About the tournament


During the event you will have a unique opportunity to join a messer tournament!

We have realised that when it comes to the Messer tournaments, we are facing a void that we would like to fill- during the event we will be testing a ruleset that we have designed for the club tournament at Ludolph Van Ceulen, our fencing club.
The tournament weapon will be a Messer designed by Landsknecht Emporium.

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Designed by Oskar ter Mors & Casper van Dijk

1. General

The aim of this tournament is to explore a ruleset that may foster a competitive scene for messer fencers. As such, we expect any participants to keep this in mind and adhere to the following general rules:

- Fencers are expected to respect their opponents and staff at all times. Any directions from tournament staff is to be followed.

- Although this is a competitive event, all you can win or lose is the admiration of your peers. Remember to have fun as well!

- Any feedback on the ruleset or judging is more than welcome after the event, and we´ll make sure to take it into account for later editions of this ruleset.

- Coaches are more than welcome. Make sure there is only one per fencer though, and all coaches are admonished to keep sufficient distance from the fight to allow the staff to do their work.

2. Planning

The tournament will have pool rounds and eliminations, ending in finals for places 4, 3, 2 and 1. The elimination tree will be made based on the scores of the pool fights, starting with match points divided by number of matches, then lowest number of doubles and finally hit index. During the pool phase, match points are accumulated for a loss, draw or win, at 3, 6 and 9 points respectively. Fights will last 2 minutes, with the finals being fought in three rounds. Whichever finalist wins two of those, will be declared the winner. The timer will keep running at all times, unless the referee calls for a time-out. As soon as the last 10 seconds are on the clock, table crew will call out ´last exchange´.

3. Scoring

Valid hits can be made anywhere except in the following locations:

-Back of the head, spine, groin and feet.

Further illegal actions include throws (a controlled lift is allowed), strikes with the hilt, locks and breaks of joints. Finally, as hand protection for messer fencing is sadly lacking, intentional hand hits are not allowed. Fencers who hold their hands out in front however, will also be liable for a penalty. Points are awarded as follows:

- 3 points for strikes or slices to the head or neck, thrusts to the head, neck or torso and for dominance through wrestling.

- 1 point for all other valid hits.

Only hits of sufficient quality will score. Strikes and slices need good edge alignment, thrusts need good structure to be counted as valid. Any hit can only be valid as long as it is made with the hand on the handle of the messer or in Gewappnet Hand. The referee will allow a wrestling action to continue until a hit or dominance has been achieved, but if the action is deadlocked for longer than three seconds, the exchange is called off.

Dominance can be achieved by performing a controlled lift, controlling the opponent and being in a position to start a lock, break or strike with the hilt, or finally by disarming the opponent. When a fencers steps out of the ring with both feet, their opponent will be awarded a point. Bull rushing is not allowed however.

4. Judging

Scoring will be done by a referee and two assistant judges. In any given exchange, judges and ref may call a hit, after which the referee will halt the exchange. Judges will indicate their scores using flags, after which the referee will explain the point assignment. The referee will also penalise fencers for any misconduct during the match. First and second warning will remain without consequence, from the third warning onward, any misconduct will lead to a point being deducted. With any further warnings, the referee may decide to end the bout with a loss for the offending fencer. Should this occur a second time during the tournament, the fencer will be automatically disqualified. Gross violations of the tournament rules may lead to immediate disqualification.

5. Gear requirements

Mandatory gear includes:

- 1600N mask with back of the head protection. The mask should have no structural damage.

- Padded fencing jacket (350N rating is highly recommended).

- Gloves, suitable for tournaments. Red Dragons will be allowed if modified and worn with inserted finger tip protectors.

- Cup

- Throat guard

- Solid protection for elbows, knees and shins.


For this tournament, messers will be provided. Due to the great disparity between different practice messers, using your own weapon in this tournament will not be allowed.