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Pointy stick
-7th February 2004, 13:02
Am I right in this?:

For an attack to assume priority, the arm must at least begin to extend (even if it never completely straightens)with the point threatening the target (even if it is not actually directly in line).

Moving forwards with the arm bent does not constitute an attack.

Thus, if one fencer moves forwards with arm bent, and the other reacts by extending his arm, and the points land more or less at the same time, the one who extended his arm would have right of way.

But if the fencer with the bent arm clearly hits first by quite a margin, then of course it's a hit, even if the "attack" wasn't executed in such a way as to gain priority. (That is, if yours is the only hit in town, you don't need priority, because priority only matters when deciding between two hits which are in the same period of fencing time.)

Still struggling to understand this, because I'm getting conflicting explanations from various sources.

Prometheus
-8th February 2004, 22:01
True, but in a step-lunge the action has priority from the step even if the arm is not straightened initially, although it has to be straightening before the lunge.

t56 (a) 3

3. The attack with a step-forward-lunge or a step-forward-flèche is correctly executed when the extending of the arm precedes the end of the step forward and the initiation of the lunge or the flèche.

Robert
-9th February 2004, 10:37
I would be interested to hear an authorative opinion. I believe, and it is defined at the start of the rules, that the attack begins when the arm starts to straighten. Prometheus is correct that it must begin to straigten before the lunge, but if two fencers correctly execute an attack then the one whose arm started to straighten first is the attacker, and the other is counter-attacking.



But if the fencer with the bent arm clearly hits first by quite a margin, then of course it's a hit, even if the "attack" wasn't executed in such a way as to gain priority. (That is, if yours is the only hit in town, you don't need priority, because priority only matters when deciding between two hits which are in the same period of fencing time.)


Only if there is one light, which means the first blow landed 7/10 of a second before the other. If Fencer A slowly (very slowly) extends their arm, and Fencer B jabs them, and Fencer A's hand arrives 5/10 of a second later, then Fencer A has priority. (Not a very likely scenario). Unless, of course B then steps back, parries, or remises, thus demonstrating he is a whole unit of fencing time ahead. (At least that is the way I understand it)



Still struggling to understand this, because I'm getting conflicting explanations from various sources.


Not a surprise. Has anyone heard any news about the rules for dummies course that was promised last time there was a lot of discussion about presiding?

Robert

Robert
-9th February 2004, 10:51
Originally posted by Prometheus
True, but in a step-lunge the action has priority from the step even if the arm is not straightened initially, although it has to be straightening before the lunge.


I just realised my post contradicts Prometheus. I think Prometheus is wrong here, t.56 a (1) which he quotes above is only concerned with the correctness of an attack, not priority. Correctness is necessary to have priority but it is not sufficient. In this case two fencers can correctly execute attacks but the one who starts first has priority (t.60 1 (a)).

And t.7 definition of attack
- The attack is the initial offensive action made by extending the arm and continuously threatening the opponent's target, preceding the launching of the lunge or fleche.

So, if you start to straighten your arm as your front font lands (half way through the step forward) the oponent could gain priority at any time before that by simply extending their arm and lunging.

Robert

Winwaloe
-9th February 2004, 15:53
Re step –lunge - - if the arm is static i.e not straightening on the step then the step must surely be a preparation of the attack. The attack only commences with the straightening of the arm?

Thoughts on this please – left and right hand foilists - - right hander moves forward in sixte. Left hand moves forward with blade mid level and horizontal across the body (resembles dropped quinte) Sequence as follows – left hander coming forward with blade position as described. Right hander, anticipating a flick hit feints parry carte, flick does not arrive (left hander retains blade in horizontal, fixed position) so right hander attacks and hits, left hander then flicks and hits. Hit given to left hander on the basis that right hander feinting parry loses priority (if he had it) and left hander gains it. Thoughts please!

AND - when does movement of the non sword arm and/or shoulder constitue covering? especially as some fencers come on guard with the free hand in front of them

Prometheus
-9th February 2004, 16:16
Originally posted by Robert
I just realised my post contradicts Prometheus. I think Prometheus is wrong here, t.56 a (1) which he quotes above is only concerned with the correctness of an attack, not priority. Correctness is necessary to have priority but it is not sufficient. In this case two fencers can correctly execute attacks but the one who starts first has priority (t.60 1 (a)).

And t.7 definition of attack
- The attack is the initial offensive action made by extending the arm and continuously threatening the opponent's target, preceding the launching of the lunge or fleche.

So, if you start to straighten your arm as your front font lands (half way through the step forward) the oponent could gain priority at any time before that by simply extending their arm and lunging.

Robert


Robert,

With me carefully read the following preface to Rule t. 56:



III. VALIDITY OR PRIORITY OF THE HIT

1. Preface

t.55 The Referee alone decides as to the validity or the priority of the hit by applying the following basic rules which are the conventions applicable to foil fencing.


er- no I'm not wrong. You are confusing T 7. which is a definition of terminology for actions at all weapons. The priority for each weapon in detail is then explained in the section dealing with that weapon and explains how you determine priority for that weapon.

I guess this is part of the problem with the rules that they are not clearly fool proof or perhaps idiot proof?:moon:

Prometheus
-9th February 2004, 16:20
Infact to state it more strongly and clearly that if you continue to misunderstand and propagate an incorrect interpretation of the rules you will without doubt never achieve any great success in competitive foil, not only for yourself but for those that through naivety listen to you.

grrrr.

haggis
-9th February 2004, 16:42
Originally posted by Prometheus
Infact to state it more strongly and clearly that if you continue to misunderstand and propagate an incorrect interpretation of the rules you will without doubt never achieve any great success in competitive foil, not only for yourself but for those that through naivety listen to you.

grrrr.

Thank you for that Prometheus. Saved me the bother:)

Robert
-9th February 2004, 17:11
Originally posted by Prometheus
Robert,

With me carefully read the following preface to Rule t. 56:

er- no I'm not wrong. You are confusing T 7. which is a definition of terminology for actions at all weapons. The priority for each weapon in detail is then explained in the section dealing with that weapon and explains how you determine priority for that weapon.

I guess this is part of the problem with the rules that they are not clearly fool proof or perhaps idiot proof?:moon:

t.56 3 (a) doesn't say anything about priority at all. The part of the preface you skipped quoting says that all inititial attacks must be parried or avoided.

I accept that you might be right, and I might be wrong, but in your response you failed to explain why you might be right (where as I explained very clearly why I thought you were wrong). Given that, the vehemence of your response seems inappropriate.

So I'll restate the question for your benefit. If two fencers attack correctly with a simple attack, how do you (or can you) determine priority?

Robert

Caveat: If you watch people presiding (who are other fencers not qualified presidents) they call on the basis of different things. They are looking for something to indicate that an attack has started, and what that thing is varies. Some people look for the arm straightening at the elbow, some follow the point, some look at the shoulder, some look for forward movement, some look for aggression. This means that when the call is close you need to be fencing to the president, not to the rules. If you ever get hung up on fencing to what the president SHOULD be saying (as Prometheus has) rather that what he IS saying you get into trouble.

gbm
-9th February 2004, 18:37
For some reason, my computer will not respond when I look at the rules, but section 4 of t.56 says, basically, actions executed with a bent arm are preparations and leave you open to a counter-attack. If your arm is extending BEFORE the lunge, then it is a step-forward attack, but the intiation of the extension of the arm must precede any offensive action (i.e. a stop hit) from the opponent.

Prometheus
-9th February 2004, 21:51
Originally posted by Robert
t.56 3 (a) doesn't say anything about priority at all. The part of the preface you skipped quoting says that all inititial attacks must be parried or avoided.

I accept that you might be right, and I might be wrong, but in your response you failed to explain why you might be right (where as I explained very clearly why I thought you were wrong). Given that, the vehemence of your response seems inappropriate.

So I'll restate the question for your benefit. If two fencers attack correctly with a simple attack, how do you (or can you) determine priority?

Robert

Caveat: If you watch people presiding (who are other fencers not qualified presidents) they call on the basis of different things. They are looking for something to indicate that an attack has started, and what that thing is varies. Some people look for the arm straightening at the elbow, some follow the point, some look at the shoulder, some look for forward movement, some look for aggression. This means that when the call is close you need to be fencing to the president, not to the rules. If you ever get hung up on fencing to what the president SHOULD be saying (as Prometheus has) rather that what he IS saying you get into trouble.

Robert, you should know, as you imply, that most foil fencers are inadequately aware of the rules and their application.

You asked a simple question and I replied with a somewhat strong, admittedly, response.

The rule t. 56 states the only situations in which priority can be attained. This is in the section clearly titled 'VALIDITY OR PRIORITY OF THE HIT' for foil. All of these rules can give you priority. None excludes the others. Remember the simple attack is only one of many as stated in this section along with a step-lunge.

Practically, when seperating the actions of fencers you need to consider the following:

a) who started the initial offensive action first be it simple attack, compound attack etc.

b) if a stop hit is made is it in time i.e. did it hit one complete period before the concluding action of a compound attack.

Of course sometimes the attacks start so close or actually together that they can only be described as simultaneous but you should be aware that often what appears to be a simultaneous attack is a counter attack that is just very quick - essentially a response to the initial attack.

