Covid 19 update

All classes and events at Ottawa Swordplay are cancelled, and our Sword Hall is closed until further notice.

Updates will be posted on our News Page.

FREEPLAY GEAR REQUIREMENTS

All forms of freeplay have a risk of injury. Wearing appropriate protective gear reduces the risk of injury, but it is not effective without safe behavior.

Before freeplay, make sure your opponent has the right equipment to be hit with the weapon you are wielding at the speed you are wielding it. When in doubt, ask an instructor!

You must be approved by an instructor to engage in each level of freeplay. You must have a safety monitor observe all freeplay bouts. 

The items listed below are the minimum required. We encourage each fencer to wear additional gear to their comfort, and recommend minimizing the amount of exposed skin. 

Longsword Freeplay Level

Opponent’s Equipment

1 - Low Gear Slow

Slow, smooth actions without sudden changes of speed or percussive strikes. Wrestling ends at controlling hand or arm by pushing it into the body; no throws.

Mask, gorget, elbows, light padded gloves, [groin]

(Ottawa Swordplay padded jacket can replace gorget and elbows.)

2 - Face and Forearms (Restricted Targets)

Changes of pace during the exchange, an increased intensity in the delivery of attacks but limited to only three targets: front of the mask (face) and forearm protectors. Wrestling ends at controlling hand or arm by pushing it into the body; no throws.


Mask, gorget, forearms, elbows, padded gloves

3 - Full Gear Controlled

Changes of pace during the exchange, an increased intensity in the delivery of attacks including percussive blows and wrestling.

Mask, back of head, [gorget], elbows, red dragon gloves or equivalent, Ottawa Swordplay padded jacket or approved equivalent, knees, [groin]

(Ottawa Swordplay padded jacket can replace gorget)

4 - Low Gear Controlled

A level of intensity and pace that allows the fencers to always ensure they will not strike their partner with excessive force even when wearing reduced protective gear.

Mask, back of head, gorget, elbows, light padded gloves, [groin]

(Ottawa Swordplay padded jacket can replace gorget and elbows.)

5 - Full Gear Tournament 

Rapid, forceful exchanges with a modest attempt at controlling the impact of blows. 

Mask, back of head, gorget, shoulders, elbows, forearms, heavy HEMA gloves or equivalent, Ottawa Swordplay jacket or approved equivalent, knees, shins, [groin]

Mouthguard is encouraged but not mandatory.


Other Weapons

Freeplay gear requirements for other weapons are the same as given above for longsword, except for the following exceptions. 

Freeplay Weapon and Intensity

Opponent’s Equipment

Beginner Wrestling

This type of freeplay must be done on a wrestling mat. It is characterized by moderate intensity hip throws.

Both participants should have similar footwear. No hard soled shoes. No glasses.

Intermediate Wrestling

This type of freeplay must be done on a wrestling mat. This type of freeplay is characterized by higher intensity throws and takedowns, made possible by gripping the belt or wrestling jacket. 

Mouthguard, wrestling jacket, belt.

Both participants should have similar footwear. No hard soled shoes. No glasses.

Foam Weapons

This type of freeplay applies to foam longswords, foam single handed swords, and foam daggers. 

Mask, light padded gloves, gorget


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