Men and Women's Open Division , Intermediate & JR competitors

The rules and criteria listed below are written for the warriors who are invited to participate in the World Fire Knife Dance Championship. The purpose is to educate and maintain the integrity, quality and high level of performance in this skilled art form, and to enhance the cultural background and origin of the Samoan nifo’oti, the ceremony for which the dance was derived, the style, and the fundamentals of the “ailao” (dance).


  1. Each competitor must submit a completed registration form and their participation fee by the deadline – April 14th, 2023. Failure to do so will result in a penalty fee of $100 IF the committee decides to accept your late registration. The penalty fee for JR and Intermediate Competitors is $50 IF the committee decides to accept your late registration. The late registration deadline is April 21st, 2023.
  2. Participation Fees:
    • JRs and Intermediate – $25USD each
    • Men and Women’s Division – $50 USD each
  3. Males and females may compete together in the Junior and Intermediate competitions. Open Division has separate categories for males and females.
  4. Younger competitors who choose to move up and compete in an older age category cannot compete in the younger age category the following year, even if they still meet that age requirement.
  5. All warriors (including JRs and Intermediate) must have a minimum of three dancing knives in order to compete – one single and two doubles.
  6. All knives must be made with hard metal (The handle can either be metal or wood).
  7. JRs and Intermediate warriors are exempt from required measurements. Men and Women’s Division are required to comply with the following required measurements:
    1. The length of the single knife must be no less than 37 inches (The measurement begins from the tip of the hook to the end of the handle
    2. The blade of the single knife must be no less than 14 inches long, from the tip of the hook to where the blade flares out from the handle.
      • Only solid blades on all competition knives will be allowed.
      • Blades that have the middle portion cut out will not be permitted.
    3. The length of double knives must be no less than 35 inches, from the tip of the hook to where the handle flares out.
    4. Double knife blades must be no less than 13 inches long from the tip of the hook to where the blade flares out by the handle.
    5. All knives must have a minimum of two metal rivets to hold the metal blade in place through the handle.
    6. All knives must have hooks large enough to hook together as part of the competition criteria (Knife hook must be free at all angles when hooked together to prevent injury to the performer or spectators).
  8. The weight of the knife is the preference of the warrior.
  9. Competitors are NOT ALLOWED to borrow another warrior’s knife during the competition without approval first from the World Fireknife committee.  This may cause disqualification to both warriors involved.
  10. After knives are measured, no one is allowed to change to a shorter knife or knives without hooks.
  11. Fireboards must be attached to the knife blades at the time of the judge’s measurement.
  12. Any knife that does not comply with these standards will cause them to lose points or may be disqualified by the judges. Point deductions will be as follows:
    Infraction Point deduction for a single knife Point deduction for double knives
    Knife length shorter than 37” (single) or 35” (double) -1 pt per inch -1 pt per inch per knife
    Blade length shorter than 14” (single) or 13” (double) -1 pt per inch -1 pt per inch per knife
    Fire length is shorter than 10”/single and shorter than 7.5”/doubles -1 pt per inch -1 pt per inch
    The blade has the middle cut out Disqualify Disqualify
  13. Competitors must sign in at the registration desk to pull numbers and to receive event passes before reporting to the event director backstage of the Pacific Theater. Reporting times for each competition will be included in your confirmation email after we receive your registration form and fee.
  14. All competitors must attend the orientation meeting backstage for instructions and competition updates. If a competitor is not present when knives are measured, they will be eliminated from competition unless they have made prior arrangements with event coordinators. (Men and Women’s Division only)
  15. Only those with an Event Wristband will be allowed backstage. JRs and Intermediate competitors will receive an extra Event Wristband for an accompanying family member to assist them backstage.
  16. All competitors must wear their Event Wristband to enter backstage and be identified.
  17. Warriors may not use any special effects without consulting with and receiving approval from the event director.
  18. Special effects and/or assistance by another person will not be counted as part of the routine.  Points are only accumulated when the performer starts his performance.
  19. The routine must be no less than 6 minutes and no longer than 8 minutes. (Senior division only) Jr and Intermediate routines must not exceed 6 min.
  20. All competitors must dance to the event drummers provided.
  21. All competitors must observe and abide by PCC dress code on and off stage: dress appropriately and modestly.
  22. Consuming alcohol or drugs is completed prohibited in the Center.  Smoking/vaping is restricted to designated areas.
  23. Only PCC-approved knife throwers will be tossing knives to competitors.
  24. Only 20 seconds is allowed between the single knife routine and the double knife routine.
  25. In the event there is a tie between two or more warriors within a division, the head judge’s scores will be used to break the tie.



  1. The fire board for the single knife must be a minimum of 10 inches long and 2 inches wide.
  2. The fire boards for double knives must be a minimum of 7.5 inches long and 1.5 inches wide.
  3. The fire boards can exceed the above measurements, but never less than specified.
  4. Each warrior must have a damp towel for putting out their practice/warm-up fire (not soaked with water). During the competition, PCC will provide the damp cloth.
  5. No automobile gas should be brought into the center or used at the competition.
  6. All knives must have new fire boards on them before the competition and before the measurement is done.  For safety reasons, no used fire boards are allowed.
  7. Keep the fires burning! When the fire dies and won’t stay lit, judging stops, and the routine ends.



  1. All male competitors must wear a competition-style lavalava.  Lavalava must be worn modestly and cover buttocks completely.  No suggestive costumes (too short or small) will be permitted (chairman will approve).
  2. All-female competitor costumes should cover their midriff and cover buttocks completely.
  3. Warriors may wear a Samoan necklace made of shells, leaves, beads, or any Samoan material (optional)
  4. A “pale” (head crown) made of leaves, flowers, shells, beads can also be part of the costume (optional).
  5. At no time should underwear be exposed under the costume.


1. Vili tasi (One hand spin)

2. Vili lua (Two hand spin)

3. Kakai with the left and the right. Kakai in and kakai out and over the palm (Overhand connection move).
4. Toss up and catch in back.

5. Under the legs motion

6. Around the neck motion

7. Around the ankle and catch under the leg motions

8. Feet stamping and body movement required

9. Head and upper body movements (express strength and energy)

10. Stage showmanship (portraying a warrior)


1. Standing motions

2. Kneeling moves

3. Lying down moves. Females warriors should not lay on their back with feet in the air.

4. Moves that include hooked double knives

5. Exciting entrance and exits


  1. Height of throws (double your height or higher)
  2. The difficulty of motions (without knives dropping)
  3. Speed of spins and motions
  4. Vigorous and energetic Samoan warrior’s moves (portraying a fighting warrior)
  5. Drops
    • A maximum of 4 drops will be allowed per competitor. (JR division exempt)
    • Three (3) points were deducted for every drop. (All divisions)

If a  younger competitor moves up to a higher category to compete, they cannot compete in the lower category again, even if they meet the age requirement.

A minimum of 6 competitors is required in each division to hold the event.

Read all the rules & criteria thoroughly for updates and changes.