S.C.D.L. Rules

S.C.D.L. Rules

SCDL uses a deducted scoring system, reducing your score every time you get hit rather than increasing your score every time you score a hit.

Each fencer starts with 3 points in each bout, and each match will consist of 3 bouts.

Match Outline

Two fencers with the support of at least one judge and one score/time keeper will find a safe space to conduct a match at one of the Open Sparring Sessions. Each bout will last 1 minute or until at least one fencer has been reduced to 0 points.

At the referees call the fencers will begin. If a hit is landed the judge will call ‘halt’ the fencers will stop and step out of measure. The Judge will then call what they believe to be the scoring action before allowing the fencers to begin again at their call.

Once a bout is finished the judge will confirm the winner and reset the fencers for the next bout.

Once all 3 bouts are finished the score keeper will upload the score to the online form.


Rapier, Dagger and Smallsword*

-3 Points: A thrust to the head or torso (including neck and front of shoulders or armpits)  a disarm** or a submission in a grapple***

-2 Points: A thrust to a limb or any clear strike from a grapple***

-1 Point: A cut not scored in a grapple

Sidesword, Longsword and any other Cut or Thrust Weapon

-3 Points: A cut or thrust to the head (including the neck), or a thrust to the torso (including the front of the shoulder or the armpits) a disarm** or a submission in a grapple***

-2 Points: A cut to the torso or limbs or a thrust to the limbs

-1 Point: A buckler or pommel strike

*Smallsword can be used in the ‘Anything Goes’ category, however does not score points for cuts.

** To score for disarming an opponent with two weapons (ie rapier and dagger) they must no longer be holding either weapon.

*** Grappling is allowed providing it has been agreed by fencers and the judge(s) in advance. If one or either of the fencers is not comfortable there will be no grapples and the judge(s) will call halt when a grapple is entered into. Equally fencers may agree grapples are allowed but no throws etc. This is intended to allow fencers who are competent in grappling to apply this skill in a tournament setting without putting any other fencers at risk.

Doubles and Afterblows

If fencers land a blow at the same time they will both have the score deducted from their total.

If a fencer strikes their opponent within tempo of receiving a hit themselves this strike will deduct points from their opponent.

Afterblows out of tempo do not count.

Protests and Discussion

Fencers are encouraged to call hits scored against them, however it is important to remember that the judges call is final.

If a blow is flat or of insufficient quality a judge may discount the strike and the bout will continue.

If a fencer believes a judge has made an error they may raise their hand to make a challenge. This can be to say they believe they were hit, or they hit their opponent. Once again, whilst the judge will take your challenge into account, their decision is final. Excessive arguing can result in warnings or penalties.


Each fencer may face the same opponent in all 6 categories, however must not challenge the same fencer within 3 months of their previous fight in the same category (ie. Fencer A may fight Fencer B in Sword and Buckler and Longsword in January, they may then fence in Rapier and Dagger in February but may not face each other with Sword and Buckler again until April).

Competitors may have as many League matches as they wish at an open sparring session.

Conduct and penalties

Fencers must remember that the SCDL is a friendly event designed to encourage fencers to compete and fence more opponents in a different environment and under a different ruleset. Most importantly it is meant to be fun for all the fencers and judges involved.

Sporting conduct is expected of all competitors at all times. Unsporting conduct can and will result in warnings or penalties. Examples of this include using excessive force or disrespect to an opponent or a judge.

Fencers are also to remember that they are responsible for the safety of themselves and their opponent and are encouraged to read the Safety section to familiarise themselves with the requirements. Once again, unsafe behaviour will not be tolerated and judges can and will warn or penalise unsafe fencers.

Finally, fencers are to consider their environment, striking the floor, or risking damage to windows, walls etc. will not be accepted and will lead to a warning or penalty.