In 1979 the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) introduced rapier rules, allowing fencing within the organization. Since that time, fencing has gained a significant following in the SCA, and having over one hundred competitors is not uncommon at larger event tournaments. The ultimate goal of SCA fencing as stated by the rules is to safely simulate fencing "with a real blade, extremely sharp on point and edge."
SCA fencing usually entails bouts between a pair of combatants but the rules also allow competition between groups of fencers. "Battles" with over one hundred fencers on each side are common at large gatherings.
As fencing in the SCA is intended to be first and foremost fun, safety is the primary concern. All fencing practices and tournaments in the SCA are run by fencing marshals who are warranted to watch for unsafe behavior, inspect equipment, and authorize others to fence. The authorization process includes a test of knowledge of fencing rules and bouts fought with previously authorized fencers under the marshal's supervision; the goal is to not to prove the fencer's ability to win bouts, but his or her ability to participate safely and courteously in both tournaments and casual sparring. No fencer may compete in an SCA tournament until he or she has passed authorization.