2 Minute DE Periods as part of Rio Olympics?

As part of the evolution of fencing, rules changes could be tested for the 2013-14 season for the 2016 Rio Games.

Inside the Games discusses fencing's place in the Olympic Games.

Inside the Games discusses fencing’s place in the Olympic Games.

On Sunday’s “Inside the Games” blog, fencing’s future in the Olympic Games was the subject of the article.

David Owen makes a point long known to fencing – that a long history with the Games doesn’t guarantee continued inclusion in the Olympics. He also goes on to point out some of the things that fencing has done over the years.

FIE General Secretary Frédéric Pietruszka was quoted saying: “While we must not forget the 100 years that have passed, we must concern ourselves more with the next 100.”

What was most interesting were the changes being thought about for Rio 2016 and beyond.

A purely cosmetic change would be adding more colors to the uniform. We already saw positive reactions from Team USA’s fencing masks at the 2012 Games, so expanding from just decorated masks to a full uniform isn’t much of a stretch, plus it fits the FIE’s stated goal of making changes to the sport “evolutionary.”

A more interesting statement, however, was this one by Pietruszka: “we have noticed that the third and final leg of a match is often the most active” followed up by:

“We may cut the length of each leg from three minutes to two.”

In order to make the 2016 Games, a rules change would need to be implemented during the 2013-14 fencing season.

As of now, the rules change is purely speculation, but look for a discussion of these rules to come up during the next FIE Congress.

What do you think of those potential changes to fencing? Would a 2 minute DE period speed up the bout enough to put off stalling in the first two periods for foil and epee?

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