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gbm
-25th January 2004, 15:16
I was reading about point-in-line interpretations in the Sabre forum, and it got me wondering about point-in-line in foil. Consider the following situation:

It is a pool fight. The two fencers present themselves in en-garde, and the fight begins. The fencers take a step towards each other, and then one presents point-in-line. So the other... also presents point-in-line.
And then they stop.
Points firmly pointed at each other's chests, they begin to contemplate the meaninglessness of existence.
Thirty seconds have passed.
One fencer begins to pick his nose (metaphorically, I know there is a mask in the way) with his free arm.
Now one minute has passed.
The other begins to write sweet love poetry to his darling sweetheart in the huge crowd that fencing always attracts.
Two minutes.
Then they begin to visualise the forth-coming hit, the delicate dance of compound actions they are about to converse with.
Two and a half minutes.
They, communicating with nothing more than their eyes, visible through the glare on their transparent visors (the use of which will earn the winner a hefty sum from the FIE), work there way up to twenty-eighth intention.
Two seconds.
Suddenly, one the fencer who presented point-in-line first 'attacks' with a lunge. The clock goes off just after the buzzer blares and the lights show a double hit.

Who wins the fight?

I have been taught that by presenting point-in-line to point-in-line, then after a period of fencing time has passed i.e. after a pause, then you have to deflect your opponents PIL before attacking. This is in the 'spirit' of the rules, as their is obviously no benefit in a 'real' fight of remembering who had right of way twenty minutes ago (i.e. you lose ROW after a period of fencing time, unless you are still in such a position that you would gain it, i.e. you have PIL and your opponent does not).
The rules say '6. If the attack is initiated when the opponent is ‘point in line’ (cf. t.10), the attacker must, first, deflect the opponent’s blade.'
If you consider the lunge to be an attack, then this would be the case.

However, some might argue that by getting point-in-line first, the fencer who attacked got the point.

Am I making a big issue out of something there is not any misunderstanding about?

--
The good fencer, the bad fencer, and me.

Prometheus
-25th January 2004, 15:50
simple. The fencer still maintaining PIL gets the hit. The other fencer has renewed his attack (and therefore would have to deflect the opponents blade)

Tarmac
-25th January 2004, 19:25
never seen a foilist who could keep still for more than a second...

Pointy stick
-25th January 2004, 20:14
In some on guard positions, your point is 'in line' to the extent that it is pointing at some part of the opponent. If it is correctly 'closing' the line, then in fact it is probably just a bit out of line, but not as far out of line as if it was pointing at the ceiling in one of those controversial attacks!

But my understanding is that an attack needs more than point in line. It needs the arm to begin extending towards the target.

So if you just stick your arm out, point in line, that's an attack. But if you then do nothing for long enough for your opponent to make one or more meaningful fencing actions then yhen surely you lose right of way.

For example, a simple extension of the sword arm might be enough to score a hit on an opponent at short distance. But your opponents moves back. Your attack has failed. If you make a further move (e.g. the lunge) then that is a remise.

Of course, the example given at the start of the thread was deliberately extreme, but I have seen fencers stick their arm out and wait for something to happen for several seconds.

The slightest of beats, however, would remove all doubt from this artificial scenario.

UglyBug
-25th January 2004, 20:15
Wouldn't they be done for negative fencing? Or is that only an epee thing?

gbm
-25th January 2004, 20:37
Originally posted by Tarmac
never seen a foilist who could keep still for more than a second...

never seen a sabreur who could keep still...

Prometheus
-25th January 2004, 22:43
Originally posted by Pointy stick
So if you just stick your arm out, point in line, that's an attack. But if you then do nothing for long enough for your opponent to make one or more meaningful fencing actions then yhen surely you lose right of way.

Pointy Stick, I'm sure you are being rhetorical in stating this but the answer is no.

The Little Un
-26th January 2004, 04:30
What is all this "Keeping still", I cannot find out about it in my "How to be a successful Sabruer" manual.

Best wishes,
Judy

Pointy stick
-26th January 2004, 06:32
Originally posted by Prometheus
Pointy Stick, I'm sure you are being rhetorical in stating this but the answer is no.

Not so much 'being rhetorical' as applying the 'learning by asking stupid questions technique'.

So if I stick my arm out, point in line and do nothing else, and my opponent has time to step back out of range, and I still don't lunge or move forwards, and he steps back in range and out again trying to provoke a reaction, and I just stand there like a signpost, I've still got right of way?

I know in real life this is rare, but it can happen. My limited experience is that most presidents would say that your attack was 'no'.

Prometheus
-26th January 2004, 08:18
Originally posted by Pointy stick
I know in real life this is rare, but it can happen. My limited experience is that most presidents would say that your attack was 'no'.

Whose attack? I don't quite follow this additional comment - I wasn't fencing because if I had been I would beat the blade of PIL and win the bout (cross fingers).

gbm
-26th January 2004, 09:18
So if I stick my arm out, point in line and do nothing else, and my opponent has time to step back out of range, and I still don't lunge or move forwards, and he steps back in range and out again trying to provoke a reaction, and I just stand there like a signpost, I've still got right of way?

6. If the attack is initiated when the opponent is ‘point in line’ (cf. t.10), the attacker must, first, deflect the opponent’s blade.
Point-in-line is a specific thing in foil, where your arm is extended in the high line but it is not an attack (although it remains PIL whether you advance or retreat). It is not an attack, but is classified as a defence. By extending your arm, you defend yourself against attacks because anybody who attacks without deflecting your PIL first is going to get themselves impaled (not clever). Thus when only one fencer has PIL, the other fencer absolutely must deflect the PIL before commencing an attack, no matter how long before he does so. Impaling yourself is always stupid... the aim (unlike epee, where double hits are acceptable) is to win without getting killed (which is why I think foil is more realistic in concept than epee).
I was just interested in the special case of two fencers taking up PIL. Since PIL is defensive, I would assume that the fencer who attacked had begun a new attack against PIL and thus had a point scored against him.

clockity
-26th January 2004, 10:58
Originally posted by UglyBug
Wouldn't they be done for negative fencing? Or is that only an epee thing?
Do you mean Passivity? Or does holding PIL for several rigid arm-aching minutes not apply as passivity?

