Tournament Rules

Introduction

This document contains the rules and regulations for the HEMA tournament with longsword and one‑handed blades, called Neyman Croatia 2018 (short form: NeCro18) that is scheduled for August 25th 2018 in Zagreb, Croatia, in the following text referred to as the Tournament.

The Tournament is organized and hosted by Ars Gladiatoria and Academia artis dimicatoriae.

The organizer has the right to update this document before the start of the Tournament.

Disclaimer

The rules have been made with the safety of all tournament contestants in mind. Any behavior that is deemed unsafe or can cause damage to either the contestants or their gear can be penalized by the referee or the organizer. This is particularly true in the case of grappling, hitting the opponent with the pommel or cross guard, or in the case of kicks and hits. All contestants must use reasonable force. The use of excessive force will be grounds for penalty or disqualification.

Terminology

This chapter describes the terminology used in the Tournament.

Some of the terms are used before they are defined, referencing the terms in the following paragraphs.

Venue

The venue is split into multiple sections, described below.

Main desk

The main desk is the location where all the contestants of the Tournament need to sign in to participate in the Tournament, where the floor manager (defined later) is seated, and where the referees (defined later) bring Match reports (defined later) to.

The sign in process (defined later) includes gear checkup, signing a waiver, and paying the entrance fee.

Fighting area

The fighting area is the defined space in which the rules of the match (defined later) apply.

During the time appointed for a match, the fighting area is managed by a referee (defined later).

The main section of the fighting area is a circular ring with a diameter of nine (9) meters.

Two lines one point five (1.5) meters from the edge of the ring indicate the starting points for fighters (defined later). The fighters are not allowed to cross this line until the exchange (defined later) has started.

The audience must be at least four (4) meters removed from the ring.

The fighting area includes the table for the other staff (defined later) for the match, that is at least one (1) meter outside of the ring.

The size of the area outside of the ring that is considered a part of the fighting area is left to the discretion of the fighting area’s referee. This area can overlap between different fighting areas, if the referees of the respective fighting areas agree to it.

Contest terminology

Exchange

An exchange is a fight for points between two contestants of the Tournament that occurs in the ring and follows the rules for earning points (explained later).

The exchange begins when the contestants begin exchanging blows and techniques and ends when they separate.

Bout

A bout is a short period of intense fighting, in which one or more exchanges may take place.

A bout starts and ends when the referee (defined later) gives the appropriate signal (explained later).

At the end of each bout, the referee may award a point, a warning, or a disqualification, in accordance with the rules (explained later).

Match

A match is a series of bouts in which two contestants of the Tournament compete to score points.

A match usually ends when a single contestant has reached the appropriate amount of points (explained later) or when the time allocated to a match runs out (explained later).

The match continues past the time allocated to a match if both contestants have the same amount of points, until one contestants scores the final point.

The match is governed by a referee (explained later).

Match report

Each match’s results need to be reported to the main desk. This report is done by using the Match report.

The Match report is prepared by the floor manager (defined later) before each match and filled by the marker (defined later) and the referee (defined later).

The Match report includes:

  • the name of the referee;
  • the name of the judge (defined later);
  • the names of the fighters (defined later);
  • referee’s signature.

The referee brings the Match report to the main desk after each match.

Roles

There are many roles in the Tournament, described below.

All members of a role must have a nameplate with their role and full name clearly stated on them.

Staff roles

Many of the roles described below are members of the staff and are sometimes referred to collectively as such.

The staff roles are included in the organization of the Tournament.

Organizing committee

The organizing committee is the body which is responsible for organizing the Tournament and writing its rules and regulations.

The members of the organizing committee for the Tournament are:

  • Marko Štuhec, president of Ars Gladiatoria, Croatia
  • Sven Horvatić, CEO of Ars Gladiatoria, Croatia
  • Alen Lovrič, member of Academia artis dimicatoriae, Slovenia
  • Vatroslav Mileusnić, member of Ars Gladiatoria, Croatia
  • Xavier George Claude Fabiani, member of Canne Klub Kamnik, Slovenia

Other people were included in the organization, as well, but are not mentioned here by name.

