About the European Championship

Scything European Championship

The first championship to be hosted by Slovenia took place in 1999 in Kranj, and the second in 2011 in Cerklje na Gorenjskem.

The event is moved to 2023. The competition will draw the best scythers from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, South Tyrol, the Baskque Country, Slovakia, Czechia, Serbia, England, Russia, and Slovenia.

The first international scything competition was organized in 1969 for the scythers from Bavaria and Tyrol. After that, scything events were held biannually, and the number of participating countries kept increasing. Slovenia made its first appearance in 1995.

Only the best can compete at this prestigious event, so each of the competing countries organizes qualifiers for the European Championship. A national team consists of 5 women and 10 men. In 2015 the junior class was added, and the event was won by Slovenian scyther Maj Janža from Beltinci.

Female and junior competitors mow a plot 35 m2 in size (7x5m), while the men’s plot measures 100 m2 (10x10m).

The scoring criteria are speed and cut neatness. The quality of the cut is evaluated by 12 internationally qualified judges. The scores for time and neatness are added up to get the final score of a competitor. Like in any other sport, the winner is frequently decided by seconds, or even tenths of seconds.

The best country award is also given as a travel cup. This wooden sculpture of a scyther passes from one group of outstanding athletes to another. It is received by the national team with the highest total score.

Apart from demonstrating their scything skills, the participating countries can also present their cultural heritage. On the evening before the big event, a draw of competition order will be followed by a display of national customs and traditions.

Before the start of the race, there is a mass and a blessing of scythes, followed by a parade of entrants wearing their national costumes and displaying their tools. A real feast for the eyes!

All scythers who have even taken part in a European Scything Championship say it was an unforgettable experience and cannot wait to get together again.

The chronology of European Championships

May 1968 First letter – preparations and arrangements for the 1969 event

20 June 1969 The first Bavaria vs Tyrol competition (12 scythers per team) in Altenbeuren, Bavaria

  • Overall winner: Franz Holzner, Tyrol
  • Winning team: Bavaria

25 July 1971 Three Country Competition (Bavaria – South Tyrol – North Tyrol, 10 scythers per team) in Staß

  • Overall winner: Georg Berghammer, Bavaria
  • Winning team: North Tyrol

19 August 1973 Four Country Competition(Bavaria – South Tyrol – North Tyrol – Salzburg, 8 scythers per team) in Wiesen near Sterzing

  • Overall winner: Georg Berghammer, Bavarska
  • Winning team: South Tyrol 

15 August 1975 Five Country Competition (Bavaria – South Tyrol – North Tyrol – Salzburg – Lower Austria, 7 scythers per team) in Prutting near Rosenheim

  • Overall winner: Josef Kendlinger, North Tyrol
  • Winning team: North Tyrol

31 July 1977 International Scything Competition (Bavaria, Austria, South Tyrol, Switzerland, 10 scythers per team) in Prutting near Rosenheim

  • Overall winner: Peter Landschützer, Austria
  • Winning team: Austria

9 September 1979 International Scything Competition in Toblach, South Tyrol

  • Overall winner: Gerhard Kamnik, Austria
  • Winning team: South Tyrol

5 July 1981 International Scything Competition in Lavamünd in Kärnten, Austria

  • Overall winner: Anton Rabanser, South Tyrol
  • Winning team: South Tyrol

14 August 1983 International Scything Competition in Altenbeuren

  • Overall winner: Johann Stricker, Austria 
  • Winning team: Austria

28 August 1985 International Scything Competition in Lüsen, South Tyrol

  • Overall winner: Josef Mayer, Bavaria
  • Winning team: Bavaria

19 July 1987 International Scything Competition in Weer, Tyrol

  • Overall winner: Simon Oberrauch, South Tyrol
  • Winning team: South Tyrol

23 July 1989 International Scything Competition in Frassdorf, Bavaria

  • Overall winner: Ferdinand Penn, South Tyrol
  • Winning team: South Tyrol

21 July 1991 International Scything Competition in Kastelruth, South Tyrol

  • Overall winner (M): Ferdinand Penn, South Tyrol
  • Overall winner (W): Irmgard Baumgartner, South Tyrol
  • Winning team: South Tyrol

