Rapier

Tournament Structure:

  • Pools: All tournaments will take place over the course of two rounds of pools, followed by finals.
    • We will aim to place 6 fencers per pool, but exact pool size may vary based on participant numbers
    • Finals will consist of the top six fencers following pools.
      • Points will accrue across both rounds of pools, and the top six fencers following pools will proceed to finals. Points will then reset for finalists, and accrue across finals.
  • Each match will consist of multiple passes- passes will continue until either fencer has accumulated a total of 3 points for the match. There will be no time limit per pass, and passes will continue until a scoring action is made (including doubles).
  • Rings will be 15’ x 20’ rectangles. Fencers will start each pass in a 2’ endzone (included in the overall 20’ length of the ring).
  • Ties will be broken through the following methods:
    • Highest number of matches won
    • Tiebreaker match (same format as all other matches)
  • Staff:
    • Director/ Lead Judge
      • Officiates matches
      • Looks for scoring actions and halts passes
      • Determines score
    • Assistant Judge
      • Looks for scoring actions and halts passes
      • May help determine score
    • Table
      • Keeps track of score
      • Announces fencers currently fencing and fencers that are on deck
    • First Aid
      • Will be on hand to tend to any injuries or illnesses during event
      • If severe injury (such as concussion) is suspected by first aid or other staff, judges may elect to remove a fencer from the tournament, regardless of the injured fencer’s wishes.

Judging Style Guidelines

There will be two judges per ring. Each judge will be equipped with a wooden pole to make visual indications of instructions.

  • Judging Language:
    • Judges should refer to competitors as “fencer,” and may differentiate the fencers by the color of their side of the ring (Ex. “blue fencer” and “red fencer”).
    • If pronouns are necessary, judges should use gender neutral pronouns when referring to fencers.
    • Judges will use the phrase “Ready, fence!” to begin a pass.
      • “Ready,” is a command, not a question. It is the responsibility of the fencers to alert the judge if they are not ready to begin the pass.
    • Judges will use the word “Hold!” to end a pass.
      • Hold should be called loudly and firmly. The call should last approximately one second. Both the lead and assistant judges may call a Hold
        • A judge should only call Hold once, unless the fencers do not respond to the initial call.
        • A Hold should be called as soon as a potential scoring action is seen.
        • Fencers must immediately cease all action upon hearing Hold Actions taken after a Hold is called may be penalized. Fencers should continue fencing until they hear Hold, even if they believe they have landed a touch.
      • If a Hold is called by mistake or no scoring action can be identified, the judge should say “No exchange.” The pass will then be reset and refought.
    • When a judge opts not to award a point for an action, they must provide the reason why that decision was made. (Ex. “The blade was flat,” “The touch was late,” “The thrust was passe,” “The action incurred a penalty,” etc.)
    • When a judge gives a penalty, they must provide one of the reasons detailed in the “Penalties” section below.
    • When a judge assigns points, they should use the following format for announcing points:
      • “Red Fencer landed a thrust to Blue Fencer’s head. One point against Blue Fencer.”

Scoring

Points will accrue against fencers (more points= bad!). Fencers will be ranked by fewest number of points. (Ex. A fencer with 0 points is ranked ABOVE a fencer with 3 points.)

Each time a fencer is struck or a scoring action is made against them, they will be assessed one point. Placement is dictated by the least number of points. This means that priority should be placed on defense, not offense. Doubling impacts final standings, not just the individual match.

All methods of scoring, regardless of target area or action type, are worth 1 point against the fencer who received the action.

