Tournament 2015

The 2015 tournament had an attendance of 56 fencers in total. It was won by:

1st place: Lukas Mästle-Goer, Schwabenfedern Ulm
2nd place: David Garcia, Militia Genavae
3rd place: Ferenc Hucker, Ars Ensis/HADU
4th place: Daniel Sutter, Leo et Ursus


archived information and rules:

It’s a Feder (or “Longsword”) tournament. The basic idea is the same as in previous years (See Rules for: 2014, 2013) but we make slight changes to the scoring system each year to encourage people to train the art, not the “sport” (more on tournament rules here).

Judges should award points (only) for hits that would lead to decisive injury in a Blossfechten scenario. Judges should not stop the fight immediately even after a decisive hit. Instead they wait for two seconds to let the situation play out (Nachschlag from either party, or safe retreat).

Fencers are encouraged to go into far distance if they feel they have either scored or received a hit and only then stop the fight. Your perfect action consists of scoring a hit or a combination of hits without being hit yourself, and then retreat into distance.

You need standard equipment (mask with back-flap, padded jacket, cup, decent gloves). The default weapon is a standard Regenyei Feder. Bring your own Feder, but you do not have the guaranteed right to use your own custom-made Feder, your opponent has the right to request weapons of equal length, in which case we will just issue both fighters with a standard Feder.

Pommel-strikes, Ringen and Schwertnehmen are permitted. We are looking for technical fights, and judges can issue warnings and penalties for excessive force (i.e. force that is far beyond what is reasonably necessary for a Blossfechten fight) even if your behaviour isn’t acually unsportsmanlike or brutal. Your aim is to remain relaxed and in control of during combat.

We expect about 60 people in the tournament. Only 16 get into the octofinals. This means that two thirds of participants drop out after the pool rounds. Consequently, we try to make the pool rounds as attractive as possible, but there are limits to available capacity (space, time and judges). You get to fight four opponents in the pools (this corresponds to a total of about 120 fights taking place on Saturday between 10h and 17h). Finals should start Sunday 10h.

Pool round

Target area and illegal actions:

  • In this round (and this round only), the hands are not part of the target area (imagine a Blossfechten fight with gauntlets). Any hit to the hands (including the wrists) does not result in stoppage.
  • From the above rule it follows that it is illegal to stop the blade with the hand (also for your safety, this is a good way to break a finger; of course you can still grab a stopped blade for a legitimate Schwertnehmen, you are just not allowed to stop a moving blade with your hand).
  • No single handed techniques from long distance (Geissler): survive the pools without using this, save it for the finals.
  • In-fighting techniques and Ringen are legal but do not result in points or stoppage, you have to finish up with a hit. If the fight goes on the ground, it is broken up after ten seconds if no hit is scored.

The fight is interrupted at any illegal action (it is not illegal to touch the hands, it just doesn’t result in any points; it is, however, illegal to deliberately strike to the hands with force in order to intimidate or injure the opponent). Fighters executing illegal actions or making use of excessive/needless brutality or barbarism may be warned, penalised or disqualified by the judge.


The bout consists of six (subject to revision) Gänge or passes. The judge is asked to stop the fight one second after seeing a hit (let Nachschlag and/or Abzug play out!). Once the fight is stopped, the judge has to distinguish between the following cases.

  • uncertain or nothing happened, continue the exchange.
  • one fighter scored a “light” hit (noticeable but would not result in an incapacitating injury): award 1 point to this fighter
  • one fighter scored a “solid” hit, a clean, solid hit to the head or torso, or to the arms or legs above the elbow/knee: award 3 points to this fighter
  • the judge really cannot make up his mind if the hit was “light” or “solid”, alright, so go ahead and award 2 points as a compromise.
  • there was a Nachschlag against the scoring fighter, subtract 1 point from the score given.
  • the exchange resulted in a double hit: both fighters are penalized by -1 point. (if one of the two hits was clearly much less effective than the other, it is at the judge’s discretion to disregard it entirely in favour of the fighter who scored the solid hit (You agreed to judge, so you get to make difficult decisions).

It follows that each fighter leaves the bout with a score between -6 and +18, or after four bouts any score between -24 and +72 points. Participants are then ranked according to their score. The top 16 participants pass on to the octofinals. If two or more fighters are tied for rank 16, they are called upon for a single, “sudden death” exchange.


Pool round rules are inherited, with the following changes (provisional):

  • hits to the hands are now legal (counting for one point)
  • two Geissler techniques per fight are allowed (counting for one point). After two Geissler hits, further such attacks do not result in stoppage.
  • double hits are recorded separately, and the winner will start his next fight with a negative score corresponding to the double hits received in his or her last fight.
  • very cool techniques are awarded five points: a clean Schwertnehmen (a fighter disarms the opponent without losing his own sword or keeping the opponent’s sword) or a clean throw (throw your opponent but remain standing yourself) or a clean “combo” hit (two or more solid hits plus safe Abzug).
  • If the fight goes to the ground, it is stopped after fifteen seconds if no hit is scored. A hit may result from one fighter reaching for a sword, or from a clearly dominant “ground-and-pound” position (you do not actually “pound” your opponent, obviously! it is enough to establish the dominant position). Fighters may also carry wooden daggers and use them to score a hit in a ground fight. A hit scored on the ground is awarded three points.
  • fights are now timed, lasting two minutes (octo- to quarterfinals), three minutes (semifinals) or four minutes (finals). Fighters may be warned or penalised for inactivity. If the fight is tied at the end of this period, it is decided by “sudden death” at the next scoring hit.
  • first blood: if the first hit of the fight is a “solid” hit, a bonus of two points is awarded (this bonus is lost if the fight’s first hit is only a “light” hit).
  • A fight ends if one fighter has a lead of ten points (octo- to semifinals) or fifteen points (finals).
  • After ten double hits, both fighters drop out of the tournament, and their last opponents (octofinals: fighters with the next highest scores from the pool round) are reactivated.

The finals are judged by teams of four: one head judge, two assistant judges and one secretary/timekeeper. Assistant judges have flags to indicate seeing a hit, but only the head judge may stop the fight.

Fights take place in a marked circle (c. 7m diameter) and if both fighters leave the field, the fight may be stopped to move fighters back to the center, but there is no penalty for leaving the field (except if a fighter does this deliberately, e.g. to play for time — any unsportsmanlike behaviour, gaming the rules, or other kinds of disruptive, dangerous or brutal behaviour may be penalised by the judge).