Right of Way again (stifle those yawns, it's the Olympics!)

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Steve Khinoy, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    That's not an answer. An FOC once told me that both feet had to be off the strip before a "halt" should be called. I ignored that person because, frankly, they were incorrect and I'm not a robot. Why do YOU -- as a person who speaks on this forum with authority about ROW issues -- feel that you need to describe the action in this way?
     
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  2. Gav

    Gav is a Verified Fencing ExpertGav Moderator!!

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    I like epee.
     
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  3. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    There is a lot to be said for epee, but the tactical richness of foil can be....refreshing at times.
     
  4. Stormbringer

    Stormbringer DE Bracket

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    In that scenario, movement (or lack thereof) on X's part doesn't change the outcome.
    • Fencer X stands stock-still (Fencer Y is ostensibly advancing on Fencer X, without attacking (e.g. in preparation)).
    • Fencer Y attempts to beat X's blade, but misses (that is, no blade contact is made).
    • Immediately following Y's failed attempt to beat X's blade, both fencers extend and strike the other's valid target.
    • As best as can be determined from any video recording, the fencers' final extensions-to-target - that is, the fencers' final offensive actions of the phrase - started at the same time.
    Y made a search for X's blade and failed to make blade contact, after which both X and Y immediately extend and hit.
    • Fencer X is advancing on Fencer Y without attacking (e.g. in preparation); Fencer Y is standing stock-still.
    • Fencer Y attempts to beat X's blade, but misses (that is, no blade contact is made).
    • Immediately following Y's failed attempt to beat X's blade, both fencers extend and strike the other's valid target.
    • As best as can be determined from any video recording, the fencers' final extensions-to-target - that is, the fencers' final offensive actions of the phrase - started at the same time.
    This is the same thing - Y made a search for X's blade and failed to make blade contact, after which both X and Y immediately extend and hit.
    • Fencer Y is advancing on Fencer X without attacking (e.g. in preparation); Fencer X is retreating from Fencer Y.
    • Fencer Y attempts to beat X's blade, but misses (that is, no blade contact is made).
    • Immediately following Y's failed attempt to beat X's blade, both fencers extend and strike the other's valid target.
    • As best as can be determined from any video recording, the fencers' final extensions-to-target - that is, the fencers' final offensive actions of the phrase - started at the same time.
    This is, again, the same thing - Y made a search for X's blade and failed to make blade contact, after which both X and Y immediately extend and hit.
    • Fencer X is advancing on Fencer Y without attacking (e.g. in preparation); Fencer Y is retreating from Fencer Y.
    • Fencer Y attempts to beat X's blade, but misses (that is, no blade contact is made).
    • Immediately following Y's failed attempt to beat X's blade, both fencers extend and strike the other's valid target.
    • As best as can be determined from any video recording, the fencers' final extensions-to-target - that is, the fencers' final offensive actions of the phrase - started at the same time.
    This is still the same thing - Y made a search for X's blade and failed to make blade contact, after which both X and Y immediately extend and hit.

    All of these scenarios would/should produce the same result - search from Y fails, attack from X arrives, touch for X - regardless of whether X (or Y, for that matter) is standing still, advancing, or retreating.
     
  5. rudd

    rudd Podium

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    Except they don't and haven't for at leat 40 years, maybe even 60. Happy birthday electric foil, you've come a long way baby.
     
  6. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    I never know what we're talking about in these discussions. Is this a matter of theory? How do the rules say that right-of-way should be called? Is it practical advice to referees on how to call actions (with no video reference!)? Is it advice to fencers on when they should be annoyed that the referee did not give them the touch?

    I guess it depends what you mean by "immediately following Y's failed attempt". If I'm X, and if I want to get that call every time in all of those situations, I want to be extending (and avoiding the Y's beat) at the same time as Y is making the beat.

    In practice, I think that most referees give more leeway to the fencer who is moving forward and trying to create offense. IMHO, that's a good thing because it's relatively difficult to turn on a light on the attack in foil. Therefore, in the case where X is moving forward, and Y misses the beat, I would expect X to get it every time as long as he finishes smoothly.

    In the cases where Y is moving forward, if X is extending into the attempted beat, he should get the point every time. Many fencers think that they're doing that, but it often really happens like this:

    * Y steps forward, and X retreats.
    * Y attempts to take the blade, and starts to step forward.
    * X avoids the beat, and starts to step back.
    * Y finishes his advance.
    * X finishes his retreat.
    * Both X and Y extend, lunge, and hit at the same time.
    * Attack and the touch to Y (based on my experience, easier to show with video, YMMV, etc.)

