies, especially when compared to certain non-combat sports such as hockey or netball.

Stuart
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ChrisAndrews
post Jul 6 2009, 11:28 AM
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If it's really needed feel free to use these rules, which should be followed by all LARPers. Obviously as I don't know each individual clubs specific needs I've left them a bit vague.

1) Do your best to be safe
2) Do what the event organiser/referee says
3) Obey any club specific safety rules/instructions
4) Apply Common Sense to situations

I suppose they could probably be summed up with 4)...

Chris
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DanM
post Jul 6 2009, 11:53 AM
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QUOTE(ChrisAndrews @ Jul 6 2009, 12:28 PM) *
4) Apply Common Sense to situations


This


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MattWest
post Jul 6 2009, 12:19 PM
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I'm not for one moment criticising the safety record of Labyrinthe or the efforts that are in place.

Basically I think Laby has a lot of safety experience which it could share with other clubs, and possibly vice versa. Maybe this isn't the time for it yet, but if LARP grows as a hobby (and it's already fairly substantial), the hobby as a whole ought to have shared know-how on safety. A bit like the governing body of a sport or martial art, although obviously not quite. And I'm not saying that LARP is a sport or martial art, it's certainly not, but it has some of the same safety concerns.

Some very small LARP groups e.g. student groups may not have the same experience of safety rules as Labyrinthe; others may have even more. But I think safety of LARPers everywhere is important to the future not just of the hobby as a whole but also of our club in particular because it may affect insurers' attitudes to LARP what they see happening elsewhere as well as here. [Edit] And public perceptions if the media picks up on an incident. Unlikely but not inconceivable if something really bad ever happens. [/Edit] Well who knows.

The reason I think a formal system could be good is basically - to make sure there is a resource there for any LARP group to turn to, to help dealing with insurers and for legal purposes. [Edit] And because it's the professional way of doing things. [/Edit[ But I'm not saying that such a system would necessarily always be beneficial. It could have disadvantages too. Anyway it's just a thought.


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OOC:- Matt West

IC:- A. bin Razil of the Carrion Scavengers Hetyan (Ishmaic Onyx Wizard and Knight of the Land, suitable for a Max 750); Yosh (monastically trained knife-thrower, suitable for a Max 2k, semi-retired); Hassan bin Kassim of the Perished Sands Hetyan (mage, suitable for a Max 1500); Haram of the Blackened Bones Hetyan (please smile for the crazy evil witch!) (suitable for a Max 750); Flaig (Pilgrim of the Forge, around the 500 mark, played on Borderwatch guild specials); "Murk" ('the Mercenary formerly known as "Sunflower"') (as featured in Primal Times No. 24) ("suitable" for a Max 1K, allegedly); Sahra bin Flambo of the Placid Waters Hetyan (290 points of fire and spear, plus any monster points; "Sahra" means "Desert"); various others


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duncanmatthias
post Jul 6 2009, 12:24 PM
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Chris,

you forgot rule 7, dont take the.......



Duncan
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MattWest
post Jul 6 2009, 12:30 PM
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By the way, it doesn't have to result in universal formal rules for all LARP clubs - I don't think that's attainable in the medium term or even desirable - but rather in information sharing. E.g. a safety conference attended by LARP organisers where people can share information in a semi-public forum and take from it what they need to.

Also for all the talk of rule 4 Common Sense, Labyrinthe has (and needs) a whole RAFT of safety rules many of which are common to all or probably all boffer LARP clubs. Things we have learnt over the years include not allowing cords in sponge nunchaku for instance. Comparative experiences could be useful as a form of knowledge-sharing and good PR.


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OOC:- Matt West

IC:- A. bin Razil of the Carrion Scavengers Hetyan (Ishmaic Onyx Wizard and Knight of the Land, suitable for a Max 750); Yosh (monastically trained knife-thrower, suitable for a Max 2k, semi-retired); Hassan bin Kassim of the Perished Sands Hetyan (mage, suitable for a Max 1500); Haram of the Blackened Bones Hetyan (please smile for the crazy evil witch!) (suitable for a Max 750); Flaig (Pilgrim of the Forge, around the 500 mark, played on Borderwatch guild specials); "Murk" ('the Mercenary formerly known as "Sunflower"') (as featured in Primal Times No. 24) ("suitable" for a Max 1K, allegedly); Sahra bin Flambo of the Placid Waters Hetyan (290 points of fire and spear, plus any monster points; "Sahra" means "Desert"); various others


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ChrisAndrews
post Jul 6 2009, 12:37 PM
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Who would organise such a conference/schmeme given that the CMT run 2 companies, have a whole host of interesting projects for the caves and still hold down real world jobs? How would it make its money back given that a lot of LRP clubs aren't run for profit and thus don't have much cash to pay for this sort of stuff? Would the benefit outweigh the effort required? Is it actually needed ?

