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Blademasters Cup 2018 – Open Steel Longsword Tournament: Rules and Regulations


  • Tournament will include a pool phase (round robin) + single elimination phase
  • Pools will be designed to give each participant maximum number of fights possible
  • Each pool fight to 5 exchanges, eliminations to 7 exchanges
  • Scoring: 5 – deep target, 3 – shallow target (both with +1 Quality option), Double Hit – 0 (+2 Quality option, see Survivability Rule below for explanation), Everything Else – 2 points.


  • Tournament will consists of group pool phase with up to 8 participants each in group
  • We will separate club members between groups then draw randomly
  • Whole tournament structure will be publicly available before the event
  • Single elimination bracket will be assembled from the pool winners (two each, six in total) and the two highest scores achieved during the pools. Elimination will be ranked so the 1st score fights with 8th score, 2nd vs the 7th etc,.


  • Each pool fight will consist of 5 exchanges with a 3 mins time limit.
  • Each elimination fight will consist of 7 exchanges with no time limit.
  • Exchange is where one or both people score a hit (0 is a valid score here)
  • Each exchange will be recorded even if it didn’t produce a point to ensure correct scoring.


  • Each fighter starts an exchange in their dedicated corner
  • 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
  • Parrying a late attack however is allowed (to prevent afterblow) but attacking is not.
  • Any attack made after the HOLD command is nullified
  • Fighters have the right to raise their hand and call out opponent’s hit (giving away the point to the opponent) and/or object against the decision if necessary (once per bout) but ONLY when standing in their corners,
  • 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.


  • 5 points for a clean hit at deep target area (this includes head, torso and arms above the elbow joint) (+1 Quality option)
  • 3 points for a clean hit at shallow target area (this includes forearms and elbows , shins and knees)  (+1 Quality option)
  • +1 QUALITY POINT (for clean hits only) is awarded for quality and control of the fight, eg: Clean hit and parry the afterblow (even if afterblow is out of tempo) or a counter technique used to strike the opponent while controlling his blade (zornhau, zwerchau, absetzen etc.,)
  • 0 points for a double hit/afterblow (Quality option below)
    • QUALITY (SURVIVABILITY RULE): in case of double hit/afterblow (regardless of who hit first!) each referee will decide independently based on their own answer to the Survivability Rule Question: Are you able to CLEARLY tell that one party would have survive the exchange while the other wouldn’t? (by taking into considerationthe following: Quality of the strike + Target area + Order of hits)
    • YES – If at least 2 referees will show the same positive answer, the surviving part is awarded 2 points (Quality)
    • NO – If there’s no positive decision between the referee the result is double hit which results in 0 points
    • TEMPO: attacks that were initiated after getting hit should be discarded as out of tempo (parrying such attack can be a basis for +1 quality point for a clean hit though), attacks that were initiated before getting hit should be considered valid double hits.
  • 2 points can be awarded for a clean strike with the pommel
  • 2 points can be awarded for forcing opponent out of the ring (both feet outside of external ring area) – ONLY if the other fighter stays within the ring and ONLY if the other fighter did not get hit while doing so! If he/she does get hit than according to Survivability Rules (see above) the other party can get 2 points (Quality) instead (regardless of the fact if the hit happened before or after the ring out).
  • 2 points can be awarded for disarming the opponent while having control over own weapon (being able to strike the disarmed opponent)
  • 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.
  • 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