Official delegate

The official delegate runs the whole Tournament and operates from the main desk.

The official delegate’s responsibilities are:

  • overseeing the contestant’s sign in process, including the gear checkup;
  • managing the Tournament’s schedule;
  • providing rewards for the best Tournament contestants;
  • answering contestant’s questions outside of the fighting areas;
  • disqualifying contestants from the Tournament.

The Tournament’s official delegate is Sven Horvatić.

Floor manager

The floor manager is positioned at the main desk and oversees the protocol of the Tournament.

The floor manager’s responsibilities are:

  • keeping the match schedule up to date;
  • seeing to the layout of the venue;
  • seeing that all necessary elements are fully functional prior to the competition;
  • preparing Match reports for each scheduled match;
  • receiving filled Match reports and entering the results into the appropriate application;
  • announcing the contestants for the subsequent matches.

The floor manager can have assistants to help with the responsibilities.

The Tournament’s floor manager is Monika Cerjak Mileusnić.

Referee

The match is adjudicated by two adjudicators. The senior adjudicator is called a referee and is the main adjudicator for a given fighting area. There can be only one referee in a match.

The referee is the person in charge of a given fighting area from the moment the referee steps into the area in preparation for a match, until the moment the match is complete, and the referee has signed the Match report.

The referee carries a wooden pole that is used to signal the beginning and the end of each bout within a match.

The referee’s responsibilities during a match in the given fighting area are:

  • managing the staff and the fighters (defined later);
  • making sure the match runs smoothly;
  • keeping everyone involved in the match safe;
  • starting and ending the match;
  • starting and ending the bout;
  • calling in the judge for a consultation, if required;
  • awarding points to the fighters in the match;
  • giving warnings to the fighters in the match;
  • giving penalties to the fighters in the match;
  • raising the winner’s hand at the end of the match;
  • reviewing and signing the Match report;
  • bringing the Match report to the main desk.
Judge

The match is adjudicated by two adjudicators. The junior adjudicator is called a judge and acts as the helping hand and another set of eyes of the referee for a given fighting area. There can be only one judge in a match.

The judge observes the match and assists the referee in the referee’s duties.

The judges carry two flags, one for each of the fighters (defined later) in the match and use these flags to clearly state their opinion on the exchange or bout that has just happened. The judges must follow the flag signaling system written in this document.

The judge’s responsibilities during a match in the given fighting area are:

  • following the referee’s lead;
  • checking fighter’s gear before the match starts;
  • assisting the referee in making decisions regarding awarding points to the fighters in the match;
  • assisting the referee in making decisions regarding giving warnings to the fighters in the match;
  • assisting the referee in making decisions regarding giving penalties to the fighters in the match;
  • letting the referee know if a fighter exits the ring;
  • letting the referee know if a dangerous situation has arisen;
  • keeping a vigilant eye on the match, from its beginning to its end;
  • being ready to assist the referee from the moment they enter the fighting area;
  • making adjudicating decisions, without being influenced by the fighters, the referee, the public, or other staff.

The judge stays silent unless:

  • the referee of the fighting area discusses the adjudication of the bout with the judge;
  • the fighter’s gear did not pass the check;
  • a dangerous situation arises, and the judges deems it necessary to stop the fight due to safety concerns;
  • the referee of the fighting area asks the judge a question.
Chrono

The chrono is the person in charge of tracking the different time constraints of a match.

The chrono’s responsibilities during a match in the given fighting area are:

  • dealing with the timer;
  • giving a clear, loud warning to the referee, the judge, and the fighters (defined later) that there is a single minute of fighting time remaining in the match;
  • giving a clear, loud warning to the referee, the judge, and the fighters when the match’s time runs out;
  • giving a clear, loud warning to the referee, the judge, and the fighters when each penalty minute has passed.
Marker

The marker is the person in charge of tracking the score of a match.

The marker’s responsibilities during a match in the given fighting area are:

  • dealing with the scoresheet;
  • writing the score on the Match report at the end of the match;
  • giving a clear, loud warning to the referee, the judge, and the fighters (defined later) that a fighter has been awarded the final point required for the victory by points in the match.

