2016 Tournament Rules

These rules may be subject to change up and until the commencement of the tournaments.

Tournament General Rules

Longsword Tournament

Sword and Buckler Tournament

Rapier Tournament

Singlestick Tournament

Cutting Tournament Rules


 

Tournament General Rules

Fencer Conduct

All fighters are expected to display skill and control. This is a martial arts tournament and all fighters are expected to conduct themselves with respect for the weapon, their opponent, and the tournament staff. Any fighter that is deemed to pose a danger to themselves or others will be addressed at the discretion of the tournament director.

The tournament director will serve as the ultimate authority within the ring. The disciplinary procedure will generally constitute first a warning, then a penalty, then an expulsion from the match or tournament; however shall remain at the discretion of the director. Fighters who have been banned from attendance of previous Combat Con tournaments, or from other major HEMA tournaments, are not permitted to attend the Combat Con 2016 tournaments.

 

Match Length

Each match will last for 90 seconds of regulation time, or once the maximum score has been reached. Once the time of 90 seconds has been reached the timekeeper will announce ‘Last Exchange’. The match will then proceed until the next break in the fighting is called.

 

Double Hits & Afterblows

A double hit is defined as two fighter landing valid blows against each other in the same tempo. This is undesirable, as it shows that the fighters are not adequately concerned with their defence. Doubles will be penalized in accordance to the stage of the tournament in which the occur.

  • Pools: Should two fighter strike three double hits in the course of a pool match the match will end end they will both be considered to have lost their match. At the conclusion of the pool fights each fighter will have their total number of doubles recorded and have their score penalized by an appropriate margin.
  • Eliminations: Should two fighters strike three double hits in the course of an elimination match the winner of the match will be assessed a score penalty for their subsequent match.

An afterblow is defined as one fight striking another immediately following a failed defence which lead to them being struck. At no point should an afterblow be considered a ‘revenge blow’, and afterblows are expected to be thrown with an appropriate level of control.

Should the match director determine that a double hit or afterblow was without a doubt the direct result of a single individual acting with complete disregard of defence they retain the ability to assign the fault of the double strike to the individual in question. At this point the offending fighter will be assessed a penalty at the discretion at the director.

 

Valid Strikes

Points will be awarded for cuts, thrusts, slices and pommel strikes in accordance to the rules of the individual tournaments. Points will not be awarded for touches with the sword, but be delivered with sufficient intent.

  • Cuts: For a cut to be considered valid it must travel an arc of 75 degrees. Cuts must be delivered with sound body structure to be considered valid. Strikes with the tip of the sword, incidental contact and flailing type attacks are not valid cuts. SCA style ‘wrap strikes’ are not valid cuts.
  • Thrusts: Thrusts must be delivered in a committed manner, rather than pokes which make superficial contact. A sword bend is not required if the fighter is in range to deliver a deeper blow.
  • Slices: Slices will only be considered at valid targets when performed against the head/neck and the arms. A valid slice must exert sufficient pressure on the target that judging staff can clearly see the effect on the balance and structure of the affected fighter. Please note that this requires a very high degree of commitment, and is not simply sawing a blade back and forth on the body.
  • Pommel Strikes: Pommel strikes are only valid against the mask. Though the pommel need to hit hard it must display a structure capable of delivering the whole body’s force rather than a lucky strike from an uncontrolled fighter.

Additionally should a fighter place both feet outside of the ring (through their own action or if pushed by their opponent) their opponents will be rewarded with one point.

 

Off Limits Targets & Techniques

The following are off limits for safety reasons:

  • Back of head and spine. Should a fighter display the unsafe behavior of exposing the back of their head to the opponent they will be progressively warned, penalized and removed by the match director.
  • Direct targeting of the hands and feet. Should the defender move their hands in the path of a strike targeted at a valid target (such as the forearm) it will be scored as strike to the arms.
  • Punches and kicks are not permitted.
  • ‘Mordschlag’ style strikes are not permitted.
  • Any strike thrown with a complete lack of control on the part of the attacker. Competitive martial arts fighting involves throwing forceful strikes with full intent to make contact, however each competitor is expected to maintain a respect for their opponent’s safety at all times.

