Longsword Tournament Rules

This document provides the rules specific to the Longsword Tournaments.

All rules outlined in the General Tournament Rules also apply to the longsword tournaments, and offer more depth on the criteria for scoring actions.

Rules are subject to change up to the commencement of the tournament.

SoCal Swordfight Longsword Tournament Goals

The goal of the Longsword tournament is to both showcase and help develop skill in utilizing the longsword for the purpose of unarmored combat, as outlined by the KdF tradition. (Of course all other traditions are invited to play!) This includes the use of the longsword as a sharp sword. Tournament rules and judging standards are meant to advance fundamental skills, such as integrating cutting mechanics into antagonistic sparring. A match is not a simulation of a sword duel. 

In the use of a longsword there are times when you would wish to use more or less debilitating striking mechanics, but if you don’t demonstrate high quality strikes when asked to, it shows you are not capable of them. It is the goal of SoCal Swordfight to stress test high quality striking interpretations and push the fighters to achieve these. There are many other existing venues which test a fencer's skill and ability to achieve touches as quickly as possible.

Fighters shall self-select which tournament they feel is the most appropriate for their skill level.

SoCal Swordfight reserves the right to reallocate fighters.

Cutting Qualification

All participants for Open and Advanced Steel Longsword must pass a cutting qualification before being eligible to compete. The qualification is valid for 2 years from the time it is completed. Participants who do not pass the cutting qualification are still eligible for competition in Beginners Longsword.

Individuals who have not pre-qualified based on cutting at previous events must attend the scheduled cutting qualification time slot. For more information on the cutting qualification please refer to the cutting tournament rules. (Entry in the cutting tournament is not required)

Scoring Actions

Matches will be fought until a fighter reaches a score of 7 points

Point Values

SoCal Swordfight 2022 Longsword Tournament Scoring and Point ValuesThrusts or Cuts to the Upper Opening will count for 3 points with slices to the Upper Opening counting for 1 point. Thrusts to the Torso will also count for 3 points while cuts to the Torso will count for 1 point. Cuts and Thrusts to the Legs, Arms, and Hand will count for 1 point, as will slices to the arms and hands. A single point can also be scored with pommel strike to the mask. For all other scoring actions see below.

Additional Scoring Actions

  • Pommel Strike to Mask 1 pt
  • Standing Takedown*     3 pts
  • Controlling Action       +1 pt
*Any form of takedown, throw, or violent shoving are not permitted in the Beginners Longsword Tournament

Afterblow and Double Hits will be scored in accordance with the General Tournament Rules.

Afterblows will deduct 1 point from the initial score. The score (-1) point.

Doubles - Don’t double. 3 doubles 

If 3 double hits are recorded in a match:

  • Pool matches: recorded as a loss for both fighters.
  • Elimination match: the match winner will start with a penalty of -1 in their next match, and an additional -1 for every subsequent double.

One-handed strikes are not permitted except when the hand is removed as part of a grappling technique executed against an opponent.

Controlling Action**

If any valid scoring action is deemed to be a Controlling Action an extra (1) point will be awarded over and above the normal point value awarded. A controlling action is defined as a blow which either seizes control of the opponent’s blade (eg: constrained thrust) or primary weapon arm (eg: grapple or slice) at the moment of impact. No controlling action can be scored in the event of an afterblow. 

Wrestling and Takedowns*

The amount of time permitted for a wrestling action is a 5-count from the director; beginning when both of the swords are inhibited (discarded, entangled, etc). This count may or may not be verbalized at the directors discretion.

A standing takedown is a wrestling action that deliberately and safely puts the opponent on the ground, while the throwing fighter remains standing. Standing requires one foot remain on the ground, dropping to a single knee is acceptable.

For a takedown to qualify as a Controlling Action, the throwing fighter must retain control of their weapon and demonstrate the ability to deliver a cut or thrust. Note that takedowns are not permitted in Beginners Longsword.

Illegal Actions

All illegal actions from the General Tournament Rules apply to the longsword tournament.

Should a fighter execute one handed blows outside of the grapple they will first be warned, and subsequent infractions will be assessed non-safety penalties.

Any form of takedown is not permitted in the Beginners Longsword tournament.


All protective equipment and weapons must be inspected prior to competition. A fighter must show up to gear check wearing their equipment.

Protective Equipment

All equipment from the General Tournament Standards of Approved Equipment is required, in addition to the following:

  • Heavy HEMA Gloves (Sparring Gloves, SPES, Koning, ProGauntlets, Superior Fencing, Etc). Lacrosse & Red Dragon Gloves explicitly not allowed.
  • Heavy padded HEMA jackets 
  • Shin protection is not required but recommended.
  • Forearm protection is not required but recommended.


Blackfencer Synthetic Longsword will be provided for the Beginners Longsword Tournament.
All other (steel) longsword tournaments require fighters to provide their own feders.
The following is an approved feder makers and models:
  • Albion: Meyer
  • Arms & Armor: Fechtbuch, Fechterspiel
  • Aureus: All feders
  • Blackfencer: All feders, Sparring longsword
  • Castille Armory: Standard Feder
  • Comfort Fencing: Dobringer
  • Darksword Armory: Feder
  • Ensifer: All feders
  • Mac Arms: All feders
  • Pavel Moc: All feders
  • Regenyei: All feders except Strong
  • SGT Blades: All feders
  • Sigi Forge: All standard and shorter models

More feders from different manufacturers may be added later on with the approval of the tournament organization staff. Other makers' feders can be considered, but may be disallowed and are up the the standards of the officiating staff.

Due to safety and quality concerns, the use of any Hanwei feders will be prohibited during this tournament. SOME blunt (non-feder) swords will be allowed, however they will be assessed on a sword-by-sword basis. They will be checked for edge thickness (at least 2mm) and flexibility (director’s discretion). 

The event is under no obligation to allow you to use the sword you have brought.