Non-staff roles

The rest of the roles are not considered staff roles and are not included in the organization of the Tournament.

Fighter

All contestants of the Tournament that fight in the matches are known as fighters.

To become a fighter, one must register for the Tournament in the predefined timeframe, sign the waiver, pass the gear check, and pay their entrance fee. The details are explained later.

The fighter’s responsibilities are:

  • upholding the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play;
  • making sure that the gear is fully operational when needed;
  • respecting the schedule;
  • respecting the staff decisions.
Squire

A squire is a person who assists a specific fighter with donning and doffing their gear, helps them by bringing them food and water, gives advice, and generally helps the fighter between the fights.

The squires are not required to register or pay participation fee, unless they themselves are contestants.

Protocol

Entering the Tournament

To participate in the Tournament, the contestants need to apply for the Tournament by using the appropriate online form by August 15th, 2018 and complete the sign in process at the main desk at the start of the Tournament.

Sign in process

The contestant’s sign in process consists of the following steps:

  • filling the required information, such as full name, associated organization they represent, and the chosen weapon;
  • signing a waiver stating that they have read the rules and accept the risks of participating in the matches, that they forfeit any right to legal or financial compensation from the organizer in case of an injury, and that they will only use the equipment that has passed the gear checkup;
  • passing the gear checkup;
  • paying the entrance fee;
  • receiving a T-shirt

The gear checkup is done by a person designated by the official delegate.

After the sign in process has been successfully completed, the contestants are free to warm up or gear up.

The Tournament’s match schedule will be published no more than thirty (30) minutes after the last contestant has finished the sign in process.

After the Tournament’s match schedule is published, the official delegate will open the tournament, and the main desk will call the first fighters to their designated fighting areas.

Match

Each Tournament’s match follows the protocol designed to keep everyone involved safe.

The match protocol consists of three sections: the setup protocol, the bout protocol, and the conclusion protocol.

Red and yellow fighters

To clearly distinguish the fighters, the fighters are referred to as the red and the yellow fighter.

The red fighter always starts the bouts on the referee’s left side.

The red fighter’s points are always mentioned first.

The fighters wear marking ribbons with appropriate colors. The ribbon should be worn on the fighter’s upper right arm.

The judge has the flags of the appropriate colors and uses them to adjudicate.

The marker has the scoresheet with the appropriate colors.

Match setup protocol

The match’s setup protocol consists of the following steps:

  1. The referee enters the empty fighting area and invites the other required staff to join.
  2. The judge, marker and chrono enter the fighting area and take their places.
  3. The marker sets the score to zero (0) to zero (0).
  4. On the referee’s mark, the marker calls the fighters for the match to the fighting area.
  5. The chrono starts the timer of one (1) minute, before the end of which the fully geared fighters that have been called are expected to arrive to the fighting area prepared for the match.
  6. The fighters that have been called to the fighting area have one (1) minute to arrive to the fighting area fully geared and prepared for the match.
  7. If a fighter that has been called to the fighting area fails to arrive fully geared and prepared for the match within the first minute, the chrono starts a penalty timer. The fighter that has not arrived is deduced a point from his overall score for each full minute of the penalty timer, resulting in a negative starting score. The marker updates the score as required. If the negative starting score reaches negative five (-5) points, the fighter is disqualified. The disqualification is explained later.
  8. Once the fighters are fully geared and prepared for the match, the judge does a quick check‑up of the fighters’ gear, in order to make sure that every piece of protective gear is equipped and well‑adjusted.
  9. If a fighter doesn’t pass the judge’s gear check-up, the chrono starts a penalty timer. The fighter has one (1) minute to fix the issue. The fighter that has not fixed the issue with the gear is deduced a point from his overall score for each full minute of the penalty timer, resulting in a negative starting score. The marker updates the score as required. If the negative starting score reaches negative five (-5) points, the fighter is disqualified. The disqualification is explained later.
  10. The judge places the marking ribbons on the fighters to signify the fighters’ colors.

The setup protocol ends with the disqualification of one or both fighters or the placing of marking ribbons which signifies the successful gear check‑up of both fighters.

