There Can Be Only One!

The Gladiator Event

Consider the sword. The ultimate weapon for close combat, invented centuries ago by our ancestors for the gleeful dismemberment of friends and foe alike.
Now consider the wiffle sabre. The ultimate weapon for close combat, invented minutes ago for the gleeful bludgeoning of our friends.

Morituri te salutant!*

Equipped with at least a hockey helmet and protective gloves, if not shoulder, elbow, hip, shin and knee pads, members from opposite teams will go at each other with wiffle sabers.

The Rules

Only one pair fights at a time. The survivor continues on to the next fight. The event ends when there is only one gladiator left.


Judges will determine when a solid hit has been landed. A blow to the head or torso is considered immediately lethal. A blow to a limb incapacitates that limb. A blow to a second limb will dispatch the opponent after 10 seconds due to blood loss. Any attempt to use an incapacitated limb will result in blacking out from the pain and subsequent death from blood loss (or sadistic opponent). The wiffle sabers are not designed with a point, so any attempt to pierce your opponent with a stabbing motion will earn the wrath of the gods and a quick death due to a thunderbolt. Similarly, causing excessive pain to ones opponent is frowned upon. Opponents should be dispatched with clean, controlled strokes. The gods ask that you be careful while killing each other.


Each team gets one point per participant. In addition, a team gains a point for every victory in combat. If both gladiators die, no points are awarded. The sole remaining survivor earns 3 points for his/her team. In the event that there is more than one survivor in a team once all the opponents have been dispatched, the remaining gladiators will turn upon each other, while victories continue to earn points for that team. Any ties will be broken in the natural way - by "champions" from the two teams fighting a duel.

Any gladiator that can bring his/her opponent to the mercy of the emperor will earn an extra point for the pleasure of the emperor granting his thumbs-up or down.**

How to defend yourself with a sword

* "Those who are about to die salute you!" The phrase used by the gladiators to address Caesar before the fight.

** In ancient Rome, when a gladiator had his opponent at his mercy, he would turn to where Caesar sat waiting for Caesar to determine the fate of the opponent. It is said that if the gladiator had fought well and pleased Caesar, Caesar would turn his thumb up, sparing the life of the defeated. Turning his thumb down had the inevitable consequences.

Carlo Maley
Last modified: Wed Jan 28 13:11:13 EST