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 Fencing Referee Signals

Fencing Intro

 

Find a Fencing Club Kids Fencing Fencing Equipment Fencing Terms
Referee Signals Fencing Penalties Three essential skills of fencing Tips for Selecting a Fencing  Teacher Tips and Advice on Fencing Competitions
Equipment Care

 

  As with other sports fencing bouts are monitored by a referee.  This could be another fencer or a certified referee.  They use hand signals to show when to start, stop, how points are being awarded and who gets penalties.  Since fencing is an international sport and language could be a barrier hand signals are very important to help fencers understand the rules.
On Guard

This is the referee signal to order the fencer into the guard position. 

 

 

Ready

This is the signal made by the referee to determine if both fencers are ready to begin.

 

Play/Fence

This is the signal to start fencing.  The referee will bring his hands together.
Halt

This signal requires you to immediately stop fencing.  The referee will normally hold up his right hand unless the halt was caused specifically by the left hand fencer.

Attack from left/right

This is the signal that determines the attack fencer.  Left hand raised represents the fencer on the referee's left while the right hand raised represents the fencer on the referee's right.

Hits

This is the signal that determines which fencer hits.  Left hand raised shows the fencer on the referee's left has been hit and if the right hand is raised it shows that the fencer on the referee's right has been hit by the opponent.

Point Awarded

This is the signal that determines whom the referee is awarding the point.  Left hand raised means the point goes to the fencer on his left while the right hand raised means the point goes to the fencer on the referee's right.  In Epée if both hands are raised it means both fencers receive a point.

Together

This is the signal that shows both attacks started simultaneously.

Off Target

This is the signal that shows that the fencer has hit a non-valid target.  In this case the fencer does not score a point.

 
Parried

This signal indicates that a fencer successfully parries an attack.  The left hand represents the fencer on the referee's left performed the parry while the right hand represents the fencer on the right.

Point in Line

This referee signal indicates that one of the fencers established point-in-line against his/her opponent.  The left hand represents the fencer on the referee's left took point-in-line while the right hand represents the fencer on the right.

Fails/Miss

This signal shows that the action of one of the fencers has failed to hit either on or off target. Left hand raised shows the fencer on his left has missed while the right hand raised means the fencer on the referee's right has missed.