At this point I must stress that a stop hit is going to stop the opponent in his tracks - it is so clearly ahead of the opponent's hit that a blind man with his head in the sand can see it as such (depending on the level of competition).

Above all the referee needs to interpret the actions of the fencers to understand what the intention of the action is - to take the blade, to beat the blade etc.

Two simple attacks executed at the same time are simultaneous regardless as to whether they land at the same time.

Things to watch out for with dodgy referees (other foilists)

i) they say 'one under, one over'

ii) that light came on first.

iii) they have a love of the phrase 'preparation'

Back to the rules:

In what way do you contradict all of this? By the rulings of foilists who have learnt by osmosis from other misinformed foilists. I know this can be the case as I too started out knowing nothing and learning the hard way. I also have to state at this point that a friend of mine is acquainted with your club so I am fully aware of the situations you describe.

If you submit to the correctness of what I state I will bet that you will discover a whole new area of foil fencing that will enable you to fence to a level much higher than you imagine right now. No intention of being patronising as I admit that I too have been confused by the different ways priority were applied in bouts at competitions when I started to compete. Like any intelligent person you need to make sense of a situation with apparently contradicting definitions but these contradictions are the noise of assumption and ignorance. It is true that you fence to the president even if he does not make sense as that is the only sensible way to win in such a case. It's a test of character.

My advice is to find a qualified president (oops, sorry, referee) at the next competition and observe their presiding, try 3CT.

Try and follow the explanations and if necessary enquire how they arrive at those interpretations. I'm sure they will enlighten you further. Believe me it is much simpler than it appears.

Good luck

Prometheus

Robert
-10th February 2004, 10:08
Thank you Prometheus,

That was a more considered response.


Originally posted by Prometheus
Robert, you should know, as you imply, that most foil fencers are inadequately aware of the rules and their application.


I am aware, and expect that my understanding of the rules is imperfect (Australian has had to correct my understanding of the rules governing the fleche before), and make no special claim. However, I refuse to accept something because someone told me, I need a clear explanation which can be logically related to the rules. If I didn't then I would be guilty of exactly the sort of osmosis learning you suggest.




The rule t. 56 states the only situations in which priority can be attained. This is in the section clearly titled 'VALIDITY OR PRIORITY OF THE HIT' for foil. All of these rules can give you priority. None excludes the others. Remember the simple attack is only one of many as stated in this section along with a step-lunge.
[b][quote]
Correct. But I didn't dispute that. As you say yourself these situations CAN give priority, they are not enough in themselves. And the particular point we are discussing is what happens when two fencers correctly execute attacks.

[quote]
a) who started the initial offensive action first be it simple attack, compound attack etc.

Yes. In fact that is what I said in my first post. The person who begins the attack first has priority and the other person is counter-attacking. A post you vehemently attacked as being not just wrong but dangerous to the very fabric of our sport. (What we seem to disagree on is what constitutes the start of the attack, but I'm not sure we even really disagree on that).



Of course sometimes the attacks start so close or actually together that they can only be described as simultaneous but you should be aware that often what appears to be a simultaneous attack is a counter attack that is just very quick - essentially a response to the initial attack.

Two simple attacks executed at the same time are simultaneous regardless as to whether they land at the same time.

Also what I said in my initial posts. That it is when the attack starts, not when it lands that counts. Now, here is where the disagreement is coming. I said that the attack starts when the arm begins to straighten (and that this must be before you start a lunge or fleche). You said that in a step-lunge you have priority right at the start, BEFORE the arm straightens:


[b]
True, but in a step-lunge the action has priority from the step even if the arm is not straightened initially, although it has to be straightening before the lunge.

t56 (a) 3


But as I pointed out t56 (a) 3 doesn't say that. It specifies the condition for the attack being correct. And if you read t.56 (a) "Every attack, that is every initial offensive action, which is correctly executed...", which I read to mean that an attack must be correct BUT it must also start before the oponents attack. And since the attack is the straightening of the arm (not the footwork), which was why I quoted the definition of an attack, it begins when the arm starts to straighten, not when the foot starts to move.

I looked it up in the Keith Smith guidelines and that also seemed to specify that it was the arm straightening that initiated the attack.

The point is this:

If fencer A steps forward and fencer B straightens arm and lunges BUT fencer A begins to straighten his arm prior to completing his step (but well after B) and then lunges, who gets the hit?

I said B because he initiates his attack (by straigtening his arm) first. So B attacks, A counter-attacks. But you clearly and distinctly said in your first post (which I quoted above), that A gets the hit because his foot started to move first, and he has priority from that moment.



b) if a stop hit is made is it in time i.e. did it hit one complete period before the concluding action of a compound attack.
[quote]
This is irrelevant to the discussion. We are discussing how to distinguish attack and counter-attack.

[quote]
In what way do you contradict all of this? By the rulings of foilists who have learnt by osmosis from other misinformed foilists. I know this can be the case as I too started out knowing nothing and learning the hard way.


No, I contradict this, as I have in all my posts by repeated references to an agreed referrant (the FIE rules, or FIE guidelines), applied in a logical and consistent manner, addressing the whole of the argument you placed forward.



I also have to state at this point that a friend of mine is acquainted with your club so I am fully aware of the situations
you describe.

I presume you mean Wingerworth (I'm not sure if you're confusing myself with Pointystick, who actually asked the initial question). If so I can only take this as a reference to the lack of any qualified presidents at the club, an undesirable situation. Though I'm not quite sure what point you are trying to make by raising it.



If you submit to the correctness of what I state I will bet that you will discover a whole new area of foil fencing that will enable you to fence to a level much higher than you imagine right now.


If I submit to your opinion without you first providing a coherent argument that addresses my concerns (and those of Winwaloe and GoodBadandMe) then I am guitly of exactly the sort of learning by osmosis that causes most of these problems in the first place.



No intention of being patronising as I admit that I too have been confused by the different ways priority were applied in bouts at competitions when I started to compete.


I am sure you have no intention of being patronising, but I wasn't confused. I might be wrong, but I wasn't confused. And this is what led me to think you might be confusing my response with Pointystick's original question.

Robert

Gav
-10th February 2004, 10:23
I was thinking of reply to this thread but I've chaged my mind.

Prometheus
-10th February 2004, 10:40
splash,splash

the sound of Prometheus washing his hands of this thread.....

gbm
-10th February 2004, 11:28
In an attempt to end this thread:

Arm straightening first = start of attack which is capable of establishing priority. End of story.

I could be wrong, but I don't think so. I say the attack is 'capable' of establishing priority because you obviously cannot establish priority against point-in-line or an attack already in progress (a stop hit). However, footwork has no bearing on priority. Also, when I say attack I mean the final action which has priority, not the compound actions which may precede this action, which is not strictly in agreement with the FIE description of an attack. Is there a word for the final action which has priority in French or English?

It's a good thing the FIE make it simple, isn't it, with their clear, readable and instructive rules that nobody would ever misunderstand?

Does anybody know if there is less confusion at the 'ground level' abroad over the rules? By ground level I mean my level, local club/competition level.

Australian
-10th February 2004, 11:32
If fencer A steps forward and fencer B straightens arm and lunges BUT fencer A begins to straighten his arm prior to completing his step (but well after B) and then lunges, who gets the hit?

I said B because he initiates his attack (by straigtening his arm) first. So B attacks, A counter-attacks. But you clearly and distinctly said in your first post (which I quoted above), that A gets the hit because his foot started to move first, and he has priority from that moment.

Don't worry mate, i was debating the same thing with myself 6 months ago.

In Theory: it should still be A's attack.

In Practice: B's stop hit is established whilst A's arm is well back and staying there - so i'd imagine that 99% of competant presidents would call it Attack-in-prep B, counter A.



Maybe i'm visualising the situation differently.. feel free to correct me

rory
-10th February 2004, 11:56
Does anybody know if there is less confusion at the 'ground level' abroad over the rules? By ground level I mean my level, local club/competition level.

The difference abroad (at least in Hungary, where I've lived and fenced extensively) is that there, the beginners listen to the fencers who've got experience.

The club I trained at is a good example. Fencers mostly referee their own fights - i.e. there's no referee, you just keep count yourselves. I never once saw an argument about priority take place - understanding of the rules is instilled in the beginners throug hlessons, bouting and osmosis.

In this country it strikes me that there are far too many rank beginners who think that reading books is any substitute for fencing.

At the Slough I was faced with a shining example of this - I had a first-comp beginner in my pool, who insisted on arguing decisions with myself, Si Smith and Steve Glaister Jr - even going so far as to loudly insinuate that Steve was incompetent. If I'd been reffing he'd have been black carded, but Steve's a nicer bloke than I.
Between the three of us there's got to be at least 35-40 years of fencing, and we're getting argument, on piste, from a guy who can't even plug himself into a box?
Gimme a break.

Beginners:
Put down the book.
Be quiet.
Don't argue.
Especially don't argue with the ref - cards will appear.

Basically just shut up moaning, try and concentrate on *hitting your opponent*. When you can hit your opponent, and your opponent is ranked in, say, the top 50, your opinions on refereeing, timing, flicking and all your other moans will be considered.

