Fechtschule

Purpose

The Southeast Renaissance Fencing Open (SERFO) is a tournament event dedicated to promoting the practice and teaching of Historical European Martial Arts in the region. Most clubs in attendance are based in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. Participants come from a variety of backgrounds in terms of their choices of weapons, time periods, and manuals of study. SERFO is a multi-disciplinary event with a focus on Renaissance weapons, and we give equal footing to rapier and longsword fencing. SERFO is known as being a competitive, but friendly and open event. We endeavor every year to being welcoming and supportive to all fencers. While the fencing is at all times intense, and done with a desire to win, we view winning as a secondary aspect of fencing well. A victory for us is the fencer having fun, and improving their overall skill. We hope that you have fun, and wish to come back to SERFO again and again.

Capo

Competition Area

  • Bouts will take place in an 8m circle with clearly marked edges.

  • Fencers will start in one of two starting areas, red or yellow.

Equipment
  • Table for staff - This will be positioned where the Director can easily see the timekeeper and the scoreboard.

  • Scoreboard - digital or manual scoreboards are acceptable

  • Timer – A digital timer clearly visible to Director and Competitors will be used.

Minimum Equipment Safety Requirements

All equipment will be checked when a fencer registers on the day for their tournaments. No fencer shall be allowed to participate until all of their gear has been inspected and passed.

Participants are encouraged to contact the tournament organizers ahead of time if they have any questions regarding equipment. There may be limited equipment available the day of the tournament for participants to borrow. Some equipment may also be available for purchase on the day of the tournament.

Rapier

  • Mask: 3-weapon mask in good condition with no discernible rusting, breaches of the mesh, tongue, or bib. The mask must completely cover the participant’s ears and be neither too large nor small to snugly fit the competitor. Other headgear (i.e. steel helmets) will be allowed pending inspection for similar criteria as above.

  • Neck Protection: Some form of rigid neck protection or gorget that covers the larynx must be worn.

  • Torso: A standard fencing jacket, or other jacket designed specifically for HEMA. Historical clothing designed to be worn for fencing is acceptable provided it meets minimum safety standards.

  • Gloves: Gloves must be worn on both hands.

  • Groin/Breast Protection: Use of rigid groin protection (cup/box) is mandatory for men. Women are highly recommended to wear rigid breast protection. Pelvic protectors are recommended for female participants. Rigid chest protection is recommended for all participants.

  • Footwear: Fencers must wear some kind of enclosed toe footwear. Historical reproduction footwear is acceptable.

The first blood Rapier tournament will require the following additional equipment
  • Back of the head protection: Commercially manufactured back of the head protection is preferred, other methods will be accepted on a case-by-case basis

  • Gloves: Fencers must wear gloves or gauntlets which protect the hand, fingers, and the portion of the wrist nearest the hand. Unpadded gloves are not sufficient.

  • Elbow/Knee Protection: Use of rigid elbow and knee protection is mandatory. The protection must completely cover the knee and elbow.

Longsword and Sword and Buckler

  • Mask: (Back-of-head protection required for steel) 3-weapon mask in good condition with no discernible rusting, breaches of the mesh, tongue, or bib. The mask must completely cover the participant’s ears and be neither too large nor small to snugly fit the competitor. Other headgear (i.e. steel helmets) will be allowed pending inspection for similar criteria as above.

  • Protection for the back of the head is required for all participants.

  • Neck Protection: Some form of rigid neck protection or gorget that covers the larynx must be worn.

  • Gauntlets: Fencers must wear gloves or gauntlets which protect the hand, fingers, and the portion of the wrist nearest the hand. Gauntlets must have rigid and padded protection; unpadded gloves are not sufficient.

  • Steel Tournament: SPES Heavy Gloves, Sparring gloves (Fechtschule Gdansk/Ensifers), Neyman Thokks, St. Marks, or modified lacrosse/hockey gloves with significant rigid exoskeleton are required. Contact us if you have any questions about the acceptability of your gloves. Gloves not on this list must be preapproved. No exceptions will be granted on the day of the tournament.

