Nobody may claim ignorance of the Rules






The official rules for wheelchair fencing were first complied by Leslie Veal for the I.S.M.G.F. sub committee fencing in the early 1970s of which he was chairman until 1984. These rules are related to the English translation of the F.I.E., published by the IWAS WHEELCHAIR FENCING.


The rules were modified and updated:


          In 1988 by Theo van Leeuwen, Chairman 1984/1992, Brian Dickinson and Vittorio Loi.


          In 2001 by Alberto Martínez Vassallo, Chairman 1993/2013, Brian Dickinson and Vittorio Loi.


          In 2006 by Alberto Martínez Vassallo, Chairman 1993/2013, Vittorio Loi and Brian Dickinson


          In 2008 by Alberto Martinez Vassallo, Chairman 1993/2013, Uwe Bartmann and

Vittorio Loi


          In 2009 by Alberto Martinez Vassallo, Chairman 1993/2013, Uwe Bartmann


          In 2011 by Alberto Martinez Vassallo, Chairman 1993/2013, Udo Ziegler


          In 2014 by Nelson Tai, IWF Rules Commission


The IWFC make amendments to the rules from time to time. These changes are published on IWAS website.




i.2. 1       The Rules for Foil were adopted on 12 June 1914 by the Committee for Foil of the FIE at a meeting in Paris under the presidency of General G. Ettore, representing the Italian Fencing Federation, who edited the proposed rules.


2             They were basically the same as those drawn up by Monsieur Camille Prévost, President of the Académie dArmes and President of the Technical Committee for Foil of the French National Federation. They also conformed to the rules drawn up by the Marquis de Chasseloup-Laubat for Les Armes de France, to the various earlier international regulations drawn up by the different countries affiliated to the FIE, and to the Franco-Italian rules.


3             The rules governing foil competitions judged with the electrical judging apparatus were adopted in 1957 and modified by various later Congresses up to the present date.




i.3.1        The rules for Epée drawn up in 1914 set down in detail and completed all the various épée rules which existed prior to the foundation of the FIE and which had been adopted since 1982 both in France and elsewhere, notably by:


          The President Committee of la Société d’Escrime à lEpée de Paris; lAcadémie d’Epée; la Société d’Entraînement à lEscrime et au Pistolet; and les Armes de France


          The 1905 International Committee, subject to the laws of each country with regard to duelling


          LUnion des Sociétés Françaises de Sport Athlétiques (USFSA)


          Le Comité National des Sports de France


          The French Olympic Committee


          The Organising Committee for the Tournaments held at Nice, on the Rivera, at Ostend, etc.


2             The rules governing épée competitions judged with the electrical apparatus were adopted in 1936 and subsequently modified by various later Congresses up to the present date.


3             The Congress of 1984 approved the introduction of Ladies’ Epée; the Congress of 1987 decided that World Championships for Ladies’ Epée should be organised from 1989 onwards.




i.4.1        The FIE Sabre Rules include the essential portions of the rules which were adopted at the Olympic Games in London in 1908 and in Stockholm in 1912.


2             They also conform to the basic principles of the Ostend rules and of the Hungarian rules and were adopted on 12 June 1914 by the Committee for Sabre of the FIE assembled in Paris under the chairmanship of Dr. Bela Nagy, President of the Hungarian Fencing Federation, who edited the proposed rules.


3             The rules governing sabre events fenced with electrical apparatus were adopted in 1988.












Obligatory use of the rules                                                   t.1


CHAPTER 2. GLOSSARY Competitions

Assaults and bouts                                                              t.2

Match                                                                                    t.3

Competition                                                                           t.4

Championship                                                                       t.5

Explanation of some technical terms

Fencing time                                                                         t.6

Offensive and defensive actions                                        t.7

Offensive actions                                                                  t.8

Defensive actions                                                                  t.9

The point in line position                                                       t.10


CHAPTER 3. THE FIELD OF PLAY                                        t.11–14



of fencers                                                                              t.15



Method of holding the weapon                                       t.16

Coming on guard                                                                 t.17

Beginning, stopping and restarting the bout                    t.18

Fencing at close quarters                                                    t.19

Displacing the target and passing the opponent            t.21

Substitution and use of the non-sword hand and arm     t.22–23

Starting before Play!                                                         t.24

