2019 Tournament Rules

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

Tournament General Rules

Longsword Tournament

Rapier Tournament

Singlestick Tournament

Sword and Buckler Tournament


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 opponents, 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, this procedure shall remain at the discretion of the director. Fighters who have been banned from attendance of other major HEMA tournaments are not permitted to attend the Combat Con 2019 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, an unannounced “Last Exchange” will be held in order for the fight to have its natural conclusion. The match will then proceed until the next break in the fighting is called, in which the time-keeper will announce that it was the last exchange, and final score is called.

Double Hits & Afterblows

A double hit is defined as two fighters 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 they occur.

  • Pools: Should two fighters strike three double hits in the course of a pool match, the match will end and both fighters will be considered to have lost the 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, and then additional penalties for every double after.

An afterblow is defined as one fighter striking another immediately following a failed defence which lead to them being struck. At no point should an afterblow be considered a ‘revenge blow’, defined by an attack being thrown more than two tempos after being struck. Competitors repeatedly delivering revenge blows will generally first be given a warning, then a penalty, and any further infractions will be ejected from the tournament. The procedure shall remain at the discretion of the director.

Faulted Double:

A faulted double is defined as a fighter completely ignoring their opponent’s strike, and instead attempting to land a strike of their own. This can manifest itself in multiple ways:

Attempting to suicidally thrust a lower opening with absolutely no attempt to keep themselves safe or control their opponent’s weapon. All fighters are expected to defend themselves, and as such a -2 point penalty will be applied to this thrust in addition to the double hit.

If a fighter is noticeably ignoring their defence only to strike back without regard for their own safety, a warning will first be issued and each subsequent infraction will receive a -2 point penalty in addition to the double.

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, the match director retains 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 of the director.

Valid Strikes

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

  • Cuts: For a cut to be considered valid it must travel an arc of 75 degrees at absolute minimum. In addition, cuts must be delivered with sound body structure to be considered valid. Strikes that are ‘pushed’ forwards instead of an arc are not valid cuts. Strikes with the tip or extreme strong 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, but if the sword is at full extension and makes minimal contact, then the thrust is not valid.
  • Slices: Slices will only be considered on 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 mesh portion of the mask. Though the pommel does not 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. Any pommel strike that is performed in an unsafe manner would incur either a harsh penalty, or disqualification of the tournament. An unsafe strike with the pommel is either a strike to any area other than the mesh of the mask, or performed with too much power (to referee’s discretion.)

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

Off Limits Targets & Techniques

The following are off limits for safety reasons:

  • Direct targeting of the back of the head and spine is not permitted. 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 a 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.

Grappling

If a grapple is initiated between both fighters, a 3 second count will be initiated. If no clear action is demonstrated, the fighters will be separated and return to their corners. For legal reasons, takedowns are strictly not allowed at Combat Con.

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 full metal plate armor (breastplates, elbow guards, gloves, helms etc) or fantasy-styled armors are not permitted.

No exposed skin is permitted for any tournaments.

All armor & weapons 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

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, with the exception of the lower targets. An afterblow performed against the legs will not be counted.

* 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 2019 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
  • Castille Armory Feder
  • Comfort Fencing Dobringer
  • Dark Horse Feder
  • Darksword Feder
  • Ensifer Long & Standard
  • Mac Arms Feder
  • Pavel Moc Feder
  • SGT Blades Feder
  • Kvetun Feder

More feders from different manufacturers may be added later on with the approval of the tournament organization 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 (breastplates, etc) metal plate armor (breastplates, elbow guards, gloves, helms 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 3 points of the knee and covers the shin.
  • SPES / Sparring Gloves / AF style gauntlets.
  • Groin protection is required for male fighters.
  • Breast protection is required for female fighters.
  • Forearm protection is not essential but highly 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. 

An afterblow performed against the legs will not be counted.

Draw Cuts

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

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, full metal plate armor (breastplates, elbow guards, gloves, helms 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.
  • Hard knee & elbow protection that covers the 3 points of the joint.
  • Groin protection is required for male fighters.
  • Breast protection is required for female fighters.
  • 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 the singlestick tournament.

Cuts
Head 4
Torso 3
Legs 2
Arms 1

 

Afterblow

The afterblow deducts one point from the score of the attacking fighter. An afterblow performed against the legs will not be counted.

Thrusts

No thrusts are permitted in the singlestick tournament.

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 (breastplates, etc)full metal plate armor (breastplates, elbow guards, gloves, helms 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 hit.
  • Light Jackets (AP Light, rapier jackets), Heavy hoodies. Heavily padded jackets such as the full SPES AP will not be allowed.
  • Hard elbow protection, that covers the 3 points of the elbow.
  • Hard knee protection that covers the 3 points of the knee.
  • Sparring Gloves / AF gauntlets or reinforced lacrosse gloves with properly padded wrist protection. Any glove that does not have hard padding on the wrist will not be allowed.
  • Groin protection is required for male fighters.
  • Breast protection is required for female fighters.
  • Shin and forearm protection are not essential but recommended.
  • No exposed skin will be permitted.

Sword & Buckler Tournament

Point Scoring

The following point scoring will be used for the Sword & Buckler tournament.

Target Cuts Thrusts
Head 3 1 / 3*
Torso / Upper Leg 1 1 / 3*
Lower Leg 2 1
Arms 1 1

 

Afterblow

The afterblow deducts one point from the score of the attacking fighter. An afterblow performed against the legs will not be counted.

* 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 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.

Point Limits

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

Acceptable Equipment

Swords

Swords for this event will be provided for the 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 (breastplates, etc)full metal plate armor (breastplates, elbow guards, gloves, helms 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 leg protection that covers the 3 points of the knee and covers the shin.
  • SPES / Sparring Gloves / AF style gauntlets / Heavily reinforced lacrosse gauntlets (Red dragon gloves on their own are not acceptable).
  • Groin protection is essential for male fighters.
  • Breast protection is essential for female fighters.
  • Forearm protection is not essential but highly recommended.
  • No exposed skin will be allowed.