25 June 1993 International Scything Competition in Rothenthurn, Switzerland

  • Overall winner (M): Josef Oberhöller, South Tyrol

Overall winner (W): Margit Meusburger, Austria

  • Winning team (M): South Tyrol
  • Winning team (W): Austria

3 September 1995 International Scything Competition in Hohenzeil, Lower Austria

  • Overall winner (M): Jakob Frick, Switzerland
  • Overall winner (W): Irmgard Baumgartner, South Tyrol
  • Winning team (M): South Tyrol
  • Winning team (W): South Tyrol

16 and 17 August 1997 International Scything Competition in Altenbeuern, Bavaria

  • Overall winner (M): Hubert Pamer, South Tyrol
  • Overall winner (W):  Irmgard Baumgartner, South Tyrol
  • Winning team (M): Austria
  • Winning team (W): Austria

14 and 15 August 1999 International Scything Competition in Kranj, Slovenia

  • Overall winner (M): Georg Spiess, South Tyrol
  • Overall winner (W): Larrate Izaskun, Basque Country
  • Winning team (M): Austria
  • Winning team (W): Austria

7 and 9 September 2001 International Scything Competition in Sarnthein, South Tyrol                            

  • Overall winner (M): Josef Mayer, Bavaria
  • Overall winner (F): Petra Mair, South Tyrol
  • Winning team (M): South Tyrol
  • Winning team (W): South Tyrol

5 and 7 September 2003 International Scything Competition in Segura, Basque Country

  • Overall winner (M): Armin Betschart, Switzerland
  • Overall winner (W): Magrit Föhn, Switzerland
  • Winning team (M): Switzerland
  • Winning team (W): Switzerland

28 August 2005 International Scything Competition in Herisa, Switzerland

  • Overall winner (M): Stefan Tobler, Switzerland
  • Overall winner (W): Rosmarie Züst, Switzerland
  • Winning team (M): Switzerland
  • Winning team (W): Switzerland

25 August 2007 Championship of Alpine Countries with the Basque Country in Salzburg, Austria

  • Overall winner (M): Johannes Maderthaner, Austria
  • Overall winner (W): Marie-Luise Löckner, Austria
  • Winning team (M): Switzerland
  • Winning team (W): Austria

19 – 23 August 2009 European Scything Championshipin Thundorf-Straß, Bavaria

  • Overall winner (M): Armin Reichen, Switzerland
  • Overall winner (W): Marie-Luise Löckner, Austria
  • Winning team (M): Switzerland
  • Winning team (W): Austria

19 – 21 August 2011 European Scything Championshipin Cerklje na Gorenjskem, Slovenia

  • Overall winner (M): Armin Betschart, Switzerland
  • Overall winner (W): Magrit Föhn, Switzerland
  • Winning team (M): Switzerland
  • Winning team (W): Switzerland

6 – 8 September 2013 European Scything Championship in Toblach, South Tyrol

  • Overall winner (M): Armin Betschart, Switzerland
  • Overall winner (W): Margit Steinmann, Austria
  • Winning team (M): Switzerland
  • Winning team (W): Austria

28 – 30 August 2015 European Scything Championship in Loyola – Azpeitia, Basque Country

  • Overall winner (M): Georg Spiess, South Tyrol
  • Overall winner (W): Magrit Föhn, Switzerland

18 – 20 August 2017 European Scything Championship in Ingenbohl – Brunnen, Switzerland

  • Overall winner (M): Selinger Bernhard, Austria
  • Overall winner (W): Schilcher Elisabeth, Austria
  • Junior class winner (M): Wyssen Lorenz, Switzerland 
  • Junior class winner (W): Föhn Daniela, Switzerland
  • Winning team (M): Austria
  • Winning team (W): Austria

