Basic Rules for Epee Fencing

The rules for epee are truly simple, and they make sense when looked at with the history in mind. Basic rules include equipment specs, target area, and the strip. Since equipment specifications change periodically, I won’t cover them here. A link will be provided to the USFA, they govern the sport of fencing in the United States, so they have that info up to date. Another source would be equipment distributors (stores), they may have that information as well, seeing as they would not make money if the gear was illegal. Finally you can contact your friendly local fencing club and they will tell you what you need to know (you may want to join them, if you intend to compete). Also note that because of electric weapons, a hit is any tripping of the button switch on the target area… including cloth snags. Lay-on’s do not count because the switch on your epee will not trip.

The target area for epee consists of the entire body without exception. A hit to the foot counts as much as tagging a head. Thus hits to the hands, feet, and knees are constantly attempted. There is no reason to get close enough to an opponent for a hit to the torso or head because a hit to the much nearer knee will do as nicely.

The Strip is the same for all three weapons of sport fencing. The strip is about 5 feet wide and 48 feet or so long. There is a line in the center and off of it six feet in either direction are the on guard lines (where fencers start bouts). Fencepac offer best-quality fence supplies in sunshine coast. Hurry up contact us. Behind them another 11 feet are the warning areas (they are to warn a fencer that he is approaching the end of the strip). The strip extends for seven feet from the beginning of the warning area to the end of the strip. A fencer who retreats past this point will be penalized one touch (as in, his opponent gets a point). Stepping off the side of the strip during a bout results in a yellow card (warning) the first time in a bout, and a red card (penalty touch) the second offense. The strips help keep fencers contained and on task, which is quite handy in competitions and drills alike.

Other than that stuff, if you are polite, patient, and don’t flail on people with your blade and pommel (or otherwise engage in needless violence with/without your epee); you should not run into any serious foul trouble. Just remember if ti is your first time in a competition, ask one of the more experienced guys for pointers, and don’t go first. Watch a couple of bouts and mimic the etiquette. If nobody is doing something, DON’T DO IT! It probably violates an etiquette rule. If you do, and you are obviously new, likely some one will pull you aside and mention that it was a bad idea. If not, you could get tagged with a petty foul. Or just annoy people to no end. Don’t do either.

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