  • Sword and Buckler Tournament - For the Buckler hand gloves which have no voids in protection on the back of the hand may be acceptable, but final determination will be on a case-by-case basis. Lacrosse/Ice hockey gloves are recommended.

  • Groin/Breast Protection: Use of rigid groin protection (cup/box) is mandatory for me. Women are recommended to wear rigid breast protection. Pelvic protectors are recommended for female participants. Rigid chest protection is recommended for all participants.

  • Jacket: Fencers must wear a padded jacket that completely covers the torso,back, and arms. Coaches fencing jackets or padded reproduction gambesons are recommended. For example, SPES AP or Fechtschule Gdansk Jackets, NEYMAN HEMA Jacket, PBT HEMA Jacket, etc.

  • Elbow/Knee Protection: Use of rigid elbow and knee protection is mandatory. The protection must completely cover the knee and elbow.

  • Footwear: Fencers must wear some kind of enclosed toe footwear. Historical reproduction footwear is acceptable.

  • Shin: Rigid shin protection is recommended for nylon and mandatory for steel.

Weapon requirements

Rapier

  • Rapiers blades shall be between 35 and 45 inches in length from the crossbar to the tip.

  • Dagger blades shall be no longer than 18 inches in length

  • Only rapier and dagger blades intended for fencing will be allowed (Del Tin, Darkwood, Zen Warrior, Alchem, Hanwei, etc…​) Others may be accepted, contact the tournament organizers for more details

  • Flexi daggers are not allowed

  • Rapiers and Daggers must be covered with plastic blunts, held in place with tape of contrasting color

Longsword

For the Steel Longsword tournament you shall be using your own sword. Acceptable weapons include the following:

  • Albion Meyer

  • Arms and Armor Fechtbuch

  • Arms and Armor Fechterspiel

  • Aureus Feder

  • Black Fencer Feder

  • Ensifer Feder (Any style)

  • Regenyei Feder (Any style)

  • Pavel Moc (Any style)

  • Comfort Fencing (Any style)

  • Castille Armory

Any other type of Feder style Longsword will be taken on a case by case basis. Please contact us with the type of sword before the tournament to get it cleared.

For the Steel Longsword tournament weapons that will not be allowed include blunt longswords, sharp longswords, fantasy styled longswords, etc. Examples include:

  • Albion Liechtenauer

  • Hanwei Practical Bastard

  • Hanwei Tinker Pearce Blunt Trainer

  • Arms and Armor Spada da Zogho

All Feder tips must be covered with plastic blunts/leather/etc, and held in place with tape of contrasting color

Sword and Buckler

For the Sword and Buckler tournament you shall be using your own sword. Sword brands are the same, though models must be either “side swords” or arming swords. Exceptions and edge-cases should be requested/reviewed as far in advance as possible.

  • Training Arming sword of any type are acceptable

  • Training Messers are acceptable. They must have a comparable flexibility to the Arming Swords and Side Swords allowed.

  • Training Side Swords are acceptable. A simple hand guard is allowed. Ports and Side Rings are allowed.

  • Maximum Blade length allowed is 38 inches.

  • Examples of Arming Swords:

    • Albion I:33

    • Arms and Armor Scholar Sword

  • Examples of Messers:

    • Arms and Armor Messer

    • Comfort Fencing Messer

  • Examples of Side Swords:

    • Darkwood Arms and Port

    • Darkwood 2 Port Cross

Buckler requirements:
  • Wooden or Steel Bucklers are acceptable

  • Nylon Bucklers are acceptable

  • Targa are acceptable

  • Max width is 16 inches

  • No miniumum width

Rapier Tournament Rules

General Rules

A valid thrust requires controlled pressure in line with the point and should generally cause the fencer’s blade to bend. Judges should note that some clearly valid thrusts hit at such an angle that the blade does not bend, though. This will be called at the judge’s discretion.

