Fencing is one of the most popular sports in Olympics. Learn about the rules and regulations of this game and also have a look at the history of Fencing in Olympics.


The dexterous and exciting game of Fencing has been a part of the Olympics since 1896. Spared between three types of weapons namely foil, sabre, and epee, Fencing competitions in Olympics are regulated by the rules laid down by the Federation Internationale d'Escrime (FIE). Though the sport enjoys a history of more than thousand years, Fencing started becoming popular during the 19th century. Being a highly tense and challenging competition, Fencing is one of the most popular Olympic sports. Performed with a heavy mask for protection, this game has a natural magnetic effect to pull large number spectators. Fencing is now judged with the help of an electronic scoring device. A set of rules called 'Right of Way' or 'priority' helps in eliminating biased judgment or any other chances of error. Being a game that requires good balance and co-ordination, Fencing offers great entertainment to the spectators. Read on to know about the rules and regulations of this game and also its ong list of accomplishments in Olympics.

Fencing Rules And Regulations
  • It is mandatory that fencers must salute each other before the competition commences. Refusing to do so or forgetting this may lead to disqualification.
  • Foil and sabre fencing encourages strategic moves rather than random poking. The fencer should touch his opponent and points are credited for each hit. Whichever participant scores 15 points first wins the game.
  • The strip area, where the match occurs, should be flat, with the surface measuring between 1.5 m to 2 m wide and 14 m long. Five lines should be drawn on the strip area and the first line set at 0 m signifies out of bounds. The lone at 5 m is called the first on-guard line, the center line is at 7 m, second on-guard line is at 9 m and other rear limit line is at 14 m.
  • Every touch rewards a point to the competitor and hence, the target area is very important. In case of a foil, the valid target areas are between the trunk and the upper limit of the collar. Valid target areas for epee weapon include the whole body, including the clothing and the equipment. The valid touch area for saber includes any part of the body above the horizontal line drawn between the top of the thigh and hip area when the fencer is in the on-guard position.
  • The competitor should wear all of the required protective equipment during competition.
  • The competition is held at the competitor’s risk.
  • The fencer is permitted to use only one hand until the end of the bout unless the referee gives a special permission because of some injury on hand.
  • Any touch made by the competitor after passing the opponent is annulled, only those touches made as a fencer passes his opponent are valid.
  • The fencer must not hold any part of the electrical object under any circumstances during competition.
  • If a fencer cannot complete his bout for whatever reason, his opponent is declared winner.
Fencing History
Being a part of Olympics since 1896, Fencing is one of the most popular events in the Games. The first events to be included in Olympics were men's foil and men's sabre. Master's foil competition was there in 1896 Olympics. Epee event was added in the year 1900. Master's events were opted out of the Games after 1906 and team championships for all three events were added instead of those events. Women's foil competition was added to the Olympics in 1924 whereas women's epee became its part in 1996. The round robin method was replaced with single-elimination tournament in 1980. Since 1896, several types of fencing became a part of the Olympics whereas some of the types were discontinued as well. The eliminated fencing competitions are Masters Foil, Masters Sabre, Masters Epee, Sabre - Three Hits, Open Epee and Single Sticks.