Longsword Tournament Rules 2024

  • Tournament rules are basically the same as 2023

General Information

Dear attendees, welcome to the event and at the Longsword tournament. Because there will be more trainers this year, we have less time for the tournament. The Semi-/Finals will be at Saturday, at 16-17.15 in the sparring hall. Please be ready at this time. WE CAN’T WAIT. Also, we will not wait for visitors. The tournament will start exactly at 16 o’clock. If attendees of the tournament are too late, they will be removed from the tournament. 

Also, keep in mind that you are responsible for finding your own opponent and your own judges. Feel free, to use the halls that are free, but beware that with more trainers and more slots, there will be less free halls.  

1. Registration 

Register for the tournament on site when you register for the event. Just tell us that you would like to participate in the tournament and you will be handed a numbered gadget for you to wear. This will make it easier for you to find your opponents, so please do wear it.  

After the registration we will create a flipchart, where you can see who will fight who. This Flipchart will be at the windows before the sparring hall. You are responsible to find your opponents on your own. After your fight, write the winner on the flipchart. Continue this process until you get to the semi-finals. We will check the flipchart and keep it updated.  

2. What’s allowed, and what isn’t 


  • Both fighters need to use a steel Feder. Check the flexibility of your opponent’s Feder before the fight. In case of poorly matched Feder, borrow someone else’s or ask for one at the reception desk. We will gladly lend you a standard Feder, but please keep in mind: You break it, you buy it.  
  • For the Semifinals and Finals, we will put hockey tape on your Feder for an approximation of the behavior of sharp blades in a bind. You may want to use tape from the Elimination rounds onwards, but it is not required. Note that tape only makes sense if both fighters use it. 
  • You are required to wear a standard HEMA-mask and gloves. Everything else is optional. Safety gear must not be made of metal (except for the mask obviously). Forearm/elbow protectors or fencing jackets with included protectors are allowed.  

During the fight 

  • OK: Cuts, thrusts, strikes with blade or pommel.  
  • Punches, kicks etc. may be used in a pinch to open the opponent up for grappling or other follow-up attacks or to untangle during a grappling attempt by the opponent. THEY DO NOT COUNT AS HITS. Excessive punching, kicking etc. may lead to disqualification (judges’ decision!). 
  • OK: Grappling and throws. A throw or sweep counts as a solid hit (i.e. three points in the elimination rounds), but ONLY IF the fighter who initiated the technique ends up in dominant position (standing or on the ground – judge’s decision!). If both fighters end up in a tangled heap, the fight is to be stopped by the judge, both fighters return to a standing position and resume from Zufechten. In this case, no points are given in the rounds prior to Semifinals and Finals. 
  • Not OK: Excessive punching, kicking, knee strikes, body blows (judges‘ decision), throwing your sword (no, not the pommel either). Any kind of unsportsmanlike behavior. Arguing with the judges. Not reacting to a stop call by a judge. Any of these may be grounds to be excluded from the tournament. 

3. Tournament rounds 

3.1 Elimination Rounds (First Round) 

Elimination rounds start as soon as pairings have been decided. There will be a poster with the pairings on display between Hall 1 and Hall 2, so please keep an eye out!  

The Elimination Rounds are not moderated by Dreynschlag. Participants are required to find their opponents, a judge, and setting up the fight on their own. Please write the winner’s number and name legibly in the appropriate field for the next pairing, directly on the poster. If you can’t find your opponent, consider leaving a message for them on the big message board next to the Tournament roster. 

– Duration: 1 pass 

– Conditions for winning: First to score 3 points (1x head or 1x body or 1 clean throw/sweep or 3x arms/hands/legs) wins. A hit is called by the judge. A break is called after each hit. Double hits count for both contestants in this round – a double hit to the head or body therefore means both fighters get eliminated!  

3.2 Second Round / up to Semi-Finals

These rounds are not moderated either: Participants are required to find their opponents, judge (or judges), and setting up the fight on their own. Please write the winner’s number and name legibly in the appropriate field for the next pairing, directly on the poster.  

You will need only one judge, but can ask more than one person if you are so inclined. If there is more than one judge, one person needs to be named head judge. They will have the final say regarding hits, gear etc. Anybody can be asked to be judge. Please pick someone with enough fencing experience! The judge is REQUIRED to wear a silly hat. If you don’t have one, get one at the reception desk. We have …several lying around. 

– Duration: 3 passes  

– A pass lasts until a hit or a double hit, or until the head judge calls a break. 

– A clear hit in the first pass counts 2 points, any clear hit in the second and third pass counts one point, double hits count 0 points. All hits (regardless of where they land) are counted as 1 point. 

– Conditions for winning: The contestant who has scored more points by the end of the 3rd pass wins. If there is no decision after 3 passes, the fight continues until the next clean hit (no double) decides the fight. 

3.3 Semifinals and Finals 

This is where it gets exciting. The semifinals and finals will be fought during a fixed time slot (Saturday, at 16-17.15 in hall 1). They are moderated by Dreynschlag.

– Duration: The fight consists at least (see below) of two rounds, 2:00 minutes each (2 minutes break in between). 

– Fights do not get interrupted to call a hit, but a stop may be called at any time by any of the judges, for example to readjust safety equipment. Time taking will be stopped during such breaks. 

– the time keeper will put hockey tape on both fighters’ Feder. This serves as an approximation of how sharp blades behave in a bind and allow for better and cleaner Winden, esp. in round two. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to experiment with tape in your training and sparring sessions. 

– First round: both fighters start from a Zufechten distance (long distance). 

– Second round: the bout starts from a Band/bind (unteres Hängen/ classic bind situation resulting from Oberhau vs. Oberhau). Only actions starting from the bind are taken into account by the judges (i.e. in the course of the action you are free to leave the bind, for example to deliver a strike, but you are not allowed to actively give up the bind, move away, then attack). You are encouraged to show off your Winden game, but you are free to use thrusts, strikes, cuts, arm wrestling, wrestling etc. However, you are required to stay within bind distance. No running away!  

– Conditions for winning:  The winner is decided upon by a jury of judges. The jury, nominated by Dreynschlag, consists of experienced trainers/fencers with a good standing in the community. The judges are required to wear an extremely silly hat.  

– the judges may call for a third round if they are undecided after the second round. This optional third round can be fought under the rules for round one OR round two, as to be decided by the judges. Duration: 2 minutes. 

To decide upon a winner, the jury will consider: 

  • good distance management and “Zufechten”  
  • effectiveness and precision of a hit with edge or Ort  
  • situational awareness and overall control 
  • proper retreat 

“Proper retreat” especially means not getting hit within ONE tempo (one step and one sword movement (thrust, cut) after one’s own hit. 

  • Overall activity/ dominance (or as a negative factor: inactivity) 
  • Effective use of advanced techniques and plays (disarms, throws, proper Winden, complex maneuvers that require setting up the opponent for the actual attack) 
  • Concerning double hits: The judges may decide that one hit is more effective than the other one (e.g. hit in the head vs. scratch on the arm).  They might also consider frequent double hits as a sign of poor distance & timing on one or both parts. 

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