The 1st and 2nd step can be omitted if the same staff remains in the same fighting area for the following match, as well.

Bout protocol

The match’s bout protocol occurs after the setup protocol has been successfully completed. This protocol includes the exchanges in a bout and is therefore split into protocols for before and after the bout.

The protocol before the bout has two distinct instances. The first instance of the occurs only before the first bout of the match, while the second instance occurs before every other bout of the match and is therefore iterative.

The bout itself doesn’t have a protocol, as it is a contest between fighters as they try to earn points in exchanges (explained later).

If the fighters stop with their exchanges during the bout, the referee can loudly announce “Continue”, if the bout can continue without safety issues.

Before the first bout

The bout protocol before the first bout consists of the following steps:

  1. The referee calls the fighters and the judge to the center of the fighting area, for a few words about the upcoming match.
  2. The referee directs the fighters to their starting places.
  3. The referee invites the fighters to salute the staff and each other.
  4. The referee asks the marker and chrono if they are ready for the match. They respond by nodding their head positively if they are ready or by calling out if they are not ready.
  5. The referee asks the fighters if they are ready for the match. It’s the referee’s duty to recognize if the fighters seem ready for the start of the match.
  6. The referee loudly announces the beginning of the bout by loudly announcing “Fight”.
  7. The chrono starts the match’s timer.

The judge is not asked to see if they are ready or not, since it’s expected of the judge to be ready as soon as they enter the fighting area. However, it is advised that the referee at least establishes the eye contact with the judge before starting the bout, so the judge can positively nod their head as a quick feedback that they are ready and that the bout can begin.

In the matches that determine the winner and the first two runners‑up of each weapon category in the Tournament, the referee will announce the full names of the fighters, as well as the names of the associated organizations the fighters represent, starting with the red fighter.

Before other bouts

The bout protocol before the bouts other than the first consists of the following steps:

  1. The referee directs the fighters to their starting places, if they are not already at them.
  2. The referee asks the fighters if they are ready for the match. It’s the referee’s duty to be sure the fighters are indeed ready for the start of the match.
  3. The referee loudly announces the beginning of the bout by loudly announcing “Fight”.
  4. The chrono resumes the match’s timer.
After the bout

The protocol starts when the referee stops the bout by loudly announcing “Stop”. If required for the safety reasons, the judge can also stop the bout in the same manner.

The chrono stops the match’s timer when a referee or a judge stop the bout.

The protocol consists of the following steps:

  1. The fighters return to their starting places.
  2. The judge signals the referee their adjudicating decision by following the appropriate signals (explained later).
  3. If required, the referee may invite the judge for a brief discussion.
  4. If required, the referee and the judge may approach the fighters for a brief discussion.
  5. The referee can approach a fighter to calmly issue a warning, along with the proper explanation.
  6. The referee can disqualify a fighter from the match, along with the proper explanation.
  7. The referee clearly states the final adjudicating decision for the bout.

    • If a point is awarded, the referee states to which fighter and for what reason.
    • If no point is awarded, the referee must clarify why.
  8. The referee clearly announces the current points. This is not needed if the bout ended with no new points awarded.

Adjudicating rules are explained later.

If a piece of a fighter’s equipment has suffered a failure and cannot continue to be used in the match, the referee gives the fighter three (3) minutes to find a replacement piece. If the fighter cannot find the replacement piece in three minutes, the fighter is disqualified from the match. The disqualification is explained later.

Match conclusion protocol

The match’s conclusion protocol triggers with one of the following actions:

  • a fighter has been awarded their fifth (5th) point;
  • one or both fighters have been disqualified;
  • the match’s time has run out and the chrono has loudly announced it;
  • the referee has ended the match due to safety concerns or other reasons.

