Ringen Rules Laboratory

A few days ago, the draft rules for each competition were made available on the website. We will be addressing notable rules changes to each competition in this series of posts, and we are starting with Ringen.

The purpose of the Ringen competition at Longpoint is to provide a venue for practitioners of medieval wrestling styles to safely test their training in a competitive scenario. We believe that providing practitioners the opportunity to compete against opponents from around the world will help the development of the unarmed arts in much the same way it has for the sword arts. Longpoint strives to improve our event every year, and in doing so will make changes which we believe will better align our competitions with the event goals.  Below are the two most significant changes to the Ringen competition format and a brief explanation of our decisions.

For reasons both functional and aesthetic we have decided to remove martial arts gis from our list of allowed gear for this year. Not only does the loose fitting style of a gi makes it a poor simulator for the clothing seen in the medieval sources, but there were also a number of complaints last year that the gi was significantly different in grips than the other allowed jacket styles. Many competitors believed this difference could provide an unfair advantage to those using a gi. Considering the expected publicity for this year’s event, following the New York Times article from last year, we would like to present a more cohesive, western look to distinguish medieval wrestling styles from other unarmed arts of the world and avoid viewer confusion. (Note: Medieval wrestling jackets are available from a number of online retailers and are highly encouraged for this competition.)

We have also changed the way points are scored, particularly in consideration to knees touching the mat. Under last year’s rules in some circumstances competitors were attempting to force an opponent’s knee to the mat rather than using their skillset to complete a throw or takedown. To avoid this in future events, a single knee down will not count as a scored point. Instead three points of contact (between hands and knees) with the mat are required to score a point. Otherwise throws and takedowns will be counted much the same way as they were last year. Please read the posted rules for a more detailed description of scoring actions and information on how non scoring knee down situations will be handled. 

Thank you for your participation, and we look forward to seeing you at Longpoint 2015!

Tim Hall
Virginia Academy of Fencing
Longpoint Event Board, Ringen