If you are coming to FightCamp 2022, here’s the information you will need.
Competition Rules and Equipment Regulations
In 2022 we will have following competitions:
- Rapier and Smallsword tourmanet
- Waite’s Sabre Tournament
- Feder Tournament
- Melee Tournament
- The FightCamp Open
The Team Melee Tournament is run using rules detailed further down this document. In FightCamp Standard Rules, emphasis is on accumulation of points through clean fencing.
FightCamp Standard Rules
All bouts will consist of 5 exchanges.
An exchange is where one or both people score a hit, and time for an afterblow (with one step) is allowed.
An afterblow must be limited to a single foot movement, either a passing step or lunge. As soon as the person hit has made one foot movement, afterblow time is finished. AN AFTERBLOW WILL ONLY BE RECOGNISED IF IT IS AN ATTACK TO THE HEAD OR A THRUST TO THE TORSO (incidental second hits to the limbs therefore are ignored).
If in doubt as to whether an exchange was a double or an afterblow, always assume that it was a double (which is replayed once).
Double hits score nothing and are replayed once. If the replay also results in a double hit, then that is recorded as zero to both fighters, as detailed below.
Each time an exchange is concluded, it will be scored as follows:
- 5 points for a clean unanswered cut or thrust to the head or neck
- 5 points for a thrust to the torso
- 4 points for any other clean hit
- 3 points for strike to the face with a hilt, only if given cleanly
- For a successful afterblow (attack to head or thrust to torso within one foot movement), the person who hit first is awarded as above, but minus 2 points. (EXAMPLE – thrust to leg then afterblow = 4 – 2 = 2) The person who hit second with an afterblow gets 0 points themselves
- 0 points for double hits – In each exchange doubles are replayed once
Fighters will have 5 exchanges to accumulate as many points as possible, to a maximum potential points of 25.
Cuts and thrusts can only be counted when applied with the edge or point. Very light taps will be discounted. Draw or push cuts will be scored.
Disarms do not score, but a hit delivered after a disarm will score as above.
Strikes with the body and wrestling do not score points by themselves, but may be used to facilitate scoring a strike with the weapon. Corp-a-corps is expected to be carried out in a controlled way and not with the intention of causing a real injury.
No score is gained by forcing an opponent out of the ring, but if a fighter repeatedly runs out of the ring themselves, the referees may award points against them.
Referees may award yellow or red cards as they see fit, for dangerous or disrespectful conduct.
The FightCamp Open
Over two days (as shown on the programme) the sparring arena will be open for scored bouts between any fighters.
The fighters arrange their fights themselves then:
- Report to the Marshal
- Have their fight, according to either FightCamp standard rules, or their own pre-agreed rules, preferably with a third person as referee
- Report the winner and loser of the fight to the Marshal
The Marshal keeps a record of all the fighters and their results. At the end of the time limit on the second day, the scores are tallied up and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fighters are announced.
Fighters can use whatever weapons and rules they both agree on, so long as they meet minimum safety standards and are agreed by the Marshal.
FightCamp Team Melee Tournament
In the FightCamp Melee Tournament fighters will declare hits on themselves, so honourable conduct is essential. Each team has 6 fighters.
The tournament is intended to be fair as well as fun.
If people do not declare hits then the tournament will not work. Repeated failure to declare will be punished with disqualification. There will be line judges to assist the referee and they will be looking for non-declaring of hits.
Teams of 6 fighters will use an assortment of medieval weapon simulators (nylon – Red Dragon allowed only).
The weapon selection puts the fight in a medieval civilian context and represents the sort of weapons that an unarmoured group of hoodlums or rioters might have had in the 14th to 16th centuries.
Red Dragon Rawlings Range only. Any number of fighters with either:
- 1 Longsword
- 1 Arming Sword* and Buckler
- 1 Arming Sword* alone
*Normal blade length – no longsword blades used in one-handed hilts.
Fighters must provide their own weapons and protective clothing, in line with what is required for the solo tournaments.
Fighting In the Melee
Fighters may not exchange weapons between team members during a fight. When someone is ‘killed’, they must take their weapons with them.
- Each match between two teams will consist of a series of bouts.
- Each bout lasts until all the fighters on one team are out.