Prometheus
-26th January 2004, 11:07
I don't think it's passivity as you are actually applying a move. Why don't you try it at the next competition and find out?:;):

Australian
-26th January 2004, 16:04
its passivity....

if its (the inital situation in the first post) held for over, say, 15-25 seconds and no one is doing anything, a warning for passivity is in order

Prometheus
-26th January 2004, 16:21
It's not passivity. It takes two for passivity and pointy stick has raised a new scenario where he hasn't specified what the opponent is doing.

For instance - tell me they aren't moving up and down the piste and the opponent isn't just failing in a counter-attack......

yawn......

Pointy stick
-26th January 2004, 16:33
Originally posted by Prometheus
It's not passivity. It takes two for passivity and pointy stick has raised a new scenario where he hasn't specified what the opponent is doing.


That's because I'm trying to uderstand how the rules apply; I'm new to this game.

As a fairly new fencer, I've found myself in a position where I've not been able to see a way past my opponent's defences, and I've constantly adjusted my distance in an attempt to draw some sort of reaction from him. It's not necessarily a good tactic, or a successful one!

So my opponent sticks his point in line, arm extended. Common sense tells me I ought to deflect his blade before trying to hit him. However, if I were 6'3" and he were 4'2" I might be able to hit him simply by reaching further. So my understanding of the rules from this discussion is that he's established his priority, and if I counterattack 15 seconds later, during which time he's stood there like a signpost, if he manages to hit me as I hit im, it's his point. Have I more or less understood correctly?

(Incidentally, I am seldom going to be substantially taller than my opponent.:( )

Australian
-26th January 2004, 18:30
Originally posted by Pointy stick
So my opponent sticks his point in line, arm extended. Common sense tells me I ought to deflect his blade before trying to hit him. However, if I were 6'3" and he were 4'2" I might be able to hit him simply by reaching further. So my understanding of the rules from this discussion is that he's established his priority, and if I counterattack 15 seconds later, during which time he's stood there like a signpost, if he manages to hit me as I hit im, it's his point. Have I more or less understood correctly?

correct

and perhaps you should consult the rules on this:

t.10
The point-in-line position is a specific position in which the fencer’s sword arm is kept straight and the point of his weapon continually threatens his opponent’s valid target.


t.56

5. If the attack is initiated when the opponent is not ‘point in line’ (cf. t.10), it may be executed either with a direct thrust, or by a disengage, or by a cutover, or may even be preceded by a beat or successful feints obliging the opponent to parry.


6. If the attack is initiated when the opponent is ‘point in line’ (cf. t.10), the attacker must, first, deflect the opponent’s blade. Referees must ensure that a mere contact of the blades is not considered as sufficient to deflect the opponent’s blade (cf. t.60/2a).

Prometheus
-27th January 2004, 00:42
Pointy Stick.

I commend you for trying altering distance. Unfortunately, as you no doubt noticed, your opponent did not react (following this scenario).

This is where the interesting part of fencing foil comes in.......

You ask yourself the question: What if......?

Then you execute the action and you find out if it works.

This result, of course varies depending on the personality,techique and nerve of the opponent.
Therein lies the enjoyment of foil.

Assuming none of the scenario as described above: :rolleyes:

Tactically - If you put yourself in the shoes of the opponent: why is he doing this?

a) he's 4-0 ahead and wants to save his energy knowing he can easily use upo the time etc...
b) he can't successfully attack you as your parries are excellent.
c) he has made a mistake and you can take him with your superb balance, footwork and bladework.

What are your responses to this situation then?

Answers on a postcard please..... :moon:

Forget discussing the minutiae of the rules - experiment and learn.....there's never a single answer.......:transport

Pointy stick
-27th January 2004, 16:48
Originally posted by Prometheus
Pointy Stick.

Forget discussing the minutiae of the rules - experiment and learn.....there's never a single answer.

It's possible to do both. I'm fencing 3 or (occasionally) 4 times a week against fencers of various levels of ability and experience - people I can beat 10:1 and people who can beat me 10:1, and various shades between. It couldn't hurt to understand the rules too. :0)

Australian
-28th January 2004, 07:54
t.56 is one of the rules that you should know backwards :)

gbm
-28th January 2004, 12:00
Parry to opponent the obliging feints successful or beat a by preceded be even may or, cutover a by or, disengage a by or, thrust direct a with either executed be may it, 'line in point' not is opponent the when initiated is attack the if 5.

Blade opponent's the deflect to sufficient as considered not is blades the of contact mere a that ensure must referees. Blade opponent's the deflect, first, must attacker the, 'line in point' is opponent the when initiated is attack the if 6.

(not the whole of t. 56 :) )

Tubby
-28th January 2004, 12:11
first rule of foil fencing, never attack onto a straight arm, ok t.56 then.

My little understanding (or is it mis understanding?) of this rule in another scenario is that if fencer A is standing PIL and fencer B attacks and during that attack fencer A lunges (whether it be with derobement as B tries to beat or just straight lunge) and two lights come on then hit to B as A's PIL became a counter attack. Similarly if A loses his bottle and steps back with PIL and B ends up reprising, if A is hit on the move then B wins, however if A completes his step before the reprise starts and two lights came on then A wins.
I need to be corrected if my understanding is wrong so welcome opinions.

Australian
-28th January 2004, 12:41
Originally posted by goodbadandme
Parry to opponent the obliging feints successful or beat a by preceded be even may or, cutover a by or, disengage a by or, thrust direct a with either executed be may it, 'line in point' not is opponent the when initiated is attack the if 5.

Blade opponent's the deflect to sufficient as considered not is blades the of contact mere a that ensure must referees. Blade opponent's the deflect, first, must attacker the, 'line in point' is opponent the when initiated is attack the if 6.