Protective Gear Requirements

All of these tournaments are considered to simulate ‘blossfechten’, and in the interests of promoting a professional HEMA image and to encourage fighters to respect the weapon simulators, heavy armor (breast plates, etc) or Fantasy-styled armors are not permitted.

No exposed skin is permitted for any tournaments.

All armor will be inspected by the tournament staff prior to competition. If any armor is deemed to be inappropriate, the participant will be required to remove it and replace it with a piece of appropriate equipment.

 

Longsword Tournament

Cutting Qualification

All participants for Open Steel Longsword must pass a cutting qualification before being eligible to compete. Participants who do not pass the cutting qualification are still eligible for competition in Open Synthetic Longsword.

Individuals who have not pre-qualified based on cutting at previous events must attend the scheduled cutting qualification time slot. For more information on the cutting qualification please refer to the cutting tournament rules. (Entry in the cutting tournament is not required)

 

Point Scoring

The following point scoring will be used for the longsword tournaments.

 

Target Cuts Thrusts Slices Pommel
Head 4 2 / 5* 4 1
Torso 3 2 / 5*
Legs 2 1
Arms 1 1 1

 

Afterblow

The afterblow deducts one point from the score of the attacking fighter.

Controlled Thrusts

A thrust delivered in a manner that controls the opponent’s blade will be awarded an additional point score. For the sake of the Combat Con longsword tournament a controlled thrust is defined as a thrust which either seizes control of the opponent’s blade at the moment of impact, or is able to maneuver the blade to intercept the opponent’s afterblow while having the point remain planted.

One-Handed Blows

One handed blows are not permitted except when the other hand is removed as part of a grappling technique executed against an opponent.

Point Limits

The match will be concluded once a fighter has reached a total of 9 points.

 

Acceptable Equipment

Feders

  • Albion Meyer
  • Regenyei (All)
  • Arms & Armor Fechtbuch
  • Comfort Fencing Dobringer
  • Darksword Feder
  • Ensifer Long & Standard
  • Mac Arms Feder
  • Pavel Moc Feder
  • SGT Blades Feder

More feders from different manufacturers may be added later on with the approval of the tournament organization staff. Other makers feders can be considered, but may be disallowed and are up the the standards of the officiating staff. Due to safety and quality concerns, the use of any Hanwei feders will be prohibited during this tournament.

Protective Gear

All of these tournaments are considered to simulate ‘blossfechten’, and in the interests of promoting a professional HEMA image and to encourage fighters to respect the weapon simulators, heavy armor (breast plates, etc) or Fantasy-styled armors are not permitted.

All armor will be inspected by the tournament staff prior to competition.

  • Appropriate Head protection: Masks with back of the head protection.
  • Acceptable head protection – ‘That guys products’ style masks.
  • Trachea protection, that protects the throat from a direct thrust.
  • Heavy padded HEMA jackets (ie SPES), or Padded Gambeson
  • Hard elbow protection, that covers the 3 points of the elbow.
  • Hard Knee protection that covers the knee.
  • Ensifer / AF gauntlets or reinforced lacrosse gauntlets.
  • Groin protection is essential for male fighters.
  • Breast protection is essential for female fighters.
  • Shin and forearm protection are not essential but recommended.
  • No exposed skin will be allowed.

 

Sword and Buckler Tournament

Point Scoring

The following point scoring will be used for the sword and buckler.

 

Cuts Thrusts Buckler Punch
Head 3 1 / 3* 1
Torso 1 1 / 3*
Leg (below the knee) 2 2
All other targets 1 1

 

Afterblow

The afterblow deducts one point from the score of the attacking fighter.

Controlled Thrusts

A thrust delivered in a manner that controls the opponent’s blade will be awarded an additional point score. For the sake of the Combat Con sword & buckler tournament a controlled thrust is defined as a thrust displaces the opponent’s blade with either the buckler or sword as the sword makes impact.

Point Limits

The match will be concluded once a fighter has reached a total of 7 points.

 

Acceptable Equipment

Swords/Bucklers

Supplied by SGT Blades

Protective Gear

All of these tournaments are considered to simulate ‘blossfechten’, and in the interests of promoting a professional HEMA image and to encourage fighters to respect the weapon simulators, heavy armor (breast plates, etc) or Fantasy-styled armors are not permitted.

All armor will be inspected by the tournament staff prior to competition.