    In practice, if Y is advancing, it does matter whether X is standing still or retreating. For Div2 or Div3 fencers, if Y is moving forward, it's much easier for X to execute the attack correctly and in time to get the touch if he's stationary. (And even when X is stationary, he often waits too long.) For local and regional referees, it's also easier to see and award the attack to X in this type of action when X is stationary.

    And, of course, sometimes X gets the touch even when he screws up the timing because Y also screws up his action. Y is moving forward and attempts to beat. Y misses the beat, panics, and stops or checks back. Even if X is a little late, he can still get the attack since Y has made an additional error.

    Anyway, my point is just that saying "immediately following" is easy. Executing it well enough to get the call (and finding a referee who can see and make that call) is considerably more difficult. Therefore, what you imagine you're describing and what someone else thinks you're describing may actually look very different, and that's where a lot of these discussions (without video) break down.
     
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  7. mtwieg2

    mtwieg2 DE Bracket

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    I think the major reason this written rule differs so much from the practical application is that it doesn't mention anything about whether the action following the derobement is an attack (lunging into the failed search) or a counterattack (backpedalling away from it). A retreating fencer can derobe as many times as they like, but that doesn't get them priority (assuming PIL is not involved). They have to derobe, then lunge, which is far more difficult. And even then they usually aren't going to be given priority. Because that's just the way things have been called for the last XX years.

    Go ahead and look on badgermille for a derobement and stop hit which gets a decisive touch. IIRC there are one or two on there, but they're rare.
     
  8. Gav

    Gav is a Verified Fencing ExpertGav Moderator!!

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    Right at the start of the rulebook it say it's not a manual for fencing. It's right there, right at the start.

    The rules do not describe "how to fence" because that would be stupid. They describe an environment [framework] in which a contest between 2 or more fencers can be considered "fair". That's all.
     
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  9. Mac A. Bee

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

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    Because more than one FOC and the F1s I shadow do so.
     
  10. Steve Khinoy

    Steve Khinoy DE Bracket

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    Getting back to my original question:
    So I'm not unduly worried about the actual text of the rules or whether fencing was more elegant in the 1980s. I am curious, though, whether my observations about foil and saber were correct, and if so, why foil and saber should have diverged so much.
    OK, for what it's worth about elegance. It's not that all of fencing "then" (whenever your "then" is) was elegant. There were elegant individuals. But At some point, there ceased to be elegant foil fencers at the top level.. Brilliant, yes, yes, yes, Elegant, no.
     
  11. Spenzario

    Spenzario Rookie

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    Clearly all has to do with the meaning of the words. Exact definitions should be given. All those changes in foil fencing is bad. If fencing is nominated to disappear at the olympics, than the first weapon will be foil. Now, what is exactly retreating?
    Retreat is:
    1. stepping backwards with both feet?
    2. is that also moving backwards with your left foot (for a righthanded fencer)? Body stay at the same place?
    3. In case of moving your right foot backwards is that also retreating?
    4. In case of not moving your feet, but inclining your body backwards, is that also a retreat?
    5. Going forward with your right foot only but inclining the body backwards, could that also be a retreat?
    My point is, that if no one understands the rule what precisely an attack is, all in foil fencing is very subjective. And so foilists are able to mislead the referee. It is all the discussion about words. In no rule book the word initiative is mentioned. But it is used a the basis for attacking, no matter how badly it is executed with bending arms. However in the rulebook it is described (t56)
    After decades one point is cleared up, that the attack distance is step forward and lunge. Now here is another discussion point. What is the measure of the step and how should it be executed? Well some fencers start with the left foot to be in a narrow guard. After that they make a huge jump forward like an athlete. Well ..... So this has to do with the footwork. But isn't fencing about how the weapon should be used?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  12. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    I have always felt that two small rule differences from saber to foil -- and the evolution of how they are interpreted by referees -- have lead to divergence between the two weapons. The first difference is that the end of the attack in saber (when the front foot touches the ground) is defined much more closely than in foil (though the saber interpretation has been somewhat loosened in the last five years, it is still significant). The second is the use of saber rule t.77(b) which describes the "proper" execution of a feint and the angle the arm has to be kept at to be in play.

    On their own, these two rules probably would not make a huge difference between the two weapons. But over the years of usage and interpretation, they've resulted in (in my opinion) significant difference between how the two weapons are called.
     
  13. malediction

    malediction Made the Cut

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    That 34 year old foil looks more like epee than foil to me.
     
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  14. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    It is?

    Can you refer me to an instance of an action actually being called as ending that way? I can't ever recall seeing it any more.
     
  15. vivoescrimare

    vivoescrimare DE Bracket

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    Because it's easy to hit in saber, without pulling your arm back. (See my original response.)
     
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