Also known as modern Fencing to distinguish it from historical Fencing, fencing is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.
Aim of the game: being first to touch his/her opponent with his/her weapon.
There are three modern weapons used in fencing: Foil, Epée and Sabre.
Each weapon identifies a different discipline of Fencing.
FOIL has a flexible rectangular blade with a blunt end supported by a spring. Touch, to be valid, must be brought to the target with the tip. The valid target area is covered by a jacket of conductive fabric laminate ("foil lame"). It is limited to the trunk and also goes from the collar ("lame bib") of the protective mask, except arms and legs. To report the shot, it is necessary that the tip is a force exerted at least equivalent to a weight of 500 grams.
ÉPÉE, the traditional sword of duels, has a rigid triangular blade with a point covered by a cone with barbed points. To report the shot, it is necessary that the tip is a force exerted at least equivalent to a weight of 750 grams. Touches may be made on any part of the body. From here the characteristic of white fencing uniforms.
SABRE is a flexible triangular blade with a blunt point. Both the point and the cutting edges can be used to score touches, wich must be made on the body, above the waist, including the head and arms.
In all events, traditionally, a wire is attached to the sword. This wire runs through the fencer's outfit to a scoring box. When contact is made on the opponent's body a light flashes on and a buzzer sounds to record a hit. Since a few years a new wireless tecnology directly links the sword with the scoring box.
In Foil and Sabre, despite the presence of all the gadgetry, it is still the referee's job to analyze the phrase and, in the case of simultaneous hits, to determine which fencer had the right of way.
Over the years, fencing tournaments have used a variety of formats incorporating italian rounds and direct elimination with repechage. The format currently used for the World Cup regulated by the FIE, is a knockout tournament, like boxing or tennis. However, it may depend on the type of race.
Particularly in the European Championship, the individual event consists of two parts: preliminary pools of six/seven fencer and direct eliminations.
Individual events: After the pool, the competition is direct knockout all the way to the final. The first competitor to rack up 15 hits or the one who is leading after regular time (3matchesx3mins) wins the combat.
Each match is played to 15 touches. If the score is tied after 9 minutes, one minute of sudden-death overtime is contested. Before the final minute, the referee determinates through a drawing, wich fencer will win should no touch be made in the additional minute.
Team events: Two teams of three fencers and an alternate. Each fencer faces the other 3 fencers from the opposing team (9 bouts). The first team to score 45 points or who is leading after 9x3mins wins. The two fencers rotate after 5 points for one team (or after 3mins), then 10 points (or 6mins), etc. In case of tie, after regular time there can be 1min of extra-time. The fencer (or team) that score the first point wins. If there is still a tie after this minute of extra-time a draw determines the winner.
The first two fencers (one from each team) fence for three minutes or until one of them scores five touches. The next pair takes over for three minutes or untill one team reaches ten points. This continues untill one side reaches 45 points or untill the end of regular time. In case of tied at the end of the regulation time, an additional minute of fencing is allowed. The first team to score a touch wins. As in individual events, by lot the referee determinates the winner should no touch be made in the additional minute.
The PISTE consists in a grounded conductive strip on the floor. 14m for the combat zone. 18 m in total lenght. 1,5 or 2m in width.
The RUNWAY: A central line fixes the “on-guard line”, where fencers wait for getting off.
Colour zone indicates that the fencer is close to the out of limits zone. If one fencer crosses this line, a point is awarded to his/her opponent.
OFFICIALS: There is a referee, two judges, a delegate