If you phrase them nicely.
;)

Tubby
-10th February 2004, 12:40
Geez, and I thought the running forward with the arm bent foil pointing to the ceiling somewhere behind the fencers head getting ready to flick when the fencer backing up lunges and the flicker flicks and two lights come on was contentious enough. But this is good stuff. Its like reading a good foil bout.

All the coaches I've spoken with on the very scenario, attack into preparation vs counter attack, have said attack into preparation, as person whose arm is extending first has ROW. Then the caveat about "but you've got to work out what the prez, sorry, ref is 1) seeing 2) giving".

Mind you same source did tell me about PIL becoming counter attack if initial PIL becomes a lunge into the other fencer's lunge as I've described elsewhere on the forum and been rubbished by a fellow poster.

Prometheus
-10th February 2004, 12:51
the coach is correct Tubby, PIL is counter attack if it isn't maintained as PIL when the opponent lunges.

Of nearly 10 coaches I know I would say that only 6 of them have actually read the rules properly. Being a coach is no guarantee of expertise on the rules unfortunately.

I suggest, for certainty, that next time you enquire do so to a qualified FIE foil referee - there aren't many around though. Fortunately Rory, myself and others have spent a lot of time being refereed by qualified presidents......

srb
-10th February 2004, 16:00
Just because you know the rules doesn't mean that you can;

a) fence
b) preside

To be able to either fence or preside well you have to be able to 'see' or 'read' fencing, which are not skills that everyone can achieve. It is not something that can be learnt from a book.

So as Rory says, spend less time worrying about the rules, learn to fence, and the ability to preside may come with experience. If it doesn't, let someone else do it.

srb

gbm
-10th February 2004, 20:40
Originally posted by srb
Just because you know the rules doesn't mean that you can;

a) fence
b) preside

To be able to either fence or preside well you have to be able to 'see' or 'read' fencing, which are not skills that everyone can achieve. It is not something that can be learnt from a book.

So as Rory says, spend less time worrying about the rules, learn to fence, and the ability to preside may come with experience. If it doesn't, let someone else do it.

srb

I assume, srb, that you are at a much higher level of fencing than I am. It is not like Hungary down at the bottom where I live, and learning by watching fencing only helps strengthen myths unless somebody at least knows the rules, and that can mean:
a) learning off somebody who knows them back to front (my understanding is there is about 3 people in the UK who are FIE refs, and maybe 200 fencers at a high enough level to really really know the rules?)
b) just read the rules. Obviously not ideal, but a lot better than learning by bad example.

One thing you definitely cannot do without being a good fencer is referee, but I don't claim to be a good referee. In fact I'm rubbish, and I try and avoid it generally at club level (which probably doesn't help, I know). But sometimes I have to, and if I don't know the rules...
You can't be a good referee unless you are both a good fencer who is experienced at refereeing, AND you know the rules (either from other people who REALLY know them or from the book itself). You can still referee, of course, as often happens, but this is the main problem with many low level competitions anyway.

Prometheus
-10th February 2004, 22:04
200?

more like 20!

Prometheus
-10th February 2004, 22:09
You must preside at the club! If you don't then you will never gain what you seek.

Quite commonly clubs have an unwritten rule that you must preside to then come on and fence - unless you're an epeeist in which case zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

JohnL
-10th February 2004, 22:11
I'll admit that a good referee should know the rules, however, I'll also state that my favorite referees were always the ones that had a "feel" for the fight that was taking place and could actually get the ROW correct. (By "correct" I meant that they agreed with me.)

I found that referees quoting rules at me were invariably doing so to hide their total lack of ability to give the hits to the right person. (Namely, me) These were generally referee's who didn't fence.

Likewise when refereeing a bout, I used rules as a last resort. I'd try to give the hit correctly, explain my decision to a fencer if asked, and try to keep a sense of humour. Only after those avenues were exhausted would I use a rule.

srb
-11th February 2004, 09:43
Originally posted by JohnL
referees were always the ones that had a "feel" for the fight

goodbadandme

JohnL here re-iterates my point about 'seeing' or 'reading' fencing. This only comes about with experience. So as Prometheus says you need to practice presiding at the club. Don't be fooled into thinking that knowing the rules with effect your ability to 'read' a fight.

srb

(still recovering from agreeing with Prometheus)

Prometheus
-11th February 2004, 10:27
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I assume, srb, that you are at a much higher level of fencing than I am.

I believe that SRB was once a National Age group champion or something? He's far too modest to admit to that himself of course.

bydande
-12th February 2004, 14:47
Getting back to one of the original questions about priority in step-lunge attacks, consider the following questions from the FIE refereeing exam list.

1. Fencer X makes a simple attack with advance-lunge while Fencer Y, who has been waiting to time Fencer X' action, immediately extends the arm before the start of X's lunge. Both fencers hit valid, within the same tempo.
I believe the official FIE answer to this question is: Hit for X.

2. Fencer X is at double advance plus lunge distance and makes a double advance plus lunge attack while Fencer Y, who has been waiting to time Fencer X' action, immediately extends the arm before the start of X's advance-lunge. Both fencers hit valid.
I believe the official FIE answer to this question is: Hit for Y.

The questions are from the official list of questions given to me by BFA prior to doing the refereeing course at Inverclyde last year.

Australian
-12th February 2004, 14:57
answering those questions is a matter of reading the rulebook :)

bydande
-12th February 2004, 15:26
Australian,
I think you may have missed the point of my posting.
I have read the book, answered the questions, passed the exam and got the T-shirt - though not necessarily all in that order. :)

Earlier in this thread Robert & Promethius were having a slight disagreement as to when "priority" is established in the step-lunge scenario. My posting was just highlighting that it was Promethius's interpretation that is in line with the official answers to these two FIE refereeing exam questions.

Or am I missing your point - that these are just book questions and therefore not relevant to real world fencing?

Australian
-12th February 2004, 16:12
exactly :)

anyone can make a judgement online or on paper about an action, but its how you call it when you are refereeing, with real fencers and real competition that really matters

gbm
-12th February 2004, 21:12
I don't understand the FIE questions and answers, mostly because I do everything off arm extensions. Obviously I'm missing something, since the FIE at least are correct. Are there any hidden assumptions here? Or am I just missing something?
I don't like to not know the answer to something. If I really knew fencing better I'd probably be a better referee.

Tubby
-13th February 2004, 00:02
I second that - a step is a step, if the arm is extending isn't that when the "attack" starts? How do you know, as a ref, that a fencer is going to attack and not just continue to advance?

If fencer A steps forward and fencer B lunges with straight arm and it so happens that fencer A was going to lunge but the arm didn't go before B how do you differentiate that from A steps forward B lunges and A as a reaction to B's lunge changes what would have been a second step into a lunge?

Is a ref supposed to use ESP to sus what fencer A was going to do or watch the arm?

Maybe I've missed the point (wouldn't be the first time)

Is the assumption to Bydande's example 1. that "simple attack with advance lunge" means arm begins to extend on the step and continues to or completely extend with the lunge and therefore is, by definition, the attack?

In example 2. this is point in line "in time". Or have I got that one wrong as well?

Australian
-13th February 2004, 07:53
thats how i'd call it tubby... no need to assume anything

bydande
-13th February 2004, 09:54
goodbadandme

The first FIE question makes an assumption that the "step-lunge" attack has been correctly carried out as per the definition in t56.3
"The attack with a step-forward-lunge or step-forward-fleche is correctly executed when the straightening of the arm precedes the end of the step forward and the initiation of the lunge or the fleche"

So examples:
Fencer X takes a step and his arm starts to extend before the end of the step. After the step both fencers lunge simultaneously. According to the FIE this is a hit for Fencer X because he established priority during the step. Because his arm was extending before the end of the step it is not a preparation but the start of the attack.

Conversely. If Fencer X steps with no arm movement and then both fencers lunge simultaneously it is together and no hit is awarded. Fencer X's step was preperation because there was no arm extension.


For the second FIE question I have always assumed that the thinking behind it is something like this:
Because Fencer X has taken 2 steps before the lunge it does not qualify as a step lunge attack and it therefore fails to establish priority or due to the extra step it loses any prioity it might have established at the end of the first step. As a result, Fencer Y established his priority by extending his arm as PIL or into a lunge just before Fencer X which is why it is point to fencer Y rather than X.

This is just the way I rationalise it to myself - just before I tick "Hit to Fencer Y" on the exam sheet because I have learned that this is what they want. Although it sort of makes sense to me, I acknowledge it may not be the right explanation and that others may have a better explanation.

Prometheus
-13th February 2004, 10:43
The more I read these posts the clearer it becomes that the refereeing technique of observing the fencing actions is not understood properly.

You cannot tell the future action so you watch the play and after the touch you look back on the actions and from this benefit of hindsight you know that an advance-lunge was executed. This implies that you are watching particular areas. The feet, the hand for the timing of the attack. You register these things from both parties and chronolically decide the priority according to the rules.

To do this requires practice and experience of recognising the actions for what they are. Step lunges can often be quite subtle or filled with visual noise. After all how many of us actually execute an perfect action?

Other factors:

This all assumes that you are well positioned to see both fencer's actions.

You may need to rely on some element of peripheral vision to see all of the actions of both fencers.

Australian is wrong. You fence to the rules, if you cannot describe the decision by the FIE rules what sort of decisions are you making? Once you leave the rules you are on the slippery slope that often propagates threads like these.

