All weapons


The fencers must be at least 18 years old. They participate at their own risk and discretion as long as they follow the spirit of the tournament rules. Each bout should maintain a polite quality and instructions from tournament officials are to be respected.

Bout start

The fencers will receive red and blue armbands before the bout, and will be known by their colours during it.

The fencers will start the bout in their corners. The bout begins when the referee calls “fence” or “fight”.

Exchange end

When a hit occurs, judges will call “point”. After giving time for an after-blow, the referee will call “break”. When “break” is called, the fencers must cease attacking, separate, and return to their corners.

The referee can call “break” even if no “point” has been called, e.g. in the case that they are acting as a judge (see Scoring), when judging non-sword actions (grappling, ringouts, etc), or for safety reasons.

Even if there are no hits registered, the fencers must return to their corners if “break” is called by the referee.


A bout is fought for 3 minutes or until one fencer has reached the score cap of 10 points.

Timekeeping is not paused during the scoring; in case there is a longer break in the bout for any reason, the referee will call a timeout.

Ten seconds before the time limit is reached the Secretariat will call “last exchange”. The current exchange will be allowed to run to its end, as long as the fencers are actively trying to fence. If the exchange becomes too passive, the referee will break it up, ending the bout.

If “last exchange” is called after an exchange has ended or while scorable actions are being performed, there will be one more exchange, which will be the last.

Between exchanges

After this, the referee will call “judges”. Each judge will indicate the highest scoring blow for each fencer.

The referee will consult the judges and announce the points for both fencers to the scorekeeper. The scorekeeper then will subtract the lower score from the higher score, and announce the final score.

Bout end

If the point limit is reached before the time limit is reached, the table will call “match”, and the referee will end the match and the fencer who reached the cap will be declared the winner.

If the bout time runs out, the fencer in the lead will be declared the winner; if the score is equal when the bout ends, the bout is a draw.

In case of a bout ending in a draw during the elimination round, the bout will continue in sudden death. Sudden death is fought until one fencer scores at least one point more than the other fencer.

Winner of the bout

After this the table will announce the score to the referee, who will officially announce the winner of the match and the final score.

Illegal targets

The following targets are illegal, and are worth no points:

  • Back of the head
  • Spine
  • Groin
  • Back of the knee
  • Achilles tendon
  • Foot incl. toes

Indicating attacks to illegal targets will still score (for example indicating a strike to the back of the head during a grappling situation).


Scoring with the sword

3 point targets: Cuts, thrusts and slices to the head and neck, down to the end of the clavicle, and thrusts to the torso, down to the top of of the bicep and down to the hipbone

2 point targets: everything else that is not an illegal target

Green: 3 point targets

Purple: 3 point targets for thrusts, 2 points for other strikes

Blue: 2 point targets

Red: illegal targets


An exchange can continue with an immediate attack after the first hit has landed, and said immediate attack will also score the appropriate amount of points. Both fencers are allowed to perform this attack.

Double hits (fencers landing their hits simultaneously) will be treated as blow-afterblow and be awarded the appropriate amount of points.

Scoring in grappling

In a grappling situation, a fencer can score by striking with the weapon or by specific grappling actions. The referee will halt the action in case of a judge calling “point”, if there is a scoring grappling technique, if the referee thinks there is a safety issue or if the grappling is at stalemate (~ 5 seconds without either fencer advancing into a better position). The 5 seconds will be counted out loudly by the referee.

Grabbing and maintaining a hold on a stationary sword is allowed. 

The following techniques score in grappling:

If a fencer pushes both feet of their opponent outside the ring, and remains inside with at least one foot they are awarded 2 points.

Likewise, if a fencer leaves the ring with both feet, their opponent is awarded 2 points.

Strikes with a weapon by a fencer outside the ring do not score, while strikes with a weapon against a fencer outside the ring do score as normal.

If a fencer loses their weapon for any reason, and grappling distance is broken, their opponent will score 3 points.

Takedowns that place any other part of a fencer but their feet on the ground, award the fencer that remains standing 3 points. If both fencers go to the ground and neither is in a clearly dominant position, no score is awarded. If one of the fencers is in a dominant position, for example sitting on top of the other fencer, the dominant fencer is awarded 3 points. Likewise, if a fencer falls outside of grappling distance, their opponent will score 3 points.

Kicking or punching is disallowed and will be penalised, except controlled push-kicks to the front of the torso.

