Judging Requirement

As SoCal Swordfight has grown by leaps and bounds (350 competitors in 2023!) we have to be proactive in addressing both scalability for future growth, and the desire to keep the focus on it being about the community coming together.

To this end we have made a significant judging change for 2024.
  • Every competitor will be required to line judge for one pool in each tournament they have registered to compete in.
  • Experienced directors will be scheduled by the event for all pool matches. A full judging team will be scheduled by the event for all elimination matches.

For the eliminations all of the judging staff are organized/scheduled by the event. 

Opting Out of Judging

Though we strongly encourage each participant to embrace this responsibility, we realize there will be some who simply do not want to judge. Choosing not to judge will incur a $25 fee, bringing the cost of individual tournament registration to $50 per tournament.


Yes, that option is part of the tournament registration process.

Judges work as a team, and there will be other line judges to help. As well as an experienced director’s eyes.

We will schedule to make sure that there is a pool between commitments.

Pool #1 fighters wouldn’t need to judge until at least Pool #3, and the Pool #4 fighters would not be judging in Pool #3, etc.

We want to not add any commitments to participants outside the time blocks for the tournaments they signed up for. This way you don’t have to worry about judging in another tournament and can enjoy that other aspects of SoCal Swordfight.

These will still be event attendees, however the reduction in number of individuals we need to source will allow us to concentrate more on ensuring we have a pre-selected / scheduled core of trained and compensated staff to head all the matches and do the elimination brackets.

The number one guiding principle of SoCal Swordfight has been to not turn away people who want to experience the event. We never want to be an event where everyone has to rush to register before it fills up.

Naturally this creates some (extreme) logistical headaches for the organizers, but we’re in it for as many people as want to enjoy SoCal Swordfight.

In addition we want to keep towards HEMA’s roots of “everybody helps out”. Rather than events being something to consume we all have a part in keeping them running. And everyone who’s been in an event should understand what it’s like to be on the other side of the judges flags.