postheadericon Fencing Rules – One of the Most Elegant Sports in History

Game Play: Fencing rules can be different, depending on the weapon that is used but the elementary rules always stay the same. At the outset of a match, both contestants stand on their respective guard lines facing each other. The arbiter calls ‘fence’ to signal for the beginning of the match. If the arbiter does not decide to stop the match, it continues for the stipulated time, or until the arbiter calls, ‘halt’. The arbiter can interrupt the match at any time if he thinks that the match is getting dangerous or if one of the competitors is badly injured. If a contestant, hits instead of touching the opponent, or if a contestant is disarmed, or leaves the piste, the arbiter can interrupt the match.

Game Play: While fencing rules may change according with the weapon used, the elementary rules are kept the same. In the beginning of the match, both the opponents stand on their respective guard lines and stand face to face. The arbiter starts the beginning of the confrontation by saying, ‘fence’. The confrontation develops for the stipulated time, only when the arbiter decides to interrupt the contest by calling, ‘halt’. The arbiter may stop the game in-between if he thinks the play is getting dangerous or in case one of the competitors is injured seriously. The arbiter can further stop the match on finding if any of the contestants hit instead of touching the the other contestant or if either player is disarmed in the process of the confrontation or leaves the piste.

Duration: The time of matches varies with the number of rounds. Preliminary rounds go on for 4 minutes or 5 touches, and the time is based on whichever happens first. In direct elimination confrontations, the assigned time is 9 minutes or three sessions of 3 minutes each. There is a one-minute break between sessions. These matches also end on 15 touches if these happens in less than nine minutes. For team plays, each confrontation continues for four minutes regardless of the number of touches that are taken into consideration.

Scoring: In fencing, a contestant gets points by touching with his weapon the body of the challenger; the weapon decides how the points are scored. If the contestant is using an epee, he can get points by touching any part of the contestant’s body. If the game is played using the saber, the valid scoring area is limited to the upper torso that needs to be touched by the tip of the sword. Finally, in case of a foil, points can be scored only by touching the foil to the other contestant’s trunk, i.e. below the collar and above the groin.

Fouls: As seen in the fencing rules, the competitor is considered to have committed a foul if he leaves the piste with the intention of avoiding getting touched, or if he uses the unarmed hand to defend or attack. In both the cases, the first foul calls for a warning from the arbiter, while the second foul gives a point for the other player. The contestant refusing to obey the referees’ order also counts as a foul in fencing.

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