Equipment Requirements

Helsinki Longsword Open 2023
These rules are subject to change on any notice.

1. Protection

All fencers are responsible for their own equipment being functional and meeting the tournament rules. Equipment needs to be intact and in good general condition.

The equipment checks that take place during the tournament are only to help the organiser monitor the compliance to the regulations, and aid fencers to comply with them. Equipment checks may not be invoked to eliminate fencers’ responsibility in the case of a violation of requirements or malfunction of gear.

Fencers are to dress professionally and in a manner appropriate to a serious tournament. Loose sweatpants, college trousers or similar are inappropriate. Clothes and gear must overlap: skin must not be exposed at any time.

Seconds are to be dressed in a professional way, preferably in club clothing or jacket and dress shirt/blouse, but it is permitted for fencers in gear to coach other fencers.

The following equipment is mandatory for all fencers:

  • Mask
  • Throat guard
  • Protective jacket
  • Gloves
  • Undergloves, if gloves would otherwise leave the palm exposed
  • Elbow guards
  • Knee guards
  • Shin guards
  • Shoes
  • Athletic cup (men only)

Use of additional protective gear is allowed and encouraged.

Metal protection, aside from the mask mesh and athletic cup, is not permitted.

No bare skin may be exposed when the fencer stands in any guard.

Throat guards, athletic cups and optional chest protectors are to be worn under the outermost layer of clothing.

1.1. Mask

The mask must be in good condition, with no tears or large dents. The mask must fit the fencer; a mask that comes off too easily will be disallowed. The mask must include a protection for the back of the head.

1.2 Throat guard

The throat guard must be reasonably rigid and constructed so that it will stop a thrust from a broken blade.

1.3 Protective jacket

The protective jacket must be reasonably padded and constructed so that it will stop a thrust from a broken blade. Jackets with armpit holes or jackets that are open in the front are not allowed.

1.4 Gloves

Gloves must protect all fingers, the back of the hand and the wrist. For longsword we require sturdy gloves with a high level of protection. We recommend Kvetun, Sparring gloves, HF armory Black Dragon gloves, Leon Paul hema gloves (V2.0), SPES heavy gloves or similar. Lacrosse and Red Dragon etc. light gloves are not allowed in Longsword or Messer, and are discouraged for Sword + Buckler. When using open palm-gloves such as Sparring Gloves, use of an underglove is mandatory. There is no requirement for the underglove other than it needs to be in good condition.

1.5 Elbow and knee guards

Elbow and knee guards must also protect the side of the joint and should not displace too easily.

1.6 Shin guards

Shin guards must protect the shinbone from the knee guard down, more or less, all the way to the foot.

1.7 Shoes

Shoes must enclose all toes. Hardened (such as steel) soles or caps are not allowed.

1.8 Athletic cup

The athletic cup must be reasonably rigid and may be metal.

2. Weapons

Weapons for all tournaments except Open Sword & Buckler are provided by the organiser. Both longsword tournaments will be fenced with standard Kvetun feders. The Messer tournament will be fought with Landsknecht Emporium langes messers.

Open Sword and Buckler

The Sword & Buckler tournament will be conducted on a “Bring your own sword” basis. The bucklers (specs here) are provided by the tournament organizers.

Weapons for the Sword & Buckler tournaments must conform to these requirements.

  • The sword must be an arming sword or sidesword with either a widened tip or a rolled tip, and it may be covered by a rubber or plastic safety tip.
  • Weight and balance should be representative of a sword capable of delivering effective cuts as well as thrusts.
  • Maximum blade length is 94 cm and maximum weapon weight is 1100 g. The minimum weapon weight is 800 g.
  • Basket hilted swords are not allowed. The weapon may have simple finger rings, a side ring and a knuckle bow.

The organizers reserve the right to refuse any weapon that offer an unfair or unique advantage to their user, even if it conforms to the given parameters.

Weapons will be checked for flexibility, signs of damage etc prior to the tournament. You may not use a sword which has previously suffered a serious deformation and been re-straightened, or a sword whose tip has suffered damage and been retipped with a bullet casing.

Example makers: Regenyei, Kvetun, Malleus Martialis