Thursday, August 4, 2016

New (Awful) Rules

So you came back for more? Well, today we are going to be talking about a pretty trending topic in sabre. The Russian Federation for fencing put out an idea for two new rules, one being a change in the amount of time it takes for one light to register and the other would put fencers closer to each other. I, personally, (as in my opinion) don't like the new rules and I'm sure many others agree with me. For all you new fencers or non-fencers out there, let me explain it so I don't put you to sleep. So when two fencers get on strip to start the fight, bout, whatever you like to call it, they stand 4 meters apart, and have endless choices on how to start a touch. These 4 meters are marked by an en garde line, and fencers always start with the front foot behind the line. Now the new rules would force fencers to start with their back foot on the line, bringing them much closer to each other. Now, to a new fencer, that rule probably does not mean anything, but it changes EVERYTHING. A bit dramatic, but true. The reasoning from the Russians was to reduce the amount of simultaneous hits and to reward fencers with more skill (if you want to put it that way) rather than reward them if they are taller or faster or whatever the case may be for that specific fencer. The other rule was a slight time change in how fast the lights register after being hit, making is significantly more difficult to get a one light counter attack. But you're probably wondering what the issues are with these new changes.
Well, there are several problems with this, first one being new rules means new decisions. No one has ever refereed under these specific rules, so they would basically making things up as they go. Not a good thing for anyone. Second, with fencers starting closer to each other, it is more likely they both rush forward and crash, leading to injury. There was actually a very good demonstration done in Dallas during Summer Nationals, I was actually sitting under the camera in the video, so check it out here. It explains a bit more in depth about what I just talked about. Some people are working to get these rules removed since they are now in effect as of August 1st, but there will be a vote December 31st to decide if they want to keep the changes or not.  I also found another great article about this topic, so make sure to check them out here as well for more info. That's all for today, so make sure to stay tuned for any other news. Make sure to email, tweet, or comment to me below with any questions, criticism, or anything you'd like to add, I would love to hear it!


  1. Thanks for your blog as far as sabre fencing write up , the more the better. I just wanted to give you another view. Distance rule I agree with you 100%. It is too dangerous specially for beginners. Timing change is not new we used to fence on that timing. It is more realistic and allows you to do a strong parry / riposte action. There are coaches who teach after parry push your blade down action and sometimes it works to time out a riposte. That is wrong, no high level fencer will do that. It also discourages the " fishing action for a thread at your glove type of counter attacks. The best touches are attacks and parry ripostes. Panic counters are used way too often. I think the "new " timing will be more fun and fencers will like it. Counter attacks used to be one of the most difficult ones as you needed one fencing time to be successful. When that happens please keep up your blog to see if by any chance you'll like the extra time for a riposte. In any case your blog was very informative and well written

  2. Well thanks for sharing your views! I never saw it that way, and I'll make sure to write about my experience with them once get back to practice! Thanks for reading, unknown!