The International Medieval Combat Federation (IMCF) sets forth a comprehensive set of rules governing competitions to ensure safety, authenticity, and fair play in historical medieval combat. These rules apply to all events sanctioned by the IMCF.

1. Armor Regulations

Competitors must wear armor that accurately replicates historical examples from effigies, art, or existing artifacts. All materials used in the construction of armor must be authentic to the historical period. Modern materials such as plastic are strictly prohibited.

2. Weapon Standards

Weapons used in competitions must be accurate representations of those used in medieval battles and made from materials available in that period. Safety measures are enforced, including regulations on edge thickness, point radii, and striking surfaces, to ensure participant safety while maintaining historical accuracy.

3. Competition Categories

3.1 One-on-One Competitions

  • Long Sword: Fighters engage in lightning-fast strikes and tactical maneuvers using swords of specific lengths and weights. Points are awarded for various legal strikes, disarms, and falls.
  • Sword and Shield: This competition involves strategic battles where opponents block, counter, and maneuver using historically accurate swords and shields.
  • Polearm: Considered the most brutal of the one-on-one competitions, fighters battle using pole-mounted weapons, scoring points for strikes, disarms, and falls.

3.2 Melee Competitions

  • Melee: Recreating mass battles of the past, this category allows for a wide range of weapons while aiming to knock opponents to the ground or force them to submit.

3.3 Specific Melee Categories

  • 3 vs. 3 Women’s Melee: Teams of female fighters engage in melee action, showcasing their skills and toughness.
  • 5 vs. 5 Men’s Melee: Intense battles featuring teams of up to 5 fighters, characterized by fast-paced action and constant excitement.
  • 10 vs. 10 Men’s Melee: Featuring larger teams, this category adds a dynamic balance of speed and strength to the battlefield.
  • 16 vs. 16 Men’s Melee: Simulating a real medieval battlefield, this category emphasizes strategy, tactics, and determination as teams of 16 compete.
  • 30 vs. 30: A massive battle purely for fun, showcasing camaraderie and sportsmanship among participants.

4. Judging Criteria

Victors in one-on-one competitions are determined by referees based on legal strikes, disarms, and falls, while melee competitions often employ a best 2 out of 3 format for determining winners. Referees enforce rules and ensure fair play throughout the competitions.

5. Safety Precautions

Safety of participants is paramount. Referees and officials rigorously check armor and weapons to ensure compliance with safety standards. Additionally, medical personnel are on standby to provide immediate assistance if needed.

6. Fair Play

The IMCF emphasizes fair play and sportsmanship among competitors. Unsportsmanlike conduct, including intentional rule violations and disrespectful behavior, is strictly prohibited and may result in penalties or disqualification.

7. Compliance and Enforcement

All competitors, officials, and organizers are required to comply with IMCF rules and regulations. Failure to adhere to these rules may result in disciplinary action, including expulsion from competitions.

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