A valid cut requires controlled pressure in line with the edge. Incidental contact with the edge will not be considered valid.

Hard hits are inevitable in any tournament, but fencers who consistently use excessive force will be warned or penalized by the loss of a point or the loss of a match. Excessively hard hits will not be penalized if the director feels the excessive hit was the result of the receiving fencer’s own action (i.e. lunging into the opponent’s attack).

If a fencer covers his or her valid target area with their arm or hand and a receives a hit that would have landed on the body or head, the hit may be counted as having hit the deeper target. The application of this rule is the discretion of the director.

Conventional Rapier

The rules for this tournament are loosely based on the conventions for competition described by Giovanni Battista Gaiani in his 1619 text, Arte di maneggiar la spada a piedi et a cavallo. These rules view the tournament bout as a demonstration of skill rather than a simulation of a serious encounter. Each bout will be fought to 6 points, or 2 minutes.

Scoring
  • Arm: 1 point

  • Body or Head: 3 points

  • Below the waist: Not Counted

Techniques allowed
  • Only thrusts shall be used.

Double hits and after-blows will be scored as regular hits. Only the first hit for each fencer will be counted during an exchange.

There shall be no grappling or in-fighting. If both fencers arrive at in-fighting measure without scoring a touch, a halt will be called and the fencers will reset.

If either fencer steps outside the boundaries of the fencing area, a halt will be called and the fencers will reset.

It is possible for both fencers to score 6 or more points against an opponent. If this happens during pool phase of the tournament, it will be counted as a loss for both fencers. If it occurs during the elimination rounds, the fencer with the highest score will win, but will begin the next round at a disadvantage based on the number points that were scored against him or her. This penalty shall not exceed 3 points.

First Blood Rapier

Unlike the conventional tournament, the first blood tournament is intended to more closely resemble a serious encounter. Bouts will be fought until a fencer scores one valid hit.

Each bout will consist of one 2 minute round. If there is no score at the end of the period, the director will flip a coin and assign priority to one of the fencers. The fencers will continue for one more minute. If neither has scored at the end, the fencer with priority will win the bout.

Each bout will be fenced until a fencer scores a single, valid hit. A valid hit can be delivered with either a cut or a thrust. A disarm will count as a hit. Light grappling (no throws) is allowed. Pommel strikes to the front of the mask only are allowed and are valid hits, but they must be pulled and should not land with full force.

A fencer can also lose by stepping outside of the boundaries of the fencing area with both feet. If both fencers leave the area it will be counted the same as a double hit. Fencers will not receive a warning when the near the boundaries of the fencing area, and will not be allowed the opportunity to reset.

In the pools round, a double hit or after blow will count as a loss for both fencers. In the elimination round, the bout will be re-fought.

Longsword Tournament Rules

This is a Bring Your Own Sword event, but if you need to borrow a sword it may be possible. Please contact the event organizers before the event for arrangements. Bouts will be fought until a fencer has a score of 6 points more than their opponent, or time runs out. If the time runs out, the highest score will count. Length of bout is a continuous 3 minutes.

The rules for this event can be found here: Longpoint 2017 Longsword Rules

There shall be two tournaments held for Longsword. * Open * Women’s

It is possible to compete in both the Open and the Women’s tournaments.

Summary

Matches: Each match lasts 3 minutes in the pools and in the eliminations. The clock shall be continuous unless halted by the Director to clarify a judging decision. The finals shall be two rounds of 3 minutes with a one minute break.

The last exchange of the match is always at least 10 seconds—if an exchange ends with less than 10 seconds on the clock, 10 seconds are added and “Last Exchange” is called.

If the match ends in a tie, a Sudden Death round is fought; the first Clean Hit/Grapple wins.

If a fighter leads his opponent by 7 points or more after a Clean Hit/Grapple, the match ends.