Chris
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LucyH
post Jul 6 2009, 12:51 PM
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I think there are two things you are failing to take into account:

1) The innately anarchic and anti-authoritarian nature of most LARPers, who would run screaming from anything that involves rules and regulations (unless there were ways to subvert them for greater character power smile.gif)

2) The innate tribalism that means that members of club "A" and would sooner slit the throats of players of system "B" with a real dagger than suggest ways to prevent accidents with latex ones.

Lucy


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JackFlashblade
post Jul 6 2009, 01:11 PM
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Safety is rubbish!

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MattWest
post Jul 6 2009, 01:22 PM
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QUOTE(ChrisAndrews @ Jul 6 2009, 01:37 PM) *
Who would organise such a conference/schmeme given that the CMT run 2 companies, have a whole host of interesting projects for the caves and still hold down real world jobs? How would it make its money back given that a lot of LRP clubs aren't run for profit and thus don't have much cash to pay for this sort of stuff? Would the benefit outweigh the effort required? Is it actually needed ?

Chris


Well, the way I've put it may sound a little overambitious at the moment, but I think at some point in time (perhaps well into the future) something ought to be done, even if it's just an experienced clubmember acting as a point of contact via email etc. with other clubs to discuss safety and someone somewhere setting up a website. I'm not saying it has to be done overnight, but at some point in the future, notwithstanding the true things that Lucy mentions, it possibly ought to be tackled in some way or other. Vaguely. It's not going to be a money-maker but it could have low overheads. If a conference, attendees pay their own way; could be quite small too (how many boffer LARP groups in the country? 20? I know of 11 that I can think of including Laby, 3 of which I think are national).


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OOC:- Matt West

IC:- A. bin Razil of the Carrion Scavengers Hetyan (Ishmaic Onyx Wizard and Knight of the Land, suitable for a Max 750); Yosh (monastically trained knife-thrower, suitable for a Max 2k, semi-retired); Hassan bin Kassim of the Perished Sands Hetyan (mage, suitable for a Max 1500); Haram of the Blackened Bones Hetyan (please smile for the crazy evil witch!) (suitable for a Max 750); Flaig (Pilgrim of the Forge, around the 500 mark, played on Borderwatch guild specials); "Murk" ('the Mercenary formerly known as "Sunflower"') (as featured in Primal Times No. 24) ("suitable" for a Max 1K, allegedly); Sahra bin Flambo of the Placid Waters Hetyan (290 points of fire and spear, plus any monster points; "Sahra" means "Desert"); various others


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MattJ
post Jul 6 2009, 02:59 PM
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I can see what you're driving at but I don't see that it would achieve anything. There seems to be 2 potential goals:

1) To share "safety" issues and policies among different LARP groups;

I don't know what this would achieve. Most policies IMHO tend to do the job. Plus as a long time player I almost never read the safety policy for a game (as I clearly know better tongue.gif ) they're dry documents whoch boil down to "use your common sense". Further, different systems have very different boundaries and rules re: grappling etc therefore each "policy" needs to be bespoke.

2) To help LARP organisations deal with insurers

Again I don't think this is really an issue. I haven't spoken to any LARP group having problems getting insurance so why help them deal with insurers? Also if you set a bunch of rules that people don't follow then you end up creating a bit of a straw man anyway when it comes to liability issues (if that makes any sense).

Matt J
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Bruno
post Jul 6 2009, 03:37 PM
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Jan might remember details about the old Adventurer's Guild insurance scheme and why it eventually died.


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MattWest
post Jul 6 2009, 03:53 PM
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It's just about communication and know-how really. Information about the old Adventurers' Guild scheme for instance [of which I know nothing] could be useful for the future if preserved. Anyway I can see any such initiative will have limitations.


