Fencing: priority over oncoming traffic

Priority rules: foil double hitIn a previous post, we looked at the priority weapons, foil and sabre, attempting to untangle the issues of fencing time and what constitutes priority over oncoming traffic.

In short, priority (or right-of-way as it is also known) is the set of rules used to determine who is awarded the point when there is a double hit in foil or sabre (that is, when both fencers hit each other in the same period of fencing time).

Having established the circle of attacks and how to beat them, that takes us into specific fencing actions where the priority is often not understood, so…

The right-of-way relationships between common fencing actions are as follows:

  1. derobement has priority over attacks on the blade

  2. attacks on the blade have priority over the point-in- line

  3. point-in-line has priority over the attack

  4. the simple attack has priority over the stop-hit

  5. the stop-hit has priority over the renewal of the attack

  6. the stop-hit in time has priority over the compound attack

  7. the riposte has priority over the renewal of the attack

  8. the counter-riposte has priority over the renewal of the riposte

  9. the remise of the attack has priority over the delayed riposte

As a check-list, this works pretty well, assuming you can correctly identify and interpret the specific action in the heat of the bout… more posts to follow. RC