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Synthetic Sabre Tournament 2018 – 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 (5 mins limit), eliminations to 7 exchanges (7mins limit)
  • Scoring:
    • Major Points:
      • Clean hit, deep target – 5 points
      • Clean hit, shallow target – 3 points
      • Double/Afterblow – 0 points
    • Minor Points:
      • +1/+2 points (bonus points awarded at judges discretion, see Survivability Rule below for full explanation)


  • 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 top scoring fencers of each pool (based on major points only, in case of a draw minor points will be taken into account to decide).


  • Each pool fight will consist of 5 exchanges with a 5 mins time limit.
  • Each elimination fight will consist of 7 exchanges with a 7 mins 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)
    • 3 points for a clean hit at shallow target area (this includes forearms and elbows , shins and knees)
    • 0 points for a double/afterblow regardless of the target area


  • MINOR POINTS (assigned at judges discretion):
    • +1 (for clean hits only) is awarded at judges discretion for maintaining 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.
    • +2 (for double/afterblows only) is awarded at judges discretion for getting survivability advantage over the opponent in an afterblow/double scenario.
    • +2 points can be also awarded for a ring out, pommel strike or a disarm scenario.


    • if one party was able to CLEARLY survive and continue the exchange while the other party CLEARLY wouldn’t be able to continue
  • 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.
    • What counts as valid strike and should be counted:
      • Cut made with at least 30 cm traveling arc with proper edge alignment
      • Thrust made with enough impact to make the bend of the blade visible
      • Slice made with at least 30 cm slicing (in or out) motion with proper edge alignment
    • What does not count as a valid strike and should be ignored:
      • Cut/Slice executed with a flat or poor edge alignment
      • Thrust executed lightly without visible bend of the blade
      • Cut/Slice resulted in edge traveling less than 30 cm
      • Light taps, scratches, hits at the outer protecting layer that otherwise would miss the body


  • 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.
  • 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