FIE Rule Interpretation

FV have had inquiries about the penalties to be applied to rule t63.3 and the scope of brutality in Epee. The rule itself is open to interpretation so FV have asked for David Mok's, Stephen Darragh's, and David Baker's (all  of whom are FIE referees) opinion on it. The attachment is a summary of their opinion on the penalties to be applied for t63.3 and also a summary on the current standing of Corps a corps.

Simple Corps à Corps
This is now removed from the 1st group of offences.
Corps à Corps actions that are now Group 1 offences (as specified in t.120.) are:
• Corps à Corps to avoid being hit
• Jostling

Interpretation of t.63.3
The ‘flèche ending systematically in a corps à corps’ referred to in this article must not be confused with the ‘flèche resulting in a shock which jostles the opponent’, which is considered as an act of intentional brutality at all three weapons and is punished as such (cf. t.87.2, t.120)
-As specified this rule must be read in conjunction with t.87.2 and t.120 (the table of penalties).
All bouts must preserve the character of a courteous and frank encounter. All irregular actions (flèche attack which finishes with a collision jostling the opponent, disorderly fencing, irregular movements on the piste, hits achieved with violence, blows struck with the guard, hits made during or after a fall) or anti- sporting behaviour are strictly forbidden (cf. t.114–t.120). Should such an offence occur, any hit scored by the fencer at fault is annulled.
-t63.3 specifically refers to the need to distinguish a ‘flèche ending systematically in a corps à corps’ (t63.1) with a ‘flèche resulting in a shock which jostles the opponent’, and specifies that the second action is considered intentional brutality.

Read in conjunction with t87.2
-This section defines a range of irregular actions that may take place in a fencing bout that may not preserve a bout of a ‘courteous and frank encounter’.
-These actions are subject to a range of penalties under t.120 from 1st group (irregular fencing), to 2nd group (violent or vindictive action), to 3rd and 4th group (anti-sporting behaviour and offence against sportsmanship).
-Therefore when t63.3 is read in conjunction with t87.2 and t.120 the action of a ‘flèche resulting in a shock which jostles the opponent’ can be read widely in interpreting what penalty is prescribed for the act which is considered one of intentional brutality.

A Graded System of Penalties
-In conjunction with t87.2 and t.120 I would propose t63.3 be applied as such:
-If a ‘flèche resulting in a shock which jostles the opponent’ is to be considered as intentional brutality them in accordance with t87.2 it will fall under the 2nd group of offences as a ‘dangerous, violent or vindictive action’. As such the fencer’s touch will be annulled and a red card will be immediately awarded.
-If a ‘flèche resulting in a shock which jostles the opponent’ is of sufficient INTENTIONAL BRUTALITY to be considered an act of ‘anti-sporting’ behaviour then it will fall under a Group 3 offence where the 1st offence results in the touch being annulled and a red card being awarded to the fencer. A second offence results in a black card (exclusion from the competition and the following 2 months of competition).
-Finally, if a ‘flèche resulting in a shock which jostles the opponent’ is considered to be INTENTIONAL BRUTALITY to be considered an ‘offence against sportsmanship’ under t87.2 and t105.1 it will be a Group 4 offence resulting in an immediate black card.
-All referees are advised that if they KNOW that this particular action is deliberate they are to immediately apply Group 3 or 4 penalties, depending on the severity of the jostling.
Note: this is a penalty for extreme circumstances and will be read in conjunction with t105.1
Note: Often the higher skilled a fencer the more deliberate these actions will be. Jostling in less skilled fencers is common (particularly in Epee) and the referees application of a penalty may reflect this.
t.105. 1. A competitor who, while fencing, commits certain violent or vindictive actions against his opponent, or who does not fence to his utmost ability, or who profits from a fraudulent agreement with his opponent, may be excluded from the competition.


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