(not the whole of t. 56 :) )

*grumble* :tongue: :tongue: :tongue:

bydande
-29th January 2004, 19:27
Hi Tubby,
My understanding of PIL and the scenarios you describe are a little different to you. My understanding is based upon the following principles
1. Any attempt to beat an opponents blade is a preparation
2. PIL is valid if you are standing still, going forwards or going backwards - this nugget is contained within the BFA guidance for referees produced by Keith Smith & Mike Thornton and to be found under the FIE rules tab of this forum.
3. And of course para t56.6 as highlighted by Australian.

So based on these principles, in your first scenario Fencer A is attacking into a preparation by Fencer B so the point should go to Fencer A. In the second scenario, Fencer A's PIL retains its priority whether he is stationary or moving so as long as the arm remains straight with the point threatening the target the point should go to Fencer A again.

I also have to say that on the kiddies circuit I see a big difference in the implementaion of the PIL rules by different referees. So my advice to my daughter is always - try it once and if the ref gives you PIL as per the book then use it accordingly, but if the ref doesnt give it then change your tactics and dont bother flogging a dead horse.

Tubby
-29th January 2004, 20:09
Bydande thanks for that view. This will cause a stir as I've seen demonstrations on this rule whereby fencer A is standing PIL and fencer B "attacks" with step lunge and progressive straightening of the arm and fencer A then lunges into B's attack. The question was then posed whose hit? We pint to A then told wrong, its B's, B was the "attack" A was initially PIL but lost it by counter attacking. Then there were various versions on this theme.

I take your point about the beat actually being defeated by derobement and thence attacking into a preparation. I had meant to say beating with the straightening of the arm in one movement. Either way I better go and get me some more info on this. Contributions please.

Saxon
-29th January 2004, 23:29
try it once and if the ref gives you PIL as per the book then use it accordingly, but if the ref doesnt give it then change your tactics and dont bother flogging a dead horse.


I don't want to start a new thread, but just found this bit interesting. If there were more who fenced like this, perhaps we would have more foil referees available.


In short,

If the ref doesn't recognise what you're doing, change what you're doing.

Don't look surly - he'll ignore you.

Don't argue with him - he should card you.

Don't ask your coach - he's not fencing, you are (and after some of the utterly inept "coaching" I heard at the weekend, he may not even be worth asking).

Just ask him (once) for his phrasing of the action. Then accept that whatever you're doing (or think you're doing), you either are doing it wrong, or aren't making it obvious enough. If you're that good that you think you deserve the hit, then get it some other way.


Just some (probably un)helpful advice from a rather annoyed saxon who is still printing certificates for yet another Regional event this weekend...

oddball
-26th February 2004, 16:49
hear hear!!

Prometheus
-27th February 2004, 08:45
Originally posted by Tubby
Bydande thanks for that view. This will cause a stir as I've seen demonstrations on this rule whereby fencer A is standing PIL and fencer B "attacks" with step lunge and progressive straightening of the arm and fencer A then lunges into B's attack. The question was then posed whose hit? We pint to A then told wrong, its B's, B was the "attack" A was initially PIL but lost it by counter attacking. Then there were various versions on this theme.

I take your point about the beat actually being defeated by derobement and thence attacking into a preparation. I had meant to say beating with the straightening of the arm in one movement. Either way I better go and get me some more info on this. Contributions please.

The point in line is not an attack, therefore a lunge done from it is the counter attack from A and therefore with no priority.

The guidelines refering to moving back and forwards mean steps back and forwards, not lunging.

nahouw
-12th March 2004, 23:51
Originally posted by Prometheus
The point in line is not an attack, therefore a lunge done from it is the counter attack from A and therefore with no priority.

The guidelines refering to moving back and forwards mean steps back and forwards, not lunging.

The point in line is just a special position which has ultimate priority, and puts your opponent on notice that they must do something with your blade in order to gain priority; if the person who has the point in line decides to attack upon observing his opponent making a mistake and withdrawing his arm, then it his attack. Forward movement from your opponent without an extending arm is a preparation, and if they fail to take the blade, there action is irrelevant.

reposte
-13th March 2004, 09:19
This is exactly the type of thread that gives us foilists a bad name...

Prometheus
-15th March 2004, 04:18
Originally posted by nahouw
The point in line is just a special position which has ultimate priority, and puts your opponent on notice that they must do something with your blade in order to gain priority; if the person who has the point in line decides to attack upon observing his opponent making a mistake and withdrawing his arm, then it his attack. Forward movement from your opponent without an extending arm is a preparation, and if they fail to take the blade, there action is irrelevant.

My post was in reply to a specific situation described earlier. You are correct that depending on the actions of an opponent point -in-line can be turned to a lunge and still retain priority but as an attack not renewal by definition.

Tubby
-15th March 2004, 11:52
At a rinky dink on the weekend I was standing PIL, my opponent attacked with a step and an attempted beat, I derobed, two coloured lights came on. The ref, GBR on his back, said I failed to find the blade! Hit to my opponent :bash:

I mummbled that I thought it was a most beautifully executed derobement and put it back in the trunk for the rest of the match.

gbm
-15th March 2004, 15:03
At my last competition (the Welsh Closed Foil), I did see someone I know do a beautiful PIL derobement against a big octave-to-carte beater, and I complimented him on it (although he probably didn't find it too difficult), because it is an action that I like to see, and it was done well. But it is such a rarity...

(GBR - Good Bye Rules)

Keith.A.Smith
-15th March 2004, 21:16
If the point in line is executed correctly it does not matter whether you are standing still or moving forwards or backwards.Even if you do a lunge, it is still a point in line, but the ref can get this latter one wrong.

The point in line must be in the high line and the point must stay threatening the target. If the balde is beaten, taken or you bend your arm then you no longer have a point in line.

