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An Unfortunate Trend
[07/25/2002] [The Isolated Knight]

There's an unfortunate trend out here in the East to allow children to take part in our little organization. Yes, I know what the rulebook says. "Minors under the age of 14 May not participate in combat without special permission from the monarch." But they're getting out there as young as 8. Personally, I don't want to be on the field with a person who is barely able to read, much less comprehend the rules. I know there are adults like that, but at least the parents of an adult won't get in my face when I refuse to pull my shots. So I submit the question to you, fellow travelers, how young is just too damn young to be out there on the field.

I've spent the better part of this year away from going to regular meetings because I can't stand having children on the field. They get under foot and they have a tendency to ignore adults when they try to correct them on how the game is played. Their parents are never around, because they dump them off at the park then go do other things. I, for one, refuse to be an unpaid baby-sitter for someone's little snot buckets.

But you might say "ooh, your just a nasty old man that doesn't like kids." That's partly true, I am a nasty old man and personally, I don't like unruly children. There's nothing wrong with parents who are also involved and take responsibility for their children and correct them when they are wrong. But when they're 9 or 10 years old, they have no place on the field as combatants. There is a HUGE safety issue involved. I'm a fairly big guy, cross ways. I tend to fight people who are my size, and I don't pull any punches.

When I'm facing someone under the age of 14, I have a tendency to want to pull my shots so I don't hurt them. That's not fair to me and it sure as hell won't allow those kids to learn to take their shots, or worse, complain when someone hits them full blast. (No, I don't crank on anyone, that's a deplorable practice and I won't do it.)

There are other things those kids can do; color comes to mind right off the bat. They can retrieve spent arrows, spell ball, and throwing daggers sand pass them around to the bow users. They can help the Nirvana reeve keep track of people there. They can do hundreds of small things while learning to play the game.

I guess, in closing, what scales my fish worse than anything is the nonchalant attitude some folks have. "Oh, isn't that cute, he's a 6th level barbarian. We hope he'll be knighted soon for something he made in art class that has nothing to do with the game." You parents out there love your kids and I'm glad you want to try to do well by them and have them come out and join us. I personally look forward to the day your rugrats can face me on the field as an equal. But please, keep them safe, not only from me but from people who WON'T be caring enough to pull their shots when they see them. If there are other children their age, organize a kids only battle game and the adults can run it. But keep them out of the way of the heavy games where lumbering armored fools like me might accidentally hurt them, especially this Clan season, where there will be a lot of folks in one place and not may of them giving a rat's ass about much of anything.

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