We briefly talked about this at the end of the Don't Hassle Us We're Local radio show today on ESPN 93.5 FM KJOC.  The French fencing federation has recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport.  The Star Wars weapon will have the same status as traditional blades used at the Olympics.

The French federation sees itself as battling a modern dark side: kids and young adults using more of their thumbs instead of movement of other body parts and more similar sedentary habits.

"With young people today, it's a real public health issue. They don't do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs," says Serge Aubailly
, the federation secretary general. "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."- Associated Press

There are standard equipment and rules:

  • The lightsabers are polycarbonate replicas and the more expensive sabers are equipped with a chip that can sound similar to the Jedi movie sabers
  • Combatants fight inside a marked circle
  • Strikes to the head or body are worth five points
  • Strikes to the arm and legs are three points
  • Cut off a hand like Darth Vader did to Luke Skywalker is one point
  • First to 15 points wins or higher scorer after 3 minutes

In building their sport from the ground up, French organizers produced competition rules intended to make lightsaber dueling both competitive and easy on the eyes.

"We wanted it to be safe, we wanted it to be umpired and, most of all, we wanted it to produce something visual that looks like the movies, because that is what people expect," said Michel Ortiz, the tournament organizer. -AP

Check out this video from Mashable.com



We haven't heard anything about requirements of a cloth cape for a uniform, a droid sidekick or having the base knowledge of 6 million languages to be able to compete so if you start practicing now, you might make the 2040 Olympics.

More From ESPN 104.1 FM and 1170AM