14 – 15 August 2019 European Scything Championship in Sankt Florian am Inn, Austria

  • Overall winner (M): Kristjan Irsara, South Tyrol
  • Overall winner (W): Karin Kronberger, Austria
  • Junior class winner (M): Tobias Tobler, Switzerland
  • Junior class winner (W): Daniela Föhn, Switzerland
  • Winning team (M): Austria
  • Winning team (W): Austria

Rules of the European Championship in Hand Mowing 

1. General 

  • The official name of the event and to be announced in like manner is to be: European Championship in Hand Mowing. 
  • The announcement of the contest ought to be carried out on 2 days at least, whereas the first day ought to be used for inspection and cultural exchange. The official announcement ought to be handed in to the corresponding country’s contact person at least 10 weeks before the start of the contest. 
  • The pre-qualifying contests for the championship will take place individually for each participating country. 
  • For each non-German speaking country one (or preferably two) translator(s) of the country are needed. 
  • There has to be only one contact person per country for corresponding before and after the contest and has to own an E-Mail address. 
  • The rules have to be corrected and completed with the newest statements after each European Championship in Hand Mowing and to be sent to each participating country.

2. Entitlement for participation & Age limit 

  • 10 men and 5 women (Full contingent or countries of origin: Austria, Switzerland, Germany, South Tyrol, the Basque Country and Slovenia)per country are permitted to participate the European Championship in Hand Mowing 
  • These participants have to own the country’s citizenship,5male participants and 2female participant over 30 years old are permitted to attend. Whereas the birth year and not the date counts. The titleholder may attend regardless of his/her age and will not be included in the number of participants of his/her group. IDs (Identification cards) will be checked at the draw for the start numbers. Attendance is obligatory. 
  • If a country wants to participate who has never attended the European Championship in Hand Mowing before, then it may start with 2 male mowers and 1 female mower. 
  • A new country attending the contest has to apply at least 8 weeks before the event. 
  • If a mower of a country, which has never attended before, makes it to the first half of the participant’s field, then there may be an additional mower in the following European Championship.

3. The Field 

  • The host country is obligated to provide 20% more of the competition field than needed (e.g. 70 male participants = at least 84 competition plots 10 x 10 m). 
  • There is a tolerance of 1% for the preparing of the plots. 
  • There has to be enough even practicing ground (at least 1 hectare) provided, which can also be offside the competition field, however not further than 1 km away. 
  • The practicing ground has to be marked properly and labelled with the names of the participating countries. 
  • There has to be a mowed distance of 2 meters between each mowing plot, in order to decide freely from which corner to start mowing. 
  • The announcing cart is not permitted to be in the centre of the fields but beside them. 
  • The field has to be well closed-off.
  • Only the jury, the timekeepers and the auxiliary staff are allowed to enter the competition plots after the mowing work has ended.
  • The signs for the mowing areas may only be cleared away after the final meeting.

4. Quality grading 

  • All referees and main referees have to carry out a test grading before the start of the competition. 
  • After the juniors (2-3 rounds) there is a short discussion between the high court and the jury. It will be discussed how the jury is doing when evaluating and whether there are any ambiguities (evaluation comparison).
  • The referees discuss the cleanliness grades together (revealing of cleanliness grades). However, each referee gives his own grading. 
  • There are 12 people (2 per country) who grade between 0 to 4, with in-between grades (e.g. 2.5 etc.). 
  • The people who grade are not permitted to grade one of their country’s participants. 

If this is not observed, this grade may not be counted. This is stored in the evaluation program or must be taken into account when entering into the evaluation program (this leaves 10 grades).

Note for the entry in the evaluation program: In the case of participants from exotic countries, the highest and lowest grades must be deleted so that 10 grades are left, as the jury cannot automatically be deleted from their country for these.