Australian
-13th February 2004, 12:08
of course you fence to the rules... but being able to quote every single rule in the book will not make you a good referee.

If you watch me referee foil you will notice that i will phrase every single action, even if it is off target or one light - and i'd like to think i get very few incorrect...

When did i ever leave the rules? My comment is, is that it is actual refereeing practice, and not reading the rulebook that will make you a good referee

Prometheus
-13th February 2004, 13:19
Now for some more pedantry, and a chance to drop kick Australian's little gems of wisdom (forgive the intentionally unsubtle allusion to the recent World Champions' victory in RU ;))


of course you fence to the rules... but being able to quote every single rule in the book will not make you a good referee.

And not being able to quote the rules means you can't back up your decisions if needed. Perhaps the ability to quote the pertinent rules would be a start and not propagate a slack interpretation of the fundamental basis of the weapon which has led to people getting confused.


If you watch me referee foil you will notice that i will phrase every single action, even if it is off target or one light - and i'd like to think i get very few incorrect...

Phrasing actions is very commendable and useful as the feedback for the fencers, but still no guarantee of quality of refereeing.


When did i ever leave the rules?

When you agreed with Tubby that the arm extension is all you go on. Which either indicates you disagree with rule T.56 3 or you don't think that foil rules matter.


My comment is, is that it is actual refereeing practice, and not reading the rulebook that will make you a good referee

Of course practice helps but as in all things practising incorrectly merely confirms bad habits.

Although I am pompous, pedantic, and patronising (to go on with this list of faults would be to exceed the limit of characters available in one posting) I am fully aware that I make errors in judgement during presiding, but the difference is I don't think I make a few mistakes - I know I make mistakes because I know the rules. It does however make me realise how human I am , although you may have other opinions on that possibility now. :transport

Australian
-13th February 2004, 15:17
okies okies okies.... i'll concede that a few generalisations were made, and lets clarify

rules are essential to refereeing any of the 3 weapons, but knowing them backwards won't make you a good referee

arm extension is the main thing you should look for in the attack, but there are other things equally critical


Of course practice helps but as in all things practising incorrectly merely confirms bad habits.

very true... what was that saying about perfect practice... meh



mental note: never get in a war of words with prometheus

note to prometheus: we'll beat ya in france 2007 ya bastard
:grin:

Prometheus
-13th February 2004, 15:24
note to prometheus: we'll beat ya in france 2007 ya bastard

More predicting results before they've happened, eh :moon:

You missed out the 'Pommie' in it too:)

bydande
-13th February 2004, 15:51
Personally I think they should have handled the rugby world cup final in the same way that one hit epee is handled. It was all level at the end of full time so it should have been counted as a "double defeat" and the cup given to some other nation - like Tonga or Fiji .......

Prometheus
-13th February 2004, 16:02
or Scotland I suppose?

Wouldn't it look a bit out of place next to all those wooden spoons?:rambo:

Can't wait till Sunday and the decimation of the legions of Italia.....:rambo: :rambo:

Robert
-13th February 2004, 20:35
Bydande, Australian (possibly Prometheus as his decision to wash his hands of this thread seems to have been premature),

Three days away and I'm feeling a little less heated about this discussion. I think that there is more than one thing being discussed here, and I'm going to try and re-iterate my previous thoughts more clearly (as Prometheus has failed to convince me).

The first is a technical discussion of the rules. The second is a discussion about how the rules are applied. And the third is a problem about how we (all of us) learn.

First--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is my argument:


t.56 Every attack, that is every initial offensive action, which is correctly executed must be parried or completely avoided...

We all agree what this rule means... in order to have priority your attack must have qualities 1 and 2 (both qualities, one of two isn't good enough) - it must be 1 correct, and 2 first (start before the other guy's correct action).

I think that is agreed, the dispute comes over deciding when an action starts, and therefore whose is the initial attack. We all agree (I think) that if both fencers do a simple lunge it is the fencer who begins to extend first. The dispute is over rule t.56 (a) 3


The attack with a step-forward-lunge or a step-forward-fleche is correctly executed when the straightening of the arm precedes the end of the step forward and the initiation of the lunge or the fleche.

Here I owe Prometheus and apology. This rule is more ambiguous than I allowed in the more heated dispute at the start of this thread.

Prometheus (and I assume Bydande) assume that step-forward-lunge is an 'offensive action' - in which case they are right t.56 a(3) defines BOTH correctness and firstness (both the qualities the attack needs), and it defines the start of the attack as the lifting of the front foot.

In other words if a step-forward-lunge is an 'offensive action' then Bydande and Prometheus are right.

Fortunately, we do not need to assume what is meant by offensive action because it is actually defined in the FIE rules at t.7



The attack is the initial offensive action made by extending the arm and continuously threatening the opponent's target, preceding the launching of the lunge or fleche.


The first time I quoted this Prometheus thought it was a non-sequiter, but it should now be clear it in fact follows logically from our discussion. It should also be clear that t.56 3(a) is only defining correctness of attack with relation to one particular type of footwork: in other words step-forward-lunge is NOT an offensive action, it is footwork which accompanies an offensive action.

CAVEAT ----------------------------------------------------------------------
It is still perfectly possible to argue that this isn't the way people actually call it, which is a perfectly legitimate argument, and if that had been what Prometheus said I would have agreed with him. There is a difference between 'how people call it' and 'how I should endeavour to call it when I am presiding'.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This backs my general principle that the initiation of the offensive is based on when the arm extends, and it also avoids a logical problem with the position adopted by Bydande and Prometheus. The problem is that a Fencer can step forwards and should they be attacked they need only convert the step into a step-lunge. This leads to a similar problem if a fencer continuously steps forward, they in effect have permanent priority, leading to the fallacy (I hope we all agree that its a fallacy) that forward movement equals right of way.

Of course Prometheus learnt in the era of the 'marching attack' when exactly this sort of sloppy attitude to the attack was encouraged, whereas Bydande, myself and Australian, have come into the sport in an era when the FIE are trying hard to reverse this. (Another example of how practice differs from theory).

Second ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Everyone who has commented is right that it takes a lot more than knowing the rules to preside, that calling a point is a very different skill to analysing the rules (it doesn't mean what I typed above is invalid, just that it is inadequate to actually calling a point).

I'll give two scenario's, both things that have happened to me more than once at opens, and where the calls have been consistent, and where I agree with the calls.

Scenario A - Fencer takes a fast step with blade high, and lunges with a flick to the shoulder. When I see the first step I panic because I cannot find the blade and lunge to the body. Two lights. Hit to my oponent.

Scenario B - I take a gentle step back. My oponent follows to keep distance. I extend my arm as he lifts his front font (I am planning to take advantage of his forward momentum to prevent him just retreating and hit him with a disengage), he panics when he sees my attack and lunges. Two lights. My hit.

(Prometheus has presided one of my fights and I'm fairly sure awarded my hit in scenario B)

Unfortunately for my fencing, A happens much more often than B. But both are step lunges, correctly executed.

Despite what I said above, when presiding you tell the difference not because of technical rules about arm extensions (though they are there) but because as Prometheus (and others) says you watch all sorts of things when presiding and all of it (tempo, speed, hands, legs, arms) help to place it in context. And scenarios A & B differ in all sorts of respects (not just the item over which we arguing).

Third --------------------------------------------------------------------------

This brings us back to what I think is the most important point about this thread. In the last six months we have had four unresolved rules discussions:

1 - At what point the offensive action begins in a step-lunge
2 - If a step back can constitute a 'parry by distance' and claim priority
3 - If t.56 a(7) applies to all positions or just PIL
4 - Exactly what constitutes 'threatening'

Worse, we all know that even FIE level refs cannot agree on 2 and 4.

So how do we deal with these problems?

First, someone posts to this board because they want an answer.
Second, two of us (in this case Prometheus and myself) offer alternative answers.

How do you decide who is right?
Do you believe Robert because he provides a coherent argument from the rules?
Does Prometheus years of experience trump that?
Does Australians qualifications trump Prometheus?
Does Bydande's FIE question trump Australian?

The problem is we have no final arbiter. No one with the authority to actually provide a solution. So we all go back to our own clubs and teach everybody our slant on it, and when we preside at opens all of us are smart enough to phrase in such a way that this contentious point becomes a matter of fact, not interpretation (and therefore not subject to appeal).

Of course in a fight everyone has an opinion about what happens, but only one opinion counts (the president's). We have no equivelant to resolve the important question of how we should try and call something (which we must all care about or we would not be contributing to this thread). And that is what I think we really need. The BFA and the ref's committee need an office we can refer these sort of questions too. (Somebody whose opinion we agree to abide by whether we agree or not).

Of course for now we are left to provide entertainment from the lurkers.

Robert

gbm
-13th February 2004, 21:14
I think its starting to make sense now - the critical bit being where they use attack which by its FIE definition means that it MUST be the initial extension of the arm (i.e. attacks MUST be in time, there is no such thing as an attack out-of-time, that is a counter-attack?)
Also, I would be very interested at getting a copy of the FIE exam questions. Are they anywhere on the web?
Obviously the answers would be helpful as well.

Boo Boo
-13th February 2004, 22:12
Ok, not quite the FIE exam papers, but have a look at http://www.fencing101.com/vb/quiz.php

I believe that some/all of the questions originate from questions on FIE exam/example papers.

