Good news, Star Wars fans: France’s biggest fencing federation has just recognized Lightsaber Duelling as an official competitive sport.
This means that the legendary neon-zapping weapons from Star Wars are in the same category as the foil, epee and sabre, which are all traditional blades used in fencing tournaments at the Olympics. According to The Guardian, the federation says it hopes the sport will help battle the Dark Side of modern day life, which they claim is a sedentary lifestyle.
“With young people today, it’s a real public health issue,” the federation’s Secretary General Serge Aubailly explained. “With young people today, it’s a real public health issue. They don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs. That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural.”
According to Michel Oritz, the organizer of a national lightsaber tournament, French organizers have even created a new set of safe competition rules that produce something visual like the movies.
During the duel, participants remain inside a marked circle where they attempt to strike their opponent. Strikes to the head or body are worth five points each, strikes to arms and legs are worth three, and hands are worth one point. Whichever participant reaches 15 points first wins, and if neither person reaches 15 points by the end of three minutes, the one with the highest score is declared a winner. If there is a tie, the tie-breaker will be a “sudden death” round.