Smallsword Tournament

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  • Full Event Registration Required
  • Competition from Around the World
  • Results Submitted to HEMA Ratings
  • Registration is Open

Historical European Martial Arts Smallsword Tournament at SoCal Swordfight 2023

Looking to test your smallsword skills against some of the top competitors? Then you should register to compete in the smallsword tournament this year at SoCal Swordfight!

Smallsword has now become an annual event at SoCal Swordfight. We've seen this event attract some of the top smallsword fencers from all over the United States, so it's the perfect place to see how your skills stack up.

This tournament is open to all small sword practitioners. 

This is a bring your own sword event.

Please review the rules and approved equipment list before completing your registration.

Please register each attendee individually when possible.

When Registering for SoCal Swordfight 2023, please be sure to choose the registration type that fits with the activities you are going to participate in at the event (See below for Details).

If you have selected Full Event Registration, you will be asked which tournaments you would like to participate in. Where applicable select the level that you want to compete at and press the "+add" button to place them in your cart for checkout.

You will have the opportunity to review your selection on the "Cart" page, if everything is correct, please select the "Check Out" button to proceed.

Next you will be asked to complete registration form for the person attending the event, name, contact info, club or school affiliation, and to sign the Release and Waiver of Liability Agreement.

If you are registering for a minor that you are a parent or legal guardian of, please fill out the registration with their name. The waiver will switch to asking for parental consent once you put in their date of birth. 

Once you have complete the registration form and signed the waiver, press the "Submit" and "Checkout" buttons to proceed to the payment form.

Once you have paid for your registration, you will receive an email receipt as well as an additional email to access your tickets electronically.

Should you have any troubles through this process please do not hesitate to connect with us either through the chat button or emailing us at


The goal of this rule set is to promote a style of fencing that is skillful, artful and martial. 

These are the rules for all tournaments regarding fighter conduct, safety standards, quality standards, target definitions, and timing.

Learn More

This document provides the rules specific to the Smallsword Tournament at SoCal Swordfight.

All rules outlined in the General Tournament Rules also apply to the Rapier Tournaments. Rules are subject to change up to the commencement of the tournament.

SoCal Swordfight Smallsword Tournament

Scoring Actions

Matches will be fought until first scoring exchange or the end of 60 seconds (the match is a double out!). Large pool sizes will permit competitors many opportunities to score points and give a diverse number of opponents to fight.

Fencers with the highest number of points earned divided by hits received shall advance to eliminations.

Point Values

A match shall be concluded when one of the following occurs:

  • A fencer strikes their opponent to any target area permitted in the General Rules without receiving a strike in return.
  • Both fencers hit each other, beat a double or afterblow.
  • 60 seconds of fencing has elapsed, which is considered a double hit.

Fighters shall be ranked based on the formula:
Score = [Number of Clean Hits Scored] / [Total Number of Times Hit]

Illegal Actions

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

All “Body Wrestling” is forbidden. This includes throws and pushing a fighter out of bounds. (It is, of course, still legal to pressure an opponent to back up even if they are at the edge of the ring.)

Blade grabs of stationary blades are permitted, however the blade must be released after a single action/tempo. Should a fighter continue to hold the blade they will be assessed a non-safety penalty of 1 point.

Strikes with the pommel or hilt are not permitted.

Grabbing the opponent’s hilt with intention to twist the hilt is prohibited.

Approved Equipment for Tournament Participation at SoCal Swordfight

All of the tournaments are considered to simulate ‘blossfechten’. In the interests of promoting a professional HEMA image, and to encourage fighters to respect the weapon simulators, heavy armor (breast plates, etc.) or fantasy-styled armors are not permitted.

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

The following equipment is required for all sparring tournaments:

  • Masks with back of the head protection are required.
  • Trachea protection that protects the throat from a direct thrust is required.
  • Testicle protection is required.
  • Rigid breast protection is recommended but not required.
  • Hard elbow protection, that covers the 3 points of the elbow.
  • Hard knee protection that covers the knee.
  • No exposed skin will be permitted.

The equipment standards for the following are dictated by the weapon tournament:

  • Gloves
  • Jacket
  • Shin/Forearm

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

Protective Equipment - Specific to the Smallsword Tournament

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

All equipment from the is required, in addition to the following:

  • Leather fencing gloves or equivalent are required for the hands. Padded gloves are recommended for the off-hand.
  • A protective torso garment is required. Examples include HEMA jackets (ie SPES/Superior Fencing), padded gambesons, light fencing jackets, and quality maille (mail). Approval is at the discretion of the director. The garment should be made out of thrust-resistant material.

Approved Weapons

All swords will be inspected before use.

Fencers shall bring their own swords. Blades shall be between 30’’ and 35’’ in length. Triangular style, schlaeger style, and foil styles are permitted. Historical grip styles only (no pistol grips).

Smallswords must have tips with a bright contrasting tip color (such as black tip with gold tape or vice versa). This is to enhance the ability of judges to see thrusted blows.

Smallsword blades from the following makers will be allowed, other blades will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and approved by the tournament director. This list may be updated as time goes on.

  • Deltin
  • Hanwei
  • Angus Trim
  • Castille Armory
  • Darkwood Armory
  • Danelli
  • Kvetun Armory
  • Blackfencer 
  • Absolute Fencing
  • Zen Warrior
  • Kraken
SoCal Swordfight is under no obligation to allow you to use the sword you have brought.
Tournament Criteria
Smallsword Tournament

Come join us as we explore this fascinating martial art in a fun and competitive environment. Our Smallsword Tournament offers a chance for practitioners to test their skills against others in a fun and safe environment. We will be using the smallsword in its common form from around 1660, which provides a good balance of speed and power.