Lifting from the wheelchair                                                  t.25–26

Losing balance                                                                     t.27

Wheelchair damage                                                            t.28

Disability related break                                                         t.29

Duration of the bout                                                               t.30–32

Accidents, withdrawal of a competitor                              t.33



The Referee                                                                            t.35

Judges                                                                                   t.36

Attribution of referees

Paralympic Games, World and Zonal Championships

Individual competitions                                                      t.37

Team competitions                                                               t.38

World Cup competitions                                                      t.39

Method of judging hits

Materiality of the hit                                                                                                                                                                               t.40–41

Validity or priority of the hit                                                  t.42

Regulation equipment and checking of equipment
by the Referee                                        

Non-regulation equipment                                                  t.45






METHOD OF MAKING A HIT                                                  t.46



Limitation of the target                                                         t.47

Hits off the target                                                                   t.48


Extension of the valid target                                                t.49


JUDGING OF HITS AT FOIL                                                     t.50

Materiality of the hit                                                               t.51–52

Annulment of a hit                                                                 t.53–54

Validity or priority of the hit

Preface                                                                                  t.55

Respect of the fencing phrase                                            t.56–59

Judging of hits                                                                       t.60






METHOD OF MAKING A HIT                                                  t.61

THE TARGET                                                                            t.62–63


JUDGING OF HITS AT EPEE                                                    t.64

Basic principle                                                                       t.65

The annulment of hits                                                           t.66–69






METHOD OF MAKING A HIT                                                  t.70


THE TARGET                                                                            t.71–72



Materiality and annulment of hits                                       t.73

Validity or priority of the hit

Preface                                                                                 t.74

Respect of the fencing phrase                                           t.75–79

Judging of hits                                                                       t.80





Persons subject to these rules                                              t.81

Maintenance of order and discipline                                t.82–83

The competitors

Pledge of honour                                                                t.84

Refusing to fence an opponent                                          t.85

Presence on time                                                                 t.86

Fencing etiquette                                                                 t.87

Personal effort                                                                         t.88

The team manager                                                               t.89

The team captain                                                                  t.90

The referees and judges                                                       t.91

The instructors, trainers and technicians                             t.92

The spectators                                                                       t.93


CHAPTER 2. THE DISCIPLINARY AUTHORITIES AND THEIR COMPETENCE Jurisdiction                                                      t.94

Principle of jurisdiction                                                          t.95

The Referee                                                                          t.96

The Directoire Technique                                                        t.97

The Executive Committee of the IPC at
the Paralympic Games                                                          t.98


IWF - Central Office, Disciplinary Commission, Executive Committee


CHAPTER 3. PENALTIES                                                            t.99


Classification of penalties                                                   t.100–100

Penalties related to fencing                                               t.103105

Disciplinary penalties                                                           t.106112

Announcement of penalties                                               t.113



The types (groups) of penalty                                              t.114

Competence                                                                        t.115

The First Group of offences                                                   t.116

The Second Group of offences                                          t.117

The Third Group of offences                                                 t.118

The Fourth Group of offences                                              t.119

Schedule of offences and penalties                                   t.120



Basic principle                                                                         t.121

Protests and appeals                                                       t.122–123

Investigation — Right of defence                                       t.124

Method of decision                                                            t.125

Repetition of offence                                                           t.126



Anti-doping controls                                                             t.127




Remarks: Throughout the Rulebook


          IWF stands for IWAS Wheelchair Fencing


          IWF EC stands for IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Executive Committee


          Words importing singular number or masculine gender shall include the plural number or feminine gender, as the case may be, and vice versa








          t.1    These Rules are obligatory without modification for the ‘Official Competitions of IWF’, viz.:


          The World and Zonal Wheelchair Fencing Championships, in all categories


          The Wheelchair Fencing events at the Paralympic Games


          All Wheelchair Fencing World Cup competitions.






t.2           A friendly combat between two fencers is called an assault. When the score of such an assault is kept to determine a result, it is called a bout.




t.3           The aggregate of the bouts fought between the fencers of two different teams is called a match.




t.4. 1       A competition is the aggregate of the bouts (individual competitions) or of the matches (team competitions) required to determine the winner of the event.