Have fun :)
Boo

(I take no responsibility is anything is out of date etc.etc.)

bydande
-13th February 2004, 22:59
Robert,

1. The step-lunge attack
When considering this topic I think it is important to differentiate between a step followed by a lunge and the correctly executed step-lunge attack. The FIE question and answer that I gave in my posting referred to the latter whilst some of your posting appears to refer to the former. But maybe I am misreading your posting - ah the vagaries and nuances of the english langage.

In the correctly executed step-lunge attack the arm starts to extend before the end of the step - which would mean that the arm of Fencer X started to extend before that of Fencer Y (even though they lunge at the same time) and doesnt that match most peoples opinion that they just look for the first arm extension? So whether you called it a step-lunge attack or just Fencer X extended first, most people would give the hit to X - so I am not quite sure what the arguement is about. :confused:

2. Guidance from above
I heartily concur with Robert that more official guidance to referees is needed. I would welcome the production of an authoritive tome by the referees committee that covered the more contentious areas of refereeing - like the guidance to referees published by Keith Smith & Mike Thornton but bigger and thicker (the book and contents I mean). Because to be honest I dont have a big axe to grind about which interpretation is best or worst I just want to fight and referee to a set of rules that is unformly agreed and adopted within the UK.

3. The FIE questions
Last year I did the foil quiz on fencing101 and they did bear an uncanny resemblance to the questions on my refereeing exam - whoooh, scary.

Robert
-14th February 2004, 10:34
Bydande,

We are arguing about very little. In 90% of cases we would call it the same way, in fact in your case (where you distinguish between a step-lunge attack, and a step followed by a lunge attack) we would always call it the same way.

But read t.56 a(3) closely and you will see that a 'step-lunge attack' doesn't exist, there is no such thing in the same way that there is no such thing as 'tempo' in the rules. In fact nowhere in the rules are there any references to lunge-attack, fleche-attack, or step-lunge-attack. Always (always) it is attack WITH some footwork. In other words the rules do not:



differentiate between a step followed by a lunge and the correctly executed step-lunge attack

Since we are in authority quoting mode

'The most important task at foil is to decide who started the initial offensive action and what happens to that action. It is important to remember that the attack is the initial straigtening of the arm...'

From the Keith & Mike guidance. The same thing is repeated throughout the section without once saying 'except in a step lunge, when it starts with lifting the front toe'.

But we are back to the same problem, whose authority counts?
And I think we both agree, that really the problem is the lack of an arbiter to make the call.

Robert

Robert
-14th February 2004, 10:44
Just to prove that this is not limited to us Brits, go to:

http://www.fencing101.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9195

And read 200+ posts by a group of Americans who can't agree on the call even when they have slow motion replay.

Robert

p.s It is a step lunge too.

Prometheus
-14th February 2004, 19:26
Thanks for the apology Robert, very decent of you, but I'm a little perplexed that you know who I am. Whose the cott'n-pick'n varmint that blabbed!!!! Wait till I get hold of them :mad:

It's clear that the thread has done some considerable good in advancing the understanding of the more arcane parts of foil rulings and that can only be a good thing.

Furthermore I think that Robert's reply indicates an understanding in which I would be happy to be presided by him(assuming of course I get all the hits ;)).


The problem is that a Fencer can step forwards and should they be attacked they need only convert the step into a step-lunge satisfying this ruling.

This leads to a similar problem if a fencer continuously steps forward, they in effect have permanent priority, leading to the fallacy (I hope we all agree that its a fallacy) that forward movement equals right of way.

This is entirely the problem that has plagued the domestic scene and that brings people like Goodbadandme into disliking modern foil (as they see it). Believe me it ain't like this at the top levels.

Essentially the skill level of a top fencer is such that they could turn a step into a 'step lunge' (with useful extension of the arm) in such a way as to gain priority under paragraph 3.

It should be pointed out that therefore stop hits need to be delivered at a distance where a lunge is not possible by the opponent OR you lunge at a time where the opponent cannot convert the step in such a way. Ah, this requires great skill I here you say - well tell me about it, it ain't easy. I know, I've tried.

Going back to the 'great fencer' mentioned earlier: Unfortunately it only has to be seen by someone not aware of the tactical application of the rule, in such a way, to interpret it as a step (as preparation only) then a lunge. They then take this onboard and start using it and claiming priority back on the homestead, despite the fact that they are not extending the arm at the correct time of the step. Hence you arrive with the confused situation of step,step,hit - long after the opponent has launched a correctly timed attack.


It's also worth noting that there are foilists in the top 50 in this country who are not aware of this subtle distinction (as I found out to my cost recently :()

Cheers

Prometheus (unbound, but still retentive)

PS Forget it, you ain't going to get an ombudsman for this type of question. Just, if you can, choose your president carefully next time you're at a competition.

Prometheus
-14th February 2004, 19:27
PPS

We complain about foil presiding down to this level. At a recent LPJS foil competition one president was giving double hits!!! Scary...:transport

gbm
-15th February 2004, 06:36
Originally posted by Robert
Just to prove that this is not limited to us Brits, go to:

http://www.fencing101.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9195

And read 200+ posts by a group of Americans who can't agree on the call even when they have slow motion replay.

Robert

p.s It is a step lunge too.

Surely it's an attack on preparation to the left?

Australian
-15th February 2004, 15:31
Originally posted by goodbadandme
Surely it's an attack on preparation to the left?

oh dear god not this again

gbm
-16th February 2004, 21:55
Originally posted by Australian
oh dear god not this again
:)

Winwaloe
-17th February 2004, 10:33
"At a recent LPJS foil competition one president was giving double hits!!! Scary..."

I think we may have been at the same comp!! - Ref also had no idea what to do at 4 all at time out (he was advised by one of the fencers) and seemed to regard a "light pair" as an initiative test (the white light came first/the green light came first) and awarded points on this basis. Any type of flick hit got a warning and the concept of a parried blade being moved right out of line was very much to the fore (causing great frustration to the more competitive of the fencers). General opinion amongst those watching was that the ref fenced eppee and, as such, was excused on assorted grounds!

Australian
-17th February 2004, 16:43
Originally posted by Winwaloe
and the concept of a parried blade being moved right out of line was very much to the fore (causing great frustration to the more competitive of the fencers).

i actually saw this being taught to foil beginners at a club training session - that a parry had to take the blade out of line so it didn't hit, and if it did hit then it was a malparry...

i didn't know what to say....

Pointy stick
-17th February 2004, 18:59
This parry thing is a bit of a hobby horse of mine, because my theory is that all these clever ideas to reduce flick hits etc. would be less necessary if the definition of a parry was enforced a little more strictly.

A mere finding of the blade seems to count as a parry for some referees, and this allows a sort of sweeping parry which naturally flows into a flicked riposte, even though the initial attack strikes target with no obvious need for the attacker to adjust his or her thrust to compensate for the deflection of the blade.

I can only recall a referee using the expression, "mal parry", twice in a year. Unfortunately, both times were against me.:( A certain amount of petard hoisting going on there, I suppose.:o

gbm
-17th February 2004, 20:11
Bring back mal parries I say! Not that they've really ever gone, but they could be given more. I occasionally get to give mal parry to an attack that has been parried but incompletely (and thus invalidly) and with an immediate (but invalid riposte), as opposed to misinterpreting the continuation as a remise (I'm sure I still make mistakes, just I like to see proper parries).
Of course, I wouldn't listen to me, I still clearly need to improve my reffing - I still give attacks on preparation! :o

Of course, if you beat-parry a sword correctly, their sword (if not necessarily yours) will move out of line, so beat parries are a perfectly valid way of parrying. But it's easy to drive past an incorrect beat parry. Sometimes I mal parry (I tend to give them then, unless of course there has been reffing mistakes in the opponents favour beforehand!), but I sometimes find, particularly with disengages to my opponent's circular parries around the centre of his/her chest, that my sword never leaves their chest, but I accidentally let contact occur. I would class that as a mal parry by my opponent, but I can see (and sympathise with refs on this one, I have after all made a mistake) why the parry gets given.

Prometheus
-17th February 2004, 22:43
So Goodbadandme what is, in your view, the definition of a mal parry then?

Tubby
-17th February 2004, 23:01
.... excellente, more fighting talk........

I gave mal parry (no remise therefore reposte not valid) on the weekend but he was U14 and wasn't going to come after me.

Back into the shadows to lurk..........

randomsabreur
-18th February 2004, 08:07
My understanding of the rules is that a direct attack needs to be properly deflected, but if the attack is a compound, mere contact is sufficient to give the defender priority, because the attacker was attempting to avoid the blade.

Comments, and no I'm not going to quote the rules right now, better things to do

Australian
-18th February 2004, 10:22
Originally posted by randomsabreur
My understanding of the rules is that a direct attack needs to be properly deflected, but if the attack is a compound, mere contact is sufficient to give the defender priority, because the attacker was attempting to avoid the blade.

