The FIE Congress made a new rule regarding Epee Inside Guard Sockets, so if you are an Epee fencer who competes at FIE competitions this post applies to you, please read carefully.
The new rule is as follows:
Epee Guard Sockets – NEW – Application 2020-2021 Season m.18.3 The socket inside the epee guard must have two separate holes in the block, so that the two wires can be passed through the block separately and then connected to the terminals.
The rule is quite self-explanatory, but the images below show what is and isn’t acceptable under this ruling.
The reason for this new rule is due to allegations of fencers tampering with their weapon during a fight. A person could appeal to having a faulty weapon during a fight when a double hit did not register for them, and then “possibly” detach the internal wire with their thumb, before presenting the weapon for testing, therefore annulling their opponents point.
The rules surrounding annulment of hits in epee are as followed, with a fencer’s interpretation of how the rules are being applied in competitions currently underneath each section.
-t.93 In arriving at his judgement, the Referee will disregard hits which are registered as a result of actions:
- caused by the meeting of the points of the épées or by a hit made on the ground where it is not insulated.
(1) Tip to Tip hits and floor hits should be annulled, at the judgement of the referee.
-t.94 The Referee must take note of possible failures of the electrical equipment and must annul the last hit registered in the following circumstances:
1 If a hit made on the guard of the competitor against whom the hit was registered or on the conductive piste causes the apparatus to register a hit;
2 If a hit properly made by the competitor against whom the hit was registered does not cause the apparatus to register a hit;
3 If the apparatus fortuitously registers a hit on the side of the competitor against whom the hit was registered, for example, after a beat on the blade, by any movements of his opponent, or as a result of any cause other than a properly made hit;
4 If the registering of a hit made by the competitor against whom the hit was registered is annulled by a subsequent hit made by his opponent.
5 Special cases
- If a double hit is registered and one hit is valid and the other is not valid (such as a hit made on some surface other than on the opponent (cf. t.93.1) or a hit made after leaving the piste (cf. t.33ss), only the valid hit is scored.
- If a double hit is registered by an established hit and a doubtful hit (failure of the electrical apparatus, cf. t.93) the fencer who has made the established hit may choose to accept the double hit or ask to have it annulled.
(1) If a point registers on the guard or the conductive piste, the hit must be annulled.
(2) If a both fencers hit but one fencer’s equipment doesn’t register due to technical fault, the hit must be annulled.
(3) If the fencer’s equipment registers a hit improperly, i.e. goes off when blade is beaten, the hit must be annulled.
(4) If both fencers hit but one fencer equipment doesn’t register due to technical fault, then that fencer makes and subsequent hit i.e. to floor or foot, the hit must stand.
- If two fencers hit but one fencer’s hit is valid and the other is not valid i.e. the fencer is off the piste or hits off the piste, only the valid hit must stand.
- If two fencers hit but one fencer’s hit is valid and the other is doubtful i.e. possible ground hit, the fencer with the valid hit can decide whether to accept the double or annul both hits.
t.95 The Referee must also apply the following rules regarding the annulment of hits:
1 If the incidents mentioned in Article t.94 occur as a result of the competitor’s body wire being unplugged (either near the hand or at the back of the fencer), they cannot justify the annulment of the hit registered. However, if the safety device prescribed by Article m.55.4 is missing or not functioning, the hit should be annulled if the plug at the fencers back has become unplugged.
2 The fact that the épée of a competitor has large or small areas of insulation formed by oxidation, by glue, paint or any other material on the guard, on the blade or elsewhere, on which his opponent’s hits can cause a hit to be signalled, or that the electric tip is badly fixed to the end of the blade so that it can be unscrewed or tightened by hand, cannot justify the annulment of hits registered against that competitor.
3 If a competitor tears the conductive piste by a hit made on the ground and, at the same time, the apparatus registers a hit against his opponent, the hit must be annulled.
(1) If any of the incidents from article t.94 are caused due to the fencer’s body wire coming out at either end, the opponents hit should stand. Unless the body wire comes out due to the failure of the safety clip on the spool.
(2) If any of the incidents from article t.94 are caused due to fencers’ equipment being kept in poor condition i.e. oxidation/glue/paint on the guard, the opponents hit should stand.
(3) If the competitor tears the piste and the hit registers, the hit must be annulled
This means that due to rule -t.94 (2) the fencer was able to get their opponents hit annulled based on the fact that their failure to score a point was classed under technical fault. Also, due to the fact that within article -t.95 there is no rule stating incidents caused by internal wires coming out, the opponents hit should stand. Only a rule stating that if the fencers bodywire comes out, the opponents should stand. There is nothing to prevent the hit being annulled if the referee does not see the wire tampering take place.
This means that after the Olympics, all Epee sockets will need to have two holes in them for the wires to pass through, for all FIE events. This prevents people pulling the wires and prevents people connecting the wires or shorting them inside the socket as the wires have their own individual channel.
We will make our version transparent which makes mounting the weapon easier, and so people can be sure you are winning through skill and not by electronic trickery.