American Cockfighting Rules and Weapons

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I am NOT an authority on american cockfighting rules and weapons specifications. These are what I know on top of my mind without referring to Henry Wortham’s Rule Book (Henry decided to consolidate all different rules across the United States and eventually his life’s work is accepted by everyone as the one rule). And more as observations from watching fights in Sunset Recreation Club and Bayou Club.

There is no organized betting for the opposing teams, crowd, and the pit owners. The betting is done privately between interested parties without delaying the fights.

The derby participants just got to pay the entry fee and may choose to pay for options like winning three straight wins. All entry fees goes to the winner(s) [runner ups are not winners, only the champion]. All options goes to the option winner(s). The pit owner only profits from the gate fees and the food purchases.

American Fights

The weapons used are american long heels or commonly called now as gaffs. Long heels are about 2 3/4 inches in length attached to both shanks of the gamecock. A tape wrapped around couple of times on top and bottom of the spur will provide the cushion and base for the socket. A couple of tape wrapped around the spurs itself will provide the tight fit for the socket. Place the socket on the spur, wrapped the leather around the shank, align it as the leather is 90 degrees with the shank, tie one knot on top and bottom of the spur.  The point of the long heels have to fit a gauge. The pit owner always make sure all long heels used on these fights are within the standards. Not thicker nor thinner as specified.

Mexican Fights

The weapon used is mexican short knife attached on the left shank of the gamecock. Most are using the socket so the process of tying is the same as above. The short knife is exactly 1 1/4 inches in length. On some rare occasion, a fork base, instead of socket base, is used.

Filipino Fights

The weapon use is filipino long knife attached on the left shank of the gamecock. Half are using socket base. And the other half is using fork base. The socket base long knife is typical about 2 3/4 inches in length. The fork base long knife is about 3 to 4 inches in length. This is where you have the luxury of using the longest of long knife and be matched with one using the shortest of long knife. But the length is not a factor on deciding the outcome of the battle.

Rules are the Same for all Fights

A quick heating about a minute. Release your warriors facing each other. Most are pitting on the lines about 6-8 feet apart.

The referee will call for a handle when the weapons are hang to the other gamecock or to the ground or the gamecocks are not fighting it out anymore. The pitter got to get hold of his own gamecock without touching the other gamecock. If the weapon is hang and need to be pulled out of the body, the owner of the gamecock will pull out the weapon from his own gamecock.

Each pitting is interrupted by 20 seconds of rest and by 10 seconds of rest. Which usually used by the pitter to nurse the gamecock. To blow air in the throat or to suck blood from the throat. Massage the legs and back and breast of the gamecock. Water is provided for application to the gamecocks face or other part of the body.

The distance of release each pitting is clearly marked by the referee by drawing lines on the ground. Typically about 3 feet, then 2 feet, then 1 foot or just as both gamecock are almost beak to beak.

The pitter can call for count when he thinks he got an advantage and the other gamecock might not peck or hit anymore.  The referee might acknowledge his count request and begin to count. The process of counting includes three tries for the other gamecock to show fight.

There is no time limit.

Top to Bottom: American Long Heels, Mexican Short Knife, Filipino Long Knife. I personally designed and supervised the crafting of these weapons. Only the Filipino knife will be allowed for organized cockfighting as the long heels and short knife may not meet the specifications in the rules.

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