Another point in line question

Another point in line question

Post by MSega » Tue, 13 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Sorry folks but I have another question about poin in line that has arisen
out of several controversial directing calls.  Is an extended arm in the
low-line ( or high-line ), with the wrist***ed in order to keep the
point aligned with target a valid point in line?  If your arm is extended
with your hand at waist level and your wrist is straight then your point
will aim at your opponents toes.  Does***ing your wrist to keep your
point on target, with a straight arm lose the point in line?

Mark Segal
The New Mexico Menace

 
 
 

Another point in line question

Post by CJarr » Thu, 15 Feb 1996 04:00:00


writes:

Quote:
>Sorry folks but I have another question about poin in line that has
arisen
>out of several controversial directing calls.  Is an extended arm in the
>low-line ( or high-line ), with the wrist***ed in order to keep the
>point aligned with target a valid point in line?  If your arm is extended
>with your hand at waist level and your wrist is straight then your point
>will aim at your opponents toes.  Does***ing your wrist to keep your
>point on target, with a straight arm lose the point in line?

Not that I'm the best director in the world, but the general guidelines I
use are a) the arm must be straight at the elbow, and b) it must be in a
position such that a lunge (or some other footwork ending in a lunge),
would hit without requiring any further hand movement (disregarding for
the sake of definition that the opponent could make it fail by parrying,
displacing target, or via judicious use of distance).  From your
description, I'd call it a point in line.  Incidentally, when I first
learned foil, we learned to extend the arm lightly outward and angle the
blade slightly inward, rather than forming a straight line from shoulder
to point, so what you describe (unless you mean for it to be really
exaggerated) is precisely what I learned..

Chip Jarred



 
 
 

Another point in line question

Post by David Glass » Fri, 16 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Just a minor correction to a typo in my previous post:

[snip]

Quote:
>One further caution, if a fencer advances his line against an attack and his
>advance looks rather like a short lunge, the referee might not recognize the
>line.  To make it clear that you are advancing and not lunging, I recommend
>you move the front [FOOT] forward [FROM THE KNEE] on count one of the

     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Quote:
>advance, and not move the body forward until count two.  Such an advance
>looks less like a lunge than pushing your body forward on count one and then
>dragging the back leg forward on count two.

[snip]
--David

 
 
 

Another point in line question

Post by Morgan Bur » Tue, 20 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>As you know, a fencer may advance or retreat and remain in line.
>However, if he lunges or fleches into his opponent's attack he is
>counter-attacking and the hit he makes thereby does not have priority.

This is a pernicious myth that must be stamped out.  Many referees
believe it, but then again, I've met some who believe so much as a
backward step invalidates a point-in-line, so it's not like I take
referees seriously ;->  The rules, man, the rules...

There is nothing in the rules that disallows lunges or fleches from
the line.  In fact the rules quite clearly state that until the line
is cleared by a prise de fer or ceases to threaten target, it
maintains priority against ALL attacks.

This is common sense; for the same reason you can't blithely attack
into a point-in-line that's standing still, you can't do so into one
that's lunging at you.  In fact, it's even stupider to do so into one
that's lunging at you.  (Jeez, you'd think that would be obvious...)

To suddenly, magically, transform a deadly point-in-line into an
irrelevant counter-attack because it starts HURTLING AT YOU smacks of
mandarin dementia.  Are we fencing, or are we playing legalistic word
games with rules THAT DON'T EVEN EXIST!?  If you want to play word
games, consider this: since an attack is defined by arm movement, not
footwork, lunging with a point-in-line cannot be an attack, nor a
counter-attack.  It is simply a point-in-line!

The point-in-line rule acknowledges the advantage of reach.  It
doesn't take a genius to figure out that with real swords you should
use that advantage while it exists, and not stand around passively
waiting for your opponent to complete his extension and finish his
attack.  Ergo, when your opponent starts to extend into your
point-in-line, it makes tactical sense to complete your threat as
quickly and explosively as you can.  Every epee fencer knows this
intuitively, and the rules of foil also acknowledge it, if only we
knew how to read them.

