Here are the conventions and format for the upcoming King’s & Queen’s Rapier Champions tournament! If there are any questions, feel free to direct them to me and I’ll clarify them immediately. Hopefully this will be mostly straightforward, and we can look forward to a day of great fighting.
Please note that any authorized rapier fighter may participate in this tournament, but only those who are willing and able to perform the duties of a Champion of the East Kingdom and affirm as such when signing in with the MoL will be able to advance from their round robin pool into the sweet sixteen.
First, conventions for the day.
Single rapier, *for the purposes of this tournament*, will be defined as a single sword which is clearly intended to be used one handed. If there is any disagreement on the day of the tournament as to whether a weapon qualifies, I will be happy to make the determination on the spot. I hope, however, that the spirit of this ruling is clear.
Related to this, the term “offensive weapon forms” consists of rapier and dagger, case of rapier, and two-handed sword. The term “defensive weapon forms” consists of rapier and rigid parry, and rapier and non-rigid parry.
Other tournament-wide conventions: Double kills will be re-fought once. After that, dead is dead. Additionally, we will not be re-centering fighters; we expect that if you have placed yourself in a corner, you must want to be there, and the fight will continue as such.
Now, then. As has become common, the tournament will consist of three parts – the round robin, the sweet sixteen, and the finals.
Part One – Round Robin: This will be single rapier only. The top fighters in each pool (number dependent on how many pools we have, as you might expect) will be selected to advance to the sweet sixteen.
Part Two – Sweet Sixteen: This will be a double elimination tree. Each pairing will consist of the best of three bouts. For each bout, the fighters must choose one of single rapier, an offensive form, and a defensive form. Fighters may not repeat from among these three categories in each pairing. Fighters *are not required to match.*
Part Three – Finals: The finals will be decided as a best of five bouts. Before the finals begin, each fighter will lay out their chosen five weapon selections. While each of these must be substantially different from each other, they need not align with the weapon authorizations we’ve all come to know and love. For instance, rapier and stick is considered to be different from rapier and buckler; two different bucklers or two different stick-like objects are not different. A single-handed rapier is different from a two-handed rapier. If there are questions as to whether something is “substantially different,” I’m happy to field them over email or at the tournament.
This does mean that a fighter could, for example, lay out: Rapier and Dagger, Rapier and Stick, Rapier and Buckler, Two-handed Sword, Case of Rapier.
The fighters will be able to look over the weapon selections of their opponent and we will ensure that they are acceptable to both combatants. There’ll be a coin toss to determine which fighter must call their first weapon selection, the other will respond, and we’ll alternate call/response from there.
Thanks to Don Donovan Shinnock, King’s Rapier Champion for the content of this article.