Season Curriculum Form


Course Summary

The National Youth Boffer League (NYBL) Beginner Training Curriculum is designed to introduce and train participants between the ages of 7 and 18 in the basics of boffer sports, also known as foamfighting. Boffer sports are similar to fencing and other sword-based martial arts, except that equipment is foam-padded for safety, with strict standards for equipment construction and standardized safety checking. The curriculum focuses on developing good sportsmanship, teaching swordfighting techniques, and building muscle memory relevant to boffer sports. Participants will learn the fundamental skills required to excel in boffer sports while emphasizing safety, teamwork, and fair play. This course is designed to be repeated over two to four seasons, laying a foundation in the first season and building on the foundation in consecutive seasons. Students should demonstrate a solid grasp of concepts and skills before moving on to the Intermediate curriculum.

Course Scope and Overview

The Beginner Training Curriculum is divided into a 12-week program consisting of progressively challenging lessons. Each week focuses on specific aspects of boffer sports, including sportsmanship principles, basic swordfighting techniques, and muscle memory exercises. Participants will engage in both theoretical and practical sessions to enhance their understanding and performance in the sport.

Required Equipment:

  • Boffer sword (foam-padded sword): Each participant should have their own boffer sword suitable for their age and size.
  • Boffer shield (foam-padded shield): Participants are required to have a boffer shield for defensive maneuvers and practice.
  • Shoes: Participants should wear comfortable closed-toe athletic shoes suitable for running and movement on various surfaces.
  • Jersey: Participants should have an NYBL team jersey by the end of the season to compete in the Grand Tournament.

Optional Equipment:

  • Gloves: Recommended for hand protection during swordfighting activities.
  • Knee pads: Optional but recommended for participants who prefer extra knee protection.
  • Safety goggles/glasses: Recommended to protect the eyes during intense gameplay.
  • Athletic cup: Recommended for male participants for added protection during contact.

Each week practices will include:

  1. Warm ups
  2. Welcome Huddle
  3. Training - New Move. Could also include: Review weekly video, Coaches choice
  4. Exercise - Practice new move and situational exercise
  5. Duels - Weekly event category (Single Sword, Double Sword, Sword & Shield, 2v2, 5v5)
  6. Tournament Game - Structured player refereed game
  7. Field Games
  8. Cool Downs
  9. High Fives!

Player Code:

  1. Play with Integrity
  2. Have Fun
  3. Speak Powerfully
  4. Play all In

Rules of Conduct

How to act at each practice and event.

  1. Keep a safe and orderly field
  2. Respect other players and their equipment
  3. Care for and use the equipment properly
  4. Use controlled and purposeful strikes (no flailing about)
  5. No excessive force hits (practice control not force)
  6. No backstabbing (rude hits to an unaware opponent)
  7. Keep games on the field
  8. Don’t hit bystanders (DO NOT hit someone who has not agreed to play)
  9. Listen to all Referees, Coaches, and Team Leaders
  10. Follow the rules of play and their intentions
  11. Communicate with team leadership if you need to leave for any reason.
  12. Recover Gracefully

Method of Teaching

Beginner Training in boffer sports relies heavily on demonstration, imitation, and repetition. Training videos are provided for each unit, to be watched by the student at home, and will be verbally reviewed by instructors in weekly practice. An experienced instructor will explain new concepts and demonstrate new moves and situational exercises, then guide the student through imitation both individually and in concert with fellow students. The student will practice the moves and exercises, aiming for control, safety, ethical conduct, body awareness, repetition to build muscle memory, and adaptation. Regular feedback and guidance from the instructor will help the student refine their skills and build a solid foundation of boffer sport basics.

Unit 0: Preparing for the Season

  • Participants familiarize themselves with the course structure, practice schedule, and player code of conduct.
  • Rules and guidelines for fair play and sportsmanship are discussed.

Unit 1

  • Participants review the importance of playing with integrity and maintaining control during combat.
  • Sword stance is introduced, emphasizing proper form and control.
  • Various games and activities are conducted to reinforce the lessons learned.

Unit 2

  • The focus shifts to having fun while participating in boffer combat.
  • Participants practice sword stance and engage in related activities.
  • Games are played to further develop skills and enjoyment.

Unit 3

  • The importance of powerful communication and speaking effectively is emphasized.
  • Training includes angles of engagement, sword side, and basic striking techniques.
  • Participants engage in exercises to improve their skills.

Unit 4

  • The focus is on playing with full commitment and giving one's all during combat.
  • Training covers aspects such as eye contact, distance management, and proper stance.
  • Exercise sessions focus on refining sword motions and techniques.

Unit 5

  • The values of integrity and leadership are highlighted.
  • Participants learn blocking basics and practice defensive maneuvers.
  • Specific exercises are conducted to enhance blocking skills.

Unit 6

  • The importance of having fun and engaging in true competition is reiterated.
  • Training emphasizes keeping one's eyes open and avoiding flinching during combat.
  • Participants engage in exercises to overcome reflexive reactions.

Unit 7

  • Powerful language and effective communication are emphasized.
  • Basic footwork techniques are introduced and practiced.
  • Exercise sessions focus on improving footwork agility and coordination.

Unit 8

  • Participants learn to collaborate in a team setting during combat scenarios.
  • Training includes 2v1 combat drills, encouraging teamwork and strategic coordination.
  • Exercise sessions reinforce team dynamics and effective collaboration.

Unit 9

  • Participants are reminded to play with integrity, respecting rules and opponents.
  • Training focuses on playing as a team, understanding roles, and cooperative strategies.
  • Exercises aim to strengthen teamwork and communication skills.

Unit 10

  • The emphasis returns to having fun while participating in boffer combat.
  • Line games and pivoting techniques are introduced and practiced.
  • Exercise sessions focus on enhancing agility and adaptability in combat.

Unit 11

  • The importance of speaking powerfully and effectively is revisited.
  • Training covers advanced striking techniques, incorporating footwork if applicable.
  • Exercise sessions aim to refine striking skills and combinations.

Unit 12

  • Participants are encouraged to play with full commitment until the end.
  • Advanced blocking techniques, possibly including footwork, are introduced.
  • Final exercise sessions focus on integrating all learned skills and techniques.

Capstone Event:

  • Intra League Grand Tournament.
  • Awards.
  • Demonstrations of advanced skills by coaches and elite players.

National Youth Boffer League