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 fill out a registration form and submit it by the deadline – April 19, 2020. Failure to do so will result in a penalty fee of $100, if the committee decides to accept your late registration. Penalty fee for JR Competitors is $50, if the committee decides to accept your late registration. LATE REGISTRATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED ON DAY OF THE COMPETITION.

2. Males and females may compete together in the Junior and Intermediate competition. Open Division has separate categories for males and females.

3. 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.

4. All competitors must have three dancing knives to perform in the competition – one single and two doubles.

5. All knives must be made with hard metal (The handle can either be metal or wood).

6. 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).

7. 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.

a. Only solid blades on all competition knives will be allowed.

b. Blades that have the middle portion cut out will not be permitted.

8. The length of double knives must be no less than 35 inches, from the tip of the hook to where the handle flares out.

9. 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.

10. All knives must have a minimum of two metal rivets to hold the metal blade in place through the handle.

11. 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).

12. The weight of the knife is the preference of the warrior.

13. Competitor is NOT ALLOWED to borrow another warrior’s knife during the competition. This may cause disqualification to both involved.

14. After knives are measured, no one is allowed to change to a shorter knife or knives without hooks.

15. Fireboards must be attached to the knife blades at the time of the judge’s measurement.

16. 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
Knife length shorter than 37” (single) :            -1 pt per inch
Knife length shorter than 35” (double):           -1 pt per inch per knife
Blade length shorter than 14” (single):            -1 pt per inch
Blade length shorter than 13” (double):          -1 pt per inch per knife
Fire length is shorter than 10”(single):             -1 pt per inch
Fire length is shorter than 7.5”(doubles):        -1 pt per inch
Fire width is less than 2”(single):                      -1 pt per inch
Fire width is less than 1.5”(double):                 -1 pt per inch
Blade has middle cut out:                                   Disqualify

17. Competitors must sign in at the front entrance to pull numbers and to receive event passes. All competitors must report to the event director in the Samoan Fale by 5:30 pm for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday events.

18. All competitors must attend the meeting at 5:30 pm in the Samoan Fale. If competitor is not present when knives are measured, they will be eliminated from competition unless they have made prior arrangements with event coordinators.

19. Family members are NOT allowed in the dressing room at any time, unless the dancer is 12 years or younger.

20. Warriors may not use any special effects without consulting with and receiving approval from the event director.

21. 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.

22. Routine must be no less than 6 minutes and no longer than 8 minutes (Open division only). Jr and Intermediate routines must not exceed 6 min.

23. All competitors must dance to the event drummers provided.

24. All competitors must wear their event pass to enter and be identified.

25. All competitors must observe and abide by PCC dress code on and off the stage: dress appropriately and modestly.

26. Consumption of alcohol or drugs is totally prohibited in the Center. Smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is allowed in designated area only. PCC holds the right to disqualify anyone in violation of this rule.

27. Only PCC approved knife throwers will be tossing knives to competitors.

28. Only 20 seconds is allowed between the one knife routine and the two knife routine.

29. In the event there is a tie between two or more competitor’s within a division, the head judge’s scores will be used to break the tie.


  1. The fire for the single knife must be 10 inches long and 2 inches wide and no less.
  2. The fire for the double knife is 7.5 inches long and 1.5 inches wide and no less.
  3. Fire can be doubled if the warrior decides to do so, but never smaller than given measurements.
  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 fires on knives must be changed one hour before competition and before measurement is done.  No used fires are allowed.


1. All competitors must wear a competition-style lavalava. Lavalava must be trimmed and cut modestly to cover buttocks completely. No suggestive costumes (too short or small) will be permitted (chairman will approve).

2. Warriors must wear a Samoan necklace made of shells, leaves, beads or any Samoan material (optional).

3. A “pale” (head crown) made of leaves, flowers, shells, beads can also be part of the costume (optional).

4. Female competitor’s costumes should cover their midriff.

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. 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 – three (3) points deducted for every drop

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.

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