Comments, and no I'm not going to quote the rules right now, better things to do

well i'm 99% sure thats very incorrect



now lets see what the rules say about the parry:


t.7
The parry is the defensive action made with the weapon to prevent an offensive action arriving


and really for all of the foil section thats all we have about how the parry should be executed...

but when we look at the sabre rules:


t.79 (Rules specific to Sabre)
1. 1. The parry is properly carried out when, before the completion of the attack, it prevents the arrival of that attack by closing the line in which that attack is to finish.

so it appears that only sabre requires the closing of the line, whereas foil only requires defensive contact... which is how i referee it nowadays

comments?

rpryer
-18th February 2004, 11:00
If t.7 says that a parry is the action made to prevent an offensive action arriving, how can any defensive contact (which might have no effect whatsoever on the offensive action) be called a parry?

Under t.58 (foil) and t.77(e) (sabre), if the blade is found during any part of a compound attack, then the opponent has the right to riposte (as described by Randomsabreur). The rules don't include any similar provision for a simple attack.

Am I missing something?

Prometheus
-18th February 2004, 11:03
It is commonly used to refer to the position where a simple attack has arrived prior to the parry being successful, or often to describe a parry that is neither heavy or held - which in my opinion is a wrong view.

An important point to observe is whether the attacker has to remise the action to land the hit. If he does then the parry is correct if not then it is late and effectively a 'mal parry' in the timing sense of the word.

It is also fair to say that the rules do not state how a parry is made but rather states that it is a recognised move.

This means that the parry has to executed 'correctly' which is effectively deflecting a simple attack away from the target.

Commonly people believe that it takes a large parry to do this but if the parry is done forwards then a fairly light/subtle contact is sufficient to deflect the opponents blade.

If you take this to extremes then you arrive at what is known as a beat parry (often foible to foible) which is sufficient to deflect the blade due to the distance being large (reducing the angle of deflection necessary) but of course this is another symptom of foil's artifice. Afterall if it were rapiers involved you would be doing classical parries to be certain.

I dare say we will now be exposed to a raft of posts describing how corrupt modern foil is because of this.:(

Saxon
-18th February 2004, 11:07
so it appears that only sabre requires the closing of the line, whereas foil only requires defensive contact... which is how i referee it nowadays

comments? [/B]

One difference is in the character of the weapons.

In foil, the incoming point means that a parry is usually transporting the opponent's blade away from the target area - e.g. a quarte parry moves the blade across your target and off to one side.

In sabre, the fact that the attack is likely to be a cut means the parry usually takes the form of a blocking action.


In practice, this means that an apparently incomplete foil parry, with an immediate riposte, will still "work", as the attack lands after the blades have made contact, and so is usually counted as a remise. In sabre, an incomplete block means you get hit. A sabre parry only "works" if the attacking light comes on after the blades have met. Otherwise the attack hits, and is sometimes called as a mal-parry - i.e. although it wasn't sufficient to be a parry, the referee is indicating that they understand what the defender was trying to do.

I think... :)

Australian
-18th February 2004, 11:17
Originally posted by Prometheus
This means that the parry has to executed 'correctly' which is effectively deflecting a simple attack away from the target.


the problem i have with that is that there is no definition of a correct parry...



Originally posted by Saxon
One difference is in the character of the weapons.

In foil, the incoming point means that a parry is usually transporting the opponent's blade away from the target area - e.g. a quarte parry moves the blade across your target and off to one side.

In sabre, the fact that the attack is likely to be a cut means the parry usually takes the form of a blocking action.


In practice, this means that an apparently incomplete foil parry, with an immediate riposte, will still "work", as the attack lands after the blades have made contact, and so is usually counted as a remise. In sabre, an incomplete block means you get hit. A sabre parry only "works" if the attacking light comes on after the blades have met. Otherwise the attack hits, and is sometimes called as a mal-parry - i.e. although it wasn't sufficient to be a parry, the referee is indicating that they understand what the defender was trying to do.

I think...

yeah thats pretty much spot on...



my real problem was with the students being taught at the club i was at that a foil parry should be essentially the same as an epee parry... holding the blade in opposition and reposting whilst in opposition, with the opponents blade on your guard... if you understand that...?

in my opinion just stupid

Tubby
-18th February 2004, 11:36
holding the blade in opposition and reposting whilst in opposition, with the opponents blade on your guard... Isn't that just another type of parry reposte? If you're reposting in opposition haven't you then still got to make sure you don't drag/allow your opponent's point onto your target, otherwise mal-parry?

Prometheus
-18th February 2004, 11:38
Originally posted by Australian
the problem i have with that is that there is no definition of a correct parry...

Like any other fencing action - one that satisfies the job in hand :)


Originally posted by Australian

my real problem was with the students being taught at the club i was at that a foil parry should be essentially the same as an epee parry... holding the blade in opposition and reposting whilst in opposition, with the opponents blade on your guard... if you understand that...?

in my opinion just stupid

This is commonly one of the earlier lessons in a beginners course both at foil and epee.

The aim should be to ensure correct hand position (maintaining the line of riposte) as well as developing some 'sense of the blade'.

All lessons can be useful if the purpose of the exercise is known/understood and in context, and of course if it is being taught correctly.

For example a good lesson for improving balance is based on renewals of attacks. That is more the advanced coaching level.

Prometheus
-18th February 2004, 11:42
Not all fencers are great fencers and not all coaches are great coaches.:eek:

corollary:

Not all coaches are great fencers, and not all great fencers are great coaches? :moon:

Anyway not here they ain't :)

Prometheus (not great at anything :confused: except maybe humbug)

Winwaloe
-18th February 2004, 15:55
All of which rather goes to show how subjective the whole thing is! - When I was first taugh to fence (around about the time Noah was building an Ark) I was taught that for an attacking blade to be correctly parried the blade had to be moved out of line so that it would not hit the target. To some extent, that is still the concept taught at various coaching courses/sessions I have attended run by both the BAF and the BFA. This does not cause me an issue as, if the pointy bits really were pointy, it would be little use executing something similar (note similar) to a coule if the attcking blade has just come through the back of your jacket! - However, as is often the case, "conventions" usually imported to junior comps (where I spend my time) by senior fencers used to FIE refs become involved and the rule book definition (if there is one) becomes open to "the individual's interpretation" In some junior comps there is now a tendency to brief the refs before the comp and tell them what their interpretation will be. As long as this is then passed down to the fencers all should be well - - or should it!?

Prometheus
-18th February 2004, 17:00
I think it depends also on which perspective you are taking

As a fencer: you want to execute the move with as little commitment away from attack (riposte) as you can get away with. I guess generally one does it enough so as most refs you are likely to meet will find acceptable (or it's what your coach considers to be enough to get away with).

Then you have the perspective of a re-enactment type which will be to consider it from the 'if pointy would it hurt' point of view.

My opinion is that electric foil is sport fencing and therefore you can guess my choice of definition.

Insipiens
-19th February 2004, 12:48
I seem to recall that a beat is supposed to move the point out of line, according to the rules (but I have no time to check this). It may be only in reference to point-in-line. :confused:

It would seem logical (but therefore probably irrelevant?;) ) that a parry of a simple attack should have at least as much effect as a beat.

Just to stir things up a bit more , what happens in the following situation:
right hander en-garde in sixte fencing left hander. Left hander attempts beat quarte attack but executes in such a way that left hander's foible beats forte of right hander. Right hander repostes (or possbily counter attacks) and left hander remises (or continues his attack.)

I think this often is given against the right hander, but why should I exaggerate my parry sixte and leave myself open to a disengage? :confused:

ceprab
-19th February 2004, 13:46
I don't know for foil. If sabre, then the beat into the guard is a parry and the riposte is good, so I would tend to call it that way, but honestly I would be guessing. Can someone please enlighten me? Ta.

Australian
-19th February 2004, 14:21
Originally posted by Insipiens
Just to stir things up a bit more , what happens in the following situation:
right hander en-garde in sixte fencing left hander. Left hander attempts beat quarte attack but executes in such a way that left hander's foible beats forte of right hander. Right hander repostes (or possbily counter attacks) and left hander remises (or continues his attack.)

I think this often is given against the right hander, but why should I exaggerate my parry sixte and leave myself open to a disengage? :confused:

its a beat attack in foil, a parry riposte in sabre

gbm
-19th February 2004, 14:34
I give anything that works as a parry (this is not applying to compound actions where mere contact is sufficient, since a compound action prior to the final action relies on contact not being made in order to work).
Opposition parries are fine with me, provided you don't accidentally bring the attack back onto yourself (in which case you have not prevented the offensive action from arriving).
I am also entirely happy with beat parries (which I think are better anyway), as long as the attack is deflected out of line and a remise is required from the attack to hit. Beat parries do not require you to move your sword out of line, just their's.
If a fencer makes an angulated hit in ONE action (so there is no remise), I would give this as a valid attack, even though it has been moved out of line, because the initial offensive action has not been stopped.
(I would give a remise as renewal of a prevented attack, possibly in a different direction?)
That's obviously somewhat a circular argument, but it makes sense to me.
I am obviously missing something here, because out of all the rules it appears to me to be obvious in intention and not really open to a great degree of intrepretation?

P.S. My definition of a mal parry: "An attempt at a parry that does not fulfil the requirements of the rules to qualify as a parry". :)
e.g. you drag the point back onto your target, you fail to completely deflect an simple attack, or your opponent makes a angulated hit which is not a remise, but part of the initial attack.

Australian
-20th February 2004, 09:59
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I would give a remise as renewal of a prevented attack, possibly in a different direction...

