Let the Games Begin Part 2

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Parasol Duel Rules!

Update September 26 2014
The first World Championships in modern times was held at Beakerhead in Calgary on September 13, 2014.
Read the report of the First World Championships here! 

The label Parasol Duelling will get you all my posts on this new and exciting sport!
For a Faux Academic piece on Parasol Duelling check out this recent post.
Here is another Historical piece this time Parasol Duelling in Prussia!
This piece is a wonderful description of a fatal duel fought under the Infamous Hungarian Imperial Rules.

Previously I wrote about coming up with some Steampunk Sports.
I have completed my Parasol Duelling Rules and have posted them below.
Take a look and let me know what you think.
We have experimented a bit with the "figures" used and they do seem to be workable, the timing is tight enough to make it a challenge. At least it is a challenge for me, all you Ladies out there who are experts at handling a parasol probably won't have too much trouble.
I have worded it in the semi archaic style of the Tea Duelling rules.
If you try them out please let me know how it goes.
Comments, suggestions and critiques are welcome!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.

Parasol Duelling
Jan 18’ 14
By Maxwell MacDonald-Smythe
aka Kevin Jepson
The ancient and honourable art of Parasol Duelling has gained a bad reputation in recent years. This is mostly due to the importation of the more violent and aggressive forms of the Hungarian Imperial Rules, much favoured by Ladies of the Lower Classes. There have been many cases of contusions, broken bones, many lost fingernails, and an unconscionable loss of fine parasols. In one celebrated case, this violent form of duel has resulted in the death of one of the participants by concussion.
Her Majesty recognizes the long and honourable history of Ladies participating in this noble trial of arms and desires that her subjects continue to participate, but in a safe and honourable manner.
Her Majesty has therefore decreed that within the Empire, Parasol Duelling will be conducted using the following rules which do not permit physical damage to the participants. These rules are known as the Brandenburg Variations on the Hanoverian Parasol Duelling Rules.
The Hanoverian Parasol duelling rules permitted:
Plain cuffs and Lace parasols
Minimal Ankling, that is
showing ones ankles as a distraction technique.
Minimal contact!
Note that generally no Doctor, also known as an umpire, was present.

The Brandenburg Variation on these rules
(The only style permitted by Queens Regulations in Her Majesty's Dominions)
Similar to the above except that:
. No ankling is permitted (except as noted during competition).
These are enforced through the use of the initial two paces.
The three Parasol Duel "Figures" are:
1) The Plant- Parasol is held point down to the ground at the side of the player
2) The Twirl- Parasol is opened and placed across, but not touching, the shoulder and twirled.
3) The Snub- Parasol is held pointing towards the opponent and opened. The parasol must be closed before being opened again or the result is a "hanging snub" and cannot be counted as a completed figure.
The Figure Rules
These are used to determine the outcome of a round and are similar to the street urchins game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Plant = Rock
Twirl = Paper
Snub = Scissors
Plant > Snub
Twirl > Plant
Snub > Twirl
All Duels consist of the following proceedings:
1) Opponents stand back to back, parasols held with one hand on the handle and the other 1/3 of the way from the top around the closed parasol.
2) The parasol is held across the body at a comfortable angle that must not exceed 60 degrees from the horizontal.
3) The Doctor will ascertain if the opponents are ready.
4) On receiving an affirmative reply from both opponents, the Doctor counts One! Two!.
5) Each opponent takes one step forward for each count.
6) After the second pace the opponents turn to face each other.
7) The Doctor begins to count out loud to five and then calls out loudly "Hold!"
8) During the counting the opponents try out various figures in an attempt to beat the other person at the point the hold is called.
9) After the completed count and the hold being called, the opponents must stand perfectly still and not move from their positions on pain of forfeiture.
10) If both opponents have a completed figure the round is concluded and the winner is declared by the figure rules.
11) Should one of the opponents not have a complete figure at the hold, the combat is decided in favour of the completed figure regardless of which figure it is.
12) Should neither opponent have a completed figure, or the figures are the same, the round is considered a draw and will be re-done.
The Types of Parasol Duel under the Brandenburg Variation of the Hanoverian Rules

The Formal Duel
Consists of the best two out of three completed rounds.
The Formal duel requires the use of the Doctor.
An Informal Duel
No Doctor necessary
Opponents face each other, separated by two parasol lengths, and on count of three begin while counting to five and calling “Hold” in unison.
The Street Duel
Uses holstered small duelling parasols (see illustration below)
No Doctor necessary, opponents count in unison themselves as per informal duel.