  • Target Areas
  • Target area includes the entire body from the head to 2” above the ankles, excluding:
    • Back of head
    • Spine
    • Groin
    • Feet
  • Any hits made to off-target areas may be subject to penalty.
  • Scoring Actions
    • Cuts
      • Cuts should make obvious, intentional contact with the opponent. Incidental contact will not be considered a scoring cut.
      • Cuts must land with the edge of the blade. Touches made with the flat of the blade will not be considered quality.
      • Cuts should be initiated with a chambering action in order to make cuts discernible and clear to judges. A cut made without a chambering action may not be considered quality.
      • Cuts must be made with the weak or the middle of the blade. A cut made with the strong of the blade is subject to penalty.
    • Thrusts
      • Thrusts should make obvious, intentional contact with the opponent. Incidental contact or passe thrusts will not be considered scoring thrusts.
      • Thrusts do NOT need to bend the blade in order to score.
      • Thrusts do NOT need to plant the point in order to score. A thrust that slides off of protective equipment (such as a fencing mask) will still count as a scoring action, so long as the initial thrust was valid in landing on the target.
        • A thrust is considered valid if it lands on a generally perpendicular angle to the target. A thrust that lands on a generally parallel angle to the target is not considered valid.
    • Slices
      • Slices are only valid if made to the neck (bib of the fencing mask) or forearms (between the elbow and wrist).
      • Missed thrusts may not be converted into slices. A slice must have a clear chambering action (placing the blade on a valid target area of the opponent) followed by a clear slicing action.
    • Grappling
      • Grappling is not allowed in this event. Closing to grapple an opponent may be subject to penalty.
        • Blade grabs are prohibited.
        • Open-handed blade parries are allowed.
    • Doubles
      • If both fencers land hits within the lockout time (one tempo- details below), a double hit will be scored. In the instance of a double, both fencers will receive one point against them.
        • Doubles are bad for both fencers- both will receive points, which negatively affects both scores.
    • Disarms
      • If a fencer drops their weapon for any reason other than those regarding safety, it will be considered a disarm, and the fencer will receive one point against them. However, performing an intentional disarm on an opponent is prohibited, and may be subject to penalty.
        • Ex. A fencer drops their weapon without an action being taken by their opponent. This is a disarm.
        • Ex. A fencer delivers a hard thrust to their opponent, and drops their weapon to alleviate force upon landing the thrust. This is considered an action taken for safety purposes, and is NOT a disarm.
        • Ex. A fencer grabs their opponent’s weapon, and wrenches it out of their opponent’s hand. This is an illegal action, and the fencer will be carded. This will not be counted as a scoring action, and no points will be assessed.
    • Ring Out
      • If a fencer steps one full foot out of the ring, they will receive one point against them.
        • Ex. A fencer’s heel touches the ground outside of the boundary, but their toes are still inside the ring. This is not a ring out.
        • Ex. A fencer takes a complete step out of the ring with one foot. This is a ring out.
        • Ex. A fencer steps both feet completely out of the ring. This is a ring out.
  • Lockout Time
    • “Lockout Time” is defined as the amount of time after an initial touch is landed that the opponent’s touch will be considered valid. This is not a set period of time, but depends upon the action.
      • To be valid, an afterblow must land within one tempo of the other fencer’s action.
        • After the first touch lands, the opponent’s touch is considered out of tempo if they need to re-chamber or initiate their action following the initial touch.
        • A blow is considered in tempo if it has already been chambered or initiated before the initial touch lands.
  • Reset of Pass
    • If a judge resets a pass, no score is awarded, and the fencers will refight that pass. A judge may reset a pass for the following reasons:
      • Halt was called for a non-scoring action
        • Premature halt, safety halt, non-quality contact, halt for penalty, etc.
      • A messy exchange occurred, in which no valid scoring actions were made
      • No progress is being made in the bout
        • Fencers are not engaging, are not progressing towards control, etc.
      • Fencers have circled a complete 180 degrees
    • If 3 consecutive resets are made for any reason caused by the fencers, both fencers will incur 1 point against themselves, and the pass will progress (a halt being called for a non-scoring action will not count towards these resets).

Gear Requirements

Protective equipment will be inspected at the start of each pool. Rapiers will be inspected upon check-in.Staff organizers have the final say on the inclusion of any and all equipment in events.

