These pages have been created from material presented to a refereeing seminar given by Keith Smith at Bristol (and later at Kingston Fencing Club).   The pages have been photocopied, scanned then OCR'd (converted to text by charcter recognition).   There will inevitably be errors which were not present in the original.

Article from the Sword, part 1

Article from the Sword, part 2

Hand signals

Faults and penalties

(list for overview)

Fundamentals of fencing

General hints for better refereeing

Epee refereeing hints

Foil refereeing hints

Sabre refereeing hints

General Hints for Better Refereeing
This not supposed to be an exhaustive list but some general points which should improve the level ofrefereeing. There follows weapon specific guides in the later sections.

1. Understand the conventions of the weapon you are refereeing.

2. Referee as often as posible at each weapon that you referee.

3. Know the rules and penalties and apply them. You should be able to pass with at least 80% the Fie Theory Multiple Choice Exam.

4, Use the correct terminology.

5. Indicate clearly which fencer has scored the hit.

6. Referee at a suitable levl as regularly as possible. This will keep you up to the mark and gain the confidence of the fencers.

7. Warm up prior to the latter stages of the competition. No matter how good you are, you need to get into the swing of the fencing.

8. Try not to have to referee foil and sabre on the same day, or at least finish one weapon before starting another. The conventions are so different these days.

9-Maintain good order on the piste. Use the penalties if necessary.

10. Listen to the judgement of those you trust on your refereeing. This may be coaches, other referees or fencers. I regualarly ask the fencers what they think, albeit after the pool etc.

11. Make sure you are in a good position to see the box and the fencing. This is vital at sabre and foil. I appreciate this is not always possible at some competitions where the pistes are very close together.

12. Give clear and concise decisions. You are not the main attraction.

13. Tell the organisers if you are tired and during the competition do have a drink or get outside the venue and get some fresh air. Sit down. Just standing up for hours can be very tiring.

14. In team matches identify the team captain, as only they can protest officially. Make them all sit well back from the end of the piste.

15. Treat the fencers with respect. My motto is always try to be "firm but fair".

Good luck!!