  • The highest and lowest grade will be cancelled. The remaining 8 grades will be added together. 
  • Time addition Men: Sum of grade x 4 seconds 
  • Time addition Women: Sum of grade x 2 seconds 
  • The host country has to provide at least 8 couriers. They have the task of collecting the evaluation sheets. From these couriers, 2 “chief couriers” are appointed, who check the evaluation sheets for a deviation from the point range (max. 1 point). In the event of a larger discrepancy, the higher arbitration tribunal is to be notified. The higher arbitration tribunal has to look at the relevant fields and correct the discrepancies. (A different colored pen must be used for the correction).
  • The courier’s’ task is to check directly on the spot if the grades vary over 1 point from each other. If yes, they must notify immediately in order for the main referees to inspect further. 
  • In the case that a curier has not been aware of a grade variation of 1 point, then a later grading may occur only after confirmation of all 3 main referees. 
  • Example of a grading: 10 grades: 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.0 – 2.0 The grades 1.0 and 2.0 will be cancelled according to point 4/6. The remaining grades sum up to be 12.5. This grade will be multiplied with 4 (for men) or with 2 (for women). This results in additional time of 50 seconds for men or 25 seconds for women. 
  • The highest time addition may be 128 seconds for men and 64 seconds for women. 

5. Penalty seconds 

  • Insufficient mowing (less than half of the grass mowed) results in exclusion from the competition of the participant/s carried out by the main referee. 
  • No third person is allowed to carry out changes in the competition plots (e.g. pulling out grass etc.). The supervisor is only allowed to give acoustic instructions during the competition. 
  • If grass is being mowed or pulled out afterwards, then a 30 seconds penalty is added. 
  • Every referee, main referee and time taker (stopper) is obligated to check such a case and report immediately to the 3 main referees. Additionally the respective decisions will be noted in a separate column of the participant list. 
  • On a fail start (early start) there will be a double time charge added for the participant (e.g. if participant starts 3 seconds early: +6 seconds). 
  • One supervisor is allowed per participant, who can only give acoustic instructions. This will be checked by the time takers. The main referees decide upon a penalty if a violation occurs. 
  • When doubtful decisions occur then the hierarchy is as follows: time taker – referee – main referee

6. Measure of Time 

  • For each participant there are 2 time takers measuring the used time with a stopwatch whilst mowing. If the times differ, then the resulting average will be calculated by the contest office. They enter the times themselves in the form provided for this purpose.
  • The time takers are not allowed to take the time of their own nation. The main referees are supposed to check upon that. 
  • It is not allowed of the two time takers to be of the same nation measuring time for a participant. 
  • There is a meeting for the time takers before the competition. 
  • The host country is responsible for providing sufficient stopwatches.

7. Grading 

  • The normal grading consists of the average of the two mowing times (two time takers) added together with the time addition from the quality grading. 
  • Women and men(as well as girls and boys)are graded separately. 
  • The male team grading consists of the times from the 5 best mowers (age not relevant) and the female team grading consists of the times from the 3 best mowers (age not relevant).
  • If a country wins the team grading for the third time (men or women), then the winning team may keep the challenge cup. The team, however, is obligated to provide a new challenge cup for the next Championship. 
  • It has to be obvious from the list of results, which country submitted each grading.

