Longsword/Mixed Weapons Tournament Rules

The IGX 2017 Longsword and Mixed Weapons Tournaments are using the same ruleset as the “IGX 2016 Modified Nordic League Tournament Rules” with some minor adjustments and clarifications to judges’ calls. The full rules can be found here.



  • If your common sense is asking whether something is allowed, that means it probably is not.
  • Please review the equipment requirements, which are an important part of safety.
  • The following actions are ILLEGAL and will be subject to the 3-tier penalty system:
    • Actions in which effectiveness comes from joint injury, such as small joint manipulation, full arm bars, and kicks to the knee.
    • Punching. The use of the open hand to push during wrestling is permitted.
    • In any Mixed Weapons tournament, buckler punches are not permitted. While a valid action, it is too likely to cause a concussion.
    • Pommel strikes to the top or back of the head.
    • Strikes to the groin or to the back of the head.
    • Anything you would describe with the word flying – flying kick, flying tackle, flying Double Swedish Forbidden Grip – is something you already know is not a good idea.
  • Push kicks above the belt are allowed; all other kicks are not.
  • Anyone who sees other safety issues, such as loss of equipment, should immediately call halt. Time will resume once the issue has been remedied.

Excessive Force/Unsafe Fighting

Striking an opponent with force IS allowed; however, it is up to the Judges and ultimately the Referee to monitor power levels and assess when force is excessive. Timely communication between IGX Tournament Staff and fighters is KEY – it is much more difficult to resolve a problem after the fact than addressing it immediately, or preferably preventing it during escalation. To help ensure communication channels remain open, the following are recommended Best Practices:

Referee and Judge Safety Protocols:  If at ANY time the Judges or Referee suspect there might be excessive force or unsafe fighting, they are expected to halt the action IMMEDIATELY. Once halted, the following protocol should be observed by the Referee:

  • Referee approaches fighter who is potential subject of excessive force/unsafe fighting.
  • Question 1: “Are you OK”?  Assess if there is injury.
  • Question 2: “Do you feel this is excessive or you are in danger of being injured?” Assess if there is risk of future injury.
  • Referee approaches fighter who is potential party responsible for excessive force/unsafe fighting. Assess legitimacy of excessive force or unsafe fighting.
  • From assessments, give feedback to fighters and coaches, apply penalties as appropriate.




Bouts will take place on a circular ring, approximately 10m in diameter on indoor turf.


  • Longsword Tournament Weapons
    • Open/Women’s/Wisdom: Blunt, steel longswords
    • Basic: Synthetic longswords may be used if desired, but preference will be for steel
    • Youth: Synthetic and steel longswords may be used as appropriate for the fighters. If there is a discrepancy between weapons, the default shall be synthetic.
    • Steel longsword tips must be either rolled or tipped. All longsword tips must have brightly colored tape to better see thrusts.
  • Mixed Weapons Tournament Weapons
    • Blunt, steel weapons
    • Off-hand weapons can be steel or cold-steel equivalent
  • Required protective equipment for Longsword Tournaments:
    • Head
    • Throat
    • Chest
    • Hand (heavy)
    • Rigid elbows/knees/shins
    • Groin for men, encouraged for women
  • Required protective equipment for Mixed Weapons Tournaments:
    • Head
    • Throat
    • Chest
    • Hand (light)
    • Rigid knees/shins
    • Groin for men, encouraged for women
  • No skin is allowed to show.
  • No open-toed shoes or bare feet allowed. 5-toe shoes are ok.


The Longsword and Mixed Weapons Tournaments will be held in 3 stages: a qualifying stage with pools, an eliminations stage with pools, and a single-elimination finals stage with the top 4 contenders. Please be aware that this format may change if IGX timing is delayed or otherwise impacted by outside forces that prevent the tournament staff from following this prescribed format.

Each bout in the pool runs until one of the following conditions occurs:

  • 90 seconds of fighting time
    • Scoring time is excluded, the clock will stop on each “Halt.”
  • 6 passes
    • A pass ends when one or more fighters scores a point.
    • Any scoring action counts as a pass, whether it is a strike, throw, disarm, or ringout.
  • One fighter’s score exceeds 10 points

The following does not count as a pass:

  • If “Point” is called but no strike counts for either fighter (“nothing done”), it does not count as a pass.
  • If a halt is called for safety or similar reason, this does not count as a pass.

Note on round length: with only six passes, making good use of the round to score is important (see Scoring Metric below). Ten points is obtainable in three passes at best; 2 points doubled by a Clean Hit Bonus makes 4 points the best possible pass.

Fighters are ranked based on number of wins. Ties are broken based on number of points scored. Further ties are broken based on points scored against.



Quality Hits

A hit will be considered “good” or be of good “quality” if it follows the below criteria. This criteria is similar to the one employed at Longpoint.

