Summer is a great time to start planning for recruitment season (for those college town realms). I thought it might be good to write up a few tips on things to teach new fighters that might go overlooked. The basic rules rundown is always a must, but it is pretty easy to miss a few points here and there.
1) Emphasize safety. All too often we just give people the rules and expect them to understand that there is danger in being reckless, even with padded weapons. Headshots, flat hits, and wild swings are to be avoided.
2) Avoid the "new guy duck and sweep". Ducking towards an opponents leg is a pretty common move of new fighters. This causes a few things. They tend to raise their shield into their opponent's face, which isn't illegal, but is discouraged. Opponents will also regularly counter with a cross shot, which has a high chance of hitting them in the head. Teach new guys to bend their knees, rather than bending at the waist. It is better form and safer.
3) Where to read the full rules. Sometimes people slip through the crack and aren't taught the full rules, or the generally accepted interpretations of odd situations. This can cause them to be seen as cheating, even if they were fighting to their best understanding of a rule. Make sure to explain to new fighters that the rules get more complicated and direct them to belegarth.com or geddon.org for the full rules. Having a copy of the Book of War on hand might also prove useful.
4) Who they can talk to. New fighters are less inclined to seek out veterans unless they know them a little. Make sure to point out good people to ask for help, whether it be a herald, knight, squire, or some other easily recognizable person.
5) Be on the same page. You really want to make sure those that are doing the recruiting have the same understanding of the rules and a rough plan for what rules to focus on. Use the time provided by summer to get everyone up to speed and trained, if need be.
I'm sure there are many more, but hopefully those few tips will help you recruit some new fighters and keep them in the swing of things. I'll do a post closer to next school year with the talking points I use for recruiting.