Uncontrolled and dangerous throws or takedowns are disallowed and will be penalised. Joint locks are also disallowed.

Quality requirement

Incidental strikes, cuts with questionable edge alignment, cuts with the tip of the blade and cuts made with a very small arc do not score. It is up to the fencers to demonstrate quality hits.


  • If the two judges agree on the score, the fencer scores that amount.
  • If the two judges agree on a hit, but disagree on the score, the lower score is awarded.
  • The referee may act as a third judge if they disagree with the judges. However, the referee does not have the right to overrule the judges scoring.
  • If the judges are both showing three points, three points are awarded and the referee cannot overrule.

Errors and penalties

Each bout should be conducted in a safe and respectful manner. The penalties for errors against these guidelines are:

  • Warning
  • Penalty hit (maximum possible points for an exchange awarded to the opponent)
  • Loss of match
  • Disqualification

The referee will rule according to the tables below.

SportsmanshipFirst offenceSecond offenceThird offenceFourth offence
Influencing the judges or refereeWarning3 points awarded to the opponent3 points awarded to the opponentLoss of match
Refusal to obey the refereeWarning3 points awarded to the opponent3 points awarded to the opponentLoss of match
Refusal to salute the opponentWarning3 points awarded to the opponent3 points awarded to the opponentLoss of match
Refusal to face contestant who is duly registeredWarning3 points awarded to the opponent3 points awarded to the opponentLoss of match
Interference with the order on the matWarning3 points awarded to the opponent3 points awarded to the opponentLoss of match
Favouring the opponent or benefit from unauthorised agreementsDisqualification
Violation against sportsmanlike spiritDisqualification
SafetyFirst offenceSecond offenceThird offenceFourth offence
Turning the back to the opponent before “break” has been calledWarning3 points awarded to the opponent3 points awarded to the opponentLoss of match
Taking the mask off before “break” has been calledWarning3 points awarded to the opponent3 points awarded to the opponentLoss of match
Striking after “break” has been calledWarning3 points awarded to the opponent3 points awarded to the opponentLoss of match
Uncontrolled fencingWarning3 points awarded to the opponent3 points awarded to the opponentLoss of match
Violent, dangerous, or vindictive actionWarning3 points awarded to the opponent3 points awarded to the opponentLoss of match
Severe violent, dangerous, or vindictive action, or intentional brutalityDisqualification

Self-calling hits, correcting the referee or disputing the scoring is considered a violation (influencing the judges).

The second’s, as well as the audience members’ behaviour (for instance influencing the judges), also constitute violations and can lead to warnings, penalty hits and disqualification of the fencer.

Fencers or seconds are able to appeal decisions to the referee after the conclusion of the bout. If the issue does not get resolved, the fencer, second, or referee can ask for the tournament manager to settle the dispute.

A warning is valid for the bout at hand. If a fencer commits an error that should result in a warning after already having received a warning, the opponent receives 3 points regardless of which the second error is.

If a fencer, second or member of the audience is disqualified, they must leave the premises immediately.

Violations against the sportsmanlike spirit include, but are not limited to, using foul language, throwing equipment and threatening tournament officials.

In cases where an offence cannot be properly addressed by the referee during the bout, it is possible for the referee or any of the fencers to make an appeal to the tournament manager. The manager has the opportunity to remove match points from a fencer for a violation that hasn’t been fully addressed during the bout.

Each warning is recorded in the bout protocol.

Even though the amount of warnings resets after a bout has ended, if a fencer or second repeats violations throughout the tournament the tournament manager will address it and has the ability to remove match points or disqualify them, depending on the severity of the violations. 


If a fencer is injured during the bout, the referee will call a time-out and the medical staff will examine the fencer. If the medical staff clears the fencer to continue, and the fencer wishes to do so, the bout can proceed. If the bout cannot continue within 3 minutes, the injured fencer will have forfeited the bout.

If an injury occurs, all mats will halt ongoing bouts until the situation is cleared for the benefit of medical staff and the injured fencer. Please do not disturb staff while they work.

Equipment failure

The referee will call a time-out when equipment being broken or displaced is noticed. If a fencer, judge or second notices an equipment failure, they should point it out to the referee. If a piece of personal protective gear is broken, the fencer has 3 minutes to find a replacement. If this is not possible the fencer will have forfeited the bout.