Saber refereeing insanity

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by Mitlov, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Fencing saber is a blast, but here's why when I actually compete, I generally stick to epee. No right-of-way = objectivity and predictability. I've sometimes felt that director's call of right-of-way is a bit arbitrary, but here's video proof.

    For the record, "grand prix" events like this are international competitions leading up to the world championships each year. These are Olympic-caliber fencers being directed by an Olympic-caliber director.

    [ame=""]Grand Prix Fencing Refereeing Oddity - YouTube[/ame]
  2. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Highly Skilled Peeper Supporter

    Help me understand what just happened as I'm not familiar with fencing or the style of video that was being shown.

    The video overlaid the two rounds (sorry if that's not what it's called) showing that the second round was nearly a replica of the first, but each was called differently by the judge as far as far as points rewarded go?
  3. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    I don't understand why there is discussion.
    Aren't the points awared by an electric switch on the tip of the weapon?
  4. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    In cases where touches are simultaneous or nearly-simultaneous, foil and saber use a "right-of-way" system to decide who gets the point (in epee, both sides get a point if the touch is literally simultaneous; if there's even a 0.04 second difference, the first to hit gets the point). The question in foil and saber becomes, in short, who started their attack first. They get right-of-way. Once someone has right-of-way, you can only score if (1) you take right-of-way away from them by parrying their blade, or (2) you manage to hit them without them hitting you back within a couple tenths of a second.

    The two points were basically identical. But the director called right-of-way opposite on the two points. Each time there was a challenge, and after viewing the video replay, he affirmed his decision.

    Moral of the story: a director's call of right-of-way can be as unpredicable as an ouija board.
  5. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    That's a bit silly though. You're both 'dead'. Who cares. In that case it would make more sense for both to get a point, or neither.
  6. LilBunnyRabbit

    LilBunnyRabbit Old One

    Firstly it's a sport, and so it's irrelevant that if you were using completely different swords, no padding, and actual pointy blades you would both be injured.

    Secondly it was largely designed so that people practicing with foils did not, in fact, skewer each other - as they would defend properly and not attack simultaneously (the idea being that you must parry before you riposte in order to regain right of way and not be 'dead').
  7. PointyShinyBurn

    PointyShinyBurn Valued Member

    The idea is/was to discourage suicide, essentially. If the guy is attacking you, stop the attack before you try to kill him back. It's the art of defence, after all.

    If it was no points for double hits, then hitting the guy back, killing yourself to get him, would be just as good as parrying, which for obvious reasons it isn't. Giving hits to both people, as in Epee, means that you can get one point ahead and then largely neglect your defence and double-hit up to the score limit.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
  8. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Setting aside, for a moment, the question of sport vs. simulation, look at the actual history of dueling. Very often, it didn't end in death. It wasn't even intended to. Honour could be satisfied by any of numerous conditions mutually agreed upon. Including "first blood." In which case, if two fencers both hit one another, the question would still need to be resolved regarding who drew first blood. Otherwise, the dispute continues.
  9. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    Ok that is indeed a sensible piece of context.
  10. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    It was pretty clear. The left handed fencer was going for the stop cut to the hand both times. In so doing he let his opponent have the extencion first. His mistake was not retreating after his attempt at the stop cut. Thus he gave up the offensive advantage to the motion on the first point. But... It worked on the second point, getting the simultanious call.

    When you're on the piste, you get the feel of the first extension. A mere fraction of a second and have to react to it. When I used to play saber I knew at the instant if I had right of way or not and be able to adjust. Sometimes not very successfully. I would contest calls but I knew the call was right.

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