Grappling at the person is allowed, i.e. controlling the sword, looking for a pommel strike, wrapping up the opponent, but throws and takedowns shall not be. This is due to the flooring not being suitable for hard impact.

Each Exchange is judged as one of five types:
  • Clean Hit: One fighter hits the other and is not hit in return.

  • Failed Withdraw: One fighter hits the other but is hit afterward.

  • Double-Hit: Both fighters hit each other at roughly the same time.

  • Grapple: Control of the opponent, pommel strike, disarm with threat of strike; 5-second verbal count by Director.

  • No Exchange: Halt is called but the Judges determine that neither fighter hit.

Scoring: Each exchange is worth 0, 1, 2, or 4 points, as follows:

Points

CLean Hit

Failed Withdrawal

Grapple

Double Hit

0

Contact

Contact - Quality

Unresolved

+

1

Quality

Target++

Ringout

-

2

Target++

-

Takedown/Throw

4

Control+++

Control+++

+ A Double where the swords are in contact is called as Closed and thrown out. A Double where the swords are not in contact is called as Open and incurs a foul.

++ Target means a cut or thrust to the head, neck, or torso.

+++ Control means one of three conditions:

  1. A cut or thrust on Target while in the bind/on the sword.

  2. A cut or thrust on Target while disabling the other weapon with a slice or grab.

  3. A throw, takedown, or other pin with dominance if the sword is presented as a threat.

If the Judges decide a Control technique is achieved, any strikes afterward are ignored.

Sword and Buckler Tournament Rules

This tournament aims to promote Sword and Buckler fencing from the German traditions up to the Bolognese traditions. Due to this it is possible for fencers to end up fencing somewhat ahistorical weapon matches such as late 14th century Arming Sword vs an early 16th century Side Sword. As this is the case we view this event as a way of highlighting the art that you study. We desire to see you fence as cleanly and as true to the sources you study as possible.

Bouts will be fought until a fencer reaches 9 points first, or with the highest score at the end of time shall win. Length of bout is a continous 2 minutes. This is done due to time constraints within the overall event.

Valid Techniques
  • Long edge cuts

  • Short edge cuts

  • Slicing cuts. The technique known as Slicing (Schneiden) used to block and control your opponent does not score. Only push or pull cuts with Long or Short edge.

  • Thrusts

  • Pommel Strikes

Strikes with the Buckler will not score and will result in a disqualification if thrown to the Head.

Allowed Target areas plus score
  • Thrust or cut to head - 3 points

  • Thrust to body - 3 points

  • Cut to body, and cut or thrust elsewhere - 1 point

Doubles and Failed Withdrawals

A Double is where both Fencers strike each other within the same action.

  • In the case of a Double no score shall be given.

  • If there are 3 or more doubles in a pool bout then the fencers lose that bout.

  • If there are 3 or more doubles in an elemenation bout, the fencers go into their next bout with a 3 point penalty.

A Bad or Failed Withdrawal (Abzug) is when a fighter lands a successful hit as given above, but fails to defend himself afterward.

  • Once a hit is scored, the Director will allow a brief moment to elapse before the bout is stopped (roughly the time required to execute a single step), during which time the other fighter can attempt a “revenge strike”.

  • If the hit is to the head or a thrust to the body: This "revenge strike" can only be against any part of the upper body ( from the hips up).

  • Any fighter who Fails to Withdraw safely following a valid strike to the head shall receive only 1 point.

  • Any fighter who Fails to Withdraw safely following a valid strike to the anywhere but the head shall receive no points.

Running of a Bout

Rapier and Sword and Buckler

  • Each bout will be officiated by a total of four judges and a Director.

  • Two Judges will be assigned to only watch for hits against one fencer.

  • The Director will be responsible for starting and stopping the bout, determining the validity of hits, and keeping track of score.

  • When a judge observes a hit, he or she will raise the appropriate fencer’s flag, and the Director will call halt. The Director may also halt the bout if he or she observes a hit.

