Planet Earth is finally catching up with the rest of the galaxy.
Or at least France is. The country’s fencing federation has officially recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport.
France’s fencing federation adopted the sport in hopes that all people, young and old, will pick up the hobby as a form of exercise.
“With young people today, it’s a real public health issue. They don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs,” Federation Secretary General Serge Aubailly told Associated Press. “It’s becoming difficult to [persuade them to] do a sport that has no connection with getting out of the sofa and playing with one’s thumbs. That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural.”
Brandishing LED-lit plastic sabers, combatants go at each other in true Star Wars style, with some minor rule changes to set it apart from fencing.
Competitors are required to swing their sabers behind them before striking, scoring different point totals depending on the body part they connect with.
Head and body strikes are worth the most points at five. Arms and legs are worth three and hands are worth one. The first to 15 points is crowned the winner, unless the three-minute limit hits, in which case the highest score wins.
A “sudden death” rule was also put in place if both competitors reach 10, making the first to achieve a head or body blow the winner.
The rules look to separate the sport from fencing, emphasising wide, flashy blows instead of quick, precise jabs and stabs used in fencing.
Check out some footage of the dueling in action below.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) February 18, 2019
Would you give lightsaber dueling a try? Sound off in the comments below!