Rules and Regulations Of Fencing

Scoring

Fencing utilizes a simple scoring system, awarding one point for each time a fencer touches his opponent with his weapon. Depending on the manner of competition, bouts may last five touches with a time limit of three minutes or 15 touches and a time limit of nine minutes, according to the rules of the U.S. Fencing Association.

Target

A fencer must touch his opponent in an approved target zone of the body to register a point, with the target changing depending on the weapon used. In epee fencing, contacting anywhere on the opponent’s body registers a touch. Sabre fencing limits the target zone to the torso, meaning anywhere above the waist. Foil fencing reduces it even further, restricting the target area to the trunk only and removing the arms and head from consideration.

Penalties

If a fencer steps beyond the strip’s legal side boundaries, the official will award 1 meter, or approximately 3 feet, of ground to the opponent on the restart. Stepping beyond the strip’s rear limit results in an awarded touch to the opponent. Officials may also award touches to the opponent if a fencer attacks with both hands, if a fencer doesn’t obey instructions or if a fencer displays poor sportsmanship or overly violent behavior.