Court is the SCA's pomp and circumstance activities. This is where the Crowns or their representatives address the populace to conduct 'court business'. This can include: giving awards, elevating peers, granting landed Baronage, recognizing new SCA groups, etc. Court is, as you can imagine, quite important for a number of people. This article is intended to help you navigate court, both as an attendee and as a participant.
Court is, as previously mentioned, an important event for both the crown and the people involved. Therefore, it is important to act with respect and decorum. Here are some 'do' and 'don't' items to help you and everyone in attendance have a memorable court for everyone involved.
- Dress for the occasion when possible. This does not require a full Elizabethian ensemble. Any nice, clean, period-iod outfit will do. Your 'Sunday Best' is great but in general just be presentable.
- Arrive on time if not early. Take your seats and await court.
- Stand (if able) when the Royals or Baronage are heralded into court.
- Bow when they process to the front of court.
- If called into court present yourself promptly and with dignity. Bow to the Crown or Coronet in presence and kneel (if able) in front of the thrones.
- If you receive an award: accept the scroll, medallion, politely. W
- If you are called to conduct some business: autocrat's report, competition, etc. Step to the side and make your announcements. When finished bow to the Crowns / Coronets and wait to be dismissed. Return to your seat
- Arrive late: setting up your chairs in the middle of court is disruptive and disrespectful.
- Carry on conversations: even whispers grow when there are many of them.
- Play on electronic devices: again, this is disruptive.
- Come to court in your sweaty fighter gear: even if you just left the field of battle, it only takes a minute to towel off and throw on a serviceable tunic.
- Don't assume that every Gentle needs an escort into court: this is somewhat traditional but the Gentle will make their desires known if they want an escort.
When court isn't in session
- The crowns, coronets, and thrones all represent the crown. A simple bow when you pass before them is considered polite.
- Offer a polite bow and use appropriate titles when you encounter Royals and Baronage during the regular event.
- Don't be nervous. While a strict social structure is a part of the SCA they are, after all, people.
- A great resource for specific examples is found here https://herald.atlantia.sca.org/education/conch5_royalty.php