  • Protective Equipment
    • Full Skin Coverage
      • No skin may be exposed- including the back of calves and palms of the hands
    • Fencing Mask
      • No dents or holes in mesh
    • Back of Head Protection
    • Puncture-Resistant Jacket
      • The entirety of the jacket must be minimum 350N rated OR be sufficiently padded so as to still be puncture resistant
        • Single layer jackets must be minimum 350N rated
          • Non-Newton rated jackets must be, at minimum, a similar thickness to a standard (not light) 350N longsword fencing jacket
      • Jackets must cover all skin from the throat to the waist and wrists
      • Jackets must close completely- no open zippers
    • Puncture-Resistant Thigh Protection
      • Must reasonably cover the front and sides of the upper leg
      • Thigh protection must be minimum 350N rated OR be sufficiently padded or rigid so as to still be puncture resistant
        • Acceptable protective gear may include: 350N fencing trousers, 350N or padded fencing skirt, multiple layers of clothing/fabric, jacket or gambeson that covers the thighs, other rigid or padded thigh protection
          • Leggings, gym shorts, or sweatpants alone are not sufficient
    • Rigid Throat Protection
    • Rigid Chest Protection
      • Chest Protection is required for ALL FENCERS, regardless of sex
    • Hard Forearm Protection
      • Gloves with rigid protection that covers the forearms is sufficient
    • Hard Knee Protection
    • Light Gloves
      • Gloves need to include some padding on the outside of the hand- leather, lacrosse, or padded fabric gloves are acceptable
    • Groin Protection
      • Required if anatomically appropriate
  • Rapiers
    • Must flex at or below 45 lbs`
    • Must be within 35-45 inches in blade length
    • Must be reasonably straight
      • Blades with major warps will not be permitted
    • Must be free of rust, burrs, spikes, and all other major damage
    • Rapiers should have an enlarged tip (ex. Rolled tip, spatulated tip, etc.)
      • Use of a metal or leather button to enlarge the tip is acceptable. Rubber buttons are prohibited.
  • Gear Failure
    • In the event that a fencer’s gear needs to be repaired or replaced during a match, they will be given a reasonable amount of time (minimum of 2 minutes) to repair or replace their gear. If the fencer is not able to do so within the time allotted to them by the judge, they will incur all remaining points in the match (maximum 3). The fencer will then be given until their next match to repair or replace their gear, and if they are unable to do so, they will incur all possible points in the match (3). This process will continue until the fencer has repaired or replaced their gear, the tournament has ended, or until the fencer has decided to discontinue their participation in the tournament.

Penalties

The goal of this Ruleset is to specifically penalize and correct reckless or unsafe behavior within the ring. As such, cardable actions are those which jeopardize the physical, emotional, or mental safety of participants, staff, and/or spectators. Judges are given complete discretion in deciding if and when to card participants. While situations that will likely warrant a card are outlined below, judges should use common sense and their best judgment when assigning cards. There are no automatically cardable offenses, as judges should consider each situation individually.

Cards do not automatically escalate. While escalation is optional, judges are encouraged and empowered to escalate cards whenever they feel it is appropriate.

  • Ex. A judge may assign a Yellow Card for a first offense, or they may immediately escalate to a Red Card
  • Ex. A judge may opt to give a second Yellow Card to the same participant, or they may opt to escalate to a Red Card.
    • Judges are encouraged to escalate cards for repeated offenses
  • Levels of Penalty:
    • Verbal Warning: no point penalty
    • Yellow Card: 1 point penalty
    • Red Card: 2 point penalty
    • Black Card: ejection from tournament
      • If a Black Card is issued, the receiving participant may also be subject to ejection from other tournaments, as well as prohibition from future IGX events. Such decisions will be made by event organizers on a per-case basis.

A participant may not be awarded a Scoring Action in the same pass that they receive a card. A participant may be awarded a Scoring Action in the same pass that they receive a verbal warning.