2             Competitions are distinguished by weapons, by the competitors’ sex and category, by their age and by the fact that they are for individuals or for teams.


3             The fencer´s category is the result of his classification according to his disability. The classification procedure is described in ‘Book 4. Classification




t.5           A championship is the name given to a competition held to determine the best fencer or the best team at each weapon for an IWAS national member organisation, for a specific region or for the world and for a specific period of time.






t.6           Fencing time is the time required to perform one simple fencing action.




t.7. 1       The offensive actions are the attack, the riposte and the counterriposte.


          The attack is the initial offensive action made by extending the arm and continuously threatening the opponent’s target, preceding the launching of the lunge or fche (cf. t.56ss, t.75ss).


          The riposte is the offensive action made by the fencer who has parried the attack.


          The counter-riposte is the offensive action made by the fencer who has parried the riposte.


2             The defensive actions are the parries.


          The parry is the defensive action made with the weapon to prevent an offensive action arriving.




t.8           Offensive actions


1            The attack


The action is simple when it is executed in one movement and is


           either direct (in the same line)


           Or indirect (in another line).


The action is compound when it is executed in several movements.


2            The riposte


The riposte may be immediate or delayed, depending on what action takes place and the speed at which it is carried out.


Ripostes are:


a)                          Simple, direct


          Direct riposte: a riposte which hits the opponent without leaving the line in which the parry was made.


          Riposte along the blade: a riposte which hits the opponent by grazing along the blade after the parry.


1            It is stressed that this section in no way replaces a treatise on fencing and is only included in order to help the reader to understand the Rules


b)                    Simple, indirect


          Riposte by disengagement: a riposte which hits the opponent in the opposite line to that in which the parry was formed (by passing under the opponent’s blade if the parry was formed in the high line, and over the blade if the parry was formed in the low line).


          Riposte with a coupé: a riposte which hits the opponent in the opposite line to that in which the parry was formed (the blade always passing over the opponent’s point).


c)                          Compound


          Riposte with a doublé: a riposte which hits the opponent in the opposite line to that in which the parry was formed, but after having described a complete circle round the opponent’s blade.


          Riposte with a onetwo: a riposte which hits the opponent in the same line as that in which the parry was formed but after the blade has first been into the opposite line, by passing under the opponent’s blade.


3.         Counter-attacks


Counter-attacks are offensive or offensivedefensive actions made during the offensive action of the opponent.


a)                    The stop hit


A counter-attack made into an attack. b) The stop hit made with opposition

A counter-attack made while closing the line in which the opponent’s attack will be completed (cf. t.56ss, t.64ss and t.76ss).


a)                    The stop hit made within a period of fencing time, i.e. ‘in time’ (cf. t.59, t.79).


4.         Other offensive actions


a)                 he remise


A simple and immediate offensive action which follows the original attack, without withdrawing the arm, after the opponent has parried or retreated, when the latter has either quitted contact with the blade without riposting or has made a riposte which is delayed, indirect or compound.


c)            The redoublement


A new action, either simple or compound, made against an opponent who has parried without riposting or who has merely avoided the first action by retreating or displacing the target.


d)            The reprise of the attack


A new attack executed immediately after a return to the onguard position. d) Counter-time

Any action made by the attacker against a stop hit made by his opponent.




t.9.          Parries are simple, direct, when they are made in the same line as the attack.


They are circular (counter-parries) when they are made in the opposite line to that of the attack.




t.10         The point in line position is a specific position in which the fencers sword arm is kept straight and the point of his weapon continually threatens his opponent’s valid target (cf. t.56.3.a/b/c, t.60.4.e, t.60.5.a, t.76, t.80.3.e, t.80.4.a/b).





t.11         The field of play should have an even surface. It should give neither advantage nor disadvantage to either of the two fencers concerned, especially as regards light.


t.12. 1     That portion of the field of play which is used for fencing is called the piste.


2             Competitions at the three weapons are fenced on the same pistes.


t.13. 1     For Wheelchair Fencing a fencing frame will be used on the piste for fixation of the wheelchairs.


2             The frame must be arranged in a way to enable the fencers to fence with their preferred fencing arm. (see figure 1 and 2)


3             All frames used in IWF competitions must have been approved by the IWF EC and must follow the guidelines mentioned in m.61.


