Longpoint 2019 Passage At Arms Armor Standards

Bill Grandy, the Longpoint 2019 Passage at Arms organizer, has released his armor standards for this year. The tournament rules draft will come at a later date, but this information will help you decide if you can compete in the Man-at-arms’ Triathlon or the Heavy Pentathlon.

Longpoint 2019 Passage at Arms (Armored Combat)

Equipment Regulations, v. 1.0

IMPORTANT: All competitors intending to participate in the Longpoint 2019 Passage at Arms must submit a photo of the armor they intend to wear for approval no later than March 1, 2019. Earlier is better in case the event organizers require that you modify your armor before approval. Also note that initial pre-approval via photo does not guarantee that your armor will pass the required in-person inspection.


The goal of the Longpoint Passage at Arms is to promote the accurate but safe revival of period-correct fencing in armor in a one-on-one duel, referred to in German fighting treatises as harnisfechten.

-Participants are expected to wear historical European-styled armor contemporary, or close to contemporary, of a person of rank as seen in the time periods of the treatises that detail armored combat techniques. The armor can be styled after historical armor from approximately the late 14th century to early 16th. Despite the wide range of time period allowed, combatants should do their best to keep their own harness cohesive to a single time period and not “mix and match” elements of different eras. Ideally, armor should not have elements that would have existed more than 20 years before or after any other element on a person’s harness. (E.g. a 16th century armet should not be paired with a 14th century coat of plates) Combatants are expected to wear a complete harness suitable for fighting in the lists of judicial combat rather than one specialized for warfare or other forms of combat.

-Safety always trumps authenticity. If a combatant does not have period-styled protection where it is required, modern safety gear must be worn in its place (see Requirements below). Combatants should try to conceal modern elements as much as is reasonably possible (e.g. boots to cover plastic shin guards; modern throat guards hidden under fabric or mail, etc.) These safety elements will be treated as “unarmored” for scoring purposes. Visible authenticity should still be striven for whenever possible.

-Metal components of armor should be made of steel or iron (stainless steel is acceptable). Aluminum, titanium, or any other modern alloy is only allowed in the same way that other modern rigid defenses are: As safety equipment that should be hidden when possible. As with other non-period safety gear, these elements will be treated as “unarmored” for scoring purposes.

-Armor is treated “as worn”. E.g. a person who chooses to wear only mail on the shoulders will be scored on differently than a person who wears steel pauldrons. This means that different armor configurations may have slightly different targets (see below for scoring). All modern protection is treated as “unarmored” for the sake of scoring.

- Combatants are not allowed to wear blatant fantasy armor or armor that is blatantly non-European or non-historical in style. Although this is not a Living History event, and therefore strict historical accuracy is not the intended goal, this is still an event directly rooted in the revival of history, and the armor usage should be treated as such.

-Tournament organizers have the right to fail an armor on the basis of suitability. This not only includes safety issues but also blatant historical inaccuracy issues as well. For example, a historical Japanese suit of armor is not suitable for the goals of this tournament.


-A combatant is expected to wear predominately steel plate armor which covers the head, front of the torso, limbs and hands. Optional areas to cover with plate are the back of the torso, the shoulders, the underside of the arms, the back of the legs, the feet and the shins (though the shins need rigid plastic if not covered by plate).

-Hardened leather is an acceptable alternative to plate as long as it is worn in a historical manner (NO FANTASY LEATHER ARMOR!). The overall harness should still be predominantly steel, however. (see Other Plate Requirements below) Please note that if the leather shows signs of breakage, Longpoint staff is allowed to reject the use of that armor.

-Areas of the torso that are uncoverable by rigid protection (such as the armpits) should ideally be covered by mail, and if not mail, then puncture-resistant cloth such as a linen arming doublet. A competitor who chooses not to wear mail on the torso is strongly encouraged to wear modern fencing underarm protectors underneath their shirt in the event of a blade breakage. Absolutely no bare skin is allowed to be showing.

-Combinations of plate and fabric/leather (such as a Coat of Plates or a splinted vambrace) is equal to plate armor provided there are no obvious gaps. If such defenses show significant gaps between the plates so as to make the armor exceptionally flexible, the Staff may rule that this armor is to be treated as “light armor” (equivalent to mail) for the purposes of scoring. Combatants will be notified ahead of time if this is the case.

-Shins, throat and, for male combatants, the groin, must be covered by rigid protection, even if the combatant must use modern protection such as impact resistant plastic. Combatants should attempt to hide modern protection as best as possible.

-All armor is expected to be in good working condition. Tournament organizers have the right to reject any armor due to damage or anything where there is a safety concern to either the wearer or opponents.


