Epee Assembly – Do it Legally for Summer Nationals

At this year’s Summer Nationals a new level of scrutiny will be placed on epees during inspection before bouts. According to sources within the referee community, a stricter standard of compliance is being leveled on epees related to the wiring between the blade and socket.

The interpretation is of rule:

m31. 7. The two wires coming from the tip must be protected by two insulating sheaths, one for each wire, from the point where they enter the guard right up to the two insulated connections on the plug socket. In no case may uninsulated wires extend beyond the plug connections (cf. m.5, m.9).

This new level of enforcement has been discussed in the forums but no official communication has come out from the Fencing Officials Commission as yet.

The main change in enforcement will be around the common practice of using the “mouse hole” at the side of the epee socket for routing the wires to the socket connections. (Most fencing equipment vendors have updated their builds for epees to comply with these guidelines.)

What exactly is a correct build under the current interpretation? Here are a few photos to guide you (clicking a photo will get a larger version for you to inspect).

First, the illegal builds:

Illegal epee socket build #1

Illegal Build: the insulation tubing may no longer pass through any channel


Illegal Epee Socket 2

Illegal Build: the insulation tubing must meet the post on the side opposite from the grip


Illegal epee socket 3

Illegal build: the insulation tubing cannot wrap around to the same side as the grip

Illegal Epee Build #4

Illegal Epee Build: the insulation tubing must go all the way to the post, without exposing the wire

So, now that you know what not to do, what does a proper connection to the socket look like?

Legal Build:

Legal epee socket build

Legal epee construction – the wires are opposite the fingers and the insulation is long enough to cover the wire up to the connection with the socket posts.

Now you know. Since we’ve confirmed this ruling will be enforced at the 2013 Summer Nationals, we’ve updated our build process at the Fencing.Net Store to comply with the level of enforcement we’ve been told to expect.


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