Keith

Robert
-16th March 2004, 10:19
I try to use PIL on occasion. It is quite a difficult move to pull off. You have to establish it when the you know the oponent will commit (so if they miss the beat they simply walk on rather than just taking another beat) BUT you have to do establish when everything is relaxed and very clear to the president the other person is not attacking.

Also Goodbadandme it is very hard to avoid a blade with your arm locked straight.

Lastly, with due respect to Keith, if you step in or lunge the odds of a president calling in your favour are pretty small (so don't even attempt it unless the president has already called a stationary/backpedal PIL your way).

And of course once a president gives you PIL once, the opponent is unlikely to commit to a beat lunge again, meaning it is a bit of a one-off hit. So its a 50-50 shot, if you execute what is actually a very difficult action correctly, once in any fight - which might explain its rarity.

Robert

randomsabreur
-16th March 2004, 10:28
PIL works technically, whether or not some referees see it, particularly if you are fencing one of their friends is an entirely different kettle of fish.

PIL can work more than once in a fight, depending on how the opponent is going to react to it. you can give them the beat and then parry, or evade the beat, or do a duck stop hit from PIL. Alternatively opponent might stop and think, giving an opportunity to attack. But the same action prepared the same way rarely works twice in a fight if the opponent has the technique and experience to deal with it.

Tubby
-17th March 2004, 23:30
Originally posted by Keith.A.Smith
If the point in line is executed correctly it does not matter whether you are standing still or moving forwards or backwards.Even if you do a lunge, it is still a point in line, but the ref can get this latter one wrong.
Given that I've seen demonstrations where fencer A is standing PIL and fencer B straightens his arm, steps and lunges and fencer A lunges from PIL as B is lunging, and we get told its B's hit as B was the attack A was PIL but became the counter attack by lunging, no wonder refs would get it wrong if they've seen the same demo I've seen.

Keith, thank you for the clarification. I shall carry a copy of your post in my pocket and whip it out when ever I need to.

As you are in the mood to clarify "moves", what is your view on ROW with flick hits which start with fencer A advancing with a number of steps and his point either pointing off to the side or above his head (in the classic threatening the ceiling), and fencer B backing up then B lunges and A flicks (can you give a view on if B lunges before the start of the flick, at the same time as the flick, after the start of the flick). A's point doesn't threaten the target until its coming round on the flick whereas B's does from the straightening of the arm. (Apologies if you have already given your opinion on another thread).

rory
-18th March 2004, 08:10
Do we need to ask Keith this again?
It's simple. If A's arm is extending, he's attacking and the lunge from B is a counter.

No matter where A's point starts from - if it's moving toward the target, point for A.

It's really not complicated.

Tubby
-18th March 2004, 11:20
... but doesn't the point have to threaten the target, or is your position that the arm extending per a cut in sabre is as valid in foil?

rory
-18th March 2004, 11:32
If i'm extending my arm, aiming to flick to your shoulder, then I'm threatening you. I may be threatening target that isn't to the fore, but damn sure I'm threatening it all the same.

bydande
-18th March 2004, 13:40
This is what the BFA's official guidance for referees says on the subject of the attack:

"This is the initial straightening of the arm, with the point threatening the valid target of the opponent. In reality this means at foil the first offensive action, at sabre attacks can be with the point or cutting edge.

There was a heated debate at a recent FIE Referee’s Seminar (in Rome prior to the Cadet and Junior World Championships held in Hungary) about how you would attack the back shoulder and it was agreed that the point would need to be raised a little to allow this, but that if it was pointing at the ceiling, with the arm in a vertical position, then this was not an attack. It was added that the attack could be delivered with no foot movements, or with a step forward, a lunge, a step and lunge or a fleche (at foil).

The FIE have asked foil referees to be as strict in their interpretation of the attack as sabre referees. This continues to be a difficult area."

All of which is consistent with Rory's comments. Whilst the fencer is moving with the arm bent and foil point facing the ceiling it is preparation. However, as soon as the hand/arm starts to move forward and the point starts to move downwards towards the target (back, front or shoulder) the attack has started - because even though the point in a flick attack is not threatening the target in the traditional sense, it is still threatening the target. So it is still the case of looking for the first hand/arm movement co-ordinated with a movement of the foil point towards the target. A hand/arm movement where the point fails to move towards the target is a feint or a change of engagement/line.

Tubby
-18th March 2004, 20:50
so when does pointing to the ceiling, arm starting to straighten, become "raised a little" to allow threat to shoulder?

Is this eqivalent to straight arm pointing off to the side of your opponent not threatening the target, lunge then angulate at the last moment to bring the point onto the target? or does the point not threatening the target but is deemed to actually be threatening the target only so with a flick?

Tubby
-18th March 2004, 20:57
On the definition that you could be threatening the target with the point pointing else where, why then can't you be PIL point "raised a little". If you can hit with PIL with a lunge (per Keith Smith) can you not flick from PIL if your point was raised just a little? Why should there be a difference in what is deemed a threat (or is there no difference)?

Prometheus
-18th March 2004, 23:59
Tubby,

In your opinion is PIL an attack or something else?

In the answer to that lies the answer to your question.

Tubby
-19th March 2004, 06:39
Not an attack, but a defensive position.

rory
-19th March 2004, 08:07
Again a simple answer. In order to flick, you have to generate tip speed.

In a normal flick attack this is done by starting with your hand slightly back and bringing it forward, then sharply closing your grip on the foil to "snap" the tip in.

To do with from PIL you'd have to bring your point offline and back on - thus breaking PIL and losing priority.

Tubby
-19th March 2004, 12:22
... and thats my point. The priority is because you have your point in line threatening the target. If you take it out of line you lose it, so then why should you get priority of "attack" when you're not directly threatening the target. Would you agree that a straight arm pointing off to the side with angulation at the last moment to bring the point in line is a valid attack? If you can flick in the vertical and horizonal planes, is angulation not equivalent to horizontal flick?

rory
-19th March 2004, 12:32
Eh?
A flick attack in the normal sense is a single motion during which the point always threatens target. This is simple and easy to understand.