4             While fencing, the fencers must sit in a wheelchair that fulfils the rules of m.25.9.


t.14         The piste must have a size that ensures correct fencing. In foil and epee there must be a conductive area around the fencing frames that is large enough to avoid hits on the ground.



Figure 1. Fencing position for right/right and left/left


Figure 2. Fencing position for right/left




(Weapons — Equipment — Clothing)




t.15. 1     Fencers arm, equip and clothe themselves and fence at their own responsibility and at their own risk.


2             It is obligatory for any fencer who warms up or trains with another fencer on site at an official IWF competition (including in the training halls linked to the competition) to wear fencing clothing and equipment which conforms with the FIE regulations.


Any person giving a lesson must wear at least a fencing masters plastron as well as a fencing glove and a mask conforming with the regulations.


Any fencer taking a lesson must wear at least a mask and a glove.


The Supervisor of the competition or a member of the Directoire Technique must penalize any person not respecting this rule with a yellow card, followed by a black card in case of a repeated infringement.


3             The safety measures specified in the Rules and in the standards contained in the annexe to them and the methods of control laid down in the present Rules (cf. Material Rules) are only designed to reinforce the fencers’ safety and cannot guarantee it. They cannot, therefore, whatever the manner in which they are applied, impart responsibility to the IWF EC, or to the organisers of competitions, to the officials or personnel who carry out such organisation, or to those who may cause an accident.






t.16. 1     With all three weapons, defence must be effected exclusively with the guard and the blade used either separately or together.


2             If the handle has no special device or attachment or special shape (e.g. orthopaedic), a fencer may hold it only in the way identically to the position while taking the distance.


However, the weapon must not be — either permanently or temporarily, in an open or disguised manner — transformed into a throwing weapon; it must be used without the hand leaving the handle and without the hand slipping along the handle from front to back during an offensive action.


3             When the handle has a special device or attachment or has a special shape (e.g. orthopaedic) it must be held in such a way that the upper surface of the thumb is in the same plane as the groove in the blade (at foil or at epée) and perpendicular to the plane of flexibility of the blade at sabre.


4             The weapon must be used with one hand only; a fencer may not change hands until the end of the bout, unless the Referee gives special permission in the case of injury to the hand or arm.


5             Fencers who have significant loss of grip or control of the weapon hand, may bind with the authority of two IWF classifiers the weapon to the weapon hand. The binding must cover and close the sleeve opening of the weapon arm and must give satisfactory protection to the weapon hand. (m.25, m.33).




t.17. 1     The fencer whose number is called first should place himself on the right of the Referee, except in the case of a bout between a right- and a left-hander, if the lefthander is called first. During poules, if a fencer has to fence two matches in a row, the fencer can stay in his wheelchair in the fencing frame on the same side of the Referee.


2             Competitors come on guard when the Referee gives the order On guard!, after which the Referee asks, Are you ready?. On receiving an affirmative reply, or in the absence of a negative reply, he gives the command for fencing to commence with the word ‘Play!.


a)            The fencers must come on guard correctly and remain completely still until the command ‘Play!is given by the Referee.


b)            The vertical line on the back of the jacket must align with the vertical line on the back of the chair, unless an exception approved by a Classifier exists (cf.m25.4d; m25.9.2; m28.7; m34.6).


4             Competitors are always put on guard in upright position, whether at the beginning of the bout or subsequently, sitting upright in the centre of the width of their wheelchairs. The sword arms not extended, their blades not in contact, and the points of their weapons will not extend beyond the front of their opponent's guard.


5             If fencers cannot agree on the on guard“ positions of the blades, the referee will find a decision which alternates in following similar situations. The referee will ensure that neither fencer gains any advantage from the application of this rule.


6             Whenever play is to be resumed, competitors are put on guard sitting upright in the middle of their wheelchair seat. If a fencer deliberately tries to get advantage by changing his sitting position before Play!, he will be penalised according Articles t.114, t.116, t.120


7             At foil and sabre fencers may not come on guard in the ‘in line’ position.




t.18 1      The start of the bout is signalled by the word Play!. Any Movement made or initiated before the word ‘Play!is not allowed (cf. t.24).