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OOC:- Matt West

IC:- A. bin Razil of the Carrion Scavengers Hetyan (Ishmaic Onyx Wizard and Knight of the Land, suitable for a Max 750); Yosh (monastically trained knife-thrower, suitable for a Max 2k, semi-retired); Hassan bin Kassim of the Perished Sands Hetyan (mage, suitable for a Max 1500); Haram of the Blackened Bones Hetyan (please smile for the crazy evil witch!) (suitable for a Max 750); Flaig (Pilgrim of the Forge, around the 500 mark, played on Borderwatch guild specials); "Murk" ('the Mercenary formerly known as "Sunflower"') (as featured in Primal Times No. 24) ("suitable" for a Max 1K, allegedly); Sahra bin Flambo of the Placid Waters Hetyan (290 points of fire and spear, plus any monster points; "Sahra" means "Desert"); various others


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TheOG
post Jul 6 2009, 03:55 PM
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Re-enactment groups pay a premium insurance rate, to cope with all sorts of potential injury from steel weaponry. Last major one I heard about was a sword thrust into an ocular cavity. But they are old fashioned. Wergeld rather than litigation! Most of them wear scars rather than head to the insurers. On the scale of Tewkesbury or Hastings, they all get insured.

As to the base health and safety of our hobby: Every employer is responsible for the safety of their staff and public patrons and any old johnny who walks onto the premises. Each employee is responsible for themselves and those around them in the workplace. The extension of those base principles should be enough for everyone involved to keep things safe and report things which are not. I have no doubt that if we had a gamut of material proscribing what we can do and don't do, it would get ignored, the same as every other H&S booklet. Health and safety is the paperwork version of common sense, just in case you employ or deal with idiots, so best to keep it up to date, or act accordingly when an issue comes to light.

That being said, it might be a wise idea to have a thread on safe play and practice on the forum, for those who would like to keep track regulalry and those who might want to check on something the once per decade.

Mark Vials
Accredited Health and Safety Representative, 2004-2009 BECTU


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Jasper
post Jul 6 2009, 06:56 PM
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I imagine MattJ already replied to this so he probably already said what I'm about to but in case he didn't;

Not everyone has the same insurance policy.

Not every LRP club has the same parameters regarding safe conduct.

Its LRP dammit not LARP.

So no, it wouldn't work.

J


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Jan
post Jul 6 2009, 07:51 PM
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There was an organisation called Paladin back in the mid 1990's that tried to do this, it was an grouping of several LRP clubs, Labyrinthe included. we went to about a dozen meetings, and in the end we pulled out because frankly a lot of the little clubs just didnt have a clue.

Oh and whichever sap signs to the standards is going to get their ass sued off when there is a breach and someone gets hurt.

the one thing which Paladin could agree on is that you cannot use the words 'safe' or 'safely' in LRP, you can only say 'Usable'.


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Jan
post Jul 6 2009, 07:54 PM
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QUOTE(Bruno @ Jul 6 2009, 04:37 PM) *
Jan might remember details about the old Adventurer's Guild insurance scheme and why it eventually died.



It died? Stuart and I used it to cover some games we ran only a year or so ago. It's not run by Liz anymore, and it isn't cheap, but I wouldn't run a game without some kind of insurance. Oh reminds me of the axe which sat in a dusty corner of Lloyds of London, and the dagger in the Insurance brokers by orpington station, both legacies of trying to explain to people what it is we actually do smile.gif


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MattWest
post Jul 6 2009, 08:04 PM
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I expect that was fun!!!


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OOC:- Matt West

IC:- A. bin Razil of the Carrion Scavengers Hetyan (Ishmaic Onyx Wizard and Knight of the Land, suitable for a Max 750); Yosh (monastically trained knife-thrower, suitable for a Max 2k, semi-retired); Hassan bin Kassim of the Perished Sands Hetyan (mage, suitable for a Max 1500); Haram of the Blackened Bones Hetyan (please smile for the crazy evil witch!) (suitable for a Max 750); Flaig (Pilgrim of the Forge, around the 500 mark, played on Borderwatch guild specials); "Murk" ('the Mercenary formerly known as "Sunflower"') (as featured in Primal Times No. 24) ("suitable" for a Max 1K, allegedly); Sahra bin Flambo of the Placid Waters Hetyan (290 points of fire and spear, plus any monster points; "Sahra" means "Desert"); various others


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