Detailed rules about the sport of fencing explained by fencing coach Nikiki Franke
Franke is entering her 40th season as director of fencing and women’s foil coach and her career record stands at 625-165-1. In Franke’s tenure with the Owls, she has led Temple to 14consecutive National Intercollegiate Women’s Fencing Association Championships and 35postseason appearances including a NCAA Championship back in 1992. The coach was alsoUnited States Fencing Association National Foil Champion in both 1975 and 1980 and a member of the 1976 and 1980 U.S. Olympic Teams. Franke has been inducted into the InternationalSports Hall of Fame, established by the Women’s Sports Foundation, the USFA Hall of Fame as well as the Temple University Athletics Hall of Fame.
The weapons: Fencers compete in one-on-one bouts using a foil, sabre, or epee weapon during a meet. Everyone specializes in one weapon.
- Foil: Competitors must hit their opponent in the torso to earn a point using the tip of their foil weapon.
- Epee: Fencers use this weapon’s point to hit their opponent’s entire body for a score.
- Sabre: This is more of a slashing weapon where fencers can hit their opponent anywhere from the waist-up with the point or sides of the blade.
The basic rules:
• Each fencer must stay within the fencing strip, which is a boundary that is about46 feet long and 6.5 feet wide.
• Judges know when a fencer scores a point because each competitor’s jacket is connected to a cord that runs from an electrical machine and a touch from an opponent’s weapon sets off a light from the machine.
• There is pool play, which calls for three-minute bouts that determine a winner when a fencer scores five touches first or more points than the opponent in the allotted time and direct elimination play, which is conducted in nine-minute matches that require a fencer to record 15 touches or more points than the opponent before time runs out.
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