2             The bout stops on the word ‘Halt!, except in the case of special events occurring which modify the regular and normal conditions of the bout (cf. also t.32.1/2).


3             Directly the order ‘Halt!’ has been given, a competitor may not start a new action; only a movement which has been begun before the order was given remains valid. Everything which takes place afterwards is entirely non valid (But cf. t.32.1/2).


4             If a competitor stops before the word ‘Halt!, and is hit, the hit is valid.


5             The order ‘Halt!is also given if the play of the competitors is dangerous confused or contrary to the Rules, if one of the competitors is disarmed, loses balance or if the fixation of a wheelchair or the ground cable to the epee aprons is unfastened (cf. t.27, t.54.5 and t.73.4.j).


6             The Referee may not allow a fencer to leave the piste, save in exceptional circumstances. If a competitor does so without permission he is liable to incur the penalties enumerated in Articles t.114, t.116, t.120.




t.19         Fencing at close quarters is allowed so long as the competitors can wield their weapons correctly and the Referee can, at foil and sabre, follow the phrase.






t.21. 1     Displacing the target and ducking are allowed even if during the action the unarmed hand comes into contact with the piste.


2             It is forbidden to turn ones back on ones opponent during the bout. Should such an offence occur, the Referee will penalise the fencer at fault as specified in Articles t.114, t.116, t.120 and any hit scored by the fencer at fault is annulled.




t.22. 1     The use of the non-sword hand and arm to carry out an offensive or defensive action is forbidden (cf. t.114, t.117, t.120). Should such an offence occur, the hit scored by the fencer at fault is annulled and the latter will be penalised as specified for offences of the 2nd group (red card).


2             At foil and sabre, it is forbidden to protect the target area or to substitute another part of the body for the target area, by covering it (cf. t.114, t.116, t.120); any hit scored by the fencer at fault is annulled.


a)                 If, during the fencing phrase, there is protection or substitution of a valid surface, the fencer at fault will be penalised as specified for offences of the 1st group (cf. also t.49.1, t.72.2).


b)                 If, during the fencing phrase, as a result of protection or substitution of a valid surface, a hit correctly given is registered as not valid, the fencer at fault will be penalised as specified for offences of the 1st group (cf. also t.49.1, t.72.2) and the hit will be awarded by the referee.


3             During the fight, the fencer must not, under any circumstances, take hold of any part of the electrical equipment with his non-sword hand (cf. t.114, t.116, t.120); any hit scored by the fencer at fault is annulled.


t.23. 1     If during a bout the Referee notices that one of the fencers is making use of his non-sword arm and/or hand, or is protecting or covering the valid target with a non-valid surface, he can call for the help of two neutral judges who will be designated by the Directoire Technique.


2             These judges, one on each side of the piste, will watch all aspects of the fight and will indicate, by raising their hand or when asked by the Referee, if the non-sword arm or hand has been used, or if the fencer has protected or covered the valid target with a non-valid surface (cf. t.49, t.114, t.116, t.120).


3             The Referee may also make the fencers change places so that the fencer committing this fault does not have his back to the Referee.




t.24         Starting to fence or moving before the command "Play!is forbidden. In the case of violation of this rule, the referee will apply the penalties for group 1 offences (t.114, t.116, t.120).




t.25         When a fencers foot leaves the wheelchair foot rest or uses the floor to gain advantage, the referee will punish the fencer according to t.114, t.116, t.120; any hit scored by the fencer at fault is annulled.


t.26       Lifting from the wheelchair´s seat is forbidden. A fencer who does so will be punished by t.114, t.116, t.120; any hit scored by the fencer at fault is annulled.


Raising one buttock from the seat is permissible and not a reason for halting the bout.


To enforce this regulation the referee can call two judges, designated by the Directoire Technique for observing the fencers.




t.27.1      When a competitor loses balance on his attack or because of unfastened wheelchair, the referee must immediately call ‘Halt!. This incurs no penalty whatever.




          Losing balance deliberately is an offence of first group and will be penalised according to t.114, t.116, t.120.


          unfastening the wheelchair deliberately to enforce a remeasurement of the distance is an offence of second group (t.114, t.117, t.120)


2             Hits scored before the fencer loses balance are valid provided that the action was started before the ‘Halt!’ Hits scored after losing balance must be annulled.




t.28. 1    When a fencer's wheelchair is damaged or develops a fault, the referee may only allow the time that is strictly necessary for it to be repaired or exchanged. After a maximum of 10 minutes the referee must start the fight again. If the fencer is incapable of continuing the fight, the Referee will decide that the fencer should retire (individual events) and/or be replaced, if possible (team events).