  • Appropriate Head protection: Encouraged – Masks with back of the head protection.
  • Acceptable head protection – ‘That guys products’ style masks.
  • Trachea protection, that protects the throat from a direct thrust.
  • Heavy padded HEMA jackets (ie SPES), or Padded Gambeson
  • Hard elbow protection, that covers the 3 points of the elbow.
  • Hard Knee protection that covers the knee.
  • Ensifer / AF gauntlets / lacrosse gauntlets.
  • Groin protection is essential for male fighters.
  • Breast protection is essential for female fighters.
  • Shin and forearm protection are not essential but recommended.
  • No exposed skin will be allowed.

 

Rapier Tournament

Point Scoring

The following point scoring will be used for the rapier tournament.

 

Thrusts Cuts
Head 3 1
Torso 3
Leg/Arms 1 1

 

Afterblow

The afterblow deducts one point from the score of the attacking fighter.

Draw Cuts

All cuts must be delivered with a draw/slice component. Strikes landing with a pure percussive motion will not be valid.

Point Limits

The match will be concluded once a fighter has reached a total of 7 points.

 

Acceptable Equipment

Swords

All swords (and daggers) will be inspected before use. Only rapier blades may be used. Epee, foil, and other blades meant for classical or Olympic fencing are prohibited. Modified epee blades marketed as a rapier such as that by Neyman fencing are also prohibited.

Rapier blades from the following makers will be allowed, and other blades will be assessed on a case by case basis by the tournament director. If there are any questions regarding a sword not listed, please email our tournament staff.

  • Deltin
  • Hanwei
  • Angus Trim
  • Castille Armory
  • Danelli Armories
  • Zen Warrior

Protective Gear

All of these tournaments are considered to simulate ‘blossfechten’, and in the interests of promoting a professional HEMA image and to encourage fighters to respect the weapon simulators, heavy armor (breast plates, etc) or Fantasy-styled armors are not permitted.

All armor will be inspected by the tournament staff prior to competition.

  • Appropriate Head protection: Masks with back of the head protection.
  • Acceptable head protection – ‘That guys products’ style masks.
  • Trachea protection, that protects the throat from a direct thrust.
  • Heavy padded HEMA jackets (ie SPES), Padded Gambeson, or fencing Jacket.
  • Groin protection is essential for male fighters.
  • Breast protection is essential for female fighters.
  • Elbow, Knee, Shin and forearm protection are not essential but recommended.
  • No exposed skin will be permitted.

 

Singlestick Tournament

Point Scoring

The following point scoring will be used for singlestick.

 

Cuts Thrusts
Head 4 4
Torso 3 3
Leg 2 2
Arms 1 1

 

Afterblow

The afterblow deducts one point from the score of the attacking fighter.

Thrusts

In order for a thrust to be valid, it must be committed with the basket clearly sliding up the stick. Warning/expulsion will be given for thrusts delivered without the required grip release, or deemed to be executed with excessive force.

Point Limits

The match will be concluded once a fighter has reached a total of 9 points.

 

Acceptable Equipment

Protective Gear

All of these tournaments are considered to simulate ‘blossfechten’, and in the interests of promoting a professional HEMA image and to encourage fighters to respect the weapon simulators, heavy armor (breast plates, etc) or Fantasy-styled armors are not permitted.

All armor will be inspected by the tournament staff prior to competition.

  • Appropriate Head protection: Masks with back of the head protection.
  • Acceptable head protection – ‘That guys products’ style masks.
  • Trachea protection, that protects the throat from a direct thrust.
  • Light Fencing Jacket, or Heavy Hoodie.
  • Hard elbow protection, that covers the 3 points of the elbow.
  • Hard Knee protection that covers the knee.
  • Ensifer / AF gauntlets or reinforced lacrosse gauntlets.
  • Groin protection is essential for male fighters.
  • Breast protection is essential for female fighters.
  • Shin and forearm protection are not essential but recommended.
  • No exposed skin will be permitted.

 

Cutting Tournament Rules

Tournament participants must follow the directions of the tournament director and tournament staff at all times. Should any participant exhibit behavior that places others or themselves at risk of physical harm will result in immediate disqualification and possible intervention by local law enforcement.

