Dolphin Fencing Club

The fight is fought on a “piste”. Which is 1.5m to 2m wide and has an overall length of 14m as shown in Figure 1.

 

Figure 1 The Piste

 

At the middle point is a center line (C), 2m on either side of this is a start line for each fencer (G).
2m from the ends of the piste are the “warning” lines (W) to show the fencer that they only have 2m of piste left.

If a fencer steps lateraly outside the piste they are given a 1m penalty.
If a fencer retreats over the end of the piste with both feet, a point is scored against them.

 

When a fight is being judged there are 2 combatants (F), 1 president (P) and 4 judges (J) as shown in Figure 2.

 

Figure 2 Position of the president and judges
 

Judges J1 and Jare both watching for hits that land on fencer F2
Judges J3 and Jare both watching for hits that land on fencer F1

Before the start of a fight both combatants salute each other, the president and then the judges.  The president starts the fight by saying "en guarde", at which point both fencers must assume the en guarde position.

The president then asks "are you ready?".  The fencers do not need to say yes, but if they are not ready they must say no, at which point the president will halt proceedings until the fencer is ready and start again.  If both fencers are ready, the president says “play” (or “ali”, “fight”, “kill”, etc.)

As the fencers move forwards and backwards along the piste, the judges must likewise keep pace with them so that they are close enough to see whether an attack is successful, but also keep far enough behind the fencer to maintain their own safety.

Judging

If a judge sees a hit on the fencer that they are watching, they must stick their hand up to let the president know that a hit has landed.  It is now the presidents job to determine the “phrase of armes” that led up to the hit and phrase it accordingly.

When the president asks the judge for their opinion about a move, the judge can answer in the following ways :

"good"

Meaning that the point landed on the valid target area and the blade bent sufficiently that enough penetration occurred to draw blood if the blade were sharp

 

"off"

Meaning that the point landed off target

 

"no"

The point missed the target completely

or, slid across the target (passe) and therefore wouldn’t have penetrated if the blades were sharp

or, touched the valid target area but not with sufficient bend to have penetrated

 

"abstain to point"

There was sufficient bend in the blade to have penetrated, but the judge cannot decide if the point was “on” or “off” target

 

"abstain to penetration"

the point was on target but the judge cannot determine whether there was sufficient bend in the blade

 

"obscured"

This happens when the  body part of a fencer obscures the judges view of the hit.  It counts as ‘no opinion’.

 

Each judge has 1 ‘vote’. The president has 1½  ‘votes’.  Therefore the president can be overruled by 2 judges if they agree with each other.

The following table shows how a point would be awarded:

 

 President
No Opinion Good No / Off Abstain
Judges Good
Good
Good Hit Good Hit Good Hit Good Hit
Good
No / Off
Disagreement
No Hit
Good Hit No Hit Disagreement
No Hit
Good
Abstain
Good Hit* Good Hit Disagreement
No Hit
Good Hit*
Good
No Opinion
Good Hit Good Hit No Hit Good Hit*
Abstain
Abstain
No Hit Good Hit* No Hit No Hit
Abstain
No Opinion
No Hit Good Hit No Hit No Hit
No / Off
No Opinion
No Hit Good Hit No Hit No Hit
No / Off
No / Off
No Hit No Hit No Hit No Hit

  * these decisions can be arbitrary and are at the discretion of the president