FIE Arbitrage Sabre DVD - a must see for ALL fencers and referees

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by downunder, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. the ancient one

    the ancient one DE Bracket

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    That was a foil discussion.

    http://www.fencing.net/forums/thread32586.html

    KD5MDK : Re the "residual point-in-line at the end of a "short" attack segment-isn't this an application of ROW to observed actions rather than quibbling points of fact and therefore a legitimate subject of appeal? (if made in a timely manner)
     
  2. SFfencer

    SFfencer Podium

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  3. bigdawg2121

    bigdawg2121 is a Verified Fencing Expertbigdawg2121 Podium

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    I don't think that really the interpretation of PIL is all that divergent from what is currently done*. What does bother me though is that apparently the arm doesn't have to be still or set for it to remain a line...


    *in this case by currently done I mean currently should be done, although I can't think of the last time I saw someone actually use PIL, convert to a short attack, and not remove the line or make some other unnecessary movement in the process.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2007
  4. arc

    arc Rookie

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    Quoting from the rulebook:

    5. The point in-line position

    t.10 The point in-line position is a specific position in which the fencer’s sword arm is kept straight and the point of his weapon continually threatens his opponent’s valid target (cf. t.56, t.60, t.76, t.80).

    Where in there does it specify that the arm has to be "still or set for it to remain a line?"
     
  5. bigdawg2121

    bigdawg2121 is a Verified Fencing Expertbigdawg2121 Podium

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    Eh, I feel like there was an amendment posted to the USFA rules about this at some point a few years ago but nevertheless you are right. It isn't explicitly in the rules. It does exist in the referee's handbook however. The idea being that you can't just wave the blade about, even if you're pointing it at target and still be maintaining a line. Much in the same way that the blade by the feet is hard to beat or parry this "line" too is hard to beat or parry. It should be that the line is established and the point is set on the same target and only moves to derobe an attempted beat or pris de fer. Notice that you didn't see any of the masters on the video waving the line about, whether standing still, attacking, or falling short with the little smiley guy bouncing with his thumb up.
     
  6. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Moderator

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    No. The referee makes a statement of what the action was. "Attack no, attack arrives" or "Line arrives". It is impossible to appeal the referee's reconstruction of the action, unless you are at an FIE event with video replay. It doesn't matter how straight your arm is or how strongly you parry. If the referee says it didn't happen, it didn't, by rule.
     
  7. Platonist

    Platonist Rookie

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    I am relatively inexperienced at refereeing, and so if anyone takes issue with my opinions I certainly welcome any insight they would like to share. That said, this is my take on this video.

    Perhaps there is a problem with the rulebook in that it's outdated for modern sabre. In a time where attacks may only be made with the cutting edge, it makes sense to say that only in the high line is the sabreur threatening his opponent's target with the edge. Even this claim seems to weaken if the sabreur advances in the low line with point at his opponent's waist, but for the sake of argument let's grant it. The thing is, in modern sabre the attack can be made with any part of the blade. So now a cut from any direction, including from the low line up to the wrist, is a valid action.

    Now, in the video, at least one of them was making a big deal about how low line advances "threaten the leg" instead of valid target area. Does this really make sense given what we just discussed? Two explanations can be given for this claim, neither particularly strong:

    1) The sabre is pointed at the legs of the opponent. In this case, the sabreur in high line most likely has his sabre pointed at the ceiling. No dice.

    2) The sabreur is unable to as easily make a simple action to score. Ok, it's true that it takes longer for the sabreur to move his blade from low line into the high line and then make a cut. If he tries to do so, I would have to agree that in the middle, if he pulls his arm back, then he is in preparation. But a cut to the cuff is equally valid, and the sabreur in low line can make this cut more quickly than the one in high line, whether with the flat or by twisting his hand to cut with the edge. Clearly, target area is being menaced in both positions.

    If (1) is the case, then the only way to attack would be to have the sabre lowered to where the point is in the target area, approximately 170 degrees from vertical. Basically the fencers would be fencing foil. (2) cannot be the case since it has been demonstrated that the fencer can make an action just as easily from the low line.

    As the weapon changes, the rules should likewise change. Fencing has always placed an emphasis on the practical. The old masters, and even neo-classicists like Mr. Evangelista, did not say "this is the way we do things because it's traditional," but instead "this is the way we do things because we believe it works best." The FIE should either accept the evolution of sabre, or attempt to make a flimsy appeal to tradition - ironically defying the traditional emphasis on practicality that permeates the age-old art.

    As a side note: As always, there is a possibility that dear old FIE is doing this to make fencing more oriented towards television. I would like to make the observation that I've never heard anything less than positive from spectators about a well constructed sabre attack under the current interpretation of the rules.
     
  8. Joe biebel

    Joe biebel Podium

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    Many thanks to Downunder for starting this thread and posting the video. I watched the video with great interest. I have never refereed sabre at a competition, but this video does capture the essence of a number of critical concepts about saber ROW. Hopefully this will help to improve (reduce the variation from ref to ref) saber refereeing.

