Foil ROW and Point-in-Line

Discussion in 'Rules and Referee Questions' started by SirNug, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. SirNug

    SirNug Rookie

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    After the bout commences, the fencer on the left advances while the fencer on the right retreats. The fencer on the right establishes a point-in-line while the fencer on the left is hiding the blade with his/her arm pulled back. Then, the fencer on the left extends, then lunges and hits and the fencer on the right hits too with the fencer on the left landing into his/her blade. The fencer on the left did not make any blade contact with the blade of the fencer on the right and the whole time they the fencer on the left was advancing and the fencer on the right was retreating.

    Who would win that touch considering Right of Way? Wouldn't it be the fencer on the right's point because he/she extended first establishing a point-in-line?
     
  2. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    Rather than rehash this now familiar scenario, let me take a different approach.

    Quite a few years ago, a noted FIE referee and an international fencer were sitting in the stands watching a finals bout in foil. One fencer put out a line, and the opponent attacked. Two lights. The attacker was given the touch. A few actions later, the same thing happened with the same effect. The defender attempted to throw out a line, the opponent attacked, and the opponent got the touch.

    The referee finally turned to the fencer next to him and said: "Do you see what I see? Wasn't that a line from the defender?"

    The fencer shrugged and said: "Yes, but this referee never gives line."
     
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  3. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Point is for right. If properly established and the ref sees it, and presuming nothing ELSE happens to make Right lose the line (like breaking the line) PIL has complete priority over everything else...retreating does not change that.

    The key here is if Left was on the final attack before Right got the line established. The way you describe it, Left was still in preparation, therefore Right's PIL has priority and Right gets the touch.

    If, however, Left had started the lunge (the final attack) before Right got the line out, it would be Left's point because Right was too late.
     
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  4. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    If I take the text as written, sure. But only because the text says that FotR 'establishes point in line.' Honestly, most of the time this is attempted, the PiL is late. So probably not. Without video though, we're all just guessing.
     
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  5. dberke

    dberke Podium

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    For right's line to have priority, it has to have been established (and remain, unbroken for) at least one full tempo before left's attack begins. Based on what you've written, it's hard to tell - if one full tempo elapses between "The fencer on the right establishes a point-in-line while the fencer on the left is hiding the blade with his/her arm pulled back" and "then, the fencer on the left extends, then lunges" then it would probably be right's touch, but if left's action starts right after right puts out the line, then it's left's touch because the requisite tempo has not elapsed.

    As someone who uses point-in-line a fair amount (certainly more than most fencers), I can tell you that for a line to be valid, it usually feels like it's been out there forever - enough time that there is no doubt in the mind of the referee that it was established. Usually, to have that amount of time, you need to take a very big retreat while putting out the line so as to force the attacker to take an extra advance (and thus an extra tempo) before their attack starts.

    Dan
     
  6. InFerrumVeritas

    InFerrumVeritas DE Bracket

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    If FOTR established PIL, it is their point. PIL has ultimate priority. Since you said they established PIL, then they did.

    Distance and context are really important here. Generally, to get a PIL call you need to establish it before your opponent makes the final step-and-lunge of their attack.
     
  7. SirNug

    SirNug Rookie

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    I see. Thank you for all the responses and sorry for the vague example. I couldn't quite find a good example of this situation. Also, I did mean that the fencer on the right established a point-in-line many tempos before the fencer on the left.
     
  8. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    Another thing to consider is that the line has to be held with the arm stationary in a high-line position and with no movement of the point except in response to an opponent's attempt to find the blade. If the fencer with the line wiggles the point with no searching on the opponent's part or flinches and breaks the arm to any degree when the attacker finishes, the line is likely be considered as having been abandoned or not correctly established.
     
  9. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    To complicate: Having established line, FoR drops it and attacks. FoL's attack has been continuous. What then?
     
  10. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    Didn't you just answer your own question?
     
  11. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    If literally happening as you describe:

    1. FoR has proper point in line.
    2. FoL starts attack.
    3. FoR moves arm away from a proper in-line position and starts an attack.
    4. FoL finishes attack
    5. FoR hits.

    the touch is for FoL. FoR's line ceases to exist when the arm is moved from a proper in-line position, and FoR's attack is a new action that starts after FoL's attack and hence is not in proper time to gain priority. However, if FoR lunges while maintaining the arm in proper line position (a different situation than what you describe) then the line is still extant and has priority.
     
  12. guevarragv

    guevarragv Made the Cut

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    Ok, similar situation, and old tactic I used to do, with mixed results from the referee.

