Fencing Quiz: Saint or Sinner?

Hants epee finalby Victoria Pritchard:

Pick the answers that apply to you and add up the points in the brackets next to them to find out whether you’re a noble knight or a scourge of the fencing salle.

1. Do you always shake hands with the referee and fencers at the end of a poule?

Always (0) Sometimes (1) Never (2)

2. Have you ever tampered with your opponent’s kit before a bout?

Often (2) Sometimes (1) Never (0)

3. Have you ever said ‘Sorry!’ when you’ve (accidentally!) injured someone, and secretly thought ‘Yes! Now it will be easier to win’?

Often (2) Sometimes (1) Never (0)

4. Do you always salute your opponent and referee before you fight?

Always (0) Sometimes (1) Never (2)

5. Do you wash your kit regularly? (We know who you are.)

Yes (0) No (2)

6. Do you cover your target area with your hand in foil or epee to annul a hit?

Often (2) Sometimes (1) Never (0)

7. Have you ever lied about a hit that you know is rightfully your opponent’s?

Often (2) Sometimes (1) Never (0)

8. Have you ever hit someone in the back after they’ve run past you?

Often (2) Sometimes (1) Never (0)

9. Do you laugh if your opponent falls over?

Always (2) Sometimes (1) Never (0)

10. Have you ever thrown your kit/weapons on the floor in temper when you’ve lost a bout?

Yes (2) Never (0)

11. Have you ever thrown other people’s kit/weapons on the floor when you’ve lost a bout?

Yes (2) Never (0)

12. Have you ever boasted about how amazing you are at fencing, even if you’re not very good, to impress someone? (Shame on you.)

Yes (2) Never (0)

13. Have you ever deliberately hit the floor in epée to make the referee call halt?

Often (2) Sometimes (1) Never (0)

14. Do you tap opponents who have just beaten you on the shoulder and say ‘Right, you. Outside now’?

Often (2) Sometimes (1) Never (0)

15. Have you ever deliberately worn a lamé in competition, which you know is faulty, hoping that some of your opponent’s hits won’t register?

Often (2) Sometimes (1) Never (0)

16. Are you encouraging to beginner fencers?

Often (0) Sometimes (1) Never (2)

17. When you and your opponent have hit at the same time in foil and sabre and the referee is deciding who has right of way, do you jump up and down, shouting ‘Me! Me!’, or some variation of this, to influence them?

Often (2) Sometimes (1) Never (0)

18. Have you ever pulled out of a competition because you know you can’t win?

Sometimes (2) Never (0)

So what kind of fencer are you?

0-5 points: Congratulations. Assuming you’ve answered honestly, you are a fencing saint – the noble knight in shining armour; the duellist who believes in fair play; the most respected of all fencers. Are you human? But be careful people don’t take advantage of you. There are plenty of back-stabbers out there who won’t bat an eyelid at striking when you least expect it.

6-24 points: Well, not everyone’s perfect…

25-36 points: You are the ignoble knight on the black horse; the duellist who draws his sword after his opponent has called game over. Yes, you are a fencing sinner, and you think nothing of cheating to win. Take some tranquillisers and CALM DOWN. Where’s all this aggression coming from? Bad manners may be as old as the hills (and some of the fencers you’ve come across), but that’s no reason to be nasty. Being the baddie might look glamorous in films, but then again, no screen villain was at risk of getting a black card. If I were you, I’d pull your fencing socks up and buy an etiquette book, before someone sends you a restraining order.