The parasols are drawn from the holsters and they must be brought up vertically in front of the face. The first opponent to get their parasol up starts counting and the other opponent must follow that count.
The duel then proceeds as normal.

Because of the short length of a Street Duelling Parasol the "Plant" is simply held down alongside the leg and the "Twirl" is done with the open parasol held out to one side The "Snub" is the same as a normal duel figure..
Note that Street Duels are traditionally considered slightly un-ladylike. This is due to the similarity of the form to the rough gunplay of the American frontier. However there is a strong movement to include Street Duelling in the formal competitions so a well rounded Parasol Duellist should be familiar with the form.
The Competition Parasol Duel
Consists of three components; The Formal Duel as above plus The Compulsory Figures, and The Flirtation.
The Compulsory Figures
The winner is determined by a panel of judges.
Each contestant must do all three figures in the time of the standard five count and must be complete at the hold.
Judging is based on the elegance and grace of the figures rather than simply their speed.
The Flirtation
Also uses a panel of judges to determine the winner.
Each contestant takes one of the figures at a time and embellishes it during the standard 5 count.
The embellishments should enhance the "flirtation".
Note: Ankling is permitted within reason!
During the higher level competitions there may be a Flirtation section for all three figures, the contestants are judged on each one. The final ranking being based on the total score for each contestant, the figures are weighted equally.

Matters of Honour or Duels For Cause
In the case where two Ladies are embroiled in a matter that requires a settlement of honour, a Parasol Duel may be held "For Cause". Such a duel may be formal or informal at the discretion of the combatants. However it should be noted that Her Majesty does not favour Duelling For Cause, unless a Doctor is present.
Note that the outcome of a Duel For Cause is the end of the matter! No further action may be taken by any party regardless of the outcome. No honourable Lady would continue a quarrel after participating in a Duel For Cause. 

A Street Duelling Parasol and Holster

Update April 30 2014
I think it is safe to say that these rules are no longer "Draft"  they are in use in many groups now, and have been copied and posted to groups and boards in the rest of Canada as well as the UK, USA, and Australia.
The Steam Punk Worlds Fair will be doing some Parasol Duelling this year!
I am working to arrange a formal competition here in Calgary during the Summer some time as well.
Thanks everyone for helping to spread the enjoyment of Parasol Duelling!

Update Feb 13 2014
Slight adjustment to make the Street Duelling procedure a bit clearer.
Thanks everybody for your feedback!

Update Feb 12 2014
After a very successful public demo at an event in Calgary last weekend there is now a Facebook Group for Parasol Duelling: Madame Saffron Hemlock's Parasol Duelling League for Steampunk Ladies
You can see some fantastic photos from the event including some of the duelling demonstration here:

Updated Jan 21 2014
Slight change to the Street Duel. Thanks Sarah!


Laura Morrigan says:
at: January 21, 2014 at 5:22 AM said...

Very exciting! Great work! I just did a post on my blog about the Chap Olympiad, and will probably put up our recent tea duel photos soon. I am thinking of doing a series, so I might link this in a later post if that is fine with you.

KJ says:
at: January 21, 2014 at 6:57 AM said...

That would be great Laura!
Glad you liked it.
Let me know if you have any suggestions after trying them out.

Liadan says:
at: February 12, 2014 at 4:49 PM said...

Would love to see a video as illustration.

KJ says:
at: February 13, 2014 at 3:49 PM said...

An excellent suggestion!
Will be working on one shortly.

KJ says:
at: June 11, 2015 at 2:13 PM said...

Here is a video of a recent demonstration.

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