Quick Rules of Play

This is a condensed version of the 2022 Rules of Play


Boffer Equipment

Boffer Swords are the only thing you can use to tag another player, specifically the tagging surface or blade of the sword. No part of the hilt, including the pommel, handle, and crossguard, may be used to tag another player.

Boffer Shields are for blocking a sword only. No part of a shield may be used to make contact with another player and shields must not be used to hit, bash, check, bump, or pin.

Boffer Standards are laid out in the full Rules of Play. If you bring your own gear, make sure that it meets size, weight, and material requirements and is approved by a coach or referee before you play with it on the field.


Tag: A hit with a sword blade in the game is called a tag. A tag is good when the tagging surface of a sword makes contact with another player AND is felt by that player OR makes an audible sound. (e.g. if you are hit with a sword blade and you feel it hit or it makes a sound).

Targets Call: This is where integrity and honesty are very important. The person getting tagged, or the target of the tag, is the one who decides if it was good or not. If another player claims they tagged you and you cannot be absolutely certain that they did NOT tag you, then take the hit.

Warning: If you do not take your tags, other players will start to hit YOU harder so you feel them, and not only will they start to hit you harder they will begin to hit everyone harder. So be honest and take your tags!

Target Areas on a Player

The Body is a valid target: It is defined as below the neck, the shoulders and in, the hip joints and up.

The Arms are a valid target: They are defined as below the shoulders to the tips of your fingers.

The Legs are a valid target: They are defined as below the hips joints to the bottom of your feet.

Sword Hand is an invalid target: If your hand is on a sword it is considered to be part of the sword all the way to your wrist, and it cannot be tagged.

Neck and Head are invalid targets: Do not hit people on the neck or head, repetitive hits to other players’ heads will get you taken off the field. Also do not purposefully block with your head or neck.

Getting Tagged

Communicate: When you get tagged, always announcing where. Calling out and communicating each move helps you get better and faster at the game and makes it run smoothly for everyone. 

Body: A tag to your ‘body’ means you are out. Say “body”.

Arms: A tag to an arm disabled that arm. You must not use a tagged arm and you should drop anything you are holding and place the arm behind your back. You are allowed to switch a sword or shield to the other hand right after an arm gets tagged. Say “right arm” or “left arm”.

Legs: When you are tagged on a leg your legs are disabled and you must immediately do one of two things. 

  1. Take a Knee: You will drop to your knees. When you are on your knees you are allowed to crawl, shuffle, or roll around.
  2. Post: You will say “posting left/right leg” and stick your tagged leg to the ground. You can pivot and spin around your posted leg but it must not move. If you lift or slide your foot after beginning a post you are out. You are stuck in a post until you get out or the game resets.

Sword Hand: If you are hit on your sword hand then nothing happens. Say “hand” to let your opponent know their tag was not valid.

Head or Neck: If you are hit on your sword hand then nothing happens. You should say “head” or “neck” to let your opponent know. So they can adjust and not hit you there next time. 

Tagged a Second Time: Getting tagged a second time on an arm or leg always means you’re out. So if your arm has been tagged and you get tagged on your leg or your other arm, then you’re out.  If you block with a sword or shield held in your arm that was already tagged then it is like it was a hit to your body and you are out. For example, if you just got hit in the arm and then immediately block with that same arm you are out.

Grabbing a Sword: If you grab a sword or it gets caught between limb and body, all the areas it is touching are counted as being tagged.

Getting Out:

Declare Out: Say you are “Out” so those around you. Put your sword or your arm on your head. This is the signal that says you are out. Do not do this unless you are actually out and do not hit players who are displaying in this way that they are out. Once you have your sword on your head walk to the edge of the field or to your respawn. Do not interfere with the players still in the game.

Joining a Game: Make sure you have the referees permission to join. Then shout “NEW PLAYER” as you join the game. When you are respawning back into the game, shout “I’M IN” BEFORE leaving your respawn. You are not in the game and cannot tag or be tagged until you shout “I’M IN” while at your respawn.

Illegal Actions:

Actions that are dangerous and will get you taken off the field:

  • Hitting another player with the hilt of your sword or with your shield.
  • Throwing any of the equipment at another player.
  • Stabbing or poking another player with your sword. Only swinging to tag is allowed.
  • Swinging with excessive force. Learn control, it will make you a better and faster player.
  • Hitting an unaware player from behind. We will go over assassination rules later.
  • Uncontrolled runs, bashes, or slides into other players.
  • Wrestling, punching, slapping, kicking, headbutting, licking, tripping, or grabbing another player or their shield.

The Field

Referees: If a referee asks you to step off the field do so quickly and ask questions when it is safe and convenient. On the field referees have ultimate power and should not be questioned. They will use that power to keep you and the other players on the field safe.

Boundaries: HARD boundaries are clearly marked lines and when touched or crossed instantly get you out. SOFT boundaries are clearly marked lines or a line that the referee made up and told you about. If you cross a soft boundary then you must stop playing, re-enter the playing field and then resume. Also if you cross soft boundaries multiple times the ref might just call you out and make you respawn.

Equipment: Use all equipment properly, they are made to keep you safe and improper use can damage and make them unsafe to use in a game. Keep all games and equipment on the field or in designated areas. Do not hit parents or anyone who has not agreed to play. Do not use anyone else’s equipment unless you have asked the owner and they have granted you permission to use it.

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