    Hope they do one on foil:)

    I also noticed that my first impression of the ROW on numerous touches in the video was wrong.:(. The slow-mo was quite useful in this context.
     
  9. keith

    keith Podium

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    On this bear in mind the emphasis put on the position of the guard. Yes you can get a light by slapping any part of the sabre blade against target but when the hand is in the low line the 'cutting edge' is threatening the legs. If you have your hand in the low line it is pretty hard to cut to valid target. In contrast in the high line the edge is threatening valid target a cut, without a change in hand or wrist a cut would land the edge on valid target
     
  10. Platonist

    Platonist Rookie

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    I agree that it's easier to make a cut with the edge from high line, though it isn't impossible from low. It just seems to me that given how the sabre works, I'm not sure I understand why the cutting edge should be favored as the mode by which to attack. Am I correct that the only reason this would be so is an appeal to tradition?
     
  11. keith

    keith Podium

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    well that and the rules (which I believe) still state that points are scored with the front edge and the back third of the edge from the tip.

    If I am in seconde neither my edge nor point is threatening valid target (unless my opponent is very short). I can of course turn my hand/wrist to deliver the edge to the valid target but this is now a compound action. Now if I feint flank cut chest the odd sabre ref might give my opponent the point if they made a simultaneous simple attack as I went incorrectly compound.
     
  12. sheck

    sheck Rookie

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    If sabre is pointed at ceiling this would not be an attack. It is the same case as low line IMO.
     
  13. Platonist

    Platonist Rookie

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    In low line, the back third of the edge can easily be pointing at target area, no? Coming forward from en garde into seconde, I can easily cut upwards with the back edge into my opponent's cuff, or even cut upwards to hit his mask.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2007
  14. keith

    keith Podium

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    put your weapon in seconde - neither front nor back edge threatens valid target. I'll agree there are probably ways to hold the blade in the low line such as the edges do threaten target - although I suspect that these run into the second objection from the video; that the blade cannot be found. I'll agree that that seems a rather specious piece of reasoning on which to penalize an action, but both of these reasons to take the low line out of play seem to have alot to do with preserving (or returning to) the character of the weapon.

    I shall let someone else berate you for such childish dismissal of tradition :)
     
  15. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    (laughing) In 2009, I suspect the FIE will outlaw feints and disengages!
     
  16. keith

    keith Podium

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    Indeed, as such deceit is not part of the character of a frank exchange between gentlemen.
     
    Allen Evans likes this.
  17. Platonist

    Platonist Rookie

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    That is indeed rather suspicious reasoning on their part. It seems that they're willing to not only interpret fencing rules as unchangeable, absolute truths, but also quite willing to make up rules where it suits them. Anyway, there are plenty of low line parries and beats.

    I would call this an attempt to return to a perceived "character" of the weapon, ignoring the actual character of modern sabre which is a fast-paced footwork-dominated sport.

    I'm a big traditionalist, and if sabre had stayed a certain way over time, I would probably not call for any major changes. That said, sabre has been fenced and refereed a certain way for a long time, and it really is unfair to aspiring athletes to drastically change rule interpretation like this. Maybe if I discover some pre-historic cave paintings of people hitting round objects with sticks, I should go to the MLB and bring some tradition back into the old ball game.
     
  18. fencerbill

    fencerbill Podium

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    I think you are completely bass ackwards.

    It is modern Sabre that has departed from the rules. If the FIE wants a return to the rules, it is quite proper and welcomed by me.

    They changed the rules by eliminating fleches and the pointless running from end line to end line to return to Sabre with attacks, parry ripostes and counter parry ripostes.

    Now they are changing the rules to say you can't claim right of way if you hide your blade from a potential counter action by keeping the point by your ankle. And again I commend this emphasis that will help return to attack, riposte and counter riposte.
     
  19. swatchpost

    swatchpost Rookie

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    Training your eyes

    I thought the video was a wonderful test to see if you can catch, in a World Championship bout, exactly what the coaches are talking about. I wish something like that was out there for foil as well, but I'm going to start revisiting all the foil bouts that are on youtube from the 2007 World Championship and see if I can call like the referee without knowing the decision first.

    I also loved the thought that IF the fencer is not THREATENING the target area, that fencer does not have ROW. It takes it back to total old-school fencing when one had to be very conscious of the point of the opponents weapon. Much more realistic.

    Isn't the point of fencing, when it comes down to it, philosophically, to "give" and not "receive?" Moliere, I believe.

    Cheers,

    Yusef
     
  20. Platonist

    Platonist Rookie

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    You are mistaken.

    There is nothing sacred about more bladework. The loss of extended, confident attacks across the strip while the defender seeks by all means to regain priority means the loss of those great (and television friendly) actions you probably saw in the 2005 team sabre world championships final.

    I'm willing to fence any way they make me, though I prefer the game that I am seeing today rather than a morass of bladework. Regardless, I'm glad that no matter what happens, at least one of us will be happy.
     

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