The match’s conclusion protocol consists of the following steps:

  1. The referee announces the score, starting with the red fighter.
  2. If both fighters have the same number of points, the referee calls for additional bouts, until a fighter scores the final point, signifying that a winner can be clearly defined.
  3. The referee loudly announces the winner of the match. In the elimination matches, it is advised to have the fighters remove their masks and approach the referee, so that the referee can loudly announce the fighters’ names and the associated organizations they represent, before announcing the winner.
  4. The marker fills out the Match report.
  5. The fighters are encouraged to display gestures of friendship or respect, such as hugs and congratulations each other.
  6. The judge removes the marking ribbons.
  7. The fighters leave the fighting area.
  8. The referee goes to the marker to sign and collect the Match report.
  9. The referee delivers the Match report to the main desk.
  10. If the match ended due to a disqualification, the referee must report that to the official delegate.
Disqualification

Different scenario occurs if the match ended due to disqualification.

If the disqualification occurred before the match because a fighter didn’t arrive to the fighting area in time, the fighter is disqualified, the match is declared over and a victory for the fighter that has arrived with the score of zero (0) to negative five (-5) or negative five (-5) to zero (0), as appropriate. If both fighters fail to appear in the allotted time, the victor will be the fighter designated as the red fighter, with the score of negative four (-4) to negative five (-5). If one of the fighters fails to arrive, while the other is only late, the score will reflect the situation.

If the disqualification occurred during a match, the fighter is disqualified, their points are set to negative five (-5), and their opponent wins with their current number of points.

Disqualification from a match must be reported to the official delegate and can result in a disqualification from the Tournament.

Longsword rules

Match length

The match’s length is limited by two factors: the timer and the number of points.

The match ends when the timer runs out or a fighter reaches the appropriate number of points, whichever occurs first.

Timer

The match can finish when the timer supervised by the chrono of the fighting area runs out.

The chrono starts and stops the timer in accordance with the match protocol.

Most matches are three (3) minutes long. The matches that determine the winner and the first two runners‑up of each weapon category in the Tournament are five (5) minutes long.

Number of points

The match can finish when a fighter reaches the appropriate number of points.

The marker keeps the track of fighters’ points.

The number of points required to win most matches is five (5). The matches that determine the winner and the first two runners‑up of each weapon category in the Tournament require seven (7) points to win.

Earning points

Fighter earn points in bouts to win matches. Only a single point can be given per bout.

The Tournament’s rules recognize the fighter’s initiative as an advantage in certain situations. This is sometimes referred to as the right-of-way rule. The advantage can only be given to one fighter for each exchange.

Valid hits

Only hits to the upper body are considered valid. This includes the head, shoulders, chest, abdomen, arms, and hands.

A point can be awarded for the following hits:

  • High-quality strike. The strike is defined as valid when the adjudicators think the strike has enough force and covers enough of the target with the proper intention. If the target is an arm or a hand, the blade must cover most of the target.

  • High-quality cut. The cut is defined as valid when the adjudicators think the edge of the blade is placed on the target and pushed or pulled to cover enough of the target. If the target is an arm or a hand, the blade must cover most of the target.

  • High-quality stab. The stab is defined as valid when the adjudicators think the stab was made in the correct distance, and the flex of the blade is visible, or the opponent is visibly pushed.

  • Ringen am Schwert (wrestling at the sword). The wrestling is defined as valid when the adjudicators think the dominance is asserted by a controlled lock joint, disarming the opponent, a throw preparation, or by making the opponent fall without throwing them.

  • Forcing the opponent out of the ring.

Invalid hits

Hits to the lower body or the back are considered invalid.

The following hits don’t earn points:

  • Low-quality strike. The strike is defined as invalid when the adjudicators think the strike didn’t have enough force, didn’t cover enough of the target, or lacked proper intention. The strike does not count as valid if the edge of the blade is only placed on the target. Tapping the opponent with a sword will not count as a stab.
  • Low-quality cut. The cut is defined as invalid when the adjudicators think the cut was attempted with the flat of the blade, or if the cut did not cover enough of the target.
  • Low-quality stab. The stab is defined as invalid when the adjudicators think the stab wasn’t made in the correct distance, and the flex of the weapon was not visible, or the opponent didn’t move. Touching the opponent with the tip of the weapon will not count as a stab.
  • Hitting each other in the same tempo is called a double hit, and no points are awarded.