During the remainder of the same day, a fencer cannot be allowed a further break unless as a result of a different fault.


The Directoire Technique may modify the order of bouts in a pool in order to ensure the efficient running of the competition.


2             Destroying the wheelchair to gain advantage is an offence of second group and will be penalised according to article t.114, t.117, t.120.




t.29         In the case of the occurrence of any condition associated with the handicap (e.g. involuntary spasm) the referee may allow, without restriction, sufficient time for recovery. The referee will use his discretion to prevent unfair advantage being taken of this rule.




t.30. 1     Duration of the bout is held to mean the effective duration, that is the total of the intervals of time between the orders ‘Play!’ and ‘Halt!.


2             The duration of the bout is registered by the Referee or by a timekeeper. For the finals of all official competitions, as well as for all bouts for which a chronometer is visible to the spectators, the chronometer must be so placed that it is visible to the two fencers on the piste and to the Referee.


3             The effective duration of a bout is:


          For pools, 5 hits, maximum 3 minutes.


          For direct elimination bouts, 15 hits, maximum 9 minutes divided into 3 periods of 3 minutes, with one minutes pause between any two periods.


          For team matches, 3 minutes for each lap or bout.




t.31. 1     The fencers may ask how much time they have left to fence each time that the fencing is interrupted.


2             Any fencer who attempts improperly to cause or to prolong interruptions to the bout is penalised as specified in Articles t.114, t.116, t.120.


t.32. 1     At the expiry of the regulation fencing time, if the clock is linked to the scoring apparatus (obligatory standard for finals of official IWF competitions), it must set off automatically a loud audible signal, and automatically cut off the scoring apparatus, without cancelling hits registered before the disconnection. The bout stops with the audible signal.


2             If the clock is not linked to the scoring apparatus, the timekeeper must shout ‘Halt!(or operate a sound signal) which stops the fight; in this case even a coup lancé’ is not valid.


3             Should there be a failure of the clock or an error by the timekeeper, the Referee must himself estimate how much fencing time is left.


4             hen wireless apparatus is used, no hits registered after the end of fencing time will be awarded even if a lamp is showing on the wireless apparatus.




t.33. 1     For an injury or cramp which occurs in the course of a bout and which is properly attested by the IWF delegate or by the doctor on duty, the Referee will allow a break in the fight lasting no longer than 10 minutes. This break should be timed from the point when the doctor gave his opinion and be strictly reserved for the treatment of the injury or cramp which brought it about. If the doctor considers, before or at the end of the 10-minute break, that the fencer is incapable of continuing the fight, he will decide that the fencer should retire (individual events) and/or be replaced, if possible (team events) (cf. o.44.11.a/b).


2             During the remainder of the same day, a fencer cannot be allowed a further break unless as a result of a different injury or cramp.


3             Should a fencer demand a break which is deemed by the IWF delegate or by the doctor on duty to be unjustified, the Referee will penalise that fencer as specified in Articles t.114, t.117, t.120.


4             In team events a fencer judged unable to continue the bout by the doctor may, nevertheless, on the advice of the same doctor, fight in subsequent matches on the same day.


5             The Directoire Technique may modify the order of bouts in a pool in order to ensure the efficient running of the competition (cf. o.16.1).




t.34. 1     By accepting a position as referee or judge, the person so designated pledges his honour to respect the Rules and to cause them to be respected, and to carry out his duties with the strictest impartiality and absolute concentration.


2             Referees may not combine their function with any other activity during the tournament, such as member of the Directoire Technique, team captain, official delegate of their national federation, trainer, etc.




t.35. 1     All bouts at fencing are directed by an IWF approved referee who must be in possession of an IWF refereeing license.