The blow must be delivered with sufficient authority, force, stability, balance, and poise. This does not mean that the blow needs to be “hard.” The fighter must be in full control of his/her movement—balanced or grounded, not stumbling, falling, or wildly lunging.

Strikes must have sufficient force. Sufficient force is defined as follows:

  • Cuts: The blade must travel approximately 60 degrees or more and strike the target with obvious intent. The blow must hit with the weak (schwech) of the weapon. Light snips that travel little distance, lazy blows, and strikes with the strong or flat will not count as quality hits.
  • Thrust: Any hit with the point with forward motion of the blade (motion towards the opponent with the point) that obviously makes contact. Bending the blade is not necessary. A good rule of thumb is a divot should appear on a fighter’s jacket to show where the thrust landed.
  • Slice/Press: Drawing cuts must be clearly demonstrated, drawing or pushing at least half the length of the blade. The fighter receiving the slice should be moved by the slice. Gently caressing your opponent with your sword will not count as a quality hit.

Judges will withhold awarding strikes for unintentional or grazing blows and other sloppy strikes. A fighter who falls, fumbles their weapon, or runs out of bounds immediately following his/her strike, will not count as a quality hit. The following actions will not count as quality hits:

  • Blows that are sloppy, wild, twist in the strike, or otherwise fail to show authoritative control, angle, and blade presence. Judges should especially look for these indicators when single-handed/off-handed strikes such as daz gayszlen are performed with a longsword.
  • Blows made with the strong (starck) of the sword, especially during a grapple.
  • Weak blows made blindly against an opponent in a grapple, such as “wrap shots” around the opponent’s back or over one’s own shoulder with the back edge.
  • Strikes that ever-so-barely scrape an opponent’s clothing or mask, but made no significant contact.
  • Blows made wildly from high-risk leaps, rolls, stumbles, etc. If it doesn’t look like it would have hit with presence and placement, it should not get the point for quality.

Finally, Judges will NOT assess good hits differently for different fighters. The standard will be universally applied to all fighters, regardless of the perceived skill level or age of the fighter.



  • A strike must be with the sword edge, point or pommel. Pommel strikes are allowed only to the grill of the mask.
  • 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 must travel at least two inches and have the arm behind it – we are looking for a pommel “thrust,” not a sideways backhand pommel.
  • Points are awarded for strikes as follows:
    • 2 points for cuts/thrusts to the head and torso. The torso includes the shoulder and extends to the bottom of a standard jacket.
    • 1 point for cuts/thrusts to any other area of the body (except groin or back of head/neck – do not deliberately target these areas).
    • 1 point for pommel strikes to the mask.
    • 1 point for slices (not to be confused with a hand press)


Other Scoring Actions

  • Throws with dominance: 2 points. Dominance requires either remaining standing while your opponent is down, or ending the throw on top and in control. Throws that do not clearly demonstrate control will not earn a point or count as a pass unless there was another scoring action.
    • “Down” shall be considered “three points down,” i.e., two knees and a hand on the ground, shoulders and hips, etc.
    • Special note: If you trip or otherwise throw yourself while your opponent remains standing, even if he is across the ring scratching his head, he will be awarded the 2 points without having to unsafely fling himself on your prone body. Stay on your feet.
  • Disarms: 2 points.  A fighter shall not be counted as disarmed until they are separated from their opponent. Therefore, loss of weapon during wrestling does not score until the fighters separate.
  • Ringouts: 1 point for the fighter remaining in the ring. If both fighters exit the ring, this is a non-scoring pass. A fighter is not out of the ring until both feet are completely outside of the ring boundary.
    • Since someone asks every year, waving a foot in the air above the ring is still technically “inside.”
    • If you are falling outside of the ring and hit your opponent after you are out, that strike does not score.



  • When a Judge sees a scoring action on his designated fighter, the Judge calls “Point!”
  • The referee will pause for one tempo, and then call “Halt!”
  • The FIRST scoring action by EACH fighter that occurs before “Halt” is called will be scored. (e.g. If a fighter scores twice before “Halt” is called, once to the arm and then to the head, only the first strike to the arm scores.)
  • If one fighter scores 2 points and the other scores 1 point, the fighter who scored 2 points receives the difference, i.e. 1 point.
  • If both fighters score the same number of points, both fighters receive 0 points for the pass.


Clean Hit Bonus

  • If one fighter lands a strike and the opponent does not, that fighter’s score is DOUBLED.
  • The Clean Hit Bonus will not be applied in cases where one pair of judges cannot determine if their fighter landed a strike (“Abstain,” see Staffing/Judging below).

