Blizzard Brawl 2020 Rules
Blizzard Brawl consists of one event, Düssack, with four round robin pools, and an eight fighter, single elimination finals bracket.
The ring will be staffed by three judges and one referee. Any one of them may stop the action in case of a hit or for safety reasons (equipment failure, injury, etc). In case of a safety issue, it will be rectified and the fighters shall reset at their corners, if the fighters can continue. After each bout, the judges shall rotate positions around the ring clockwise so that each judge will view a different angle with each new bout. In the case of a safety issue, even a spectator may call a halt to the action from the seats.
Bouts are fought to at least five points and have a 90 second time limit. If the allotted time elapses without either fencer reaching five points, the fencer with the higher score wins the bout. Time is stopped when the action is halted and resumes when the referee calls for the fight to continue.
In the event of a hit, the judges shall bow their heads so as to not see the other judges. The referee shall then call for each of the following primary criteria: Contact, Target, and Control. These criteria function as follows:
- Contact: One point. At least two of the judges must agree that there was a successful strike with the edge of the weapon to the other fighter. Contact that is flat, grazing or that would have missed an unarmoured target may be disregarded by a judge. Points will not be awarded for strikes that are done while the attacking fencer was stumbling, nor in the process of dropping a weapon. If there is agreement, the fencer is awarded one point.
- Target: One point. A target point is awarded for strikes to the mask.
- Control: Five points. If a fencer has been awarded points for Contact and Target, they may be eligible for Control points. Control points are awarded for successfully controlling the opponent’s weapon while delivering the scoring hit. Examples include a grab or shove that keeps the opponent’s weapon from being brought to bear. Control may not be awarded for capitalizing on an opponent’s over commitment such as Nachreissen. For example, if a fencer over commits and turns his back to his opponent in the strike and the other fencer thereby scores a hit, it would not qualify for Control points. If a majority of judges agree that there was control all five points will be granted, otherwise no control points shall be granted.
- Upon being called for their judgment, the judges will raise their batons as needed to display their perceptions of the exchange. A judge may not award points for further criteria if previous criteria are not met. Such as, judges may not award control if they have not awarded target. For example, if a judge awards contact to the red fencer, but the other two award contact to the blue fencer, the judge may not award any more points to either fencer as they have been outvoted.
- Pantomimed Strikes: If a fencer has turned his or her back, or been forced to due to a shove or grapple, the opposing fencer may strike without making contact with their weapon in a controlled and obvious manner, and will receive points as if a complete strike has landed, if the judges deem the strike would have been effective and in range. This is to discourage turning one's back as a strategy to deny a scoring target, and to prioritize safety for fighters.
Secondary Scoring Criteria
- Afterblow: An afterblow is a “revenge strike” given in the tempo following a successful hit. Thus if the red fencer scores a hit, the blue fencer may attempt an afterblow in the next tempo. If the second strike has been judged as a hit, it cancels one point awarded to the first scored hit in that exchange. However, the first strike may still receive the target point if the judges agree that the mask was struck. The award of an afterblow prohibits any awarding of points for control. Thus a strike to the torso or extremities followed by an afterblow results in no points whereas a strike to the head followed by an afterblow results in 1 point for the fencer who struck first, and no points for the fencer who struck second. Also note that a bout may not be won on an afterblow.
- Ring Out: One point. If a fencer pushes an opponent out of the ring while maintaining control of the engagement (generally by body contact or weapon leverage, i.e. hende trucken) the active fencer will be awarded one point. A mere shove that happens to shove a fencer out of the ring will not suffice. A bout may not be won via ring out. A ring out may not function as an afterblow. Ring Out is the only call in which a ringside judge may overrule the referee as detailed below. In the instance of a ring out, the ringside judge who was closest to the exchange in which the potential ring out occurred has the final say.
- Referee’s Prerogative: The referee may, if the situation warrants, disregard the call of the judges and impose his or her own judgment. The referee may call the judges in to confer at any time once the action has stopped. The referee may also do likewise for the fighters if they are not fencing in a reasonable manner.
- Overall score for each fighter will equal all points scored by the fighter, minus all points scored against. 2 points per double hit will also be deducted.
- Brutality: If the referee feels that a fighter is showing blatant disregard for the safety of his opponents, he may be summarily ejected from the tournament. For the first infraction, the referee shall usually issue a warning. Three warnings shall result in ejection from the competition. The referee may eject on the first warning if the infraction was especially and deliberately egregious (i.e. attacking an opponent after his mask falls off, etc).
- Non-combativeness: If a fencer continually disengages and retreats, he will be given a warning. Subsequent infractions result in being penalized one point. Continual non-combativeness will result in the offending fencer forfeiting the match.
- Illegal techniques: The following techniques are illegal for this tournament and will result in a warning, a point deduction, match disqualification, and ejection from the tournament (in that order) for successive violations: Throwing weapon, body throws, take downs, joint destruction, small joint manipulation, strikes to the back of the head or neck, chokes, unarmed strikes (punches, kicks, knees, elbows, etc), deliberately exposing the back of one’s head to an opponent, striking a downed opponent with a weapon. Three match disqualifications for illegal techniques will also result in ejection.
- Double Hits: If two fencers score hits on each other in the same tempo, it is termed a double hit. No points are scored and the fencers will reset. If a bout produces three double hits, it is recorded as a loss for both fencers. Note that a fencer’s total double hits are deducted from their score for placement in finals.
- Unsportsmanlike Behaviour: A fencer is expected to behave with decorum while in competition and on premises. Disputing judges, berating staff, losing one’s temper (shouting at an opponent, throwing gear, etc) will result in warnings. Three such warnings will result in ejection. It is allowed for a fencer to be upset, but it is not acceptable to spread one’s displeasure to fellow competitors, staff and spectators. While on premises, all competitors are ambassadors of the art and of their respective schools. Competitors are reminded that Blizzard Brawl is merely a tournament; it is only a game played by comrades-in-arms. Furthermore, all competitors are required to sign and abide by the Forge’s Event Code of Conduct.
- The top two fighters in each pool, as is determined by number of wins, will advance to the finals. In the event of a tie, the fighter with the higher overall score advances, should that also be tied the fighter who won the bout between the two fighters will advance. Should that also be tied the two fighters will fight a match to the first clean hit, the victor will then advance.
- Once the 8 fighters have been selected they will be ranked according to score and placed into one of four quarter-final matches. Match A will consist of the first ranked fighter vs the eighth ranked fighter. Match B will consist of the second ranked fighter vs the seventh ranked fighter. Match C will consist of the third ranked fighter vs the sixth ranked fighter. Match D will consist of the fourth ranked fighter vs the fifth ranked fighter. The winner of Match A fights the winner of Match D. The winner of Match B fights the winner of Match C.
- During the finals, double hits still do not count for points, but they no longer result in elimination.