The modern foil is descended from the training weapon for the small-sword, the common sidearm of 18th century gentleman. Rapier and even longsword foils are also known to have been used, but they were very different in terms of weight and use.
The target area for modern foil is said to come from a time when fencing was practiced with limited safety equipment. Another factor in the target area is that foil rules are derived from a period when dueling to the death was the norm. Hence, the favored target area is the torso, where the vital organs are.
In foil the valid target area includes the torso (including the lower part of the bib of the mask) and the groin. The head, arms, and legs are considered off target. Touches made off target do not count for points, but do stop play.
Scoring and Priority
Foil is a conventional weapon and so is governed by the rules of priority, also known as right of way. As such, points are not necessarily awarded to the first fencer to hit, but to the fencer who hits with priority. Priority is established when one fencer starts a correctly executed attack. An attack which has failed (i.e. has missed or been parried) no longer holds priority. Priority does not automatically pass to the defending fencer, unless the defending fencer parries, at which point priority is given to the defending fencer. Otherwise, at the moment an attack is over, neither fencer has priority. Instead, priority is gained by a fencer making an offensive action, as is always the case. If the attack was parried, the defender has the right to make a riposte, but it must be initiated without indecision or delay. In other words if the defending fencer parries successfully, but then waits and does not immediately riposte, they lose the right of way. Alternatively, he may initiate his own attack if the initial attack missed. The fencer making the original attack may also make a new offensive action, a renewal or remise of the initial attack.
In foil only actions that arrive with priority are considered, unless only one fencer actually hits. Then priority does not matter; the fencer who touched is awarded the point. If the fencer with priority hits off target and the fencer without priority hits on target, then no point is awarded. If both fencers hit on target but one had priority and the other did not, the fencer who had priority is awarded the point.
Foil Fencing Classes
Monday, 6:00 – 7:15 pm
Tuesday, (Beginning, age 8-12) 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Tuesday, (Intermediate) 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Thursday, (Beginning, age 8-12) 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Thursday, (Intermediate) 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Saturday, (Youth) 9:30 – 10:30 am
* Private lessons available and scheduled through individual coaches.
We Offer Open Fencing for BFC Members:
Saturday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm