Skip to content

Blademasters Cup 2017 – Referee Guide


Dear Referees!

BIG THANK YOU for helping us out!

I strongly believe that together we can make this tournament a shining example for others to follow!

Tournament Concept Overview:

  • Blademasters Cup is designed as a martial art event rather than a sports event which means the biggest emphasis should be put on the quality of the fight itself, not the point scoring.
  • All hits that are done without proper intent should be immediately discarded, eg. touching someone’s with the blade to score afterblow, light taps, hitting with the flat, light thrusts etc.,
  • Repeated behavior to ‘play’ the rules or using excessive force/aggression/suicidal/dangerous tactics should result in a warning,
  • The main objective of the tournament is to fight in a technical and controllable way which allows all participants to learn new things and enjoy each fight,


  • Pool phase: as much as we are pressed with time here we will try to make each group as big as possible to give fighters their value for money meaning as many pool fights as possible
  • Elimination phase: this will go quickly (8 fights only) but the bouts are done to 7 exchanges and with no time limit
  • Eliminations bracket will be assembled from the 8 highest scores achieved during the pools phase (meaning that group results as such won’t matter only the accumulated number of points achieved)


  • Each pool fight will consist of 5 exchanges with a 3 mins total time limit (time keeper will stop-start a timer at each exchange)
  • Each elimination fight will consist of 7 exchanges with no time limit.
  • Each exchange will be recorded even if it didn’t produce a point to ensure correct scoring. (Main Referee won’t start the new exchange until the scores are shown on the table display)


  • Main referee will call the start (Fight) and stop (Hold) of the exchange
  • After the HOLD command both fighters need to stop immediately and go back to their corners (Referee will wait with announcing results until fighters are in their corners)
  • Parrying a late attack however is allowed (to prevent double/afterblow) but attacking is not.
  • Any attack made after the HOLD command should be nullified
  • Fighters have the right to raise their hand and call out opponent’s hit (giving away the point to the opponent) – Referee will have to make that clear by pointing at the fighter and asking ‘are you calling out a hit at X on yourself?’ If a fighter agrees/nods then the point can be given as per fighters request. 
  • If a fighter objects against the decision when standing in their corner – Main Referee will hear fighter’s claim then discuss it with other referees and make a final decision. Ideally, this should happens only once per fight and only when situation warrants this.
  • Main referee will always make the final call, after consulting with fighters and side referees.
  • If the exchange was unclear and/or the winner cannot be decided the exchange can be restarted by the Main Referee’s decision.


  • 6 points for a clean hit in torso/head area (for the purpose of scoring we will use a definition of a deeper target which will include also shoulders and the upper arms above elbow joint, hips and upper parts of thighs should be included into this as well)
  • 3 points for a clean hit in arm/leg area (as above, shallow target includes wrists, forearms & elbows area, shins & knee area – in short every part of the body that is extended towards the opponent during the fight)
  • 2 points for an afterblow for the person who hit first, 1 points for the person who hit second (regardless of the hit location) – this applies only if the afterblow is warranted from the martial perspective, eg. comes are a result of failed defence, parry-riposte or a one-time counter action. Otherwise it should be classified as double hit. 
  • 1 point for forcing your opponent out of the ring (both feet) – Referee can issue a warning if this is played to someone’s advantage due to weight and size of the fighter, 
  • 0 points for double hits (regardless of tempo in which hits were scored, if both hits landed without any defensive action from each side then it is considered to be double hit, however if the second hit comes completely late and out of tempo it should be ignored and NOT scored at all)
  • Strikes with the body and wrestling doesn’t score any points but can be used (in controlled manner) in order to facilitate scoring with a weapon (blade or pommel). Joint locks and throws are not allowed, but leg sweeps/light takedowns are. (similarly Disarms won’t score anything unless the opponent is hit with a sword/pommel)
  • 3 points for striking the mask with the pommel (mask is the only valid target for the pommel but as it is potentially dangerous to the neck/spine it should be carried out without excessive force!)
  • +1 BONUS POINT is awarded for quality and control of the fight, eg: Clean hit and parry to nullify potential afterblow (abzug, nachreissen), counter technique used to strike the opponent while controlling his blade (zornhau, zwerchau, absetzen etc.,) (this is entirely up to the referee to decide based on the fight itself, however it is supposed to be a reward for a good technical action and not an obligatory point for every time when a clean hit happens!)
  • Disallowed targets: groin area, back of the head, back of the knee, ankle and feet


  • There will be 3 Referees for each match using Blue/Red flags to show scores, the general rule is that at least 2 out of 3 flags need to show the same result otherwise exchange is restarted.
  • Foul will nullify the points gained within the same exchange and is recorded on the score card, this can be called out only by Main Referee
  • 3 Fouls will disqualify the fighter from the tournament
  • Foul can be incurred by failing to obey referee’s orders or acting in a way that can potentially cause an injury to the opponent or by interfering with the conduct of the bout