IGX 2016 Invitational Longsword Rules

Valid target area

1.1. The entire body is a valid target, except for the groin and the back of the head/neck.

1.2 For pommel strikes, only the mesh of the mask is a valid target.

1.2. Intentional strikes to the groin or back of head/neck will be subject to the 3-tier penalty system.

  1. The bout:

2.1. The bout lasts 2 minutes fencing time. Scoring time is excluded — the clock will stop on each “halt”. When that time has elapsed, the fight is stopped, and the fencer who has the most points is declared the winner of the bout.

2.2.  The bout may be stopped before the time limit when one or both fighters scores 10 points.

2.3. The bout may end if one or both contestants cannot continue the bout due to opponent’s permitted actions. In this case, the current score determines the final score of the bout.

2.4.  The bout may end if one or both contestants cannot continue the bout due to the opponent’s prohibited actions. In this case, the contestant who has committed a prohibited action is declared the loser. His opponent is declared the winner, with a score of 1-0, or with the current score if the opponent was leading.

2.5. A fighter may declare an unwillingness to continue the fight, or may be removed from the bout by the decision of medical staff, for objective reasons (not related directly to the actions of the opponent). In this case, the contestant is disqualified from the entire tournament.  His opponent is declared the winner with a score of 1-0, or the current score if he was leading.

2.6. Grappling will be allowed to proceed for a 3 count, and then the action will be halted.

  1. Scoring:


3.1 A strike must be with the sword edge, point or pommel. Pommel strikes are allowed only to the grill of the mask.

3.2 To score, a strike must demonstrate sufficient intention and ability to injure.

  • A strike with the edge must travel approximately 60 degrees of arc
  • A thrust must travel at least six inches
  • A slice must travel across the target and push against the body or limb such that it is moved.
  • A pommel strike to the mask must travel at least two inches and have the arm behind it – we are looking for a pommel “thrust,” not a sideways backhand pommel.

3.3.  A hit to any valid target area made with the sword in the one hand scores 1 point.

3.4. A thrust or cut to the opponent’s mask or torso scores 2 points.

3.5. A thrust or cut to the opponent’s limbs scores 1 point.

3.6 A pommel strike to the mesh of the opponent’s mask scores 1 points.

3.7. A slice to any valid area scores 1 point.

3.8. A throw with dominance scores 1 point.


  1. Permitted actions:

4.1. Hits with the blade (strikes, thrusts and cuts) to the valid areas.
4.3. Pushing the opponent out of the ring brings 1 point.

4.4. Striking the opponent’s mask with the hand is allowed, but does not score.

4.5. Parrying the opponent’s thrust with an unarmed hand
4.6. Diversion of the opponent’s armed hand with an unarmed hand


  1. Prohibited actions:

5.1. Any hits to prohibited areas (groin, back of the head, back of the neck).
5.2. Intentionally removing the opponent’s protective equipment.
5.3. Any technical actions before the command “Fight” and after the command “Halt”.
5.4. Loss of weapon.
5.5. Stepping out of the fencing ring (1st – warning, then minus score)
5.6. Dangerous fencing (moving a prohibited area into the path of an attack, neglect of one’s own protection, baseless counter attacks).
5.7. Other actions which may cause risk to the health of participants, spectators or judges, or interfere with the tournament.


  1. The double hit:

6.1. When both contestants are hit simultaneously (“double hit”), each of them receives the full score for their strike.
6.2. When there are three double hits in a row, or five in a match, the match ends with a loss for both fencers. The current score is recorded for purposes of indicators.
Remark: We assume that the best way to punish the double hits is to allow them to score, which brings the ends of the match closer and allows the opponent to score as well. At the same time, if there are many doubles, both fencers will be declared as a losers.

7. After-blows:


An After-blow is a successful hit performed by the contestant within one fencing tempo after receiving a scoring hit from his opponent. (Fencing tempo is the time necessary fencer to perform one simple fencing action without delay.)

  1. a) An after-blow cannot bring more points than the successful hit from the opponent one tempo before.
  2. b) If the after-blow is more valuable, it annuls the opponent’s previous hit, and both fencers score zero points.
  3. c) If the after blow is of equal or lesser value, it scores according to the target hit, minus one point.

Example 1.

Both contestants A and B hit each other as follows A: Mask vs B: after-blow Mask.

Scoring is A:2 vs B:(2 minus 1). The final score is A:2 vs B:1

Example 2.

Both contestants A and B hit each other as follows A: leg vs B: after-blow Mask. The final score is A:0 vs B:0.


Example 3.

Both contestants A and B hit each other as follows A: Mask vs B: after-blow leg. Scoring is A:2 vs B:(1 minus 1). The final score is A:2 vs B:0.

Remark: Our main priority is to simulate the tactics of an unarmoured combat in a sporting match. We assume, that in terms of the blossfechten, the after-blow can’t be as strong and fast as the first strike, because of the damage that was done. However, the first strike is not a guarantee that there will be no after-blow. Hence, the after-blow is scored as you can see in the rules. Hence the fencer should do prepared attacks and be ready to defend himself. For example, the tactic of offering hands in order to score to the head (which is unacceptable in blossfechten) should be prevented.