Hit during falling

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

  1. Howan

    Howan Rookie

    Aug 30, 2018
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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

    Apr 10, 2013
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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

    May 6, 2005
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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.

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