The 2019 ruleset has been approved. Please click the link below to download our 37-page competition guide covering rules, regulations, etiquette, procedures, and best practices.

V 1.190605


The 2019 rules are a sea change for Lightspeed, massively expanding the rules and making comprehension a little bit harder, but ultimately producing superior play that is funner for the fencers, the referees, and spectators alike. They can be best summed up with the concept of “quality”. Essentially, high quality attacks score a lot of points, and low quality attacks score less. With time limits now mandatory, it is crucial to score as highly as possible within each exchange.


High quality attacks are:

  • Fast

  • Well-timed and/or agile

  • Show strong offensive OR defensive skill

  • Accurate

Each of the above elements contribute to the score of any given hit, up to a full value of 3 points. If, in an exchange, your hit:

  • Arrived first, you get 1 pt

  • If, in addition, you were also not hit in the exchange, you get an additional +1 pt

  • If, in addition, you scored on the head OR used any blade defense, you get another +1 pt

As you can see, any given hit can be worth up to 3 points, depending on its quality. However, this only applies to accurate attacks. Attacks that bounce, slide, or otherwise touch the opponent’s blade in the course of landing a hit are called indirect and are always reduced to 1 point.

There are many more nuances to the rules, including special rules that sometimes allow the second hit to score over the first. However, these are generally unusual and do not need to be covered here. These idiosyncrasies can be reviewed in the comprehensive rules manual in the link above.

We hope that you enjoy the new rules and that the manual is clear in its instructions and recommendations. If you have input or questions, don’t hesitate to contact us or leave a comment.

— Snow