Flicking from PIL requires you to move your hand away from target, thus losing priority.

Where's the confusion here?

Australian
-19th March 2004, 13:42
Originally posted by Tubby
Would you agree that a straight arm pointing off to the side with angulation at the last moment to bring the point in line is a valid attack?

(i'll ignore the attack bit, because your terminology is a bit off)

well not really, cos the cocked/angulated hand is not straight.... thus no straight arm thus no point in line.

(assuming you mean the arm pointed out at a wide angle, and the blade angled back in)


and by flicking you are also flicking the hand/wrist, which means that the arm is not straight... so no point in line again

Tubby
-19th March 2004, 16:27
if you start from the premise that the point is threatening the target from pointing at the ceiling at the start of the straightening of the arm to flick, then Rory, you are right. it is simple to understand. If you have "raised a little" introduced then when is it "raised a little " and when is it raised alot?

Dave - the comparison I was making between angulation in the horizontal plane to the flick was on the issue of the wrist "breaking" the straight arm as it can happen in the flick and also the issue of when is the point threatening the target in the attack scenario as well as in that of the PIL.

As for the cocked wrist, when you are in the full lunge position hitting in the high line isn't your wrist cocked in the vertical plane as your hand is above or level with your head once your front foot lands? So would you give loss of priority in that situation if there was a counter attack?

gbm
-19th March 2004, 17:45
Flicks make a mess of the original point and principles of ROW, because you can 'threaten' what should not be threatenable.

srb
-19th March 2004, 19:01
Originally posted by Tubby
if you start from the premise that the point is threatening the target from pointing at the ceiling at the start of the straightening of the arm to flick, then Rory, you are right. it is simple to understand. If you have "raised a little" introduced then when is it "raised a little " and when is it raised alot?



Where is the confusion? Rory is right. If you apply the guidance for referees, and use a bit of common sense, Rory is still right.


"...The Attack

This is the initial straightening of the arm, with the point threatening the valid target of the opponent. In reality this means at foil the first offensive action...

...There was a heated debate at a recent FIE Referee’s Seminar (in Rome prior to the Cadet and Junior World Championships held in Hungary) about how you would attack the back shoulder and it was agreed that the point would need to be raised a little to allow this, but that if it was pointing at the ceiling, with the arm in a vertical position, then this was not an attack..."

THE BRITISH FENCING ASSOCIATION
REFEREE’S COMMITTEE
GUIDANCE FOR REFEREES
EDITION TWO

FEBRUARY 2003

Edited by
KEITH SMITH & MIKE THORNTON


srb

Tubby
-19th March 2004, 20:02
Originally posted by srb
Where is the confusion? Rory is right. If you apply the guidance for referees, and use a bit of common sense, Rory is still right.


"...The Attack

This is the initial straightening of the arm, with the point threatening the valid target of the opponent. In reality this means at foil the first offensive action...

...There was a heated debate at a recent FIE Referee?s Seminar (in Rome prior to the Cadet and Junior World Championships held in Hungary) about how you would attack the back shoulder and it was agreed that the point would need to be raised a little to allow this, but that if it was pointing at the ceiling, with the arm in a vertical position, then this was not an attack..."

THE BRITISH FENCING ASSOCIATION
REFEREE?S COMMITTEE
GUIDANCE FOR REFEREES
EDITION TWO

FEBRUARY 2003

Edited by
KEITH SMITH & MIKE THORNTON


srb the confusion is in whose common sense is to be applied. obviously yours and rory's makes sense. The guidance you quote is the point of interpretation I'm seeking to clarify. A big sweeping, from to horizontal extension of the arm to threaten the shoulder or back "for expediency" gets given ROW from vertical, yet the guidance is "raised a little" and not from vertical and if it starts from outside of lunge distance it can't threaten shoulder let alone back. So at some point in the arc it does, its that point from an esoteric interest that intrigues me.

Prometheus
-22nd March 2004, 01:13
The FIE strike again!

What you have to remember that like all international treaties there is a large element of compromise and diplomatic tact involved (between different referees/federations) hence the largely 'interpretable' gaps in the missives.

So you could liken this for example to the EU constitution where France gets what they want but with 'clauses' that satisfies Britain's wishes too.

In practice all the guidance says is your blade cannot be pointing more than 89? (or whatever pointing at the ceiling means) degrees from the horizontal plane and it can be raised a little. From this you have a grey area of perhaps 80 degrees where the referee decides.

Not exactly a recipe for stopping discussions such as this occuring I'd say.

Tubby
-22nd March 2004, 12:40
Back to PIL - have I asked this one before? Scenario 1: Fencer A lunges (is the attack), fencer B takes a small step back (parry by distance), fencer A's arm is still extended, body still in the lunge position and point still threatening B, fencer B then leans in and hits A and gets hit by A's extended point at the same time. B does not clear A's blade. A hasn't moved. Who's hit?

Scenario 2: same as one except this time A leans in after the lunge, continuation. Who's hit?

gbm
-22nd March 2004, 15:31
Situation 1, I'd say A's hit. He attacks, and depending on your interpretation the attack doesn't stop and eventually hits without being parried, or (as I would call it), the attack stops, then B initiates his attack while A is PIL (I believe if you hold your arm out after a lunge you are PIL). The rules just say:
"t.10 The point-in-line position is a specific position in which the fencer’s sword arm is kept straight and the point of his weapon continually threatens his opponent’s valid target. (cf. t56, t.60, t.76, t.80)"
and:
"6. If the attack is initiated when the opponent is ‘point in line’ (cf. t.10), the attacker must, first, deflect the opponent’s blade. Referees must ensure that a mere contact of the blades is not considered as sufficient to deflect the opponent’s blade (cf. t.60/2a)."
So therefore if you ever start an attack against someone who's arm is kept straight and the point of their weapon continually threatens the opponent's, you must first deflect their blade. There's probably a few exceptions, such as when you are continually crossing your feet (when you cannot have priority).
I believe somebody did say PIL applies when going forwards or backwards, standing still or lunging, or am I misquoting?
In a sharp sword environment (which ROW represents, after all), it's obviously A's hit, because, once a temporary pause had elapsed, it was B that made himself a kebab (not good) by moving forward onto his opponent's sword. True, A is also a kebab, but that's not his fault.

