Depending on what you want to achieve with your event, you should choose a rule set that encourages the people to achieve that goal.
If you have set the tone to be simply a fun, local event, then the choice of rule set isn’t really that important. In fact, choosing something a bit random and unusual may add to the fun! However, if you want to run a big and prestigious event, then your choice of rule set has to involve a bit more thought.
In general, regardless of the size or intensity of event that you want to run, you need to decide what sort of behaviour you want to encourage and what sort of behaviour you want to discourage. It is not very sensible to try to simulate a “real fight”, because of all the reasons explained in the linked article. Instead, since a “real fight” is virtually impossible to simulate in any useful fashion, you must decide what you believe counts as “good fencing”, and choose a rule set that encourages that behaviour.
For example, if you want to see people perform fewer “hand snipes” or one-handed cutting techniques to the leg with a longsword, then you should choose a rule set that discourages these specific behaviours while simultaneously encouraging “better” behaviours, such as (perhaps) cutting to deeper targets such as the head. You might want to encourage more grappling at the sword, and so you may award double points for a successful grappling technique that fits the bill.
However, you should bear in mind that sometimes a rule that looks good on paper can be abused horribly in practice. Look through your rule set with an eye towards what behaviour you think you are trying to encourage, then look through it again and consider how you might “game” the rules to gain as many points as possible. Also consider what your event insurance says is safe or unsafe, and think about what your attendees can be reasonably expected to cope with in a safe fashion.
Choosing a rule set that has already been written by someone else may be a good idea, as it may avoid a lot of stress and hassle. However, keep in mind that whoever wrote that rule set may have been trying to promote a certain behaviour in their event, and you might be trying to achieve something different with your event. Be critical when reading rule sets and think about what behaviours each set of rules is encouraging and discouraging.
Book a judge training workshop
We offer judge training workshops to help your staff and/or club members improve their judging skills. Becoming a better judge usually leads to developing skills that are useful for fencing, such as perceiving openings and predicting an opponent’s behaviour, so judge training has a wide range of benefits.
If you would like to book a judge training workshop, then please send us an email to discuss your requirements, and we would be delighted to help.