It tests the skills of Rithmatic students. Each professor is able to enter a team consisting of up to twelve students.
1888 Crew-Choi duel
Paul Crew and Adelle Choi were the final two Rithmatists remaining in the 1888 Melee. Paul's team had been able to protect him for most of the match, leaving him with an almost pristine circle. Adelle's team had been eliminated during the first few minutes. She was heavily bombarded by Lines of Vigor and chalklings from Paul and her defense was almost gone when she bounced a Line of Vigor off of three Lines of Forbiddance to reach a weak point at the rear of Paul's circle. This won her the match.
This Melee is unusual in that, not only did a non-Rithmatist (Joel Saxon) compete, but he was also part of the winning team. He exploited a loophole which limited the entrants to students of Rithmatic professors, rather than barring all non-Rithmatists. As Joel was a research assistant to Professor Fitch, he counted as a student. He and Melody Muns shared the same defense and combined both of their strengths (Joel's precision line-drawing and Melody's chalkings) to great effect. Joel would draw their defenses and attacking Lines of Vigor/Revocation, which Melody would then trace. This technique had never been attempted before and its legality was hotly debated by the spectating professors. Due to their poor position (at the very center of the arena, surrounded by opponents), Joel chose to employ a complex nine-point defense. Nine-point defenses are typically very difficult to draw precisely and quickly, but Joel and Melody's teamwork allowed them to accomplish it, and the inherent strength of the defense enabled them to survive the initial barrage of attacks. Joel's drawing allowed Melody to focus her efforts on drawing intricate chalklings. They also deployed the newly-discovered Line of Revocation, which was very effective against the unsuspecting students. Despite the considerable odds against them, and being targeted by Professor Nalizar's hand-picked team of 12, they were victorious.
The Melee arena at Armedius Academy is a large open area that resembled a ice skating rink. It has a rough black surface in order to maximize the visibility of the chalk drawn by the participants. Above the playing field is a seating area for professors, because Rithmatic duels are best viewed from above. The ceiling consisted of glass squares with metal supports in between them. Along the perimeter of the playing field are seats for the general public, and even though there are a lot of seats, there still aren't enough for everyone who wants to attend.