Socal 2018 Team Battle

Tournament Rules

This tournament is intended as a fun, community building event with a martial spirit that promotes skill and competing with a variety of historical weapon styles. Sportsmanship will be highly prized in this event.

Fencer Conduct

All fighters are expected to display skill and control. This is a martial arts tournament and all fighters are expected to conduct themselves with respect for the weapon, their opponent, and the tournament staff. Any fighter that is deemed to pose a danger to themselves or others will be addressed at the discretion of the tournament director.

The tournament director will serve as the ultimate authority within the ring. The disciplinary procedure will generally constitute first a warning, then a penalty, then an expulsion from the match or tournament; however it shall remain at the discretion of the director. Fighters who have been banned from attendance of previous SoCal Swordfight tournaments, or from other major HEMA tournaments, are not permitted to attend the SoCal Swordfight tournaments.

Team Setup

Teams will consist of five (5) persons. Substitutions will not be allowed except in the case of injury to a team member. Teams must bring two of each weapon that they wish to use in the challenge.

Conditions for Victory

Team Victory is achieved by scoring the most points across the ten (10) rounds of the match. The current maximum score possible is thirty (30) points. In the event of a tie, each team will choose one (1) final Champion to fight a longsword match to the first clean exchange.

Determining Round Order

A coin toss will determine which teams will start as the Challenger and the Responder. Teams which have traveled the greatest distance will call the toss. The winner of the coin toss will choose if they wish to be the Challenger or the Responder.


Rounds will have the following order:

  • Challenge Phase
  • Response Phase
  • Duel Phase

Rounds will continue until all members of each team have participated as a Challenger Champion and as a Responder Champion. At the end of all rounds the Match Victor is determined.

Challenge Phase

In the Challenge Phase, the Challenger team will choose from their members a Champion who has not participated in the match as a Challenger Champion, a weapon, and a ruleset (e.g. only valid target is the head). There is no minimum nor maximum number of times a weapon may be chosen. Once the above are chosen, the Champion will present the Challenge to the Responder team and the Response Phase begins. Maximum time allotted for the Challenge Phase will be thirty (30) seconds.

Response Phase

In the Response Phase, the Responder team will choose to either accept the Challenge or to refuse the Challenge. Each team has three (3) refusals to use throughout the entire match. If the Challenge is refused, we return to the Challenge Phase with the caveat that the same Champion must be chosen. If the Challenge is accepted, the Responder team chooses their own Champion from their members who has not participated in the match as a Responder Champion and the Duel Phase begins. Maximum time allotted for the Response Phase will be thirty (30) seconds.

Duel Phase

In the Duel Phase, the two Champions fight in three (3) exchanges according to the ruleset defined by the Challenger with a three (3) minute running clock. Each exchange is worth one (1) point awarded to the team of the Champion who scores it. Doubles result in the loss of points for the exchange and after three (3) doubles, the round will end with no points assigned. Only clean exchanges will be scored, after-blows will result in the exchange being refought. After the exchanges have all been scored, the Challenge Phase begins again with the Responder team taking the role of the Challenger and the Challenger team taking the role of the Responder.

Acceptable Equipment

Standard armor for this tournament will be considered equivalent to those for standard longsword as stated below. Specific exceptions will be made for individual weapons (such as rapier) but safety will be the number one priority at all times.

All armor will be inspected by the tournament staff prior to competition.

  • Appropriate Head protection: Masks with back of the head protection.

  • Acceptable head protection – ‘That guys products’ style masks.

  • Trachea protection, that protects the throat from a direct thrust.

  • Heavy padded HEMA jackets (ie SPES), or Padded Gambeson

  • Hard elbow protection, that covers the 3 points of the elbow.

  • Hard Knee protection that covers the knee.

  • Ensifer / AF gauntlets or reinforced lacrosse gauntlets. Other types of gloves must be approved by tournament staff with a strong advisory warning.

  • Groin protection is essential for male fighters.

  • Breast protection is essential for female fighters.

  • Shin and forearm protection are not essential but recommended.

  • No exposed skin will be allowed.