...P.S. My definition of a mal parry: "An attempt at a parry that does not fulfil the requirements of the rules to qualify as a parry". :)
e.g. you drag the point back onto your target, you fail to completely deflect an simple attack, or your opponent makes a angulated hit which is not a remise, but part of the initial attack.

a remise is a renewal of an attack in the same line, a redouble is a renewal of an attack in a different line. In refereeing remise seems to cover it all tho.

Whilst we are on the topic of that, you must never use the term mal parry whilst you are refereeing, because simply it does not exist.

The attack is either good, parried, or the remise of the attack is good. If you drag the attack back onto yourself then the remise is good. If you parry as the tip hits you and it lights, then the attack is immediately good. If there is not enough deflection then it is again still one attack.

There is nothing at all about mal parry in the rules, and really it is a bad term.

Prometheus
-20th February 2004, 10:26
There is nothing at all about mal parry in the rules, and really it is a bad term.

Exactly.

Group this along with phrases such as:

'one under, one over'

'his light came on first'

'In this attack the arm was straight first'

as indications that the person speaking has no complete understanding of the foil rules.

Australian
-20th February 2004, 10:35
Originally posted by Prometheus
Exactly.

Group this along with phrases such as:

'one under, one over'

'his light came on first'

'In this attack the arm was straight first'

as indications that the person speaking has no complete understanding of the foil rules.

bingo :)

srb
-20th February 2004, 10:56
Originally posted by Australian


The attack is either good, parried, or the remise of the attack is good. If you drag the attack back onto yourself then the remise is good. If you parry as the tip hits you and it lights, then the attack is immediately good. If there is not enough deflection then it is again still one attack.

There is nothing at all about mal parry in the rules, and really it is a bad term.

I would desribe the use of 'mal parry' as a descriptive refereeing term.

If fencer A attacks successfully, but fencer B takes a late parry and ripostes. Fencer A's attack is good, but fencer B incorrectly thinks they made a successful parry riposte.

If you phrase it as 'attack good', fencer B will complain saying he took a parry riposte. If you phrase it as 'attack good - mal parried' the hit will still be given correctly, and fencer B although not happy, will understand why it wasn't his hit, and won't complain.

So although there is nothing about mal parry in the rules, it can occassionally help by adding an explanation of the moves.

srb

Australian
-20th February 2004, 11:21
as opposed to saying: "the attack is immediately good"?

Tubby
-20th February 2004, 11:22
I was about to make the same comment as SRB. With older fencers they will at least understand what you're trying to say by way of phrasing. With the younger kids, some don't understand mal-parry so by way of helping them understand I say "you tried to parry......." not strictly unbiased reffing I know as the opponent may not have realised that theirs was a lucky hit until I start explaining what I thought was going on................. :confused:

Tubby
-20th February 2004, 11:25
... oh, obviously my comments above refer to rinky dink and not Opens.

Prometheus
-20th February 2004, 11:42
If you phrase it as 'attack good', fencer B will complain saying he took a parry riposte. If you phrase it as 'attack good - mal parried' the hit will still be given correctly, and fencer B although not happy, will understand why it wasn't his hit, and won't complain.

Or correctly as:

Attack good, parry-riposte out of time.

I see that srb is trying to reduce refereeing down to county level muddle. ;)

The danger with using such phrases as mal parry is that they:

a) it is not an FIE recognised phrase
b) it would rightly open any call made to appeal to DT

If we want foil fencing in this country to be as good as the best nations then we need to standardise rule interpretation to that recognised.

Australian
-20th February 2004, 11:52
Originally posted by Prometheus
Or correctly as:

Attack good, parry-riposte out of time.

I see that srb is trying to reduce refereeing down to county level muddle. ;)

The danger with using such phrases as mal parry is that they:

a) it is not an FIE recognised phrase
b) it would rightly open any call made to appeal to DT

If we want foil fencing in this country to be as good as the best nations then we need to standardise rule interpretation to that recognised.

thats how i see it :)

bydande
-20th February 2004, 11:59
On the subject of standardising refereeing in the UK - and whilst people are still reading this thread

Does anybody think that a special referees conference where all the UK's referees and would be referees gather together with the aim of standardising and improving refereeing in the UK.
Would such a conference be:
a:- useful
b:- workable

I just know that somebody is going to say that such a conference already exists - but I am a (recently) qualified referee and I havent heard of it. So if one does already exist should it be better publicised and more inclusive in its nature? i.e. get more refs to attend rather than just the top ones.

Just a quick thought for anybody/everybody to give their opinions on.

Australian
-20th February 2004, 12:02
perhaps time it around nationals... when all the referees/fencers will be together?

srb
-20th February 2004, 12:49
Originally posted by Prometheus
Or correctly as:

Attack good, parry-riposte out of time.



I take your point (but obviously less than 15 times:grin: )

srb

Prometheus
-20th February 2004, 12:59
just the usual 5 then.


Prometheus (in fantasy world again. Doh.)

gbm
-20th February 2004, 20:48
The rules say you are required to phrase the action - do they say you have to use terms described in the rulebook, or do you simply have to phrase it so both fencers understand you? Oh wait, you do have to use their signals and phrases. With the fancy hand signals that I can never remember which are which anyway because there are so many. Anyway I would say mal parry in the clubs I go to because I think it would be helpful to the fencers.
Referees are also supposed to have TV replay in finals. Right.

PKT
-21st February 2004, 04:27
According to Bill Oliver of the USFA - ref rating: FIE B in Epee and foil - he who "collapses the distance" first has the priority, then the extension of the arm comes into consideration. That's the current way the FIE refs are calling it.
Sorry, I can't access the interview with him today, but it can be found on
fencing.net.

PK

PKT
-21st February 2004, 04:42
Originally posted by goodbadandme
The rules say you are required to phrase the action - do they say you have to use terms described in the rulebook, or do you simply have to phrase it so both fencers understand you? Oh wait, you do have to use their signals and phrases. With the fancy hand signals that I can never remember which are which anyway because there are so many. Anyway I would say mal parry in the clubs I go to because I think it would be helpful to the fencers.
Referees are also supposed to have TV replay in finals. Right.

"The good, the bad and the ..."

There is a list of 19 FIE approved ref terms that refs may use and "mal aprry" is NOT one of them.

The correct term is "through the blade"

The hand signals are not "fancy" as such. they are, as in most things in fencing these days, aimed at the TV audience. You have to admit that if you watch a tape of the recent World Champioships, the ref's "calls" can be very clearly seen and understood.

The gestures [hand signals] for the ref can be found in a 2-page Adobe Reader pdf file in the FIE site:
http://www.fie.ch/download/rules/fr/GESTESpg1.pdf
http://www.fie.ch/download/rules/fr/GESTESpg2.pdf

The use of the hand signals does away with the dependence of certain languages in refing. I know, the lingua franca for fencing's supposed to be French, but for someone from Asia any of the European languages are totally alien...

Do you think that the recent surge of Asian fencers is coincidental with the use of the hand signals?

Maybe.

PK

gbm
-21st February 2004, 11:40
Thanks, 'through the blade' seems to describe what I want to describe; I just didn't realise their were so many descriptions you were allowed.
Do you have a list of the 19 terms in English?

Australian
-21st February 2004, 18:48
click the FIE rules button at the top and follow it down towards the end of the "technical" (t) rules

you'll see em in english

gbm
-22nd February 2004, 16:08
I'm sorry, I can't find them, unless you mean the diagrams of hand signals, but I can't find "through the blade" anywhere. I assume their part of some other FIE document? I'm sure I have heard it before, so what are the 19 FIE-approved phrases?

And 'collapses the distance first'???

Australian
-22nd February 2004, 16:17
you shouldn't be using any other words for phrasing the actions than the ones that are included in the rulebook...

i don't know what that 19 terms thing is about... nor closing the distance

Prometheus
-22nd February 2004, 19:40
The Glossary of terms in the FIE rules contains the phrases. Attack,Parry etc.

You can't miss it, it's the first section in the rules!


Then you can refer to the hand signal's part which states that you use these terms to analyse the phrase.




t.42 As soon as the bout has stopped, the Referee reconstructs briefly the movements which composed the last fencing phrase (for the weapons of convention).

For finals, the Referee may make use of a television monitor to check decisions should he be uncertain.

After reaching his decision regarding the materiality of a hit, the Referee, by applying the rules, decides against which fencer a hit is to be awarded, whether both are hit (épée) or if there is no valid hit (cf. t.55ss, t.64ss, t.74ss).

The Referee would use the following gestures (see Figure 3).


Anything else could be construed as coaching or assisting the fencer.......

srb
-22nd February 2004, 19:42
I assume that goodbadandme means the following:

1. On guard
2. Ready
3. Fence/play
4. Halt
5. Attack
6. Parry
7. Riposte
8. Counter riposte
9. Counter attack
10. Remise or redouble
11. Yellow, red and black card
12. Offensive actions
13. Off target
14. Point for

Taken from:

THE BRITISH FENCING ASSOCIATION
REFEREE’S COMMITTEE
GUIDANCE FOR REFEREES
Edited by Keith Smith and mike Thornton.


srb (Perhaps who should actually read the rules now, as he refereed his first Open Final at the weekend!!!)

