From the Introduction:
The handbook is a guide to play. It cannot cover all possibilities. Common sense and a sense of fair play should be applied when problems crop up. Amtgard is a not-for-profit, free, non-sectarian group dedicated to the recreation of medieval, ancient, and fantasy genres. The Thrust of Amtgard is both recreational and educational. Amtgard weapons are safe, foam-padded replicas of the real thing. Anyone may join. To become a member you must:
1. Obtain a copy of the handbook and read it.
2. Develop a persona and a persona history.
3. Make a costume for yourself that is fitting to your persona.
4. Fill out a membership form and waiver and turn them in to the Prime Minister. Minors must have their waivers signed by their parents or legal guardians. Minors under the age of 14 may not participate in combat without special permission from the Monarch.
Note that for ease of play, the 5th and 6th edition rules are virtually interchangeable.