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Flintknapping Competition
In order to help raise funds to cover the cost each host incurs in providing for a knap-in, the Puget Sound Knappers conduct competitive games which test a knappers skill.  These games, while not unique to the PSK, are an integral part of our voluntary fund-raising.  Since we do not require membership fees or dues, and admission to all of our knap-ins is free, competitive games along with direct voluntary donations and auctions of donated items and community points, help cover the expenses of our knap-ins.  They also help fund the PSK Website, Banners, flyers and the SPALLS newsletter.

The two primary games are 10-Speed and 2" Goat.  In both competitions, participants contribute a small donation, usually $5 with half of the proceed going to the winner of the competition and half to the host.

While the games are  all in good fun with the express purpose of helping cover the expenses of the knap-in, the competition can be intense!  So knappers had best bring their 'A' game!

As will all knapping at PSK knap-ins  SAFETY GLASSES ARE MANDATORY , no exceptions!

Finally, some of the finer points of these competitions are intentionally left vague.  It is up to the imagination of the knapper competitors to figure out the best approach, technique or process to win.  Or they can listen to the advice of their fellow knappers



The Games


This game test a knappers skill a basic flake removal/biface reduction of a rough rock.  In this game a large knappable rock is obtained and the contestants sit in a circle. Any knappable stone may be use but it should be of sufficient size so that every contestant gets at least two attempts to remove a two inch flake.

Chairs are placed in a circle and the judge picks the chair for the starting position while the chairs are empty.

The game starts with the first knapper taking a flake from the rock.  The flake must be at least  2" otherwise the contestant is out.  The rock then gets passed to the next knapper in a counter-clockwise direction and so on until either the last 2" flake produced leaves the rock less that 2" in size (making another 2" flake impossible), or the last of two contestants fails to produce a 2" flake.

Specific Rules:

1.  Any non-mechanized knapping tool can be used.  No jigs, power tools or devices that provide a mechanical advantage (leverage) my be used.

2.  Only a minimal amount of platform preparation is allowed.  This normally means a few seconds of abrading of an intended platform.  Extra abrading is allowed for safety purposes; i.e. to dull the sharp edges to prevent knappers from getting cut is permitted but should be announced prior to abrading.

3.  A knapper gets one and only one hit on the rock per turn.  A clean miss or practice swing that does not contact the rock does not count as a hit.  However, event the slight touch of the rock during the attempt to remove a flake counts and if it does not produce a 2" flake the contestant is out of the competition.

4. A 2" flake means that at least 2" of rock is removed from the  game rock.  Measurement should be with a flexible tape measure so as to insure curved flakes are measure correctly.  The two inches may be determined by either measuring the flake scar or the flakes themselves.  If the flake of flake scar, measured in any direction - length, width or diagonally is 2" then the contestant remains in the game.

5.  Intentionally breaking the rock in two is prohibited.  In the event this occurs, the presiding judge (usually an Ooga Booga Chief or designated judge) will make the call.  Alternatively, a vote of the participants may decide the issue.  In the event that the game rock is broken in two or more pieces, either intentionally or inadvertently, the largest of the remaining pieces will continue as the game rock.

6.  Verbal 'coaching' is allowed.  Competitors may 'advise' any knapper during his or her turn on the best approach to taking a 2" flake.  However, no physical contact with either the rock or contestant is permitted.  Touching either the rock or contestant out of turn may result in a 'do-over' for the knapper attempting to take a the flake and disqualification of the person making the physical contact.

7.  If the starting rock is sufficiently large, large enough to require at least three rounds,  a contestant knapper that has been eliminated can 'buy back in'.  They can contribute a second donation and be reinstated, resuming the game in the same position as when they were eliminated.  Once the competition starts a late-comer may only enter the game during the first two rounds and then only if they contribute the initial donation amount and the 'buy back in' amount.

8.  The last contestant to successfully remove a 2" flake will be declared the winner.  This occurs when either the last 2" flake reduces the rock to less than 2" or one of the last two contestants fails to remove a 2" flake.

9.  Half of the donations or 'Pot' goes to the winner and half to the knap-in host. 

10-SPEED - Percussion and/or Pressure Tools

This competitive game tests a knappers overall skill at producing a point in very short amount of time - 10 minutes to be exact.  The game begins with each contestant donating a rock - the size, shape and quality of the rock is up to the donating knapper.  The only requirement is that the rock must be knappable; i.e. conchoidal in nature.  Glass, slabs or porcelin (toilet tank material) are not permitted.  Each rock is numbered using a permanent marker or something similar.  Numbers corresponding to each rock are written on a small pieces of paper and placed in a hat or non-transparent container. Each knapper draws a number from the hat and receives the rock corresponding to the number they drew. The knapper contestants must all knap in the same knapping area providing no more room between contestants that safety and operating room requires.  At a given signal the knappers have exactly 10 minutes to produce the best point they can.

Like the 2" Goat, 10-Speed competitions are intended to be fun!  That said, the games are usually very intense, reputations are won or lost and some remarkable points may be produced.  Even a Master Flintknapper can break a point now and then so everyone has a chance.

Specific Rules:

1.  Each contestant selects a rock from their persona stash (or whatever is available) and donates it to the game. Each rock is numbered and the numbers are written on identical pieces of paper and placed in a hat or other suitable container. Each contestant draws a number from hat and that will be the rock from which he or she must make a point - in 10 Minutes. One of the 'judges' will announce the start and keep track of the time.

2.  Any recognized knapping tool or combination of tools, other than those that provide mechanical advantage (with the exception of jigs designed to assist the physically impaired and used by a physically impaired contestant), may be used.

3.   Verbal 'coaching' is allowed.  Contestants may 'advise' any knapper during the ten minutes.  However, no physical contact with either the rock or contestant is permitted.  Touching either the rock or contestant will result in the disqualification of the knapper making the physical contact.   

4.  The definition of a 'point' is intentionally left vague.  Point judging, within the PSK, is typically conducted by the 'Flintknapping Floozies' - the spouses, partners or 'significant others' of those in attendance.  Whether or not they are related to the contestants is irrelevant.  In the event there aren't enough 'Floozies' an independent panel will be selected from those not participating.  All judges should have adequate knowledge of point evaluation - at least equivalent to the 'Floozies'.

5.  The points are typically evaluated by the 'Floozies' for symmetry, aspect ration, style, point type and flake pattern - and they may take into account how 'pretty' the point is.  The difficulty of the starting rock has no bearing on the scoring - only the resultant point. The judges require only a simple majority to determine the winner and their decision is final and non-revokable!

6.  After the judging and the announcement of the winner the pot is split between the winner and the host.  All of the points produced in the competition will be auctioned to the highest bidder during the regular knap-in auction.

10-SPEED - Percussion Tools Only

1. Same as above with the exception that only percussion tools may be used.


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