The sport of fencing exercises both mind and body. It involves the analysis of strategy, tactics and psycological control, as well as developing coordination, dexterity, fitness, strength and balance.

The modern sport is based on the style of rapier fencing developed in the 17th century, but has been heavily influenced by rules, equipment and absence of life threatening situations. Today competitors wear specific protective clothing - a steel mask, kevlar jacket and breeches, gloves and hard breast plates and boxes.

There are three weapons:







The electrical scoring system works by wires being connected between the weapons, the body and a scoring box. Depending on the weapon, an electrical circuit is either opened or closed when a weapon connects with the opponents target. The scoring box has lights to tell you which person was hit, and whether the hit landed on target.

Competitors fence bouts of 5 hits in the first few rounds of the competition, and to 15 in the direct elimination rounds. They have 3 minutes to get 5 hits, or 9 minutes (3 x 3 minutes with 2 x 1 minute breaks) to get 15 hits.


Fencers move up and down a strip called a 'piste' which is 14 metres long and 2 metres wide. Fencers are penalised for leaving the strip. In competitions the strip is made of metal and connected to the electrical system so that the scoring box will not go off when the floor is hit.