    My attacker is advancing, constant speed. I retreat quickly to get outside of an advance lunge distance. I set up a point in line. Attacker continues to advance towards me, takes one more advance, then finishes with an advance lunge. Both hit.

    Who's touch?
     
  13. InFerrumVeritas

    InFerrumVeritas DE Bracket

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    As you describe it: yours. Establishing PIL outside of distance means that you have priority. You only lose priority if you break line (bending the elbow, making an excessive or unnecessary derobement, breaking the wrist, etc) or if your opponent finds your blade with a beat.
     
  14. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    I think you answered your own question, there.
     
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  15. rudd

    rudd Podium

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    See post #2 unless you are Andrea Cassara fencing at a World Championship in Italy.
     
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  16. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    One really needs to see video of the action to judge it. Technically, if the line is completely and correctly established before the start of the final advance lunge, it should be in time. 'Completely and correctly' is the hard part, though- if you are judged to be still in the process of establishing the line at the start of the final advance-lunge, or make any kind of error in the position of the line (moving the point not as part of an immediate derobement of a search for your blade, flinching, etc.), the referee should call for the attacker. As a practical matter, if you're trying to 'beat an attack to the punch' with a line you're making a tactical mistake, relying on a very low-percentage action with a minimal margin for error. A better use of a line is to trigger the finish of your opponent's attack by starting to establish one, and then be ready to parry and score on the riposte.
     
  17. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    If your opponent has not started his final advance-lunge before you have your line established, it should be yours. You've even opened the distance so that you've created a good situation where you're stationary and point-in-line before your opponent gets to advance-lunge distance. I think that it would always be yours on replay.

    Whether the referee sees it In real time is a separate question. From my own experience, I think that you're much more likely to get the call if you frequently use point-in-line to set up touches. The referee is used to seeing you do it. He recognizes it when he sees it, and he's probably already used to watching for the distance and timing considerations for your pont-in-line. On the other hand, if that's the first point-in-line that you've made during the entire tournament, I think that the odds go up that the referee doesn't even notice that you were trying for a point-in-line.
     
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  18. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    First: No video, no way to tell.

    Now that that's out of the way, I don't think you'll ever get a great deal of consensus here. The rules are super specific, as they don't say 'if a simple attack is begun when your opponent is line,' rather just an attack. So, for some referees your opponent is making a compound attack the entire time, your line was established after that was begun, and it's theirs. For others, they will only give the attacker the touch if their simple attack begins the line, and you may well get the call. Given that we know each other, you and I both prefer the interpretation of simple attack needing to begin before the line, but that's not universal.
     
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  19. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    The relevant rule is t.56.3a: If the attack is initiated when the opponent has his point in line (cf. t.10) the attacker must, first, deflect his opponent’s blade. Note that t.10 is where point in line is defined.

    The question then is: at what point does point in line have to be established in order to have priority over an attack? The answer is before the attack begins, because otherwise t.56.3b takes over: If the attack is initiated when the opponent is in the point in line position (cf. t.10), the attacker must, first, deflect the opponent’s blade.

    When does the attack begin? See t.56.2 (it's long so I wont quote it here). The gist is that the attack begins when the fencer is threatening valid target while arm/feet are moving forward.

    How long does the attack last? In this case we're talking about a compound attack which is per t.8.1, an attack executed in several movements. t.56.2b states: The compound attack (cf. t.8.1) is correctly executed when the arm is extending in the presentation of the first feint, with the point threatening the valid target, and the arm is not bent between the successive actions of the attack and the initiation of the lunge or the flèche. In common terms, as long as the fencer is threatening target and their arm is not bent, the attack continues indefinitely.

    The only remaining question is: is a fencer threatening valid target when outside of advance-lunge distance? I don't have a good answer for you. I think most refs will call the scenario as you describe it as attack for the fencer who was advancing. I've personally attempted your scenario in a bout and the call did not go my way, but granted it was a low level ref making the call.

    This link (http://www.quarte-riposte.com/?p=228) seems like a good resource on the topic of point in line, with a lot of video examples and explanations, but doesn't explicitly answer your question or this final sub-question. Hope this helps!
     
  20. guevarragv

    guevarragv Made the Cut

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    Thanks all.

    Yes @keropie , it is what we prefer, but I know it's not universal.

    Thanks @tbryan , and I like that you do see preparations from attackers.

    @rudd You're right, post #2 really says it all. If the referee is not going to give it to me, I'm not going to do it again. :)
     

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