Prometheus
-22nd February 2004, 19:47
srb (Perhaps who should actually read the rules now, as he refereed his first Open Final at the weekend!!!)

Ha ha, Knocked out by Dr Q again?

There was actually anyone there other than you?

srb
-22nd February 2004, 20:03
mmmmm,

YES - knocked out by Dr Q yet again.

1st - Pat Robbins
2nd - Mike Questier
L4 - Graham Reid
L4 - Andrew Cooper
L8 - Leon Shah
L8 - John Lockwood

srb

Prometheus
-22nd February 2004, 20:18
L8 then?

If so reasonable company to keep though.

PKT
-23rd February 2004, 05:03
Originally posted by Robert
Just to prove that this is not limited to us Brits, go to:

http://www.fencing101.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9195

And read 200+ posts by a group of Americans who can't agree on the call even when they have slow motion replay.

Robert



hey, don't forget those of us who are Cdns who contribute to that discussion, eh?
PK

PKT
-23rd February 2004, 05:14
Originally posted by Australian
a remise is a renewal of an attack in the same line, a redouble is a renewal of an attack in a different line. In refereeing remise seems to cover it all tho.

Whilst we are on the topic of that, you must never use the term mal parry whilst you are refereeing, because simply it does not exist.

...

There is nothing at all about mal parry in the rules, and really it is a bad term.


The proper term in place of "mal parry" is "through the blade", which is one of the 19 FIE approved refing terms.

Remise, redoublement and reprise are clearly spelled out in t.8 (d). No need to rewrite the rules.

Pk

PKT
-23rd February 2004, 05:16
Originally posted by Australian
the problem i have with that is that there is no definition of a correct parry...
...

Just like in more laws there's no definition of what "reasonable" is.

PK

PKT
-23rd February 2004, 05:20
Originally posted by Prometheus
Or correctly as:

Attack good, parry-riposte out of time.

I see that srb is trying to reduce refereeing down to county level muddle. ;)

The danger with using such phrases as mal parry is that they:

a) it is not an FIE recognised phrase
b) it would rightly open any call made to appeal to DT

If we want foil fencing in this country to be as good as the best nations then we need to standardise rule interpretation to that recognised.

the whole discussion about how best to phrase that action is moot. Just use the hand signals... d'uh!

when the dissatisfied fencer asks for clarification, just repeat the hand signals. If he still does not understand the call, discuss it after the bout.

PK

PK

PKT
-23rd February 2004, 05:51
Originally posted by srb
I assume that goodbadandme means the following:

1. On guard
2. Ready
3. Fence/play
4. Halt
5. Attack
6. Parry
7. Riposte
8. Counter riposte
9. Counter attack
10. Remise or redouble
11. Yellow, red and black card
12. Offensive actions
13. Off target
14. Point for

Taken from:

THE BRITISH FENCING ASSOCIATION
REFEREE’S COMMITTEE
GUIDANCE FOR REFEREES
Edited by Keith Smith and mike Thornton.


srb (Perhaps who should actually read the rules now, as he refereed his first Open Final at the weekend!!!)


in the spirit of reaching the goal of standardising the refing terms across national boundaries and language barriers the following 19 terms can now be expressed in hand signals:

1. en garde
2. prete
3. allez
4. Halt!
5. attaque/reprise ataque
6. parade,
7. Riposte
8. arête / Contre-attaque
9. Remise
10. redoublement
11. contre-riposte
12. non-valable
13. Point [for left or right]
14. prise de fer
15. battement
16. contre-temp
17. corps-a-corps
18. point en ligne
19. simultanee

There are, I have observed, at least two additional hand signals used but not in the FIE list:
~ in sabre, with the forearm in a horizontal position, as in tierce, the fist going back and forth, as in pumping the arm, to describe "extension, extension is then withdrawn..."
~ equally clear is that gesture where the forearm of the sword-arm is held up and close to the sword-hand shoulder to represent "preparation", "before the extension begins".

I'm sure there are other equally unofficial but equally understandable hand signals.

PK

Winwaloe
-23rd February 2004, 11:06
I'm sure there are other equally unofficial but equally understandable hand signals


I saw one involving the first finger, pointed upwards, slightly bent, and with the palm facing inwards. Three other finges curled in towards the palm. It appeared to be readily understood!

srb
-23rd February 2004, 13:54
Originally posted by PKT
with the forearm in a horizontal position, as in tierce, the fist going back and forth, as in pumping the arm, to describe "extension, extension is then withdrawn..."PK

In FIE terms, is this not just simply 'the attack or riposte is incorrect'?

But when you use it, the fencer normally looks at you if your mad. At which point you make sure Prometheus isn't listening, and tell the fencer that they broke time by withdrawing their arm.

The problem is that even less fencers know the hand signals than know the presiding terms.

srb

Prometheus
-23rd February 2004, 14:34
hmmm, isn't that an indication of broken time or I think I once saw it described as the signal for preparation (perhaps that was sabre?).

It closely resembles srb's hacking away with the blade trying to get that 10th remise on the opponent's lamé before that slow ripost lands on him ;)

PKT
-25th February 2004, 22:34
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I'm sorry, I can't find them, unless you mean the diagrams of hand signals, but I can't find "through the blade" anywhere. I assume their part of some other FIE document? I'm sure I have heard it before, so what are the 19 FIE-approved phrases?

And 'collapses the distance first'???

You'll note that "through the blade" is not one of the 19 FIE terms I posted.
The ref would just call "Attaque - touch".
The "through the blade" would only be given as an apres-decision explanation to the "aggrieved" fencer who thought he's made a parry/riposte...

I learned of the "collapse the distance" phrase used by Bill Oliver of the USFA in an interview with Craig Harkins of the fencing.net

PK

Here's the Bill Oliver interview:

http://www.fencing101.com/content/view/42/31/
Right of Way with the Retreat
Contributed by Craig Harkins
Wednesday, 26 November 2003

Bill Oliver, member of the FOC, sometimes contributes to Fencing.Net by answering some questions that get asked in the Discussion Forum. The question of how footwork and bladework both impact the determination of right of way in foil is addressed here.

Q:On the command fence, both fencers start extending...one moving forward one moving backwards. Both end up hitting valid. Who's touch?

A: The real question is distance.
At the command fence, the fencers are, by definition, out of distance. Sooner or later, one or the other will have to cause the distance to close. If the advancing fencer does footwork to compress the distance, then he's attacking. If the retreating fencer changes the distance by stopping, advancing, or slowing down, then he's the attacker.

Although the rules don't specifically address the impact of moving backwards on priority, it's important to focus on the tactical situation, not on one aspect of a complex series of actions.

All things being equal, the advancing fencer has the advantage. The onus of action falls on the retreating fencer to create something. (sooner or later, he's going to hit the end of the strip!) But, until the distance changes, there is no priority.

Follow up question:
How often is the retreating fencer being given priority actually done in the real world? It seems that the assumption is that by being able to hit, the advancing fencer has the attack. How can the retreating fencer (by stopping or slowing down to cause the distance to compress) actually convince the referee that it was his action (slowing down) vs. the advancer's action (maintaining constant "pressure" until the retreating fencer couldn't "keep up")?

How can this be answered so that it will fit the real world of how things are perceived on the piste by the referee? Any other visual queues that you look for?

A:
Well, in the real world, this type of action is rarely, if ever seen. Fencers just don't retreat and make threatening actions with the blade, as a rule. This was a very hypothetical situation, to illustrate
a point in the text of the rules.

That said, however, I've seen (and used) the trick of retrating to draw the opponent out, then a sudden change of direction, or even just a sudden slowing down, can give the retreater a tactical advantage, and
change the tables.

In that case, advance and retreating had nothing to do with attack.

In most situations, the beginning of priority in both foil and saber is created by dominance of distance. The fencer who colapses the distance (in the opinion of the referee) has the first indicaiton of priority. He then needs to do something. Hesitation at this point is always fatal. In saber, there is the added requirement of correctness of execution (extended arm, blade at 135 degrees, restrictions on footwork, etc). The requirements in foil are less specific.

Bottom line: in nearly all cases, a retreating fencer cannot have priority, in any weapon. However, the simple fact of a retreat has to be understood within the context of the tactical situation. It might be a setup. Simply retreating doesn't necessarily lose one the priority. On the other hand, simply going forward, or even extending the arm, doesn't guarnatee that one is attacking. It's one of those little things that seperates foil and saber from epee....

PKT
-25th February 2004, 23:05
Originally posted by PKT

There are, I have observed, at least two additional hand signals used but not in the FIE list:
~ in sabre, with the forearm in a horizontal position, as in tierce, the fist going back and forth, as in pumping the arm, to describe "extension, extension is then withdrawn..."
...
PK

I erred:
This is the hand signal for "non correct!", it is one of the official signals..

PK

srb
-26th February 2004, 08:19
Originally posted by srb
In FIE terms, is this not just simply 'the attack or riposte is incorrect'?

srb

srb (feeling smug!)

Prometheus
-26th February 2004, 08:48
Originally posted by srb

If you phrase it as 'attack good', fencer B will complain saying he took a parry riposte. If you phrase it as 'attack good - mal parried' the hit will still be given correctly, and fencer B although not happy, will understand why it wasn't his hit, and won't complain.

Don't get too smug. ;)