How did polearms differ from spears?

Rules of battle

Preliminary remark

The application of this set of rules and participation in fights is always at your own risk. When interpreting the following rules, common sense and sporting fairness should be used.
It is recommended that every fighter has an appropriate liability insurance (attention: not every liability insurance covers our sport). We also advise you to take out additional insurance (accident insurance / supplementary health insurance).

§ 1 field rules (these apply to all persons who enter the combat area)

  1. Orders from the marshals must be followed at all times.
  2. Nobody is allowed to enter the fighting area while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. This also includes drugs that can impair awareness, alertness or the perception of one's own behavior in the combat area.
  3. All problems / injuries must be reported to a marshal.
  4. Under no circumstances should any sharp objects be brought into the combat area unless specifically requested by a paramedic.
  5. Smoking, chewing gum, and eating are not permitted in the combat area during a public performance.

§2 Marshals

  1. Marshals are unarmed, but have a staff to separate combatants.
  2. Marshals wear an orange armband and an orange flag on their staff and can therefore be recognized as marshals.
  3. Marshals have the authority to expel anyone who persistently disregards the ZDS rules.
  4. Marshals must approve all weapons as acceptable for combat.

§3 fighting rules (these apply to all fighters)

A. General information about the fighters

  1. All groups are responsible for ensuring that their members are adequately trained to take part in combat with weapons, in which they are practiced (Responsibility of the fighters) to participate.
  2. Fighters who are aggressive or aroused for any reason should leave the fighting area immediately.
  3. Appropriately strong hand and head protection must be worn during combat. Those who do not wear appropriate protection are not allowed to fight
  4. All fighters must be over 16 years old. Members under the age of 18 may only take part in the fight with written permission from their parents or legal guardians.
  5. Non-combatants such as marshals and water carriers may not be involved in the fight on the field unless otherwise agreed.
  6. If an opponent does not want to fight, his wish is to be respected and another opponent is chosen.
  7. Beginners or members who have not participated in a skirmish before should wear a yellow armband so others know they should be more careful with them. You should also be under the care of an experienced fighter.

B. General information on weapons and security

  1. Marshals must have all weapons approved as acceptable for combat. The guns must be clean and free of rust and protruding burrs. Guns must not be stuck in the ground.
  2. To be on the safe side, all weapons should have a cut edge of at least 2 mm. The tips must be rounded. As a guide, the point of a sword or dagger should be roughly as rounded as the curve of the thumb, or a 1-cent piece, the point of a spear rather more.
    In general: in case of doubt, the marshal decides about the safety of the weapon.
  3. Weapons with hooks must not be used to hook a fighter with his body or armor.
  4. Flails, chain weapons or similar uncontrollable weapons are prohibited.
  5. Firearms and all types of pyrotechnics are prohibited in free combat. However, such weapons (e.g. cannons or muskets) can be integrated and approved in a time of the swords demonstration. A corresponding safety zone, which may not be entered, must be set up. Firearm operators must not be attacked.
  6. Wrestling matches and scuffle are only allowed after prior agreement of the participants and marshals.

C. Hit zones / use of weapons

  1. All hits within the areas marked in green in the figures will be scored.
  2. The areas marked in red in the figures must generally not be actively attacked.
  3. Head blows (blows to the head) are prohibited.
    Exception: You can from very experienced fighters (and the marshals) before a fight (this is the responsibility of the fighters and is only allowed with appropriate head protection).
  4. Bumps (stitches) in the direction of the head, face or neck are generally prohibited.
  5. Thrusts (stabs) with the sword are prohibited.
    Exception: You can from very experienced fighters (and the marshals) before a fight (this is the responsibility of the fighters and is only allowed with appropriate protective clothing).
  6. Deliberate blows to the hands are prohibited; Strikes that touch the hands and wrists do not count as a hit unless the hand was intentionally used to block a blow.
  7. Deliberate blows to the feet are prohibited; Strikes that touch feet or ankles do not count as hits.

    Sword, ax, dagger, etc.

    1. All blows (blows) must lie within hit zone A (Fig. 1).
    2. All impacts (stitches) must lie within hit zone B (Fig. 2) (only after consultation and with appropriate protection).
    3. All thrusts (stitches) must be done with the palm facing down.
    4. Hits on elbow or knee joints etc. are scored, but joints should always be spared by the fighters.
    5. In the case of blows towards the head (only after consultation and with appropriate head protection), the center of the head is the target. Strikes may only hit vertically from above, but not from the side, as this can result in severe vibrations. A hit with the flat side of the weapon is desirable.

    Staff weapons / polearms

    1. All impacts (stitches) must lie within hit zone C (Fig. 3).
    2. Staff weapons must always be carried with both hands. The palm of the leading (front) hand must face down. Pole weapons must not slide through the front hand while bumping into an enemy. The back hand must not lock / block the upper end of the bar so that both hands can slip through.
    3. Second hand weapons (daggers) using polearms as the main weapon are allowed. The prerequisite is that the main and side arms can be safely wielded.
    4. The following applies to one-handed players: All knocks (stitches) must lie within hit zone B (Fig. 2).

    Archery and crossbow shooting

    1. Bows should be no thicker than 40 pounds and crossbows should be no thicker than 70 pounds.
    2. Shooters who use hard rubber tips must observe a firing angle of at least 45 degrees or, if the field is small, a sufficient angle to be well above head height, unless otherwise agreed.
    3. Only shooters who use soft, padded tips are allowed to shoot directly at the opponent, hit zone A applies (Fig. 1).
    4. All arrows / bolts must have cushioned or rubber tips and must be checked and approved by a marshal.
    5. All shots must always be aimed away from the audience.

    D. Hit

    1. Weapons must be used in a controlled manner, with blows and cuts being held back to such an extent that they do not cause pain or injury.
    2. Every blow or cut on a fighter within the corresponding hit zone counts as a hit.
      Only hits that were carried out correctly should be scored. Ricochets, grazing shots, "secondary hits" from previously blocked / parried attacks, as well as "just touching" do not count as hits.
    3. Unless otherwise agreed, each fighter has a basic number of 3 hit points. Fighters in chain mail can gain one additional hit points and fighters in plate armor can gain 2 additional hit points.
    4. A hit from an arrow takes away 2 hit points instead of the usual 1 point.
    5. Unless otherwise agreed: those who have been killed move away from the line and wait until a new round is contested. Or you look for another opponent to fight, or take a break and drink some water.

    §4 recommendations

    It is recommended that fighters protect themselves beyond the minimum requirements of the rules with modern elbow pads, knee pads, groin protectors for men and chest protectors for women, which can be worn concealed under the outer clothing of the fighters, unless these areas are already protected by armor. It is also recommended that all fighters wear a padded gambeson.

    Version 2.2
    As of January 20, 2019