-- Morgan Burke

 
 
 

Another point in line question

Post by Mary Ellen Curti » Tue, 20 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Quote:


>>As you know, a fencer may advance or retreat and remain in line.
>>However, if he lunges or fleches into his opponent's attack he is
>>counter-attacking and the hit he makes thereby does not have priority.

>This is a pernicious myth that must be stamped out.  Many referees
>believe it, but then again, I've met some who believe so much as a
>backward step invalidates a point-in-line, so it's not like I take
>referees seriously ;->  The rules, man, the rules...

>There is nothing in the rules that disallows lunges or fleches from
>the line.  In fact the rules quite clearly state that until the line
>is cleared by a prise de fer or ceases to threaten target, it
>maintains priority against ALL attacks.

What Morgan says is true -- there is nothing in the rules specifically
disallowing lunges with the line.  However, we have several authoritative
reports, including one from the chairman of the US Fencing Officials'
Commision,  that the FIE has decreed that lunging with the line converts
it into either an attack (if the opponent is not attacking) or a counter-
attack (if the opponent is attacking).  I can see reasonable arguments
(including Morgan's) on both sides, but regardless of these arguments
I think it behooves us to follow the directives of the FIE.

Personally, I would agree with the FIE position anyway, because it
seems to me that the intent of the rules about point in line is to
make it incumbent upon the fencer to avoid (figurative) suicide if
possible.  If a fencer begins an attack upon the opponent's point-in-
line, she may still break off that attack or intend for it to fall
short.  If the opponent lunges, forcing both fencers to be hit, then
the only fencer that you _know_ intended to commit suicide was the
line-holder.  So it doesn't make sense to give the touch to that
fencer.

Actually, I'd prefer it the official interpretation of this rule
didn't allow you to advance the line with right of way, either, for
the same reason.  However, the FIE has right of way over me. ;-)

Dirk Goldgar

postal:    9 Titus Mill Rd., Pennington, NJ 08534,  USA

 
 
 

Another point in line question

Post by Morgan Bur » Wed, 21 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> > There is nothing in the rules that disallows lunges or fleches from
> > the line.

[...]

Quote:
>Personally, I would agree with the FIE position anyway, because it
>seems to me that the intent of the rules about point in line is to
>make it incumbent upon the fencer to avoid (figurative) suicide if
>possible.

People were fencing for centuries before the rules were written, and
the rules attempted to describe what they did, not the other way
around.  I seriously doubt that duellists passively stood with their
points in line, waiting for their attacking opponents to reach full
extension and hit them, since this would normally result in a fatal
double hit.  A passive point-in-line is an invitation to mutual
suicide.  I doubt that this is what the author of the rules had in
mind.

I believe the real intent of the point-in-line rule is simply to
acknowledge the reach and timing advantage gained with a fully
extended arm.  A point-in-line (extendED arm) has priority over an
attack (extendING arm), which has priority over a bent arm, simply
because each has a reach and timing advantage over its inferiors.

A point-in-line is not, therefore, a way to trick your opponent into
committing suicide (taking you out incidentally), but simply a
superior way of hitting him in any situation.

Quote:
>If a fencer begins an attack upon the opponent's point-in-
>line, she may still break off that attack or intend for it to fall
>short.  If the opponent lunges, forcing both fencers to be hit, then
>the only fencer that you _know_ intended to commit suicide was the
>line-holder.  So it doesn't make sense to give the touch to that
>fencer.

If the opponent intends to complete the attack, it makes sense to hit
him while you still have the reach/timing advantage.  Every epee
fencer understands this.  It definitely does not make sense to me to
wait for your opponent to match your reach advantage before attempting
to hit him.  Mutual suicide, as I said before.

Lastly, it makes absolutely NO sense to demote a line because it is
delivered with a lunge instead of an advance.  It is intuitively
obvious to everyone that something is wrong with either the rules, or
our interpretation of them because of this loophole.  Since the rules
flatly contradict this interpretation, I conclude that the
interpretation--FIE circulars be damned--is simply wrong.