In the second situation, I'm not sure. You didn't say if B extended. If not, I'd say it was *$($^£^, if yes, It's obviously 7£$^&%.
Um.
Wait! I've found a critical section of the rules!
If there is not a period of fencing time between the hits, only the fencer who attacked is hit:
"(d) If, during a compound attack, he makes a momentary pause, during which time the opponent makes a stop hit, while the fencer continues the attack."
So if you pause during a compound attack, you lose ROW. So, it would be B's hit, either by going PIL and watching A become crispy kebab, or by stop hitting during B's momentary pause.
The only problem is I don't like the way that rule works, since A is PIL (?), but B is permitted to skewer himself?
But wait, what if fencer A didn't pause?
I really don't know. Damn.

gbm
-22nd March 2004, 16:23
PS when I said at the top of my last message A's hit, I meant A gets the point, just to add to the confusion.
And I don't mean 'he gets the point' in the sense that he is hit by his opponents point, before anybody accuses me of humour. Bah humbug.

ChubbyHubby
-22nd March 2004, 17:13
Originally posted by goodbadandme
The only problem is I don't like the way that rule works...

Sums up a lot of your posts doesn't it?

just an observation.... :grin:

rightly or wrongly at most competitions, the higher the level the more likely it will be given as B's hit. "A's attack was no, B attacks, A counter attacks."

so whatever the correct interperatation of the rules should be, I'd rather be B and get the hit any day (and watch A carded for arguing)! :transport

jonny
-22nd March 2004, 17:23
I put that scenario to my coach and he said it would be A's point.

gbm
-22nd March 2004, 18:51
Originally posted by ChubbyHubby
Sums up a lot of your posts doesn't it?

just an observation.... :grin:



Very funny...

All I meant was the rule doesn't make sense to me, unlike most of the other rules, so it is quite possible I am not correctly interpreting it in this instance, which is why I'm not sure in situation 2.
:)

Tubby
-22nd March 2004, 21:52
Originally posted by ChubbyHubby

rightly or wrongly at most competitions, the higher the level the more likely it will be given as B's hit. "A's attack was no, B attacks, A counter attacks."

so whatever the correct interperatation of the rules should be, I'd rather be B and get the hit any day (and watch A carded for arguing)! :transport Is that in both scenarios? In the first it is so PIL, in the second I'd have said B's point as A's continuation was not in time, until that is when Keith Smith said that PIL could be given moving forwards or backwards.
Originally posted by Keith.A.Smith
If the point in line is executed correctly it does not matter whether you are standing still or moving forwards or backwards.Even if you do a lunge, it is still a point in line, but the ref can get this latter one wrong.

The point in line must be in the high line and the point must stay threatening the target. If the balde is beaten, taken or you bend your arm then you no longer have a point in line.

Keith Chubbyhubby, as you are a regular on the Open circuit, do you encounter differing interpretations of PIL or is it like fool's mate in chess, no one ever gets hit with PIL at a higher level?

By the way, do any of you rule buffs know why the PIL has to be in the high line?

rory
-23rd March 2004, 08:35
If you want to score with PIL, make sure you're out of step lunge distance and at least tempo ahead when you establish it, or, without exception at Open level, you're screwed.

ChubbyHubby
-23rd March 2004, 09:34
Originally posted by Tubby
Chubbyhubby, as you are a regular on the Open circuit, do you encounter differing interpretations of PIL or is it like fool's mate in chess, no one ever gets hit with PIL at a higher level?

Generally fairly consistent for a given level of competition- ie. it has to be obviously PIL as Rory said, at the larger opens anyway.

At smaller opens fast counter attacks with a straight arm sometimes get given as PIL more by less experienced refs.

Personally, I'd say over a season in competitions I get hit by PIL maybe 4 to 5 times, and hit with PIL maybe 2 or 3 times.

PIL is generally used by better fencers to slow opponents attacks rather than to hit. See this alot at the WF A-grades I goto with BooBoo.


Originally posted by Tubby
By the way, do any of you rule buffs know why the PIL has to be in the high line?
'cos FIE said so?
:confused:

Robert
-23rd March 2004, 09:36
Originally posted by rory
If you want to score with PIL, make sure you're out of step lunge distance and at least tempo ahead when you establish it, or, without exception at Open level, you're screwed.

Rory is right. And to be fair, even if you do all this there are presidents who just will not call it your way, so give up and try something else.

Goodbadandme and Tubby,

The scenario you describe (A lunges, B dodges back, A stays in line, B attacks) causes argument at FIE level. I think it was Barry came huffing and puffing back from a meeting that the FIE had refused to issue clear guidance on this despite different FIE level refs giving it two different ways (if I remember correctly the Italian view was that B was performing a 'parry by distance'). The consensus view on the list was that it was A's point.

However, I don't think it is a matter of rules, it is actually a matter of 'fact' (in the rulebook sense of 'fact'). You 'see' one of these two things:

Attack no, PIL, you don't clear the line (A's hit)

Attack no, counter-attack yes, remise out of time (B's hit)

Scenario 1 sounds more like the first, Scenario 2 more like the second. But it is important to realise both those descriptions are clear-cut under the rules, it is just a matter of how the president sees the event.

Robert

P.S If anyone would like to correct my recollection of the last thread about this please feel free.

gbm
-23rd March 2004, 12:22
Originally posted by Robert
I think it was Barry came huffing and puffing back from a meeting that the FIE had refused to issue clear guidance on this despite different FIE level refs giving it two different ways (if I remember correctly the Italian view was that B was performing a 'parry by distance').

