Foil Blade Taping/Trick/sideways blade mounting

Foil Blade Taping/Trick/sideways blade mounting

Post by David Glass » Sat, 23 Apr 1994 07:05:33

>: What is the max and Min Length of the tape on the tip of an electric foil
>>>: Blade?
> (art. 211, 2b)
>>"Insulation The body of the point, apart from any parts which meay be
>>insulated:the foil blade for a length of 15 cm from the point . . .
>>must be entirely covered with some insulating material (electrical
>>tape, cellophane tape, or even varnish)"

>>It does not state if 15 cm is the min. or max amount of tape allowed.

>>I have been told at diferent times (by nationaly rated directors)
>>that is is the min. amount, by others that it is the maxium amount,
>>and by one that it was both the min. and max. amount.  


>>I am not sure if the 15 cm of insulation is the minimum or the
>>maximum amount allowed, but if it is the only acceptible amount of
>>tape allowed, almost every weapon would fail. This is because tape
>>tends to strech and flex, and will never be the EXACT length to
>>which it was cut.  If they mesured the tape before every bout,
>>yellow cards would be given out very often.

>>Just my two cents worth.

>>Dan Vunck.

The taping of the foible and barrel of a foil is to prevent grounding out
the opponent's lame vest when you hit at an obtuse angle.  If less then
15cm of the foible is properly insulated, the weapon does not meet FIE

While in Europe some years ago, I learned of an interesting trick that
certain fencers employed against high-hand/low point thrusts directed at
the stomach.  They would suddenly double over, putting the electric vest
material in contact with the uninsulated part of the blade just before the
point fixed on the stomach.  This would ground out the hit while they
counter-attacked.  Some *well-endowed* female fencers got this to work
pretty well!  I never saw a director penalize such a "dodge!"  If you were
inclined to worry about someone pulling such a move on you, you might want
to put more tape on the blade or even varnish it.  I don't think that would
be in violation of the rules, but I don't recommend it.  Fencers will often
tape beyond 15cm if the blade wire starts popping up from the groove in the

As with many other issues of interpretation of the Reglement, I too have
heard of other (in this case misinformed) taping opinions in the USA. It
was common knowledge in Europe, but I cannot refer you to any
written, official FIE interpretation for this.

Regarding another question raised by a South African fencer here on RSF,
I found a reference to an FIE policy regarding weapons with blades mounted
sideways or upside down.  THEY ARE NOT PERMITTED and are regarded as
dangerous!  See Joe Byrnes "Technical Talks" in the NOV./DEC. 1983
David Glasser  
NFF DFB etc.