General Information

Minors from the age of 16 can only participate under supervision of a parent or legal guardian. Participation in the tournaments or the test cutting is only permitted over the age of 18.

The following gear is required for the steel tournament:

  • FIE mask with occipital protection,
  • throat guard,
  • HEMA jacket,
  • groin protection,
  • knee and shin guard,
  • forearm and elbow protection,
  • HEMA gloves,
  • a steel longsword according to the DDHF recommendations.

Knee, shin, forearm, and elbow protection can be omitted for the synthetics waster tournament. You can borrow synthetic wasters on-site.

Tournaments are held according to our club’s rules (see below).

As we are using an honour based system with mechanics to allow the participants themselves to sanction unfair behaviour or award fair behaviour, the tournaments will both be held without referees. This precludes the results from counting for your HEMA Ratings or DDHF Rangliste scores.

The system also allows for participants to choose only to fight against a limited pool (for example of their own sex), so we can basically offer a mixed tournament at the same time as a certain number of other tournament profiles simply by in- or excluding opponents with certain criteria from your personal tournament pool. The data we collect helps to accomplish this (and might prove very valuable for scientific insight into HEMA tournaments IF you agree for that use during your signing-up process).


The tournament is supposed to function as a performance test for the fencer as well as an athletic competition. Therefore, collegiality and good sports(wo)manship as well as the preservation of health – one’s own and the opponent’s – are the top priorities.

In order to implement these aims, the scoring is such that it primarily rewards a fencer’s avoiding to suffer hits. Hitting the opponent is only rewarded secondarily. This is to promote a way of fencing which is safe and focused on self-preservation.

To ensure a broad data corpus, similar opponents, and therefore a valid evaluation the tournament is not conducted with elimination or pool rounds. Instead, each participating fencer subsequently fights every other contestant.

  1. Before the bout: In the spirit of the event and the tournament an act of good will is expected before the bout. (Depending on what each person feels comfortable with, this might be something along the lines of a fist-bump, handshake, hug… Mutual consent is required, do not shy away from asking for it or go for a less intimate version instead.)

Also both contestants agree on whether to allow wrestling in the bout or not. Throws, levers, choke- or submission holds (see scoring) are only permitted if both vote for wrestling. The contestants can opt for including only one or some of these in their bout.

  1. The bout starts with the salute in wide distance.
  2. The bout ends as soon as at least one fencer is considered incapacitated, which is signalled by the respective fencer themselves by distinctly stepping back and lowering the weapon(s). Depending on the time and space available and the number of contestants there can be several bouts per pair (with each bout still being evaluated seperately). There is no break after a single half hit (see scoring).
  3. Scoring: A fencer is considered incapacitated if they have suffered at least one full hit or at least two half hits. Half hits are:
    • hews to the torso,
    • hews or thrusts to the limbs,
    • fist/pommel strikes or headbutts to head or torso,
    • throws [Only if agreed on!].

Full hits are:

    • hews or thrusts to the mask,
    • hews or thrusts to the bib,
    • thrusts to the chest,
    • submission (e.g. by choking or levers) [Only if agreed on!].

A fencer who has suffered one full hit or two half hits can try – immediately after they have been last hit! – to deal a blow to their opponent (“afterblow”), as long as this attack had already been initiated.

The respective fencers themselves count and score the hits suffered. (Meaning that each fencer counts how and how often they themselves have been hit, not how/how often the opponent was hit.)

  1. The evaluation system captures if each fighter finished the fight (a) without suffered hits, with (b) only one half hit suffered, or with (c) at least one full hit or at least two half hits suffered. The ranking depends on the frequency of fights survived. If this frequency is the same for two or more contestants, the frequency of having survived unscathed (not having suffered a half hit) is used as a tie-breaker. Further criteria are the frequencies of hitting the opponent with a full or two half hits and dealing a half hit.

The DDHF frame ruleset applies with the following amendments:

  • hitting from behind is generally permitted,
  • losing the simulator does not cause a break,
  • gripping the blade is permitted, but will be counted as a half hit in case of the blade moving in the hand,
  • when a hit is suffered, the fight is not interrupted as long as none of the fencers is considered incapacitated,
  • double hits are scored like two individual hits (so that e.g. doubles with full hits mean both contestants are considered incapacitated!),
  • fist strikes and headbutts are permitted similar to pommel strikes.

Sanctions and Rewards

Each participant will be enabled to anonymously give out two tokens (in total, across the tournament) to their opponents. One for unfair behaviour and one for especially exemplary behaviour.

Bad tokens: If a fencer is given a critical number of bad tokens (decided on site based on the actual number of participants), they automatically rank last in the tournament. If no unfair behaviour is witnessed, bad tokens do not have to be dealt out.

Good tokens: The fencer awarded with the most good tokens will receive extra honorifics during the presentation of the results. Every participant has to give their good token to someone. This can be done for especially fair acts, extraordinarily admirable technique, or simply being extra fun to fight against.

Injuries: Any injuries can be immediately sanctioned by the person that suffered the injury. If the injury prevents further participation in the tournament the injured person declares thusly and their opponent who has dealt the injury is automatically excluded from the rest of the tournament as well (unless the injured person explicitly wishes otherwise, for example because the injury was received because of equipment failure and not the result of an unfair or especially risky action).

Any minor injuries that do not prevent further participation in the tournament can be sanctioned with a bad token (see above).

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