  • Cardable Actions
    • Exposing the back of the head during a pass
    • Striking any off target area (back of head or body, groin, etc.)
    • Striking with the pommel, strong of the blade, hilt, or crossguard
    • Failing to cease all action when a Hold is called
      • Performing a revenge strike (immediately subject to Black Card)
    • Performing any action that a judges deems to be reckless, dangerous, or excessive, including, but not limited to:
      • Striking an opponent with too much force
      • Making leaping or jumping attacks
      • Pushing or shoving an opponent
      • Attempting to throw an opponent
      • Removing protective gear during a pass
      • Performing any other illegal action, as defined within this Ruleset
    • Arguing with or disobeying a judge
      • Influencing judges (as defined below) may be considered disobeying judges if done repeatedly
    • Exhibiting any other conduct within the ring which creates a hostile or unsafe environment for spectators, staff, or other fencers
      • Throwing gear
      • Insulting or yelling at other persons
      • Responding with excessive anger to ranking or judge decisions
      • Violating the IGX Code of Conduct
  • Judges may also assign a card for any action they deem unsafe which does not explicitly meet criteria given here but otherwise poses a safety risk.
  • Other Prohibited Actions
    • Violating the IGX Code of Conduct, in or out of the ring
      • While actions taken outside of the ring are not cardable, they will be taken just as seriously as actions taken within the ring. Harassment or other violations of the IGX Code of Conduct will be immediately addressed by event staff, and may result in expulsion, suspension, or other punitive action.
    • Improper interaction with judges (defined below)
      • Repeated prohibited interaction with judges may become a cardable action
  • Fencer’s Rights and Interaction with Judges
    • Fencers may have up to 1 coach accompanying them at the ring.
    • Fencers and their coaches may ask questions, request clarification on a scoring/ penalty decision, or raise safety concerns with the judges. Fencers may not argue with the judges, nor may they make friendly/casual conversation with judges during a match.
      • Fencers and their coaches are empowered to approach judges or other staff (not during an ongoing match), if they feel there has been an oversight related to safety or penalty. If a fencer is injured, suspects injury, or has been caused pain by an opponent, they should immediately approach event staff.
    • Coaches may not speak with fencers or judges during an ongoing pass, except in the case of a safety concern.
      • Coaches may not yell out advice, encouragement, etc. to fencers during passes
    • Fencers have the right to deny a point to their opponent. This includes in the case of a double, which would turn it into a single point against the fencer. Points assessed against yourself cannot be denied. Fencers must wait until the judge has announced the score for the match before denying a point.
      • To deny a point, the fencer should clearly state to the judge “I’d like to deny the point.” A fencer may only deny a point that was awarded in their favor (i.e. against their opponent).
    • Fencers should remain calm and collected following each pass. Excessive celebration or anger may be considered to be influencing the judges, and therefore subject to penalty.
      • Fencers may not self call in any way- including, but not limited to:
        • Tapping their body where they believe they were hit.
        • Correcting a judge.
        • Early point denial
        • Arguing with a judge.
        • Announcing a hit made by themself or their opponent.
        • Attempting to end an exchange before a hold is called by a judge, except for safety reasons.
        • Announcing “Pommel!” after or while establishing control in grappling

igXhibition Points

Fencers who show particularly skillful or artful fencing may be awarded an igXhibition Point (XP). These points will be counted for each event, and a prize will be awarded for the highest number of XP per event.

Judges are encouraged to be reserved in handing out XP, and only award them for particularly exceptional actions. It is entirely up to judges’ discretion when a fencer receives XP. A fencer may earn up to 1 XP per pass (even if the exchange was non-scoring), but judges are not obligated to award XP. There is no limit to the number of XP a fencer may earn per match or per event.

A fencer may not earn XP in the same pass that they were assigned a card.

Examples of actions that may be awarded XP (this list is not exhaustive, and XP may not always be awarded for the actions listed herein):

  • Proper use of controlling blade actions (i.e. meisterhaus, exchange of thrusts, etc.)
  • Proper entry and exit from threat range, or otherwise strong defense after the hit
  • Proper use of timing principles (time, counter-time)
  • Clean and controlled grappling actions, if applicable
  • Scoring a hit in their opponent’s end zone

Fencing with style – actions which would very clearly make it into an IGX highlights real