Fencing is not a sport which is very famous in India. However in recent times, one Indian player C.A. Bhavani Devi is trying hard to raise India’s flag in the world of Fencing. So now is a good time to delve into the sport of Fencing.
History of Fencing: Modern day fencing began as a form of military training. It was used as a part of military training for centuries. However around 14th century, it began the transition to being a Sport. The origin of the sport of fencing is claimed to be in Italy and Germany in late 14th century. The sport got formalized around 18th century.Fencing has been an Olympic sport since the very 1st Olympics in 1896. Women’s fencing was later introduced in 1924 Paris Olympic Games.
How is Fencing played:
Fencing is played with a sword like weapon. The aim of the sport is to touch the opponent first with the weapon. Based on the type of weapon and target area, the sport of fencing is divided into 3 categories:
Foil: Foil is the lightest and most flexible of the 3 fencing weapons. It has a rectangular cross-section with a blunted tip. Its length is 110 cm and its weight must be less than 500 gm. In Foil, the target area is only torso.
Epee: Epee is the heaviest and stiffest of the three weapons. The blade has a triangular cross-section and spring button at the tip. Its length is 110 cm and weight must be less than 770 gm. In Epee, the entire body is a target area.
Sabre: Sabre is stiffer, heavier and shorter than foil. It has a V-shaped cross-section with a curved bell-guard protecting the hand. Its length is 105 gm and weight must be less than 500 gm. In Sabre, the entire body above the waist except the weapon hand is a target area.
Rules of Fencing:
Time: Fencing is played in 3 rounds of 3 minutes.
Scoring: If you touch the opponent first in the target area with your weapon, you score a point. Highest score after the end of 9 minutes or the first to score 15 points wins (whichever happens first).
In Epee & Foil, scoring touches can be made only with the tip of the sword, whereas in Sabre, touches can be made with any part of the sword.
Playing Area: Fencing area is a 14 m long metal strip which is called a Piste. Piste is 1.5-2 m wide in area.
Some Trivia about Fencing: There are 12 events in Fencing at the Olympics. Each of Foil, Epee and Sabre has 4 events – Men’s Individual, Women’s Individual, Men’s Team and Women’s Team.
Bhavani Devi is the 1st Indian fencer to qualify for an Olympics. She will take part in Women’s Individual Sabre event on 26th July.