My understanding was that, in epee, the body cord plugged into the weapon socket cannot protrude excessively from beyond the guard. However, I read the latest USA Fencing rulebook and could not find concerning the cord specifically, only the "socket" (in the same passage referring to crossguards, which are prohibited). Several times in my career, I've made a thrust at my opponent's wrist, become entangled in their excessively protruding body cord, and received a touch. My opponent technically benefited from a defensive action "not with the guard or blade" of his weapon. In Charlotte yesterday, a referee told me that "some body cord is allowed" to go beyond the guard (huh? it seems like the rule book doesn't say either way). (He also told me to "leave the rules-lawyering for veterans - okay...? This was Div 1, Day 2. But that's neither here nor there). Thoughts?