Oslo Penguin Cup Tournament Rules


The fencers participate at their own risk and discretion and are expected to follow the spirit of the tournament rules. Each bout should maintain a polite quality and instructions from tournament officials respected. 

Bout Format

The fencers will start on either the blue or red end of the mat, and will be known by their colors during the bout.

The fencers will start at their respective starting position. The referee will ask table, judges and fencers if they are ready. When the bout is ready to start the referee will call the fencers to salute and begin the bout by calling “fence”.

When the referee calls “break”, the fencers must immediately halt their actions, separate and return to their starting position until the referee calls “fence” again.

If the score is equal when the bout ends, the bout is declared a draw. In the event of a draw during an elimination bout, the bout will continue to sudden death, the first fencer to win an exchange wins the bout. After the winner is announced the fencers salute and the referee will call the next bout.

If a fencer forfeits a bout for any reason they will also forfeit the rest of the current tournament, although they may participate in later tournaments.

Bout time

A bout is fought for 3 minutes or until one fencer has reached the score cap, whichever occurs first. The score cap for all weapons is 8 points. Finals will be up to three rounds of 3 minutes with a score cap of 8 per round and 1 minute break between rounds. The fencer who wins the most amount of rounds wins the match.

Timekeeping is not paused during the scoring. In case there is a longer break in the bout for any reason, the referee will call a time-out.

Ten seconds before the time limit is reached the table will call “Last exchange!”. That exchange will be allowed to be run to its end, so long as the fencers are actively engaging. If the exchange becomes too passive, the referee will end the bout.

If the point limit is reached or time has run out, the table will call “match”, and the referee will end the match by announcing the winner of the bout.

Rules and penalties

Each bout should be conducted in a safe and respectful manner. The penalties for transgressions against these guidelines ascend as follows.


  • Warning

  • Loss of point

  • Loss of bout

  • Disqualification from tournament

  • Removal from event

Bout protocol violations:

  • Not being ready when bout is announced

  • Unwarranted suspension of bout

  • Disrupting the order of the mat

  • Communicating with judges or referees during bout  (This rule also applies to coaches)

Safety violations:

  • Striking after break is called

  • Turning the back towards opponent before break is called

  • Using unsuitable equipment

  • Removing protective equipment during the bout

  • Leaving the mat

  • Uncontrolled or dangerous fencing

  • Violent, dangerous or vindictive action ***

  • Intentionally trying to injure opponent ***

Sportsmanship violations:

  • Foul language

  • Not saluting opponent before of after bout

  • Celebrating hits or otherwise influencing judges (This rule also applies to coaches)

  • To favor the opponent or benefit from unauthorized agreements ***

  • Violation of sportsman spirit ***

Each warning is recorded in the bout protocol. A warning is valid for the bout at hand. If a fencer commits a transgression that results in a warning it will be recorded and every subsequent warning will result in a loss of 1 point.

Serious or repeated violation of rules may lead to disqualification or removal from the event at the discretion of the tournament manager. Fouls marked with *** may lead to disqualification without warning in serious cases.

Violation against sportsmanship includes, but is not limited to, using foul language, throwing equipment and threatening tournament officials.

In cases where an offense cannot be properly addressed by the referee during the bout it is possible for the referee or any of the fencers to make an appeal to the tournament manager. The manager has the opportunity to remove match points from a fencer for a violation that hasn’t been fully addressed during the bout. 


If a fencer is injured during the bout, the referee will call a time-out and the medical staff will examine the fencer. If the medical staff clears the fencer to continue and the fencer wishes to do so, the bout can proceed.

If the bout cannot continue within 3 minutes the injured fencer will automatically forfeit the bout.

If an injury occurs, all mats will halt ongoing bouts until the situation is cleared for the benefit of medical staff and the injured fencer. Please do not disturb staff while they work. 

Equipment failure

The referee will call a time-out when any equipment malfunctions or is broken. If a fencer or judge notices an equipment failure, they should point it out to the referee.

If a piece of personal protective gear is broken, the fencer has 3 minutes to find a replacement. If this is not possible, the fencer will automatically forfeit the bout.