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

Epee Refereeing Hints
The Epeeist Epee fencers know the rules as it is their last resort having been hit. It is vital epee referees know the rules or you will end up in trouble.
A. The Weapon
1. Check it has two grub screws. If not then yellow card.
2. Check their is an attachment to hold in the bodywire in the guard and that it works. If the body wire then comes out in a fight you do not annul the hit.
3. Check the barrel is not loose. If it is, do not let the fencer use it and if it is when asking for the annulation of a hit, the hit is not annulled.
4. The blade may only have a one centimetre bend.
5. The fencer must have two working epees at the piste.
6. The blade must be mounted so that the groove in the blade is uppermost.
7. Check their is a pad in the guard and that it covers the wires in the guard.
8. If a fencer asks for a hit to be annulled, check the wires in the guard are still attached.
9. The pommel or handle must not have any extra covering, which could hide a switch etc.
10. Check the travel and weight correctly at the start of the fight.

B Start of the Fight
1. Check the weapon as above.
2. Check the rear fitting of the bodywire and there must be an attachment to hold the wire into the spool cable. If the wire then comes out, it is bad luck for the fencer and the hit is not annulled.
3. Check all the other kit of the fencer. 4. Check the fencer has two working epees

C During the Fight.
1. Stay vigilant. When something goes wrong it always happens quickly.
2. Always watch the fencer who has been hit as they may ask you to test their weapon and annul a hit.
3. I suggest you tell the fencer that if they do not present the epee to you , then you will not test it.
4. Watch for hits on the floor. This can be difficult in a scrappy phrase.
5. Do not call halt too soon. This is a very common fault, especially amongst foil referees, who do a little epee.
6. Watch for corps a corps. It is not warned, but it does stop the bout and annuls hits.
7. Watch for turning.
8. Watch for the use of the non sword arm. This is commoner than people think.
9. Watch for hits made with loss of balance, as this annuls the hit. Personally I do not invoke this rule unless the fencer is obviously falling over. Remember as well as annulling the hit you must give a yellow card.
10. If during normal fencing time the score is even, say 2-2, then you toss a coin and fence for one more minute. Every double hit is annulled and if the fight is won on the toss of a coin the score is V2-D2. If a single good hit is scored, the score is 3-2.
11. In an epee fight no hit can be added to the score unless actually scored, with the exception of penalty hits. Thus at 4-4, double hits are cancelled. At the end of the regualtion time, the score written down is the actual score, ie it could be 1-1.

D At the End of the fight.
1. Watch the loser till unplugged.
2. Write the score down correctly and get the fencers to sign the pool sheet or fight sheet.
3. Make sure the fencers salute and shake hands.

After all of this have a little rest till called again
Keith.A. Smith