The Society Seneschal, Barone Antonio Giordano da Sicilia, O.P., sent a letter to the Kingdom Seneschals yesterday, confirming the 1999 Society Seneschal's ruling that the Order of the Chivalry is exclusive to armored combat. His wording went farther than I expected, however.
It is clear that "tournament" combat in the SCA pertains exclusively to Crown Tournaments and Coronet Tournaments prior to January 15, 2015 and tournament combat is exclusively rattan, heavy, armored combat. The January 17, 2015 amendment to the governing documents, made by the Board of Directors, is in conformity with this position, namely, the only martial combat that may decide Crown and Coronet Tournaments is rattan combat and this amendment to Corpora is consistent with all of the governing documents of the SCA.
When the Order of Chivalry was created, it was conceived as the peerage whereby the best tournament fighters (both Crown and Coronet Tournaments), i.e. rattan, heavy, armored combat, would be honored with the title of Knight or Master at Arms. Such has been the case for almost fifty years. I must conclude that removing the "rapier as an ancillary activity" language or any other additions made by the Board of Directors has no definitive impact on the clear intent of the governing documents.
So the only tournaments that count for consideration for membership in the Chivalry are Crown and Coronet tournaments. Okay, I can get behind that. In fact, I think this is a brilliant idea, and as a Pelican my mind immediately jumps to implementation solutions.
Under this interpretation, the Order of the Chivalry may only consider the combat shown in in Crown or Coronet tournaments. The Lists officer in each kingdom or principality can provide the full roster of combatants from each tournament for consideration by the Councils of Chivalry. If we add in the consideration that the candidate must be the equal of his or her potential peers in the "basic forms of tournament combat," we can eliminate anyone who lost to more Chivalry than s/he defeated in that tournament (under standard double elimination format, you must defeat two knights or masters of arms for consideration). The Lists officer should be able to provide that information as well. At that point, the only discussion should be PLQs, and this will make Chivalry Council meetings much shorter!