Exceptions

The following are exceptions to the rules:

  • If the opponent is not defending themselves appropriately, the fighter can be awarded a point for a low-quality strike, a low-quality cut, or a low-quality stab, if they chose to it without excessive force.
  • In case of a double hit, the point can be awarded to the fighter who first initiated the attack.
  • If the attacked is standing in the Langort stance, and does not move from it, the attacked is given the advantage in the case of a double hit.

Forbidden techniques

The use of the following forbidden techniques can result in the immediate disqualification from the match and the Tournament:

  • Throws. Throw preparations are allowed and counted as valid hits, but actually throwing an opponent is not allowed.
  • Chokeholds and throw preparations that use the neck as their only lever.
  • Throw preparations that move against the natural movement of the joints.
  • Striking with the crossguard or a pommel.
  • Intentional hits to the lower half of the body.
  • Intentional hits to the back of the head or to the spine.
  • Throwing the sword as a projectile.

Adjudication

The referee and the judge adjudicate after each bout.

The judge uses the flags to signal their adjudication. The flag signals are:

  • raising the red flag to signal the judge’s opinion that the red fighter earned a point;
  • raising the yellow flag to signal the judge’s opinion that the yellow fighter earned a point;
  • crossing the flags to signal the judge’s opinion that neither fighter earned a point.

The referee doesn’t signal their adjudication. If required, the referee may invite the judge for a brief discussion. If the referee doesn’t agree with the judge’s opinion, the referee has the ability to overrule the judge and award a point regardless.

Mandatory equipment

Competing in the Tournament is allowed only to those fighters who have the mandatory equipment and have passed the gear checkup at the sign in process. If a piece of the equipment is declared unsuitable or unfit and a contestant is unable to get a suitable substitute they may be prohibited from entering the Tournament.

The mandatory equipment that passed the initial inspection is quickly checked by the judge before each match. The staff may require a contestant to change or adjust a part of their equipment.

If an accident occurs and the sole reason of this accident is unfit equipment, the responsibility lies on the staff who approved the contestant’s entry. The staff will be subject to disciplinary proceedings.

The staff has the right to forbid a piece or a set of equipment which doesn’t comply with the prescribed norm.

Head and neck protection

An undamaged mask which complies with the International Fencing Federation (FIE) certification with the bib protection of one thousand six hundred newtons (1600N). The mask must fit tightly to the fighter and the bib must not roll up.

Back of the head protection and cervical spine protection.

A neck protector with a thick layer protecting the larynx.

No unprotected parts of the skin are visible if a fighter leans their head in every standard angle.

Hands, arms and torso protection

Only special HEMA fencing gloves, thick lacrosse gloves or hockey gloves are allowed. All of them are to be subjected to individual control. It is forbidden to use pieces of metal on any place of the gloves.

The gloves used in the Tournament don’t need to have a thickened layer on the inside of the palm, but the palm must be covered, at least by a simple glove or textile.

The torso of the body must be protected with an undamaged fencing jacket or a gambeson which is made of special hardened or thick material which prevents blade penetration and eases the blade impact. The jacket is subjected to control by the staff. A fencing jacket must cover the armpits as well.

Additional protection of the arms or elbows is required if the jacket doesn’t provide sufficient protection itself.

Every part of the body must be covered. No open space must be left between the gloves and the jacket.

An additional fencing plastron is mandatory for female contestants. This will not be inspected by a judge before the match, but it is the fighter’s responsibility to have it.

Leg and groin protection

The hips must be protected with a fencing jacket or with padded pants.

The thighs and the upper legs must be protected with the International Fencing Federation (FIE) certified pants or other approved protection.

The knees and shins must be protected from the front and the sides.

A groin protector is mandatory for male contestants. This will not be inspected by a judge before the match, but it is the fighter’s responsibility to have it.

Weapon

Only straight‑bladed, European‑type simulators are allowed in the Tournament. The so‑called fechtschwerts or fechtfeders are preferred.

A longsword must consist of a blade with two edges, a cross-guard, a handle and a pommel. The longswords must be made of proper steel. Aluminum, plastic or wooden swords will not be accepted.

