First, Always listen to anything a marshal tells you as a marshal, that is, if a marshal tells you as a teammate to guard the flag, feel free to ignore him - but if he tells you to get off the field or take a hit - do it. Do not argue with a marshal's call - even if you are a marshal. Marshals will never get into an argument about a call during combat, but will be happy to discuss a situation after combat is over. Marshals make mistakes, but it is important not to let that bog down the game. All marshals are equal in a combat situation.
LARP combat is not about HITTING anyone, just TOUCHING them with a weapon. An extremely light touch works just as well as a hard hit, and enough hard hits will get you thrown out. Always keep the weapon within 90 degrees of straight ahead, that is, always keep the weapon where you can see it - don't stick it back behind you. Do not spin around swinging your weapon - if you need to spin, hold your weapon vertically, and then swing the weapon once you have finished turning.
Never hit anyone in the head, groin, or neck. Never hit women in the breasts. All these are illegal target areas. If it accidentally happens, don't feel too bad - that's why we pad the weapons so much - just back off and allow the person to recover before continuing combat. Be very careful of these areas as you can seriously injure someone, even with a padded weapon, by hitting them in the face or neck. While groin and breast shots have less potential for injury, they can be very painful and can also cause injury. Just keep your weapon under control and remember it is just a game. It's not worth anyone getting hurt.
If you get hit in an invalid location, you are not required to take any injury. If you get hit in a valid location during the same attack as an invalid location is hit (like if a weapon bounces off your head and hits your arm) you do take the valid hit. Generally if you get hit in this manner, your attacker should tell you not to take this hit, but by default you should.
If you get hit anywhere on the arm or hand - it is an arm hit. If your hand is hit while it is on a weapon it does not count (call "Hand"), otherwise it is still an arm hit. Any hit that touches the wrist or above counts regardless of whether the hand was on a weapon.
If you get hit anywhere below the waist (except the groin of course), it is a hit on the leg on the side that was hit. If you get hit on both sides - for instance, across the butt - it is a hit on both legs.
Otherwise if you get hit anywhere on the torso below the neck and above the waist, front or back, or on the shoulder - it is a body hit.
Never tell anyone that they have been hit. Only they know. Many times you may feel you hit someone, but you did not. You may ask if they were hit if you feel they may not have noticed, but you may not insist. Everyone is responsible for tracking their own injuries. If you feel someone is cheating, do NOT confront them about it. Go to a marshal and report it. If you feel a marshal is cheating, go to another marshal and report that as well. The marshal will then keep a closer eye on the suspect individual.
Any hit that only catches your clothing and does not actually hit you does not count. To prevent people from thinking you a cheater it is a good idea to call "cloth" when this occurs.
If you are hit by someone accidentally (like someone on your team) it does count. This is known as Friendly Fire. If you ever accidentally hit yourself that does not count. You can only cause yourself harm if you want to.
Any time you feel that you hit someone too hard, or hit them when you shouldn't have, or otherwise hit them in an invalid manner you may tell them not to "take" the hit. Otherwise you should always take hits whenever you are hit unless a marshal tells you not to.
If a weapon hits you in more than one location simultaneously, it counts as a hit in ALL locations that it touched. If a weapon slides along you, it is only one hit in each area it touches. If the weapon bounces on you a few times it is still only one hit in each area it touches. If an opponent actually manages to hit you, withdraw the weapon slightly and hit you again, each touch counts as a separate hit. If these separate hits occur too quickly (multiple hits within a second, or machine gunning) only take the first hit.
If a weapon hits you in a manner that doesn't count for that weapon (for instance if a spear's shaft hits you - as a spear is a thrust-only weapon) you still take the hit as if it did count. It is the weapon user's responsibility to tell you not to take that hit.
If you get hit in a limb that is already taken - take the hit as if the limb was not there. Usually this makes a hit on a wounded arm a body hit and a hit on a missing leg a hit on the remaining leg. Sometimes it can mean that the hit does not count. Use your best judgment and alway err on the side of taking more wounds.
If you take an arm hit and have no armor in that location (see Armor Rules) - you lose the arm. It must be held behind the back and cannot be used for anything. Do not drop your weapon - hold it behind your back. You may switch your weapon off to another hand before moving you arm behind your back, but do it quickly - people can attack you during this time.
If you take a leg hit and have no armor in that location (see Armor Rules) - you lose that leg. Pick it up and do not put any weight on it. You can always use the leg from the knee up - so even with no legs you can walk on your knees. If you are going to fall - please catch yourself. Just don't catch yourself in any direction. In other words - don't use the injured leg to move.
If you take a body hit and have no armor in that location (see Armor Rules) - you are dead. Hold your weapon horizontally across your shoulders behind your head and squat down so people know you are dead (called the "Death Position"). If you are in the way of combat, move just out of the way, but do not move any more than is needed for your safety. For the most part, people should be dead in the location where they were killed.
If you take a body hit and have no weapons at hand to provide the normal dead sign with, you may instead interlink your fingers behind your head and kneel as normal.
A Few More Rules:
Never use a weapon of a type that you haven't used before without asking a marshal first. Never use a weapon that a certified LARP Group Weaponsmith has not inspected that same day. Never fight in an unsafe area (stairs, ledges, by sharp objects, by fragile objects, etc...).
Charging: Do not ever charge. Charging is when you either bump into someone with your body or otherwise move them by force, or force someone to move to avoid being hit by your body or shield. If you slip, that is your fault, not the field's. If the ground is wet or otherwise slippery, take it slow and keep yourself under control.
Force/Break: Do not ever force an opponent's weapon with your weapon. If ever you find yourself pushing on another player's weapon while they are pushing back - that is bad - one of you should realize this and call "Break!". At this point, both parties and those very nearby should take a step back and try again. If you ever feel crowded by someone during combat, you may also call "Break!" to the same effect.