Well, if the Italian called it as B's point, then that's good enough for me (to give it to A!) :)

That seems to make sense to me; that's how I'd probably call it, if I called it.

Tubby
-23rd March 2004, 12:24
I thought I had PIL down pat until Keith's comments on being able to score PIL moving forwards or backwards. He goes on to say, even if you lunge it is still point in line, and that refs can get this wrong.

My take from this is that if PIL is established by A in scenario 2 with the lunge and B's step back (creating a period of time), A's lean forward isn't then a remise but PIL with lean (eqivalent to lunge (re Keith)).

So does parry by distance (as opposed to parry by displacement (dodge to me)) create PIL for A? If taking a step back does B create a period of fencing time making A's straight arm, PIL. If all B did was curve his body (suck his gut in) then lent forward to hit A a fraction before A's hit landed A would get the hit as attack, wouldn't he?

Therefore does parry by distance really exist coz if A lunged, B stepped back, A retract arm, B lunged and hit - ref says B attack A is hit point to B? Or would the ref say A attack, reposte good point to B?

gbm
-23rd March 2004, 12:30
Good point. I'd probably give it as A's point in both scenarios, actually.
Of course, if B presented PIL before A's redouble, then we are back to the very first scenario in this thread...
who's PIL has priority? A, B or neither?
I'd give it to the retreating fencer (or the fencer who is standing still), since he isn't skewering himself.

PS parry by distance is not a term used in the rules.
The rules say the parry is the action performed with the blade to prevent the offensive action arriving.

bydande
-23rd March 2004, 13:02
My personal preference for the first scenario would be to call it:
Attack from A - doesnt arrive, attack from B - is touche. point to B.
*** as long as the attack from B comes immediately after the end of the original attack from A ****

If there is hesitation or delay from B then I would call it as:
Attack from A - doesnt arrive, Remise from A - is touche. point to A.

But having said that, I do tell my own children that to avoid being at the mercy of the referees views on PIL, timing and/or Distance Parries - that if they have successfully avoided their opponents attack by stepping back then its best to beat or take the opponents blade when making their own attack so as to make it clear and "easy" for the referee to decide in their favour should both lights come on.

Australian
-23rd March 2004, 14:10
There is no such thing as 'parry by distance' in foil due to there being no specific reference to when the attack ends.

However obviously you can evade the blade, causing the attack to fail - but that is purely subjective on the part of the referee.

The whole 'parry by distance' concept comes from sabre, when the end of the attack is clearly defined as immediately after the front foot lands, thus it is much easier to call a counterattack in time.

nahouw
-24th March 2004, 02:06
Originally posted by goodbadandme
PS parry by distance is not a term used in the rules.
The rules say the parry is the action performed with the blade to prevent the offensive action arriving.

Right -- but "parry by distance" is the referee's terminology to easily explain to the attacker that his first attack missed becuase his opponent broke the distance, and hence made his first attack fall short, and that the fact that he does light a light is that it is a remise, which is out of time and does not have priority over the riposte.

It is just an easier way than to explain the whole phrasing.

pinkelephant
-24th March 2004, 07:58
"The attack is short" is a much better description, and has its own hand signal, which is completely different to the "parried" signal. A parry, by definition, is with the blade.

gbm
-24th March 2004, 13:37
And once the attack is short, it's PIL if the arm is left extended?
After all, the rules just say PIL is a specific position (which the fencer is now doing), which means attacks initiated against it must first deflect the blade?
As far as I can tell, nothing in the rules even says attacking and PIL are mutually exclusive.

Also the rules say that remises don't count against someone who has parried (unless they make a momentary pause); they don't say whether they count against a person who has merely retreated and not parried.

In situation 2, unless fencer B himself presents PIL, I'd give it as A's valid remise.

Much as I agree with the FIE's broad strategy for foil (i.e. losing the flick hits, giving guidance against bent arm attacks e.t.c.), I think their failure to give clear, concise guidance over many of the disputed issues in foil is the main reason for the arguments that occur. Maybe the FIE have decided epee is more telegenic? It seems to be working...

Australian
-24th March 2004, 13:58
Originally posted by goodbadandme
In situation 2, unless fencer B himself presents PIL, I'd give it as A's valid remise.

its got nothing to do with a remise. Either A maintains point in line or he doesn't.

If he does then he gets the hit, if he doesn't then its B's counterattack in time. Thats the debate.

Personally i think that the hit is awarded to A in both scenario's, however it does depend on the two fencers 'hitting each other'/'commencing movements' at the same time.

If, in scenario 2, the reason why A has to lean in is because he has fallen short, then he loses priority.

Otherwise i see no reason not to award the hit to A. (and i think i might have a little bit of say being a lvl 1 australian foil/epee referee, and done 8 age group national championship finals in the 3 months i've been in your rainy country :) )

but please please debate with me, i enjoy it :)

gbm
-24th March 2004, 14:07
Argh, the many myriad ways of expressing the same thing! If it was an immediate followup I think (thought?) it is a remise, because the rules just say a remise is a renewal of the attack after it fails dues to a parry or a dodge or the opponent retreating.

This is not an area of the rules I'm especially familiar with to be honest.

gbm
-24th March 2004, 14:08
The FIE should have an online question-and-answer session every week so they can answer questions like this.

Mr Rene Roch, what's your opinion...

Australian
-24th March 2004, 14:15
Originally posted by goodbadandme
Argh, the many myriad ways of expressing the same thing! If it was an immediate followup I think (thought?) it is a remise, because the rules just say a remise is a renewal of the attack after it fails dues to a parry or a dodge or the opponent retreating.

but point in line is established (isn't it?)

thus


t.56
6. If the attack is initiated when the opponent is ‘point in line’ (cf. t.10), the attacker must, first, deflect the opponent’s blade. Referees must ensure that a mere contact of the blades is not considered as sufficient to deflect the opponent’s blade

so i say hit to A

gbm
-24th March 2004, 15:30
I said hit to A as well, but I'm not sure why (there seems to be multiple explanations?)

