SR - Judged Vs. Challenge Tourneys: Why not both?

Lenny Zimmermann zimmerml at
Fri Feb 26 09:37:01 PST 1999

Baron Pendaran wrote:

> Okay, so I'm getting the feeling that most people would prefer
>something other than the modern tournament style of elimination.

[Pendaran's love of judged tourneys snipped, but concluded with]

>Sorry, but a tournament is a competition and in many (most?) of the
>combatant's minds, it is to determine the most skilled fighter that day.
> Now, I don't think that choosing the best fighter that day should be
>the only goal of the tournament. I think that there should be other goals
>that include ceremony, showmanship, courtesy, chivalry, and others.

[achieving those goals and varietal formats for judged tourney snipped]

> But what about combining the two types of tourneys? The fighting
>would be done on a challenge basis and fighters would accumulate points
>through defeating opponents. Furthermore, points could be added to a
>fighter's total by secret judges for honor, chivalry and pomp. You might
>still have the stigma of favoritism, but that would be greatly lessened by
>the majority of points being garnered through combat. How's that for a

I think it's a good basis, as long as what has happened to Squires and
Cadets Invitational is avoided. In my opinion that tournament has become a
dog and pony show with little scores for everything and an extreme weighting
being given to the fighting and obscure tests and hoops to be jumped through
being given for no apparent reason beyond a nod to diversity of character.
Not a format that I, personally, enjoy. (Well, OK, I don't just not enjoy
it, I flat detest doing it, but that's just me. Like I said, I'm probably a
freak of nature.)

I think the most important aspect of really having a good judged tourney is
to pick the right judges. While consorts are certainly a great possibility,
it must be remembered that they are not always the best judges. Although
there are a few consorts who fight themselves or who have taken the time to
truly understand the combat forms the one who fights for them participates
in, there are many who do not fully understand the subtleties of those
skills. How many times have you noticed a fighter on the field searching in
vein for the consort they are fighting for who is nowhere to be found
because the fighting does not really interest them? (I fully realize that is
not the only reason for a consort not to be at the field at a particular
time and even some who do show at the field are not really watching, it's
just a generalized statement to show a point.) I think it is most
appropriate, and certainly in our best interest, to seek out judges who
would seem to be most qualified in judging not only general style as well as
"honor, chivalry and pomp", as Sir Pendaran put it, but the subtleties of
those things as well as skill on the field.

Just some further thoughts to fuel the discussion.

Honos Servio,
Lionardo Acquistapace, Bjornsborg
(Lenny Zimmermann, San Antonio)
zarlor at

"A soldier uses arms merely with skill, whereas a knight uses them with
virtuous intention."   - Pomponio Torelli, 1596.

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