2             he Referee has many duties:


a)              He calls the roll of the competitors (cf. t.86.1, t.86.5/6). b) He directs the bout.

c)              Before each bout he must check the weapons, the wheelchairs, clothes and equipment of the fencers, according to the regulations below.


c)                            He superintends the proper functioning of the electrical apparatus. Either on his own initiative or when asked to do so by a team captain or competitor, he implements tests necessary to check the apparatus and locate any faults which may be found. He will prevent the competitors from hindering the tests by unplugging or changing their equipment at the wrong moment.


d)                            He directs the judges, time-keepers, scorers, etc.


f)             The referee may be seated and positions himself and moves in such a way as to be able to follow the bout while always being able to see the illumination of the signal lamps.


g)          He penalises faults (cf. t.96.2). h) He awards the hits (cf. t.40ss).

i)           He maintains order (cf. t.96.1–4).


j)           Whenever he considers it necessary, he should consult the experts concerning the electrical apparatus (cf. o.7).




t.36. 1     The Referee fulfils his functions with the aid of an apparatus for the automatic registering of hits; he may also be assisted by two judges watching for the use of the unarmed hand or arm, substitution of the valid target, hits scored on the floor at epee, changing sitting position, lifting from the wheelchair or any other offence defined in the Rules (cf. t.120).


2             The judges are obligatory for all individual competition finals and for the final (2 teams) of team events.


3             The judges are placed on each side of the Referee, on either side of the piste; they watch all aspects of the entire fight.


4             The judges must change ends halfway through each bout or after each period in direct elimination bouts and after each bout in team matches, so as not to watch the same fencer the whole time.


ATTRIBUTION OF REFEREES AND VIDEO-CONSULTANTS Paralympic Games, World and Zonal Championships The video-consultant must:

a)                 Be a referee holding an IWF refereeing licence;


b)                 Have been trained to assist with the video;


c)                 Be of a different nationality from the fencers on the piste;


d)                 Be of a different nationality from the main referee.




t.37. 1     For the rounds of pools and the direct elimination table, the IWF Refereeing Delegate selects the referees by drawing lots.


2             For the pools, the referee must be of a different nationality from that any of the fencers in the pool.


3             For the direct elimination tables at each weapon, the IWF Refereeing Delegate establishes, among the referees present, a list of the best referees at each weapon (according to the grades obtained during the season).


For each pair of bouts a referee is assigned by drawing lots from among at least 7 to 8 referees, to referee the bouts in the order of the table. They must be of a different nationality from that of any of the fencers participating in that pair of bouts.


4             At the end of each round, the IWF Refereeing Delegates can withdraw a referee whose performance was not satisfactory. This decision must be taken by the majority of the Directoire Technique present. However, a referee may not be changed during a bout except in exceptional circumstance. In such a case the decision, which must be well founded, must be taken by the majority of the Directoire Technique present (this rule is equally valid for team competitions).


5             For the final of 4, the IWF Refereeing Delegate, immediately after the end of the direct elimination tables, select 4 referees by lot from among at least 7 to 8 referees, who must be of a different nationality from any of the fencers. 10 minutes before the final, the Refereeing


Delegates will draw lots to assign the referees for all the bouts at the same time, in the following order: 1st semi-final, 2nd semi-final, final, and 3rd place (Paralympic Games).


6             In conformity with articles t.37.2 and t.37.3, the designation of the video-consultant must be made by drawing lots. The name and nationality of the video-consultant must also be written on the pool or match sheet, beside those of the referee.




t.38         The same rules as those in article t.37 3), 4), 5) are applied to the team competitions, with two referees per match.




t.39         Rules described in t.37 and t.38 above are applied by the Directoire Technique, assisted for the finals by the official IWF Refereeing delegate.



t.40. 1     The materiality of the hit is established according to the indications of the apparatus, and when necessary by consulting the judges (cf. t.36).


2             Only the indications of the electrical apparatus as indicated by its own lamps or by the extension lamps can be taken into consideration for judging hits. Under no circumstances can the Referee declare a competitor to be hit unless the hit has been properly registered by the apparatus (except as provided for in Article t.49.1 or when a penalty hit has been awarded).


t.41         On the other hand, the Referee should, in the cases enumerated for each weapon, annul a hit registered by the apparatus (cf. t.53ss, t.66ss, t.73).




t.42. 1     As soon as the bout has stopped, the Referee briefly analyses the movements which composed the last fencing phrase.


