Lightsaber Duelling Officially Recognized as a Sport by France Fencing Federation

France has adopted the way of the Jedi. Ok, that’s not entirely true, but France’s Fencing Federation has registered lightsaber duelling has a competitive sport, according to The Guardian.

  • This move means the iconic weapon from the Star Wars films now bares the same status as the foil, epee and sabre, the traditional blades used in the Olympics.
  • The French Fencing Federation is even going as far as to supply fencing clubs with lightsabers and training lightsaber duel instructors.
  • Special rules have been laid out for lightsaber duels:
    • Strikes to the head or body are worth five points.
    • Strikes to the arms or legs are worth three points.
    • Strikes on the hands are worth one point.
    • The winner is the first to reach 15 points or, if they don’t get there quickly, the fighter with the higher score after three minutes is the victor.
    • If both fighters reach 10 points, the bout enters a “sudden death” stage, in which the first to land a head or body blow wins.
  • According to The Guardian, because the count of lightsaber practitioners is only in the hundreds, there is no hope of the new sports reaching the 2024 Paris Olympics. However, even the fact that this was mentioned means it’s at least on the radar for the future.

What they’re saying:

  • Serge Aubailly, the French Fencing Federation’s secretary general: “With young people today, it’s a real public health issue. They don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs. That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural.”
  • Aubailly on the effect movies have on the sport: “Cape-and-sword movies have always had a big impact on our federation and its growth. Lightsaber films have the same impact. Young people want to give it a try.”
  • Michel Ortiz, organizer of a national lightsaber tournament: “We wanted it to be safe, we wanted it to be umpired and, most of all, we wanted it to produce something visual that looks like the movies, because that is what people expect.”