Tournament Rules

The following rules represent the standard ruleset for Tournaments being held by Royal Arts fencing academy. This includes: Ascalon, Blue Box, Looking Sharpe, and Hemmageddon


3.1 - Bout Staff

Tournament organizers can run whatever staffing they feel is appropriate to run their event efficiently.

Preferred USA HEMA Staffing

Each ring should have 2-4 staff members.

  • 1 - Director
  • 1 to 3 - Judges

If using the USA HEMA system, the side judges should be wearing a Velcro black armband with multiple patches of the designed color.

The director will assign a color to each judge. Said judge will wear multiple Velcro patches of that color in order to pass to the fencers.

At the conclusion of each bout, the fencer should return their color patch to the line judge of that color.

3.2 - Director

The Director will be in charge of the fight and has final authority on all calls. Any and all issues should be brought to the attention of the director.

Both fighters agree to abide by the Director’s calls, which will involve both competitive scoring, and assuring the safety of fighters and spectators.

If the clock needs to be stopped for any reason, such as for an injury or equipment failure, it shall be incumbent upon the judge to call “Time,” at which point the Table Staff will stop the clock.

3.3 - Judges

The Judges are present to aid the director and will make calls on all hits, calling “Point,” at which point, the Director will call a halt and ask the Judges, “Ready...Point.”

The Judges will then display the location of the strike with the semaphore which corresponds to the fighter’s color.

Anyone who is fencing may be called upon to judge. However, as all fights will only be using two judges, not every fencer will need to judge. If a fencer is asked to judge and feels unable to fairly judge due to lack of experience, a relationship with a fencer, or undue bias, the judge may recuse himself. A fencer should not ask to recuse himself simply due to a lack of desire

As the Director will be an experienced judge and will have the best view of the action, the Director will be given wide discretion in their decisions. The Director may agree with only one Judge, seek input from the fighters, or call the bout “Unclear, no points.”

Overruling both judges is discouraged except for extreme circumstances. If points are awarded, the Director will indicate to the Table the correct score to be added.

The two judges will each be assigned a color, red or gold. Those colors are used to maximize contrast with the majority of fencer jackets. The judge will be wearing an armband of their color with three (3) color strips. The judge will switch out the patches with each combatant and/or deck combatant.

3.4 - Refusal to Obey

Refusal to obey the Director/Referee or refusing to recognize a point awarded to the opponent will be penalized beginning with a yellow card.