Australian
-24th March 2004, 16:03
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I said hit to A as well, but I'm not sure why (there seems to be multiple explanations?)

my call is:

Point in Line A, hit A

Tubby
-24th March 2004, 17:09
Originally posted by Australian
If, in scenario 2, the reason why A has to lean in is because he has fallen short, then he loses priority.

Otherwise i see no reason not to award the hit to A.

The reason I posed scenario 2 is to tease out the thorny issue of PIL with movement. If in scenario 1 PIL is established, isn't it also established in scenario 2 when B steps back? Keith Smith's contribution to this thread was that PIL could be valid with a lunge, so a lean in should also be valid. Why would A lose priority?

pinkelephant
-24th March 2004, 17:21
PIL IS VALID WHICHEVER DIRECTION FEET/BODY/BELLY/WHATEVER IS MOVING IN.

gbm
-24th March 2004, 18:50
Which I agree with, with one possible exception:
what happens when both fencers are PIL? e.g. B steps back, presents PIL, then A advances with his PIL?
I'd say that it should be the 'defender's' point, since PIL is defensive...

3 Card Trick
-24th March 2004, 20:30
I think that we are getting away from reality here guys. This is all far too philosophical.

In practice one fencer goes PIL and the other either does something about it or not. If both fencers go PIL and just stand there, call it passivity and move on.

If one fencer has PIL and then the other goes PIL it doesn't alter the fact that the first fencer had and still has PIL.

In practice if both fencers have PIL and neither tries to take the blade at least one of them is being very dumb.

I have been refereeing now for more years than I care to remember and this issue just isn't one that really deserves the enormous amount of time that seems to be being spent on it.

As to how the Rules are worded, the big fencing nations like it that way, I have heard various very sensible and various not very sensible suggestions for changes to the wording of the attack, PIL etc. None of them have a cat's chance in hell of ever getting passed at a congress.

I guess what I am really saying is that this debate just isn't about WHAT IS.
:moon:

Tubby
-24th March 2004, 23:05
Originally posted by 3 Card Trick


I have been refereeing now for more years than I care to remember and this issue just isn't one that really deserves the enormous amount of time that seems to be being spent on it.
So what is your opinion on scenario 2, who's point? Is it PIL or remise out of time?

3 Card Trick
-25th March 2004, 07:07
A, once there is a line there is a line. Don't do anything about it and you are dumb. A line is aline standing still going forwards or going backwards. Beware using unnecessary complications and bad phraseology.

A "parry by distance" is in fact "SHORT"

A remise is a replacement in the same line, note REPLACEMENT.

A IS A LINE IS A LINE IS A LINE (to paraphrase Gertrude Stein):moon:

gbm
-25th March 2004, 08:13
And if both fencers do have PIL? I've seen it happen at my club, it would be useful to know who is being dumb and who is being 'less' dumb? Or is it simultaneous?
While it's unlikely to happen at the international level, PIL is used far more often at my level.
Glad to know 'parry by distance' is a myth, though.

3 Card Trick
-25th March 2004, 08:46
Originally posted by 3 Card Trick

If one fencer has PIL and then the other goes PIL it doesn't alter the fact that the first fencer had and still has PIL.



And note my point about passivity. Both fencers standing with PIL rather negates the whole concept of foil as a weapon where there is interaction of blade, timing and distance.

gbm
-25th March 2004, 20:21
I've just realised the problem is that neither fencing is attacking. What happens if neither fencer is attacking, but they both hit by means of one or both advancing? (not that it's ever going to happen very often...)

ChubbyHubby
-25th March 2004, 20:46
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I've just realised the problem is that neither fencing is attacking. What happens if neither fencer is attacking, but they both hit by means of one or both advancing? (not that it's ever going to happen very often...)

Could it be that by pondering meaningless scenarios rather than thinking of ways of actually improving your fencing, that you fence for 4-5 times a week (correct me if I misunderstood your earlier posts) and STILL get knocked out of the first round in the PLATE at the Welsh open two years in a row? :moon:

Spend the time doing footwork, swap the french grip for a pistol grip and watch/fence some better people - might actually improve your fencing more! ;)

gbm
-25th March 2004, 21:00
At the moment, I can't fence, so I have another week or so to ponder meaningless scenarios :)

3 Card Trick
-25th March 2004, 22:06
I shall not post on any more meaningless scenarios.

Rdb811
-26th March 2004, 01:07
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I've just realised the problem is that neither fencing is attacking. What happens if neither fencer is attacking, but they both hit by means of one or both advancing? (not that it's ever going to happen very often...)

The coach makes something up and hopes they come back for their second lesson.

Prometheus
-26th March 2004, 09:00
Nah.

The coach gets his gun and shoots them thus skimming some more crud off the surface of the human gene pool.

Boo Boo
-26th March 2004, 09:09
Originally posted by ChubbyHubby
Could it be that by pondering meaningless scenarios rather than thinking of ways of actually improving your fencing, that you fence for 4-5 times a week (correct me if I misunderstood your earlier posts) and STILL get knocked out of the first round in the PLATE at the Welsh open two years in a row? :moon:

Sounds like someone needs their rear end paddling and to be sent to bed without any supper - play nice with the other children Chubby...

Boo

reposte
-26th March 2004, 09:42
Sounds like someone needs their rear end paddling

The famous British touch? ;) :tongue: and a becoming icon: :moon:

gbm
-26th March 2004, 13:48
I have seen it happen though (two fencers PIL, one moving forwards, one retreating)! Who, if anybody, am I supposed to give to?
(in fact, it may have happened to me a few weeks ago...)

srb
-26th March 2004, 13:51
You need a wet fish and a Monty Python sketch. Then after you have dealt with them, they need to give up fencing and take up tiddly winks.

srb

gbm
-26th March 2004, 13:57
I am obviously suffering from fencing withdrawal...

only another week or so to go...