The blade must not bear signs of heavy damage, must not be bent, broken or ruptured. The edges must be round and blunt.

A blade may contain a wide ricasso, also known as schilt, which must have round and blunt edges.

The cross‑guard must be straight and must be round at both ends. Additional protection, such as rings, is not allowed. Rubber caps may be used on cross‑guards and on the tip of the blade.

The pommel must be smooth and have no studs.

The flexibility of the blade is measured with a weight of one kilogram (1 kg) which is attached to the point of the blade with the sword held on a firm ground. The allowed flexibility is from seven to fifteen percent (7–15 %), where the individual figures mean the ratio of the deviation caused by the weight compared to the length of the blade in centimeters, multiplied by a hundred (100).

The minimum width of the point is one centimeter (1 cm).

The point of the blade must be either flared or rounded to prevent potential penetration.

The point of balance of the sword cannot be more than nine centimeters (9 cm) away from the cross‑guard.

The point of the sword must be covered by a yellow tape for better visibility.

The overall length of the sword must be within one hundred twenty to one hundred forty centimeters (120‑-140 cm).

The weight of the sword must be between one thousand five hundred to one thousand eight hundred grams (1500‑-1800 g).

One-handed blades rules

Match length

The match’s length is limited by two factors: the timer and the number of points.

The match ends when the timer runs out or a fighter reaches the appropriate number of points, whichever occurs first.

Timer

The match can finish when the timer supervised by the chrono of the fighting area runs out.

The chrono starts and stops the timer in accordance with the match protocol.

Most matches are three (3) minutes long. The matches that determine the winner and the first two runners‑up of each weapon category in the Tournament are five (5) minutes long.

Number of points

The match can finish when a fighter reaches the appropriate number of points.

The marker keeps the track of fighters’ points.

The number of points required to win most matches is five (5). The matches that determine the winner and the first two runners‑up of each weapon category in the Tournament require seven (7) points to win.

Earning points

Fighter earn points in bouts to win matches. Only a single point can be given per bout.

The Tournament’s rules recognize the fighter’s initiative as an advantage in certain situations. This is sometimes referred to as the right-of-way rule. The advantage can only be given to one fighter for each exchange.

Valid hits

Only hits to the upper body are considered valid. This includes the head, shoulders, chest, abdomen, arms, and forearms.

A point can be awarded for the following hits:

  • High-quality strike. The strike is defined as valid when the adjudicators think the strike has enough force and covers enough of the target with the proper intention. If the target is an arm or a forearm, the blade must cover most of the target.
  • High-quality cut. The cut is defined as valid when the adjudicators think the edge of the blade is placed on the target and pushed or pulled to cover enough of the target. If the target is an arm or a forearm, the blade must cover most of the target.
  • High-quality stab. The stab is defined as valid when the adjudicators think the stab was made in the correct distance, and the flex of the blade is visible, or the opponent is visibly pushed.
  • Forcing the opponent out of the ring without any physical contact

Invalid hits

Hits to the lower body or the back are considered invalid.

The following hits don’t earn points:

  • Low-quality strike. The strike is defined as invalid when the adjudicators think the strike didn’t have enough force, didn’t cover enough of the target, or lacked proper intention. The strike does not count as valid if the edge of the blade is only placed on the target. Tapping the opponent with a sword will not count as a stab.
  • Low-quality cut. The cut is defined as invalid when the adjudicators think the cut was attempted with the flat of the blade, or if the cut did not cover enough of the target.
  • Low-quality stab. The stab is defined as invalid when the adjudicators think the stab wasn’t made in the correct distance, and the flex of the weapon was not visible, or the opponent didn’t move. Touching the opponent with the tip of the weapon will not count as a stab.
  • Hitting each other in the same tempo is called a double hit, and no points are awarded.

Exceptions

The following are exceptions to the rules:

  • If the opponent is not defending themselves appropriately, the fighter can be awarded a point for a low-quality strike, a low-quality cut, or a low-quality stab, if they chose to it without excessive force.
  • In case of a double hit, a point can be awarded to the fighter who initiated the attack, if his strike is from the same, or a higher quality than his opponent’s. A critical strike (to the head of the weapon arm) ranks higher than a regular strike.

