OK, I'm not arguing about when point in line ceases being point in line,
I will go with George K since he is the person in charge. I am just
pointing out what affect this ruling has on foil fencing.
Point in line basically is a benefit only for the taller fencer. If
a short fencer has point in line and a taller fencer can reach over the
line and hit there is NOTHING the shorter fencer can do about it. If the
shorter fencer lunges while (attempting to) maintaining the line, they
lose it because it is now an offensive action.
Foil is supposed to be a priority weapon, which should be a balancing
factor that allows a shorter fencer to not be at a significant
disadvantage. However, this ruling contradicts that. This should not
be surprising because recent FIE rules changes have been weighing heavily
in favor of the taller fencer. The shorter lockout times is another area
where the taller fencer rules. My guess would be that wasn't the intention,
the intention was to compensate for bad directors by passing more control
to the box, but that is the end result.
(Has anyone ever seen a director overrule a box? It should happen
frequently in Sabre, but I bet it never does.)