8. Contest Procedure 

  • Each man has to mow a field of 10 x 10 m (100 square meters). 
  • Each woman has to mow a field of 5 x 7 m (35 square meters). 
  • The mowers are allowed to view and prepare the field 30 minutes before the start of the competition. Any changes to the grass are forbidden, with the exception of erecting grass lying on the edge of the plot and removing molehills – dockers must not be uprooted.
  • It is up to each participant if they mow the plot circular or in lines. The participants can also decide for themselves at which corner of the parcel they want to start.
  • Before start, the time takers and mowers are asked if they are ready. 
  • The starting signal ought to be given as simple as possible (Ready, set, go!). 
  • The announcer has to be heard clearly by everyone and everywhere. 
  • The scythe can be held in hands before the start. 
  • Each participant is allowed to have one supervisor, who can only give acoustic instructions. 
  • The whetstone is not to be carried or brought by a third person. In case of violation there will be a penalty of 20 additional seconds. This has to be monitored by the time takers, referees and main referees. 
  • The end of the mowing has to be announced with a hand signal. Important: to minimize injuries each participant must hold his/her scythe in hands (the scythe is not allowed to be thrown away). 
  • During the contest all team supervisors are asked to make the mowers and supervisors aware of not having too many people on the competition field. 
  • In order not to disturb the person who rakes and the referee, the participants have to clear the competition plot immediately after ending mowing, otherwise 30 penalty seconds are added.

9. Complaints & Penalties

  • Complaints can be brought in by the participants, team supervisors, timekeepers and jury members. They must be communicated to the higher arbitration tribunal before the objection period has expired. The objection period ends at the point in time at which the cleanliness assessment of the star block in which the parcel affected by the complaint is located is completed. The arbitration tribunal has to make its decision before the next row starts. The decision is final and no further complaints can be made for the parcel in question.
  • The punishment of rule violations takes place through the allocation of time surcharges or through disqualification. The calculation of the time surcharges is set out in the regulations and is carried out by the higher court, as is the disqualification of participants in the event of a renewed violation of the rules after a warning.

10. Other information 

  • On the first day there is a field inspection taking place with a delegation of two people per country, where inappropriate plots are disqualified (measurements may be taken). If the representatives of one country arrive over half an hour late, then the inspection will start without that country and a further inspection is not permitted (It is obligatory to be present for team supervisors and main referees at 17:00h/5 PM on the first day). 
  • If it turns out during the parcel inspection that a parcel has major irregularities, the participant must report this to the higher court immediately during the parcel inspection, so the jury can assign the participant a replacement parcel, also in the event of cancellation the timing.
  • Only authorized persons are allowed to stay on the competition area. These are authorized by safety vests or uniform T-shirts. This also applies to people in the press who have to be instructed in advance.
  • The host country organizes an official plot draw (Attention: Tickets have to be folded at least once). 
  • The plot draw has to be organized accordingly so that in each round one person per country mows. (Example: One person draws from each country one name for the first round and those 6 people have to draw a starting number from 1 to 6. The same applies for the second round with numbers from 7 to 12 etc.). 
  • The mowers are allowed to take half an hour to inspect and prepare their plot. 
  • The officials on the competition field have to be dressed in order to be distinguished easily (e.g. vests or T-shirts). 
  • The grass of the whole area has to cleared away.
  • Prizes for the award: individual prizes and cups are provided by the host country. 
  • During the prize giving each mower has to be announced with his/her respective placing. 
  • The team supervisor is supposed to keep an eye on the behaviour of the teams’ fans (every one who came with their team). They sometimes tend to behave inappropriately for such a sport event.
  • It should be possible to drive to the vicinity of the competition area by coaches in order to make it easier to take and unpack the material.

11. Votes & Eligibility to vote

  • Motions for changes to the regulations must be passed with a simple majority.
  • The countries of origin (founding nations) each have 2 votes available for voting. Exotic countries have 1 vote available. From the 3rd participation in the European championship in hand mowing you are entitled to vote. If an exotic country is able to provide the full quota of mowers, it receives a total of 2 votes like the countries of origin.

Rules European Youth Championship in Hand Mowing 2022


Thursday, 31st July 2022


Moravčeat the competition site 

Entitlement for participation: 

2 boys and 1 girl of the birth year 2007 and younger (per nation). If a nation has insufficient youth participants then the host country will provide the remaining. 

Mowing area: 

5m x 7m (same as for women) 


According to the valid competition rules, same grading as for women. During the competition the supervisors are allowed to sharpen the scythes.