Forbidden techniques

The use of the following forbidden techniques can result in the immediate disqualification from the match and the Tournament:

  • Any form of wrestling
  • Grabbing your opponent’s weapon

Adjudication

The referee and the judge adjudicate after each bout.

The judge uses the flags to signal their adjudication. The flag signals are:

  • raising the red flag to signal the judge’s opinion that the red fighter earned a point;
  • raising the yellow flag to signal the judge’s opinion that the yellow fighter earned a point;
  • crossing the flags to signal the judge’s opinion that neither fighter earned a point.

The referee doesn’t signal their adjudication. If required, the referee may invite the judge for a brief discussion. If the referee doesn’t agree with the judge’s opinion, the referee has the ability to overrule the judge and award a point regardless.

Mandatory equipment

Competing in the Tournament is allowed only to those fighters who have the mandatory equipment and have passed the gear checkup at the sign in process. If a piece of the equipment is declared unsuitable or unfit and a contestant is unable to get a suitable substitute they may be prohibited from entering the Tournament.

The mandatory equipment that passed the initial inspection is quickly checked by the judge before each match. The staff may require a contestant to change or adjust a part of their equipment.

If an accident occurs and the sole reason of this accident is unfit equipment, the responsibility lies on the staff who approved the contestant’s entry. The staff will be subject to disciplinary proceedings.

The staff has the right to forbid a piece or a set of equipment which doesn’t comply with the prescribed norm.

Head and neck protection

An undamaged mask which complies with the International Fencing Federation (FIE) certification with the bib protection of one thousand six hundred newtons (1600N). The mask must fit tightly to the fighter and the bib must not roll up.

Back of the head protection and cervical spine protection.

A neck protector with a thick layer protecting the larynx.

No unprotected parts of the skin are visible if a fighter leans their head in every standard angle.

Hands, arms and torso protection

Only special HEMA fencing gloves, thick lacrosse gloves or hockey gloves are allowed. All of them are to be subjected to individual control. It is forbidden to use pieces of metal on any place of the gloves.

The gloves used in the Tournament don’t need to have a thickened layer on the inside of the palm, but the palm must be covered, at least by a simple glove or textile.

The torso of the body must be protected with an undamaged fencing jacket or a gambeson which is made of special hardened or thick material which prevents blade penetration and eases the blade impact. The jacket is subjected to control by the staff. A fencing jacket must cover the armpits as well.

Additional protection of the arms or elbows is required if the jacket doesn’t provide sufficient protection itself.

Every part of the body must be covered. No open space must be left between the gloves and the jacket.

An additional fencing plastron is mandatory for female contestants. This will not be inspected by a judge before the match, but it is the fighter’s responsibility to have it.

Leg and groin protection

The hips must be protected with a fencing jacket or with padded pants.

The knees and shins must be protected from the front and the sides.

A groin protector is mandatory for male contestants. This will not be inspected by a judge before the match, but it is the fighter’s responsibility to have it.

Weapon

Only European‑type simulators are allowed in the Tournament. Sideswords and sabers will compete in the same category.

The weapons must be made of proper steel. Aluminum, plastic or wooden swords will not be accepted.

The blade must not bear signs of heavy damage, must not be bent, broken or ruptured. The edges must be round and blunt.

The flexibility of the blade is measured with a weight of one kilogram (1 kg) which is attached to the point of the blade with the sword held on a firm ground. The allowed flexibility is from seven to fifteen percent (7–15%), where the individual figures mean the ratio of the deviation caused by the weight compared to the length of the blade in centimeters, multiplied by a hundred (100).

The minimum width of the point is one centimeter (1 cm).

The point of the blade must be either flared or rounded to prevent potential penetration.

The point of balance of the sword cannot be more than fifteen centimeters (15 cm) away from the cross‑guard.

The point of the sword can be covered by a yellow tape for better visibility.

The length of the blade must be within eighty‑five to a hundred centimeters (85–100 cm).

The weight of the weapon must be between seven hundred and fifty to one thousand grams (750–1000 g).