  • The Director will allow sufficient time after the initial hit for the possibility of an afterblow. The bout shall continue until either the attacker has retreated safely out of measure or immobilized the opponent so they are unable to strike. The defender is allowed no more than one step and one strike to attempt an afterblow.

  • After the bout has been halted, the Director will call the action if necessary (multiple hits, out of bounds, etc…​) The Director’s ruling on the action is final.

  • The Director will then ask each judge if he or she observed a hit against their assigned fencer. Judges shall answer: Yes, No, Invalid (flat, light, off target, etc..), or Abstain.

  • The Director can overrule one of the judges, but not both.

  • In the event that the score is tied at the end of a period, the Director will flip a coin and assign priority to one of the fencers. The fencers will continue for one more minute. If neither has scored at the end, the fencer with priority will win the bout.

  • A fencer may choose to acknowledge a hit made against him or her, or decline to accept a hit against their opponent at any time, but this is not required or expected. The Director may choose to accept this or not at his or her discretion.

  • A fencer shall never attempt to call a hit against their opponent, or argue that an opponent’s hit was invalid.

Longsword

The method found in the Longpoint 2017 rule set shall be used. Please see Article 6 above.

Injuries

  • Fencers must act in a prudent and reasonable manner at all times in order to avoid injury to themselves, their opponents, tournament staff, and spectators.

  • Any Fencer who acts in an unsafe or malicious manner may be disqualified from further participation in the tournament at the discretion of the tournament administrator.

  • No Fencer, Coach, or Spectator will enter the arena to assist with an injury unless called for by the Director.

  • An injured Fencer will be allowed a 2 minute period to decide if he or she is well enough to continue. If a Fencer is not well enough to continue, the match is forfeited. A warning may be issued to the injured Fencer’s opponent if the injury was caused by reckless, but not illegal or malicious, behavior.

  • In all cases of injury, the judges and tournament administrator will make an assessment as to whether the injury was inflicted maliciously. A Fencer who injures his opponent intentionally shall be disqualified from the tournament.

  • Injury inflicted on any other party (Director, judges administrative staff, spectators) may result in disqualification, depending on the circumstances and at the discretion of the tournament administrator

Roles of the Staff

Director

  • The Director starts and stops the fight, communicates with the Fencers, ensures all participants are ready, controls safety in the ring, interprets the actions, and announces points for the scorekeeper.

  • At no point during a bout should anyone but the Ring Boss, Scorekeeper, or Tournament Manager speak to or otherwise communicate with the Director. Any Fencer or Coach who attempts to do so will receive a warning.

Scorekeeper

  • The Scorekeeper tracks the action of the match as reported by the Director, and updates the digital scoreboard for the match.

  • Only tournament staff may communicate directly with the Scorekeeper during a bout; any Fencer or Coach who attempts to do so will receive a warning.

  • Fencers or Coaches may communicate with the Scorekeeper during a break to ascertain bout order.

Ring Boss

  • The Ring Boss controls the general running of the competition area.

  • The Ring Boss prepares the next pair of Fencers for their bout.

  • The Ring boss shall fill in the Fencer brackets.

  • Fencers or Coaches may communicate with the Ring Boss about general information as long as they do not interfere with the running of a bout.

Roles of the Fencers and Coaches

Fencers

  • There will be two Fencers for every match.

  • No more than two Fencers are allowed in the competition area at a time.

  • Fencers must report to the mat when called.

  • Any Fencer called to the competition area three times in a three-minute period without reporting will forfeit the match.

Coaches

  • Each Fencer may be attended by one Coach.

  • The Coach is allowed to give their Fencer advice throughout the bout.

  • If the Coach is too loud and interfering with the bout then they shall be given a warning by the Director. Two such warnings will see the Coach being disqualified from the tournament. They shall not allowed to be next to the competition area for the rest of the event.

  • The Coach may enter the mat if invited by the Director, but must otherwise stay outside of the ring and may not interfere with the Director, other Fencers, or any tournament staff.

Notes: