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View Full Version : Making the bib part of the valid foil target



Barry Paul
-6th November 2003, 20:14
In 19 ?? just before the Essen World Championships The F.I.E. congress on a whim passed a regulation that at foil the bib should be part of the target. Fortunately I was at the congress as part of the U.K. delegation

No Trials, No thought to how much of the bib should be valid?
Was it sensible to have valid target next to the main neck arteries? Was it safe?. What was the cost? How many hits are on the bib? How was the bib to be linked to the target? Non of these questions and more had been considered.

So on arriving at the World Championships I persuaded the manufacturers at a meeting of the manufactures ( without much effort) that this was a bad idea. Good for manufactures in the short term but bad for fencing. Subsequently at a S.E.M.I. meeting when the manufactures were being told what the new regulations were to be. I was pushed to the front as the fall guy to tell the S.E.M.I. that the manufacturers were, for the first time every, standing together and acting as a body i.e. refusing to supply lame bibs. We were knocking at an open door and the S.E.M.I. were delighted to tell the excutive/congress that a period of reflection was required. The idea was dropped.

The idea is back.

My thoughts are that if you get rid of the non valid light the problem of hitting the bib becomes a lot less important.

So what to do? Support lame bibs( short term profit)?
Try to get manufacturers agreement to refuse to supply and damage our own bussiness?

Barry Paul

Marcos
-6th November 2003, 20:31
I fence foil at strictly a local / very minor open level, but have to say that I think you are spot on Barry.

it seems pointless to be honest - the number of times the bib gets hit in foil at the moment is pretty small - so why do it?

obviously by making it on target you'll get ppl aiming for it, but as you say, is that safe? and as has been mentioned in another thread, flick hits to the side of the bib can't be pleasant

But the main thing, which you state, is the cost. Foil is the main starter weapon - by adding an extra £30 or whatever to the cost of a mask would put people off the sport, and also lead to greater specialisation at a lower ability level.

e.g I fence principally sabre, but fence a bit of foil for fun and exercise at the club, local comps, etc. If you add extra costs, I would simply stop doing foil, as would many epee-ists I suspect

Andy W.
-6th November 2003, 20:37
I totally agree it is madness to make the throat a target and view shared by others elsewhere in this forum under 'something new from the FIE. '
:)

Hudson
-6th November 2003, 22:01
Making the throat a target is not a big problem saftywise as it is targets at epee, but if the non valid hit is removed why make the bib target? As an epee fencer i'd love to get some nice throat hits on a few really annoying foilist i know but i can't see any major improvement fencer or spectator wise from doing it.

Robert
-7th November 2003, 00:27
Originally posted by Marcos
I fence foil at strictly a local / very minor open level, but have to say that I think you are spot on Barry.

it seems pointless to be honest - the number of times the bib gets hit in foil at the moment is pretty small - so why do it?


I think you fence on a different planet Marcos. I would say that hits to the bid are only slightly less common than to the top of the sword arm. That may not be true at other levels but certainly at the sort of middling opens I attend.



obviously by making it on target you'll get ppl aiming for it, but as you say, is that safe? and as has been mentioned in another thread, flick hits to the side of the bib can't be pleasant

I suspect this is a total red herring. Not only is your throat quadruple covered (bib, lame, jacket, underplastron) but it has been a target in epee forever.



But the main thing, which you state, is the cost. Foil is the main starter weapon - by adding an extra £30 or whatever to the cost of a mask would put people off the sport, and also lead to greater specialisation at a lower ability level.

Beginners fence steam in most cases so it doesn't matter. The people it would affect are those of us who already own a mask. And fair point on the specialisation as you would now have three masks for the three weapons.

I don't think it is a bad idea, but not a very good idea either. So probably not worth the effort.

I do agree with Barry that introducing this without a lot of thinking and consultation is bound to lead to problems. The biggest problem is how to get 500-700 fencers in the UK who are not going to compete outside the country to agree to buy a new mask? And much larger numbers in other countries.

Robert

hokers
-7th November 2003, 08:31
I still think the throat area is seriously underprotected. An attack to chest that slides up the jacket and under the bib is all too easy. Heavy hits to the throat, even through the bib, are very uncomfortable.

In that one very dangerous second before anyone realises one of the blades has broken, that is probably the most vulnerable area I think.

But it's irrational as well. Why not make the whole mask target, why should the neck be target but not the face? This doesn't sound like an improvement to the sport to me. Imagine explaining it to a beginner, or just another interested party. "So the foil target is the torso, not arms or legs. Yes that does include the groin, but also recently the lower section of the mask, covering the throat. No not the top half of the mask. No I don't know why, thats just what the FIE thought up."

Muso440
-7th November 2003, 08:39
I risk being shouted at here, because I'm a newbie and have never yet picked up an epee in my life, so maybe I'm talking pants. So apologies in advance if so. BUT: several people are saying that you can hit to the throat in epee so it shouldn't be a problem in foil. However, does this really happen all that much in practice? I thought in epee you generally hit to the leg or arm, because it's nearer? Therefore, if the throat was a valid target in foil, wouldn't it be getting hit an awful lot more than it would be in epee?

Happy to be corrected by the epeeists.

Gav
-7th November 2003, 09:04
Originally posted by Muso440
I risk being shouted at here, because I'm a newbie and have never yet picked up an epee in my life, so maybe I'm talking pants. So apologies in advance if so. BUT: several people are saying that you can hit to the throat in epee so it shouldn't be a problem in foil. However, does this really happen all that much in practice? I thought in epee you generally hit to the leg or arm, because it's nearer? Therefore, if the throat was a valid target in foil, wouldn't it be getting hit an awful lot more than it would be in epee?

Happy to be corrected by the epeeists.

No. Muso I am not going to shout you down or anything. As you don't have any experience of Epee I think its a perfectly valid question.

Yes people hit arm/leg in Epee. However there are a lot of hits that go through to body. I doubt people deliberately aim for the throat but sometime when you are going for the body circumstances prevail and you end up hitting the throat. It's rarely even painful. Sometimes you get hit on the adams apple and you choke a little. It's not a problem - honestly. I've never heard of or seen a serious throat injury at Epee.

ceprab
-7th November 2003, 10:42
The only evil hit I took in the neck was an off target with a fairly stiff new foil right on the adams apple. My mask bib dulled the shot, but in the process an inch long hole appeared as the bib was ripped away from the mask. The mask was all of a week or two old at the time. I'm just glad I do nice safe epee with this lot coming in.

Mantis
-7th November 2003, 10:49
I got quite a hard hit in the neck last night and it didn't cause me any more discomfort than a similar hit somewhere else would. Hits to the neck are unusual as it is a small target and there is no reason to aim specifically for it.

With foil, on the other hand, the target is small and the bib would (in my opinion) be specifically targetted because I think a flick above shoulder height would be more difficult to parry than one to body. I do not think that more conventional attacks would necessarily be a problem but, as I said in the other thread, a flick to the neck could result in a hit to the unprotected area at the back of the neck.

clockity
-7th November 2003, 11:03
Originally posted by hokers
I still think the throat area is seriously underprotected. An attack to chest that slides up the jacket and under the bib is all too easy. Heavy hits to the throat, even through the bib, are very uncomfortable.

In that one very dangerous second before anyone realises one of the blades has broken, that is probably the most vulnerable area I think.
In general all jackets now have a turn-over collar to catch a blade that slides underneath the mask. This is not the case with lamés, I personally think that the more flexible foil blade is more dangerous when sliding under the bib as there is nothing to stop it (unlike in epée), as the lamés I've seen have no blade stopping collar. This seems like a more pressing safety issue than the bib being covered by lamé material and hit by a foil.

Apart from blades sliding under the bib (which is there with or without the rule change) the only worry I would have with the change would be deliberate flicks to the neck/head that make contact witht the head/neck behind the bib/mask. This would become a legitimate target to flick (whipping the blade over the head or around at an angle) and the exposed part of the neck/head would have no protection! Just as Mantis mentioned above. Epées being less whippy are less likely to do this.

I pass on commenting on how sabre hits to the neck hurt, except that most hits are cuts so the point of impact is larger.

mcvicar
-7th November 2003, 12:01
I think that the point on the lame covering the rollneck on the jacket is probably the most pertinent one I have seen so far. Certainly most lames I have seen and used are realtively tight in the neck region and unless you pull the jacket up and the lame down you lose the protection.
I am slightly paranoid about this, I have to admit, as many years ago, I remember a blade snapping and then having the jagged end sliding along my neck leaving a slight scratch. An inch in and it would have been far more than that!!

As for the neck becoming a target, I don't like it but I don't recall being asked!!!
Would a bandanna lame that clipped to the sides of the helmet and covered the bib work in this case? If required a sabre type clip could be used to earth it.
This, assuming it worked, would mean that you do not have to replace your mask and that when you are not fencing at competition level(or electric) you are not risking a very expensive mask to train in.

That is of course if the FIE ignore the fact that very few people seem to want this rule to come in!!

J_D
-7th November 2003, 12:55
With regard to comparisons with epee and sabre, both of these weapons have valid target areas closer to the attacker, ie sword arm.

The majority of attacks, particularly in epee, are to the sword arm rather than to the neck area, hence a reduced number will actually be targeting the bib.

the change of ruling is more likely to increase the area between the shoulder and the neck as a prime target in foil. That said, the only painful foil hits I've received have been whippings from poor flickers.....[I've been guilty of that too]

Rdb811
-7th November 2003, 13:08
Originally posted by clockity
.

I pass on commenting on how sabre hits to the neck hurt, except that most hits are cuts so the point of impact is larger.

and shallower, so less pressue at the point of impact. I've never noticed a hit on the bib at sabre.

Most club foilists tend to hit the bib a lot anyway - I can't see a problem.

Marcos
-7th November 2003, 13:53
Originally posted by Rdb811
and shallower, so less pressue at the point of impact. I've never noticed a hit on the bib at sabre.



does happen quite a bit, but cuts, as you say, which rarely cause much more than very slight discomfort

randomsabreur
-7th November 2003, 14:32
I was fencing a sabreur in training last year, and he would reposte or attack with a flunge to the side of the neck. That hurt like "$%£ and I eventually stopped fencing him because I was too scared to do anything except try and put as much blade as possible in the way. I see a potential intimidation tactic becoming eminently possible if foilist do that. A couple of flat hits to the side of the neck would slow down all but the bravest fencers and in my experience flats with a foil hurt a damn site more than those with a sabre

uk_45
-7th November 2003, 16:10
I've had one point attack to throat in sabre and the guy who did it nearly broke the blade:o

Pointy stick
-9th November 2003, 20:15
Sounds like a bad idea to me. As an inexperienced foilist, I've hit people in the throat and been worried I'd hurt them, and I've been hit in the throat and didn't like it at all. I can imagine a certain type of fencer perfecting the throat hit as an intimidatory tactic - possibly as a quick and effortless way of sweeping aside much weaker fencers (like me!) in the pool stage, to conserve energy for the DE stage.

The lame bib argument will (hopefully) torpedo this idea.

Prometheus
-10th November 2003, 09:29
For safety reasons it is a stupid idea to include the throat as target.

Consider that in epee the character of the weapon means that even if you attack you are more cautious in the target you go for and the commitment of the attack.

In foil it is also true to some extent but because you have ROW and a deeper target area the attacks are also somewhat deeper thus increasing risk.

007
-10th November 2003, 18:33
NO NO NO NO!!! what a stupid idea!!!

SoulTripper
-11th November 2003, 12:18
Hmm, it does seem odd to authorise the neck and not the face. What is the main argument proposed to allow this? To become a more 'real' target area then what's already been decided?

And, over time, perhaps the fencing arm may be a valid target in foil. A little pandora's box.


I think it will prove to much hassle for kitting up. There will be another wire to circuit the mask to the lame, more dead-spot testing, replacement of masks (pricey - arggh, another reason why fencing is seen as the affluents sport), risk of inexperienced flickers whipping /slapping the back of the neck (and that WILL hurt!) and more problems I'm sure.

In Epee, it is arguable that whilst the neck is a valid target area, it's not a prime area as a direct approach to the neck would most likely leave you in reach of a direct hit to your arm due to the distance (the neck is probably the furthest point back on the frontal area), reducing the number of hits to neck ratio then would be in foil, hence, cannot be used to assume the risk level.

As for a manafacuting position, if it becomes law, then it's the fencers who pay the extra prices I assume would be necessary. Current foil masks would still be used for steam so the back catalogue could be sold. I assume the machines to create Sabre masks can be adjusted for the new foil masks, or replicated.

I think the reasoning behind this new target area is not sufficient (considering I'm not sure what it is!). I think it will lead to further ideas that the mask can be a target area if the neck is etc. The neck is not the torso. That's the foil target area and should always be.

Note, I clearly agree that a hit to the neck would most likely be a deadly, or winning move in classical fencing, but so would taking out the sword arm or face or foot (hence Epee's philosophy). Where's would the boundary lie between the different styles?

SoulTripper
-11th November 2003, 12:27
P.s. Sorry Barry, I don't quite get



Originally posted by Barry Paul
...
My thoughts are that if you get rid of the non valid light the problem of hitting the bib becomes a lot less important....



You will still need the light for the remaining off target areas!? And not hitting the bib at the moment is really as important as making a valid hit.

DanInMI
-11th November 2003, 17:44
I agree that they really need to determine how much of the bib must be target area...(should the target area extend all the way up to the ears wear most bibs extend?)

My frist thought was that making the bib target area would be more dangerous....(the target area over the throat reasoning.) But the more that i have thought about it the less I think that is true. Currently the regulation for bibs is that they must be 10 to 12 cm in length. And they must extend low enough to cover the clavicles. If the bib was target area they could be much longer. Wouldn't that be safer? It seems to me that the greatest safety hazard concerning bibs is the potential to slip beneath them. If they were longer that would be less likely.

As for the cost, I am sure that a lame cover can be made that would slip over current bibs that would be much less costly than replacing the mask.

As for eliminating the off target light in foil.....I think that is a REALLY bad idea. I am sure that is a reaction to the way that a certain womens foil team has successfully used the weapon arm to cover target. But if they eliminate the off target light then that will give them an even greater way to use that technique.

Image coming in with arm bent, almost completely covering target, (even moving that arm to fend off a counter attack) The opponent attacks into preparation, but only touches off target. Instead of a stoppage in play she is able to now extend and touch. Point for the target coverer.

Or imagine the sloppy attack that first touches the sleeve of the upper arm then follows through to the breast. Should that be rewarded? In the lower levels of competition that sort of thing happens all the time.

tigger
-13th November 2003, 10:25
There is a lot of logic in including PART of the bib as target. The jacket is already target up to the neck (under the bib). So as long as you slide your point under the safety equipment you get the hit, whereas if you hit the same area directly you get a white light...

It would have to be a horizontal line drawn across the bib where it attaches under the chin, rather than the entire bib. C'mon wussy foilists - safety is really NOT a big issue here!

Sorry 007, but we have to disagree on this 1 ;)

Winwaloe
-13th November 2003, 16:29
In theory a competent foilist will be able to (mostly) control the hit so there is no real reson why it should do any serious damage. Less skilled foilists are unlikely to try for such a "small" target when there is so much more to hit. Accidental hits to throat (more likely to be done by the learner) don't appear to be a major problem. I have been hit in the neck at eppee and at sabre (point) and am still here to tell the tale. I guess there is a slight increase in the possibility of injury but I doubt it will become a major issue. Foil is a very artificial weapon anyway so perhaps an increase in target area may be interesting

mcvicar
-13th November 2003, 16:52
following through on this what's the ruling on these lames that are cut so high that they reduce the lower target area?

Is there a thread on this already or is it worth starting a new one?

Australian
-13th November 2003, 20:41
Originally posted by mcvicar
following through on this what's the ruling on these lames that are cut so high that they reduce the lower target area?

Is there a thread on this already or is it worth starting a new one?

the lame has to be on the top of the hip bone, when you are in an engarde position. There is already a law for this, it just might not be applied where you come from :).