Fencing Rules and Regulations of the Sport - Basic Rulebook
Fencing Rules of the Game
This long-standing Olympic sport originated in 18th century France as entertainment for the elite ruling class. Fencing is an explosive one-on-one battle and is a test of reaction time, hand-eye coordination, and elusiveness. The sport is most popular throughout the UK.
How to Fence
There are three variants of fencing, all which use different tools for striking your opponent. One variant uses the foil, one uses the sabre, and the last uses the epee. These tools all have different weights, lengths, and striking rules.
Competitive fencing requires lots of equipment for scoring accuracy and player protection. Players will be padded in thick cotton and a thin layer of kevlar. They’ll wear screened masks and helmets, and a glove on their striking hand. For scoring, each player’s body has sensors to detect the first strike and its location.
Rules of Fencing
- Each striking tool has its own set of rules. The foil is lightweight and flimsy, and can be used to strike anywhere but the face and arms. The player must land a tip strike with the foil. For the sabre, the tip and the blade can be used to strike. Any strike below the waist or the hands has no point value. Lastly, the epee can be used to strike any part of the opponent, but only with the tip of the weapon.
- If players simultaneously strike each other, the player who lunged first will be awarded the point. However, points can be awarded to both players using an epee.
- A blade strike with the foil doesn’t stop the round, it just doesn’t count as a point.
- The fencing playing field is called a piste. This piste is 46 feet in length and about 6 feet wide.
- In a competitive setting, a game will be divided in three, three minute rounds. The first player to 15 points or whoever has the most points at the end of three rounds is declared the winner.
- If a player fails to acknowledge their opponent and referee at the start and end of each bout, they can be deducted points or even forfeit the round.
- There is no shielding your opponent with your non-striking hand. This is a fault. A player also cannot cover up target areas or step over their half of the piste.
While competitive sports countries like Russia, Italy, and the U.S. are fencing powerhouses, a very small country called Estonia is actually ranked 4th in the world! This goes to show that the sport of fencing is abandoning its elitist nature and embracing inclusiveness from all audiences.
Written by: Devin Pickell