Point Refusal/Acknowledgement

If a fighter is assessed points but does not believe that he/she earned them, the fighter is allowed to refuse the points. Likewise if a fighter receives a good hit and it is not called by the Judges, the fighter is allowed to acknowledge the hit and the Judges/Referee shall take the fighter’s acknowledgement under consideration for scoring. A fighter cannot otherwise modify the Judges’/Referee’s decision in any way and must yield to the final decision of the Judges/Referee.



For each ring, there will be:

  • 1 Referee
  • 4 Judges (2 judges will adjudicate hits on one fighter)
    • Judges will confer on hits
  • 1 Timekeeper
  • 1 Scorekeeper
  • 1 Ring Boss



The Referee is in charge of the safety of all staff and participants of the pool and the smooth execution of the pool. The Referee calls all participants to the pool, conducts equipment checks before the start of the pool, and maintains order throughout the pool. The Referee settles all disputes and delivers any penalties. The Referee is the final authority with regards to point awards to fighters.

The Referee is authorized to overrule the Judges’ scoring. If the Referee clearly and confidently saw a good, quality exchange that was missed by the Judges (e.g. a quality thrust under the arm that was not parried), the Referee shall first call a conference with the Judgest. If the Judges still disagree with the Referee, the Referee can overrule the Judges and will award the appropriate points to fighters. The Referee shall indicate he/she is overruling the Judges and why.



The Judge is in charge of watching where his/her assigned fighter strikes the opponent according to the Scoring Metric above. After a strike is delivered the Judge clearly calls “Point!” to signify a scoring action has occurred. To a lesser degree the Judge maintains order throughout the pool, assisting the Referee as needed.


The Timekeeper monitors elapsed time for each bout in the pool. In addition, he/she updates the scoreboard and assists the Scorekeeper as needed.



The Scorekeeper monitors the score for each pass in each bout in the pool, and announces the current pass number. In addition, he/she announces which fighters are currently fighting and which fighters are on deck, along with the fighters’ designated color according to the score sheet. The Scorekeeper assists the Timekeeper as needed.


Ring Boss

The Ring Boss is in charge of attaching armbands to fighters currently fighting and on deck, as announced by the Scorekeeper.


Pool Execution

  1. The Scorekeeper announces who is currently fighting and who is on deck.
  2. The Ring Boss distributes the appropriate arm bands to the fighters called.
  3. The fighters go to their assigned side of the ring, accompanied by their coaches.
  4. The Judges take up positions around the ring, with two Judges flanking one fighter. The Referee takes position in the middle of the ring.
  5. The Referee asks if the Table is ready. After confirmation the Referee asks if the Judges are ready. After confirmation the Referee asks if the fighters are ready. After confirmation the Referee says, “Fight!”
  6. When an exchange occurs, Judge(s) call “Point!” The Referee will wait for one tempo before calling “Halt!”
  7. Each pair of Judges confer to determine what action they saw THEIR fighter complete and what target was struck, if any. A Judging pair must be unanimous in their call. The judges conference should not take longer than a few seconds; Judges are allowed to confer with the Referee if necessary.
  8. The Referee will then say “Judges?” Judges will display the number of fingers equal to the number of points the fighter should receive for a successful action, or a semaphore to indicate the action of their fighter was unsuccessful.
    • 0 points – Judge forms a “0” with his/her fingers to indicate his/her fighter did not land a successful strike on the opponent.

Note: If both pairs of judges show 0 points, the pass does not count toward the 6 pass maximum and the pass resumes.

    • 1 point – Judge raises one finger to indicate his/her fighter landed a successful strike worth one point.
    • Ringout – Judge points to the ring edge while simultaneously raising one finger to indicate his/her fighter executed a successful ringout on the opponent.
    • 2 points – Judge raises two fingers to indicate his/her fighter landed a successful strike worth two points.
    • Low Quality – Judge crosses both arms low in front of his/her body to indicate his/her fighter landed a hit on the opponent but it was not a “good” hit (refer to Scoring Metric above)
      • If one pair of judges indicate “Low Quality” and the other pair of judges indicate points, the fighter who receives points will not be awarded the Clean Hit Bonus.
      • If both pairs of judges indicate “Low Quality” the pass does not count toward the 6 pass maximum and the pass resumes.
    • Abstain – Judge crosses both arms high in front of his/her face to indicate he/she could not tell what action his/her fighter completed.
      • If one pair of judges “Abstain” and the other pair of judges indicate points, the fighter who receives points will not be awarded the Clean Hit Bonus.
      • If both pairs of judges “Abstain” the pass does not count toward the 6 pass maximum and the pass resumes.
  1. The Referee announces the number of points awarded to each fighter and any Clean Hit Bonus or Afterblow/Double point differences (for instance, “Blue scores 1 point, Red scores 2 points, Red receives 1 point for the pass;” “Blue scores 0 points, Red scores 2 points, Red receives a clean-hit bonus of 4 points for the pass.”)
  2. At the end of the bout the Referee announces the winner.