-Helmets must be of at least 16-gauge thickness or thicker (preferably thicker if mild steel), lined with a suspension liner (period or modern) or else padded with a minimum of 0.5” of closed cell foam or equivalent. This requirement is in addition to an optional arming cap (i.e. less protection is not allowed even if the combatant is wearing an arming cap).

-A helmet must completely enclose the face so that the point of a weapon may not slip inside. Use of an “open faced” helmet is only allowed if the full opening is covered by perforated steel plate (and the perforated plate will be considered “unarmored” for scoring).

-Openings for vision, breathing, or any other gaps in the face of the helmet absolutely may not allow penetration to the wearer from a 0.25 inch x 0.5 inch bar. Any opening larger than this must be covered by perforated plate (and that opening will still be treated as “unarmored” for scoring).

-Other openings of the helmet may not allow penetration to the wearer from a 0.5 inch bar. This includes the opening at the base of the helmet.

-A moveable visor must be firmly held in place during a match. This can be via spring pin, latch, buckled strap or tying it into place. If the visor can move enough that an opening appears which allows a 0.25 inch x 0.5 inch bar to enter, the helmet will not be allowed.

-Solid neck protection for the cervical area, clavicles, and larynx must be worn, regardless of its historical suitability for the armor style chosen, and the throat in particular must be covered by rigid protection. A modern throat guard is acceptable, although combatants are encouraged to hide this if possible. Wearing mail alone for the throat is not enough, although a mail standard (pisane) with a hidden trauma plate is acceptable, as is wearing a rigid throat protector hidden by a mail aventail. Please note that a mail aventail worn with a 14th/early 15th century-styled bascinet will always be treated as “light armor” (i.e. mail) for scoring, even if the combatant wears a steel gorget underneath (since the use of a steel gorget is anachronistic for that style of armor).


Hands and wrists must be covered by steel plate gauntlets of at least 18-gauge steel or thicker (preferably thicker if mild steel) so that the back of the hand and fingers are protected. The palm-side of the hand must be completely covered in leather or heavy fabric such as canvas so that no skin is showing.


All other plate armor must be at a minimum of 18-gauge steel or thicker, although thicker steel is strongly encouraged for the joints and the torso protection if made of mild steel. Hardened leather of at least 3 mm thickness is allowed in place of steel for the upper and lower cannons of the arms, the cuisses, greaves and breastplate. Note that equally thick but unhardened leather will be treated as “light armor” for scoring, just as mail armor. Steel must be used for elbows, knees, gauntlets and head.

Since limbs cannot be completely covered by plate, such as at the armpit, all exposed areas should be covered by heavy fabric (such linen or canvas) or puncture resistant fabric such as that used for modern fencing.


The use of mail armor is highly encouraged to cover gaps and openings of the upper body. This is not just for the sake of accuracy or simulated protection, but for actual puncture resistance of a broken blade. If the combatant forgoes mail for unarmored areas, heavy material or puncture resistant fabric should be worn (such as a modern fencing under arm protector underneath the shirt).

Mail links should be rivetted, welded, or a combination of rivetted and solid rings made of iron, steel or brass. Absolutely no aluminum or titanium mail. Butted mail is not allowed.


Combatants are encouraged to wear period shoes. However, if modern shoes are worn, they should be athletic shoes with a light tread (no combat boots or similar, which can cause knee damage during wrestling), and the combatant is encouraged to either use shoes that are a solid dark color to make them less noticeable, or else covered by sabatons of mail or plate.


Combatants are not required to wear period clothing underneath the armor. Pants, if not period hosen, should either be athletic pants or fencing/HEMA pants, though it is encouraged that combatants not wear pants that blatantly visually stand out as modern from a distance.


Combatants will use weapons provided by the Longpoint event. Combatants may choose to use their own dagger if desired, and may carry the dagger as a back up weapon in Round 1 (Spear) and 2 (Sword). Round 3 may not have a back up dagger since it is the primary weapon of that round.

DAGGER: Daggers will be the synthetic COLD STEEL Rondel Training Dagger. Daggers will be provided by the event for matches that go to Round 3, but a combatant may choose to use their own if desired. Combatants who wish to carry a dagger as a back up weapon in Round 1 or Round 2 must provide their own. If a combatant chooses to carry their own back up dagger, daggers should be tucked into the combatant’s belt in a position where it can be carried and drawn, or else have some kind of sheath suspended from the belt that allows them to be easily drawn. Daggers brought by competitors cannot have any modifications to the design beyond cosmetic, and must be in good working condition.

SWORD: Swords are specially designed armored combat weapons by Jesse Belsky Stageswords. These will be provided by the event. These swords use hard rubber fittings to allow safer use of strikes and grappling actions with the hilt.

SPEAR: Spears will be the Armored Training Spear by Darkwood Armory. These will be provided by the event.