Hit during falling

Discussion in 'Rules and Referee Questions' started by Howan, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. Howan

    Howan Rookie

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    In the rule of penalty, yellow card is issued when a fencer hits the opponent when falling. What is the rationale? Why should the fencer be punished? If someone lost balance and fell, he still doesn't want to be hit. It seems it does not take advantage of the others.
     
  2. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    This forum is intended for questions on the contents and applications of the rules, so this question would be better suited to the main discussion forum as it pertains to a matter of opinion/history. With that said, my understanding of this rule is that it is to prevent dangerous/abnormal fencing, such as people diving for the touch. It is all part of t.121.2 in the USFA rulebook and is grouped in with fl├Ęche attacks that finish with a collision jostling the opponent, disorderly fencing, irregular movements on the strip, touches achieved with violence, and blows struck with the guard as examples of "irregular actions" worthy of a group I penalty. In my experience, most touches scored during or after the fall are accidental, but twice I've had someone dive for my toe (in epee), hit, and have their touch annulled/be penalized accordingly.
     
  3. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    In terms of application, see http://www.refereescommission.org/blog/2018/02/rules-blog-falling/ for some guidelines on what actions should and should not be penalized.

    I thought that this rule appeared after the 2004 Olympics where one of the Italian team members repeatedly avoided the attack by stopping giving ground, attempting a counterattack, and then collapsing backward to fall on his butt. Since he wasn't penalized, it was basically a free attempt at a counterattack because he was generally able to avoid the attack--difficult to do in foil in 2004 before the timing change!

    There was a great photo by Serge Timacheff, I believe, that showed the Chinese opponent, foil raised to flick and still trying to hit the his opponent as the Italian "fell" and launched himself back and sideways off the strip.
     
  4. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    Falling, regardless of whether a touch was being made in the process, used to be a Group 1 penalty. When the FIE decided eliminate falling in general as an offense, they essentially replaced it with the touch made while falling offense in order to keep competitors from recklessly diving at their opponents to score a hit.

    In response to the original poster, the penalty is for when you make a touch on your opponent while you are falling, not for when you make a touch on your opponent while your opponent is falling.
     
  5. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    You know, they really ought to make the rationale explicit in the rule if in fact that is the intent. As it is, the handful of words devoted to this in t.87.2 simply classify as irregular actions "touches made during or after a fall". That's pretty uncategorical; nothing there about falls made because of slips and such being exempt.

    I have also seen plenty of touches made during "falls" which happened in attempts to evade being hit not only not penalized but not even considered by the referee to be falls. This has become another of the many "the rules don't say so but I know it when I see it" calls which have devolved upon the refs.
     
  6. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Like the action at 0:45 here? The touch WAS awarded.

     
  7. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    A good example.
     
  8. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    Splits seem to be an interpretation matter. The standard I've heard refs mention is whether or not the fencer can return to en guard without using their hands. But then is that a subjective standard? Maybe some fencers can stand up from a split without use of their hands.
     
  9. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    Sounds like leaving the strip to avoid the touch.
     
  10. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    I wouldn't use this standard. There's one younger fencer at the Y who was arguing with me that sliding on his knees was fine because he was still in control. I'm sure he'd also demonstrate to me his ability to jump-up from kneeling to standing.
    Just, no..
     
  11. posineg

    posineg Made the Cut

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    Not a fall but a classic Passata-sotto might finish with the hand on the ground... would seem that going back to guard, the fencer might push off with there hand.
     
  12. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    Good points, jkormann and posineg.
     

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