2             After reaching his decision regarding the materiality of a hit, the Referee, by applying the rules, decides which fencer was hit, whether both were hit (épée), or whether there was no valid hit (cf. t.55ss, t.64ss, t.74ss).


3             Video-Refereeing


a)                    Video-refereeing is compulsory at all 3 weapons at the World Championships and the Paralympic Games. It is optional for all other IWF events.


i)                        For individual competitions of the open World Championships, video refereeing is obligatory starting with the quarter-final matches (best 8 fencers) onwards, for team competitions starting with the semi-final matches onwards. 4 pistes equipped for video- refereeing are thus necessary.


ii)                      For individual and team events at the Paralympic Games, the video-refereeing system is mandatory in all three weapons, at all stages of the competition.


b)                    Appeals


Both in team and individual events, only the fencer on the piste has the right to request a video review.


i)                        In individual events, the fencer has:


           In pools, one possible appeal during each bout;


          In direct elimination bouts, two possible appeals.


Should the referee agree with the fencer who appealed for the videorefereeing, the latter is entitled to retain his right of appeal.


ii)          In team events, the fencers have one possible right to appeal to the videorefereeing per relay and they are entitled to retain this right should the referee agree with the appeal.


ii)                      In the case of an appeal for video-refereeing, the referee will walk over to the video consultant, they will watch the video together and after having analysed the action, the referee will give his final decision.


c)                     There shall only be a maximum of 4 repetitions of the action. The referee can choose to review the action in real time or in slow motion, at any speed he wishes.


d)                    At all weapons and at any time, the referee may consult his monitor before making a decision.


e)                     If the fencers’ scores are equal at the end of the match, for the decisive hit, the referee must use the video-refereeing before even giving his decision, except in the case specified in article t.42.3.d.


f)                       The video consultant may at any time request that the referee use the videorefereeing.


g)                    Once the referee, together with the video consultant, has analysed the action, whether it is :


          At the referee's initiative


           At the request of the athlete


          In case of a tied score, before the decisive hit

           At the video consultant's request the decision given by the referee is final and no other review of the same action can be requested.


4             The Referee must use the following signals (Figure 3).



Figure 3. Referee signals and commands


Figure 3. Referee signals and commands (contd.)




t.43. 1     Before the start of each pool, team match or bout by direct elimination, the Referee must assemble all the competitors and verify that (cf. t.35.2.c):


a)                    At all weapons, the FIE guarantee label is present on the fencers’ equipment (clothing, masks).


b)                    b)    at foil, the conductive jacket conforms to the provision of Article m.28 when each competitor is sitting upright, is on guard and is in the lunge position;


c)                     at epee, the material from which the clothing is made has not too smooth a surface, and the competitor is wearing a jacket conforming to the regulations;


d)                    at sabre, the conductive jacket conforms to the provision of Article m.34 when each competitor is sitting upright, is on guard and is in the lunge position;


e)                     at all three weapons, each fencer is wearing, under his jacket, a regulation protective under-plastron, made of cloth which can resist 800 Newtons.


f)                       at all three weapons, the fencer is not equipped with any electronic communication equipment which would allow a person off the piste to communicate with the fencer during the bout.


a)                 The wheelchair fulfils the regulations and bears the correct check marks. h) leg protheses are removed (m.25.8).

In pools and bouts in the direct elimination (World Cups and Championships), this checking must be done at the roll call of the fencers. For bouts in the direct elimination (at Paralympic Games) and the finals this checking must be done in the assembly area.


The organisers of all official IWF competitions (junior and senior) must make provision in their set-up for an assembly area.


2             For bouts in the direct elimination and the finals at the Paralympic Games, the two fencers in each bout will go to the equipment checking zone, located near the piste, 30 minutes before they are due on the piste. Their equipment will be checked under the responsibility of the SEMI. If any anomaly is identified the equipment at fault will be changed at once, without any penalty being applied. The SEMI delegate will hand over the bodywires, the masks and the weapons that have been checked to the Referee for the bout. Ten minutes before they are due on the piste the fencers will report to the Referee designated for their bout. The Referee will hand over a bodywire to each of the fencers in the access zone for the piste. He will check that the fencers are wearing regulation under-jacket protection.


3             The Referee and the fencers must stay together in the access zone unt