We now have word from from Switzerland and the meeting of the Commission d’Arbitrage on a clarification for the legality of low line attacks in sabre.
A recent video posted from the FIE stated that low line attacks were not valid because the point starting from a seconde (low line) guard was not threatening valid target. This statement generated quite a bit of response and concern as it was a major change in the interpretation of the attack and was issued during an Olympic year.
A member of the Commision d’Arbitrage has reported that:
“The commission has stopped the great confusion regarding actions from the low line. When the blade and the arm form an obtuse angle of about 135°, with the blade threatening a valid part of the target, and the arm is extending, it is correct from any angle: for head cuts, flank cuts, and cuts from the low line. If there are simultaneous actions with one cutting from the high line and the other from the low line, the referee is to call “Action simultané. Rien.” There is no difference in priority between actions from the different lines.“
This position goes against the first segment of the Sabre Refereeing Videos posted earlier to Fencing.net and the Forums. We will correct the introduction to those articles to reflect this clarification.