Oslo Penguin Cup Judging and Scoring


Matt Setup

The mats will be rectangular and have one referee and one point judge. The referee will score each exchange.

When a scoring hit occurs the point judge will call “point”, after a short tempo has been allowed for an attempted afterblow the referee will call break and the fencers return to their respective ends of the mat. The referee may also call break directly after they see a hit and has allowed a short tempo for an afterblow, even if the point judge does not call point.

The scoring will be solely decided by the referee but they will use the point judge for assistance. They may converse shortly with point judges if needed. The referee should not give a lengthy explanation for each decision but may use a few words to describe the scoring.

Fencers are free to signal if and where they are hit, but are not obliged to do this, the referee is also free to ignore these signals and fencers should not stop fencing until the referee calls break.


The following targets are illegal, and are worth no points:

  • Back of the head

  • Spine

  • Groin

  • Back of the knee

  • Achilles tendon

  • Feet

Points will be awarded for strikes, thrusts and slices with the weapon as well as specific grappling actions and other circumstances. Strikes that land with the flat of the blade or are made without proper arc and intention are worth no points.

The score cap for all weapons is 8 points. All scoring actions will give 2 or 1 point.

The point judge will use the following semaphores to indicate points after an exchange:

  • 2 points: holding flag straight up

  • 1 point: holding flag straight out to the side

  • Insufficient quality: waving flag straight down

  • No hit: holding flag straight down

All strikes with the hilt of the sword including pommels and crossguards are illegal except for careful and controlled pommel strikes to the front of the mask in longsword.

Grabbing the blade of an opponent's sword is allowed, special rules apply to rapier, see below.

Disarming an opponent is worth 2 points if grappling distance is broken. If a fencer drops their weapon their opponent will be awarded 2 points, you are not required to perform an attack to score points after disarming an opponent.

Parrying thrusts with the hand is allowed. Parrying strikes with the hand is not allowed and will count as a strike to the hand. Covering a 2 point target with the hand will count as if  the 2 point target is struck.

All unarmed strikes are illegal and will result in a warning if performed. Using hands or feet to push an opponent is allowed however.


Longsword, sword & buckler and sabre

A cut to the head or neck area is worth 2 points. 

A trust to the head, neck or torso is worth 2 points.

All other legal attacks are worth 1 point.



All attacks made with one hand are worth 1 point, except for strikes to the head or neck while controlling the opponent in grappling.

Careful and controlled strikes with the pommel to the front of the mask is worth 1 point. All other strikes with any part of the hilt are illegal.


Sword & buckler

Careful and controlled strikes with the boss of the buckler to the front of the mask is worth 1 point. Striking the head with the edge of the buckler is illegal.



Only strikes with the front edge will score points.



A trust to the head, neck or torso is worth 2 points.

All other trusts are worth 1 point.

A cut to the head or neck is worth 1 point.

All other cuts are worth no points.

All takedowns and throws and disarms are illegal in rapier.

Grabbing the hilt or the very base of the blade for weapon control is allowed.

Pushing the blade or parrying trusts with the hand is allowed.

Closing the hand and holding on to the blade except for the very base are illegal, and will result in a warning.

If both fencers manage to take control of the other fencers weapon/weapon arm, break will be called.

Double hits and afterblows

If both fencers are hit during an exchange, both fencers will score points as per scoring rules. Scores are subtracted, so if fencer A score 2 points with a thrust to the chest and fencer B answers with a cut to the hands 2 - 1 = 1 point will be awarded to fencer A.

For an afterblow to score, the attack must either already be started when the fencer is initially hit, or the attack must be started immediately after being hit, without any preparing movement.

There are no special rules for double hits.

Scoring in grappling

The intention of these grappling rules is to encourage good grappling per the sources and allow for some time for the fencers to set this up. Grappling will be permitted to progress for some time as long as there is a clear effort to perform a takedown and the action does not stall.

A throw or takedown that puts one fencer on the mat while the other remains standing will award 2 points.

Any throw where the thrower goes to the ground together with the opponent is worth 1 point. An additional point will be awarded if a fencer lands in a dominant position, immediately upon landing establishes a dominant position or gets up while the other fencer remains on the ground. There will not be allowed time for extended ground grappling, any reversal must be immediate.

Throws and takedowns must be executed with control and respect for the fencer being taken down. Please bear in mind that while we have mats, they are of the 2.5cm thick variety, not full thickness judo/wrestling mats.

Slams and any grappling action that goes against the natural direction of the joints are forbidden and will result in warning or disqualification if performed, depending on severity.

If a fencer steps out of the mat with both feet their opponent will be awarded 1 point. Pushing the opponent out of the mat will not award points and will result in a warning due to the size and proximity of the mats. If a fencer steps out of the mat and is hit, the hit will still count but any strike performed while off the mat will not.