Symposium Games & Contests – Umbrella Fencing

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Umbrella Fencing—the Lion and the Unicorn

`I should win easy,’ said the Lion.
`I’m not so sure of that,’ said the Unicorn.
`Why, I beat you all round the town, you chicken!’ the Lion replied angrily, half getting up as he spoke.

The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown. Are you the Lion or the Unicorn? Come participate in the return of umbrella fencing and fight for the winner’s crown! There may not be plum cake afterwards, but you’ll get bragging rights and an Unbreakable Umbrella of your very own!

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Participants will fence using special umbrellas provided by the Symposium Games and donated by Unbreakable Umbrella. These umbrellas are manufactured for protection and made not to break if used offensively. Fencers will face off in a single-elimination tournament. A bracket will be created at the beginning of the event, so please be on time, as no participants can be added once the first bout begins. The winner of a bout moves forward in the bracket, while the loser joins the spectators. The bracket will produce a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner.


Any adult (age 18 and up) is able to participate in the duels, whether associated with an airship or not. HOWEVER, if you are not part of an airship, one of the competing airships may try and convince you to join afterwards, and therefore earn your points. This year only one set of points will be available per competition. If the winners are not part of an airship or not convinced to join one, the points go unawarded to any airship. Airships will have until 3:30pm on Sunday at the convention to claim an unaffiliated winner. The winner must announce his decision to join an airship, in person, to the Games’ MC (Peter B. Slayer) before that time.

Umbrella Fencing from the 2012 Symposium . . . don’t try this at home!

Equipment Provided for You:

  • Unbreakable Umbrellas will be provided for you by the Symposium Games. Do NOT bring your own as you will not be allowed to use it.
  • Fencing face/head mask and padded vest for safety.

Umbrella Fencing Rules:

  • SAFETY: Fencers MUST attend the preparation session that begins a half hour before the game. At 10am, potential fencers will meet the game organizer, Thomas Willeford, in the Upper Terrace for quick tutorial and safety review. The game begins at 10:30am.
  • Fencers will be asked to sign a liability waiver at that time. Umbrella Fencing IS dangerous. You must be willing and able to take responsibility for participating in the event. If you refuse to sign the waiver, you will not be allowed to participate.
  • Fencers must wear the provided safety equipment. Refusal to wear the equipment will result in disqualification, and you will be unable to participate.
  • Fencers will position themselves and shake hands before beginning.
  • Upon being told, “Begin,” by the judge/referee, fencers will endeavor to touch their opponent with the tip of their Unbreakable Umbrella.
  • As in real fencing, passes may be dodged or blocked by your own umbrella to avoid a touch.
  • All touches are to be between the shoulders and waist for safety reasons, in order to be considered a legal touch. Making contact with areas such as the arms and legs do not count as a touch.
  • Making contact with the head or neck area is illegal and you will be disqualified for doing so. It is understood that accidents happen, but due to safety, there is a zero tolerance policy on contact with the head or neck.
  • Three legal touches will win the bout.
  • Winners of the semifinals will advance to the final. Losers of the semifinal will fence one more time to determine 3rd place winner.
  • In the case of a tie on the final bout, the bout will be repeated up to two times. If there is STILL a tie, both finalists will split the available points for first and second place equally. In the case of a tie during the 3rd place bout, the bout will be repeated up to two times. If there is STILL a tie, the judges will determine the winner by coin toss.
  • Don’t be that lout who refuses to accept defeat when your opponent and judges have declared you eliminated. In fact, if you even THINK you have been hit, be the gentleman (or gentlewoman) and call it out.
  • There will be spectators in the room, and while we do our best to keep them out of the fencing area, we all know that things can go awry. Please be mindful of spectators. Fencers may ask for a hold if a spectator enters the fencing area, to allow for that spectator to be removed.

Umbrella Fencing Class 680

Victory Points for Umbrella Fencing:

  • First Place = 30 Points
  • Second Place = 20 Points
  • Third Place = 10 Points

Sign Up for the Contest HERE


To officially register your Airship or Steampunk Group in the Symposium Games, open the link below, and enter the chance to win glory, prizes, the Symposium Trophy, and four weekend badges to 2017 International Steampunk Symposium

2016 Airship Registration

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