Simulated combat is one of the most exciting, and dangerous, aspects of playing a boffer LARP. The first and most important rule is safety.
Boffer weapons help minimize the risk of injury to participants. However, even padded weapons can cause serious injury if used irresponsibly. All participants are required to adhere to the following boffer safety rules:
- Limit physical contact to boffer weapons and packets. Shields (even padded shields), bare hands, and non-boffer props should never be used to attack.
- Avoid vital areas and prosthetics. For this reason, overhead swings are strictly prohibited, and participants struck in the head, groin, or racial prosthetics are not required to take the hit.
- Check your swings. Even padded weapons can inflict serious injury if you swing for the fences. Aim for light to medium contact. If a participant indicates that you are swinging too hard, you are expected to ease your swings.
- Mind your footing. Fighting on a downgrade, in slippery conditions, or near tripping hazards can be dangerous. If you don't feel safe, it is acceptable to call a hold and relocate the fight to a safer area. This is an exception to the rule that participants are not allowed to move during a hold.
- Remain at arm's length. Avoid the personal space of other participants to keep elbows, hands, and heads from getting inadvertently mixed up in the fighting.
- Do not trample. You should never be running at someone so fast or so close as to risk a collision. It is acceptable to run toward another participant, but you must slow down before you get close enough to run into them.
- Be especially careful in the dark. Combat frequently occurs in poor lighting conditions. An additional measure of caution is warranted when you can't see your fellow participants clearly.
- Do not fight while smoking. Cigarettes can injure you or other players. Put them out before engaging in combat. Also be aware that smoking does not remove you from play, so other players are free to attack you even though you are prohibited from fighting back. For this reason, you are strongly advised to put on a white headband before smoking.
- Remember, accidents happen. Combat is chaotic; injuries can happen regardless of the safety of the participants. Call out unsafe boffer fighting when you see it, but forgive accidents when they inevitably occur.