Brass Frog Rules


Judging is probably the most contentious aspect of any event – so we’re largely going to do away it!

  1. Fencers are expected to call hits against themselves (holds true for ALL events)
  2. Bouts will be managed by two ‘Seconds’ who will:
      • Start and stop the action of the bout
      • Watch for unsafe conditions/behaviors
      • Watch for uncalled hits – each Second will watch for hits on ONE fencer
      • Seconds will determine the timing of the afterblow, where applicable
      • Poll the fencers about Skill/Art points
      • Report the results to tournament staff
  3. Seconds have the authority to award points in the event of uncalled hits and/or rule infractions as well as settle disputes between the two fencers (the “I hit you First” issues)
  4. ALL Fencers are expected to serve as Seconds throughout the weekend

Brass Frog AoA General Rules

  1. Use of excessive or brutal force is strictly forbidden. The first offense will result in a warning. The second will result in a loss of the bout. Subsequent offenses and any offense resulting in an injury where the injured fencer is no longer able to compete will result in ejection from the event, at the discretion of the judges and tournament staff.
  2. Prior to the start of any exchange the judging staff will ask if fencers are ready. The exchange will start when the judge calls “Fence!” The exchange will end when the judge calls “Halt!” Upon the called halt fencers must cease any aggressive actions and return to the appropriate side of the ring/piste.
  3. Bouts are to be conducted for a maximum of three minutes. Point limits vary by weapon event.
  4. Fencers are expected to call hits against themselves (holds true for ALL events)
  5. Thrusts – thrusts must land point-first on target. Thrusts to the mask should be pulled to avoid injury. 
  6. Cuts (NOT smallsword) – cuts can be made with the true or the first third of the false edge. Cuts made with the flat are not valid, but will cause a halt to be called.
  7. Slices (NOT smallsword) – slices can be made with a push or pull of the blade to the arms or head and must be of sufficient force
  8. The back of the head is not a valid target in any event
  9. Disarms and dropped weapons are scored as a point for the fencer retaining his/her weapon.
  10. Leaving the ring/piste for any reason will result in a point for the opponent.
  11. Pommel strikes, punches, kicks, elbow and knee strikes are not allowed
  12. Grappling is not allowed.
  13. Ignoring the directions of the judges or arguing with the judges will result first in a warning. Subsequent offenses in the same bout will result in points being granted to the opposing fencer or loss of the bout.


This year’s smallsword tournament is modeled after dueling conventions in mid-19th century Germany.

There will be at least 3 pools with all competitors and then the top six compete in the final pool.

Prior to duel: Duels would begin with an insult to honor. Two people would go back and forth with insults until one person called the duel.

To represent this, we have a fun activity planned for Saturday night!

Set-up: Duels are set up so that the two people stand at a lunge distance apart. Tape will mark where the fighters front foot toe will start. Seconds will stand on at the side of each fighter (see seconds responsibility for more information).

Advantage: In a duel, if person A called for the duel, due to an insult person B said, person B would have advantage. Person B had to make the first move, and person A COULD NOT do anything until this happened.
For the FIRST POOL ONLY, advantage will be awarded based on the insult Battles from Saturday night. All insults will be ranked from best to worst and the fighter with the better insult will have advantage in the first pass only (see scoring for number of passes information). The other fighter MAY NOT do anything until the first fighter makes their action. Actions include any action with the blade or body. Once the first action has been taken, the fight continues as normal.

Scoring: The fight will end when one of the fighters reaches 3 points. Scores will be marked as either a win or loss (not by the value of points).


Thrust to the head or torso: 3
Thrust to the arms: 1
Crossing the opponent’s starting line: 1
Disarm: 1

Doubles will not be scored for either opponent and the pass will reset. If the fighters double 2 times, both fighters will be marked with a loss.

There will be no afterblows; see second’s responsibility for more information.

If a person surpasses 3 points, it is still just a win and there is no additional benefit.
There is no set amount of time or passes; the fight will continue until one opponent hits 3 points, or 2 doubles have occurred.

Second’s Responsibility: The second’s job is to watch for hits on the opponent. Once their fighter has hit the opponent, the second steps forward between the two fighters using their weapon to halt action. In a duel, this was to prevent the opponent from striking the fighter with an after-blow. For the first round of pools, each fighter will be paired with someone from the other set of pools so that everyone will have an opportunity to be a second (there are 8 pools, 4 going at once).

Dueling Saber

1. Target area: Everything from the knees up, excluding the back of the head
Use of the offhand in parrying or grabbing the opponent’s weapon or body is not permitted.
2. Unless a single fencer hits, only actions that arrive with priority are considered valid
3. Priority Rules:
  • Priority is established when one fencer begins an attack, as indicated by threatening forward movement of the point or extension of the fencer’s arm.
  • In the event of simultaneous actions, no fencer is given priority
  • An attack which has failed (missed, fallen short or been parried) no longer holds priority
  • The defending fencer can obtain priority by parrying and riposting, a single-time counter or stop-cut/thrust that closes the line, or in some way causes the initial attack to not land
  • Breaking distance, causing the initial attack to fall short, and executing an attack
  • A parry or single-time counter that is deemed insufficient does not gain priority for the defending fencer
  • An insufficient parry/counter is one in which the initial attack still hits without changing the line of attack.
  • Priority will be determined by the referee, who will call the action as well as poll the piste judges.

4. Bouts are to 3 points or 3 minutes

Skill/Art Points

We plan to recognize fencers who display a great deal of skill or art in their bouts, much as we we have done in past years. To accomplish this, fencers will be awarded points at the end of each bout and pool. At the end of each bout, 2 points may be awarded by the Seconds or Judges. At the end of each pool, fencers will be asked to identify the two fencers in their pool who they feel displayed the highest degree of Skill/Art in their fencing. At the end of each event the two fencers with the highest number of Skill/Art points will be awarded a ribbon that can be worn the remainder of the weekend while fencing.

Seconds/Judges and fencers should keep in mind the conventions of the weapon when awarding skill/art points.


Medals for 1st to 3rd place in each event will be awarded. Ribbons will be awarded to the two fencers with the highest number of skill/art points in each event. Gift certificates and prizes from our sponsors will be awarded to the fencers with the highest total number of skill/art points and the to the fencers with the highest average number of skill/art points per bout. Door prizes will also be given out over the weekend

The 2024 Brass Frog Assault of Arms is sponsored by
the HEMA Alliance and Western Swordsmanship Technique and Research

Additional Sponsors

Registration Form

The 10th annual Brass Frog Assault of Arms will be held on June 21-23th, 2024 in East Haddam, CT.

Registration Price is $50 for one day or $100 for all three. Registration discount for verified HEMAA members is available.

Additional charges for meals and Lodging at Cave Hill Resort are tallied at the end of the registration process.

Registration is not complete until both the registration form has been submitted AND the registration fees have been received. Additionally, sponsor discount information and tournament slots will not be released until payment for a room for the event Resort (or confirmation of different housing arrangements) has been received.

** Non-binding - used for scheduling purposes. Days are tentative and subject to change until the schedule is finalized.