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Fencing: Historical Olympic Sport

Fencing has always been part of the Pan American Games sports program. Learn more details here.

Lima 2019 - redacción magazine Author: Cristhyan Correa
Lima, June 03, 2019

Fencing, a classical sword sport

Have you ever wanted to fight with a sword, just like in the movies? Then, this article will cheer you up because there is a sport that maintains the fighting style of those days.

Have you ever wanted to fight with a sword, just like in the movies? Well, there is a sport that maintains the traditional fighting style of those days. Luckily for us, that kind of duel is known as modern fencing since it does not endanger any lives.

Its rules are quite complex and thanks to the progress made in technology, electrical equipment has been designed to help you practice it around the world. Fencing is one of the oldest sports and has always been part of the Pan American Games program since its first edition in Buenos Aires in 1951. It has also been included at all Olympic Games.

Chaima Benadouda at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

Equipment

In modern fencing, there are one-on-one competitions and team events. Each match pits two fencers against each other in a match filled with elegant movements befitting a theater play. The most important thing about the equipment used is the three types of weapon: the épée, the sabre and the foil.

The minimum length for a foil and épée is 90 cm and for a sabre, 88 cm. Meanwhile, the maximum length for the foil and épée is 110 cm, and for the sabre, 105 cm. All these weapons are used for offensive actions; however, a defensive equipment must be worn to prevent accidents from happening.

Toby Price against Eduardo Oliveira at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

That is why fencers should use a protection system to reduce potential serious injuries. This includes a mask and a helmet to cover the head completely, with a resistant mesh, so that fencers can see. This mesh is also strong enough to repel weapons. A fencing jacket, pads and a glove on the hand holding the weapon are also required, along with other pads to protect various body areas.

Scoring

Weapons are electronically sensitive to measure scoring, as well as the valid target area. They are connected to the scoring device by a body cord. There is an audible tone, and a light is turned on when a hit is registered.

Fencers compete on a fencing piste of 14 meters long and 2 meters wide. There is always a referee who uses electronic equipment to measure scoring. Points are scored by touching or “hitting” opponents with the tip or blade of the weapon on the valid target area.

  • In foil, the target area is the trunk of the body.
  • Everything above the waist is valid in sabre, except for the hands;
  • while, in épée, the entire body is valid.

The electrical scoring apparatus shows colored lights when hits are valid, while white lights represent hits landing outside the valid target area. Matches consist of three three-minute bouts. The first fencer to post 15 touches, or the one with most hits after three rounds, wins.

South American Fencing Championship

From Tuesday, June 4, to Saturday, June 8, the best youth, cadet and junior fencers in South America will compete at the Lima Convention Center, in San Borja. Do not miss out!

Click here to learn more about fencing

Remember to buy your tickets here to watch your favorite fencing matches at the Pan American Games.


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