- Points are denoted by the number of fighters left in play at the end of the bout.
- The first team to score 7 points in total wins the match.
The following rules apply during the Melee:
No wrestling or strikes apart from with the weapon count.
- All edge cuts and thrusts score with swords
- Pommel/hilt/buckler strikes are not scored
- No throwing of weapons is allowed
- A fighter receiving a hit and being out will exit the marked arena immediately by the shortest route possible, whilst holding their weapons and hands above their heads
- Fighters must use restraint when hitting in the back or when an opponent has fallen
- Fighters must use restraint when outnumbering/outnumbered
- One weapon hit anywhere on the body, including extremities, knocks a fighter out
- Double hits result in both fighters going out. Afterblows count, if given with one step, and send both people out
- If both the competitor’s feet leave the rectangular marked arena, then they are out
- If the judges call halt, all fighters must freeze exactly where are
It is important that there is minimal interruption to a team fight. The following judging pointers will be applied:
- Fighters call their own hits
- Fighters repeatedly not declaring their hits will be removed from the match. Video footage may be consulted
- A number of line judges will be used, in addition to one main referee
- Line judges can tap a fighter on the head three times with their long stick to say that they are out, if they feel the fighter has not taken a hit
- Line judges or the referee can call halt to freeze a fight
- The referee’s decision is final
Steel feder/longsword & sabre minimum:
- 1600N mask with back of head protection added
- Padded purpose-made fencing/HEMA jacket with long sleeves and fully enclosed from neck to waist – no openings
- If the jacket has less than 800N penetration rating (or is untested) then a fencing plastron must be worn underneath – dominant side only for sabre/rapier, both sides required for longsword (double-sided advised)
- Groin protection/cup/chest protector (latter for women)
- Fencing breeches OR a purpose-made fencing skirt
- Hard knee AND shin protection
- Elbow cups on weapon arm/s
- HEMA sparring gloves – Red Dragon minimum for sabre (must be better than Red Dragons for longsword)
- No exposed skin anywhere (within reason)
As above, but with lighter gloves allowed. We strongly advise thick leather and some hard plates as minimum
All other requirements the same as above
Nylon weapons minimum:
- Fencing mask (350N minimum)
- Thick, long-sleeved upper body garment (preferably a fencing jacket)
- Forearm and elbow protector on weapon arm/s
- Groin protection/cup/chest protector for women
- Gloves on both hands (Red Dragon/hockey recommended minimum)
- Knee protection minimum, preferably also shin/s
Steel Weapon Regulations
- Blade tips MUST either be rolled, nail, thickened (8mm minimum), have a metal casing (eg. .45 Colt brass cartridge) added or be spatulate and blunt, equivalent to a 10 pence coin (and at least as thick as a 10p, if they are that wide)
- Rubber tips are NOT allowed unless they have a metal case inside, due to the number of injuries documented with them
- Swords must be within reasonable length, mass and balance parameters as agreed with the staff. These parameters will become literally specified in the future, but are currently down to staff opinion on the day. If in doubt, check with a Marshal
- Blades MUST have a reasonable level of flex in the thrust – if they are deemed too stiff then they may be disallowed
- Steel blades must be in good serviceable order and without signs of blade fatigue, including serious bends, fracture lines/cracks, or deep nicks. If a weapon takes a concerning bend during the competition, then it will be resigned from service
- Blade edges must be blunt and smooth to the touch before EVERY round
- Hilts must not have dangerous projections or sharp angles/edges
- Weapons will be checked before every tournament and if a staff member has doubts about a weapon, then it will be disallowed
Nylon Weapon Regulations
- Nylon weapons are the Red Dragon brand* by default and in good order. Longsword blades fitted to single-handed hilts are NOT allowed.
- If you want to use a different brand of nylon weapon, then your opponent must either have a similar brand/type, or be otherwise happy with the match.
- In the Melee and Lady Luck tournaments, only Red Dragons will be used.
*We have nothing against other brands, but in competition the stiffer and heavier blades of some other brands (eg. Black Fencer) offer a great advantage and we therefore see them as unfair. You are very welcome to drill with them in classes or spar with them – they just aren’t allowed in the competitions for fairness.