 

Summary

The format of the cutting tournament will be a qualifying round, followed by two rounds of eliminations with a successive number of participants eliminated after each round. The qualifying round and the first round will be conducted with a longsword, while the second and final round will use both longsword and arming sword. Scoring for the two elimination rounds is cumulative. This will be followed by a finals round for the top 4 competitors after the end of round 2.

In order to eliminate the advantage to participants with later turns competitors are not permitted to observe their fellow competitors performances until after they have completed the round themselves.

 

Safety Regulations

All competitors will be required to assume proper safe handling procedures for sharp swords. This includes and is not limited to swinging the sword when there is the possibility of others in the vicinity, losing control of their weapon, or approaching the cutting area before being explicitly instructed to by the tournament staff. Should the tournament officials perceive there is any safety issue they retain the right to remove individuals from the cutting tournament or cutting qualifiers at their discretion.

Should a competitor cut towards their leading leg in the cutting qualifiers they will be warned, and the cut will be counted as a failure. Should this occur a second time they will be removed from all cutting events. Should a competitor cut towards their leading leg in the tournament they will be assessed a heavy score penalty. Should this occur a second time they will be eliminated from the tournament.

 

Cutting Tournament Rounds

Qualifying Round

The first qualifying round will assess each competitor’s basic competency to cut through a tatami mat using a longsword. The standards shall be the same as the cutting qualification for steel longsword, and passing the qualification once is sufficient for both Longsword and Cutting.

Additionally those who have already completed pre-qualification for Steel Longsword are also considered pre-qualified for the cutting competition.

To pass the qualifying round fighters must complete either of the following within 30 seconds:

  • 2 descending cuts from each side (4 cuts total)
  • 3 unique cuts (ed. Right descending, Left descending, Left ascending)

Cuts must be cleanly through the mat.

Round 1

Competitors will be presented with successive cues as to the cuts they are required to perform using a longsword. Competitors must alternate cuts between both mats.

The round will continue until the competitor has used up both of their target mats. Successful cuts will be awarded 2 points, less deductions. The final score for the round will be the summation of all cut scores.

Round 2

Competitors will be asked to demonstrate as many different cuts as they are capable of performing on three tatami targets. The cuts on the first two tatami mats will be executed with a longsword, cuts on the third mat will be executed with an arming sword. Once a cut has been thrown, success or failure, it may not be used again (cuts are considered separate between the arming sword and the longsword, ie. You may execute a right descending cut with each). Successful cuts will be awarded 2 points, less deductions. The final score for the round will be the summation of all cut scores.

Each competitor may make one request to have one of their tatami mats returned to its optimal position. This may entail straightening, picking a stand up, or re-pegging a mat which has been dislodged.

Final Round

Cutting patterns to be announced. Competitors will perform cuts with a longsword and an arming sword.

 

Cut Scoring

Each cut will be scored based on the performance of the cut itself, and the form of the fencer. Below are some examples of deductions:

 

  • Cut piece of tatami goes flying
  • Rough cut/spraying debris
  • Scalloped cut
  • Cutting into a previously cut area
  • Tilting shoulders excessively
  • Sticking butt out
  • Off balance on completion of the cut
  • Not stepping with the cut
  • Measuring up before the cut

 

Additionally there will be extremely harsh penalties for hitting the peg, the stand, or the floor.

 

Acceptable Cuts

The first round will consist of only descending true edge cuts (Oberhau) and ascending true edge cuts (Unterhau) on both sides.

For the second round the following cuts will be considered as distinct cuts (19 possible cuts).

True Edge Descending R/L

True Edge Ascending R/L

True Edge Horizontal R/L

True Edge Krumphau R

Zwerchau R/L

False Edge Descending ‘Inside’ R/L (shielhau)**

False Edge Descending ‘Outside’ R/L (‘sweep’ style krumphau)**

False Edge Ascending ‘Outside’ R/L (alber->longpoint style)**

False Edge Ascending ‘Inside’ R/L (zwerchau-like strike)**

True Edge Vertical*

False Edge Vertical*

 

* to be considered valid vertical cuts must descend ⅓ of the total mat length. Additionally none of the following cuts may intersect the area of the vertical cut. As such these are considered highly inadvisable.

** a false edge strike can be done by rotating the blade 180 from the normal true edge position. The can be done by rotating the sword clockwise and counterclockwise to produce two different false edge cuts along the same line.