Of course, I also accept that mine is a minority opinion, and I don't
intend to call the DT when my line gets turned into a counter-attack
by a well-meaning referee.

-- Morgan Burke

 
 
 

Another point in line question

Post by George Edward Kolombatovic » Tue, 27 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> >As you know, a fencer may advance or retreat and remain in line.
> >However, if he lunges or fleches into his opponent's attack he is
> >counter-attacking and the hit he makes thereby does not have priority.
> This is a pernicious myth that must be stamped out.  Many referees
> believe it, but then again, I've met some who believe so much as a
> backward step invalidates a point-in-line, so it's not like I take
> referees seriously ;->  The rules, man, the rules...

> There is nothing in the rules that disallows lunges or fleches from
> the line.  In fact the rules quite clearly state that until the line
> is cleared by a prise de fer or ceases to threaten target, it
> maintains priority against ALL attacks.

As I have posted MANY (sorry for shouting) times before, there is nothing
in the rules that states one has to have one's forward arm extending to
have an attack.  The rules must be interpreted.  And, as has been stated
before, the FIE Referees' Commission has instructed all referees to call
an action that starts with a point in line and is followed by a lunge or
a fleche an attack.  One may agree or disagree with this, but it is how
it should be called.

George

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
George Kolombatovich                 Director of Fencing, Columbia University

 
 
 

Another point in line question

Post by Morgan Bur » Wed, 28 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>> There is nothing in the rules that disallows lunges or fleches from
>> the line.

>As I have posted MANY (sorry for shouting) times before, there is nothing
>in the rules that states one has to have one's forward arm extending to
>have an attack.  The rules must be interpreted.

Certainly in the case of your example, but the rules on the
point-in-line are pretty darned explicit.  Some of the
"interpretations" floating around are downright contradictory.

Quote:
>And, as has been stated
>before, the FIE Referees' Commission has instructed all referees to call
>an action that starts with a point in line and is followed by a lunge or
>a fleche an attack.  One may agree or disagree with this, but it is how
>it should be called.

Calling lines attacks is at worst semantically irrelevant
(right-of-way does not change, only the terminology), and at best a
clarification of a missing case in the rules (ie. the case where a
fencer with line lunges at another fencer with line).  As long as the
line is called an attack, the right-of-way and spirit of the rules is
correctly preserved.  Frankly, I have no problem with it.

I do have a problem when the line is called a COUNTER-attack, however.
Not only does it violate the spirit of the rules, IMHO, but it creates
absurdities like causing the fencer to lose priority when lunging, but
not when advancing with a balestra, or losing priority with a
cross-step, but not with a normal step.  No matter how hard I try, I
can't swallow it.

-- Morgan Burke

 
 
 

Another point in line question

Post by CJRive » Wed, 28 Feb 1996 04:00:00

As Andy Shaw has told me repeatedly, "A line is a line is a line, and to
hell with what your feet do!" He has further emphasized for me that the
FIE circulars do not represent the opinions of all of the FIE governing
members nor all of the USFA governing members (no disrespect to George
intended). If an opponent establishes a line and the line hits, the line
is good, regardless of any footwork (but assuming the line was not
deflected with a beat etc). A substantial number of great directors around
the world hold this opinion, the rest have a different one, so take these
comments for what they are worth. The rules, and this I think is most
important, say nothing about footwork (lunging, advancing etc) with
respect to establishing or maintaining a line and until they do (and I
highly doubt they will, for there is no logical motivation for it) any
interpretation contrary to the one I have stated seems to me (and many
people whose opinions actually DO matter), ridiculous.

One thing is certain; a line must be "in your opponents face" to be a
line. A "low line" line is NOT a line.

-- adding just a bit more seasoning to the pot --
Christopher Rivera

 
 
 

Another point in line question

Post by Kevin Joel Hai » Thu, 29 Feb 1996 04:00:00

George K. Wrote:
Quote:
>In article


Quote:
>As I have posted MANY (sorry for shouting) times before, there is nothing
>in the rules that states one has to have one's forward arm extending to
>have an attack.  The rules must be interpreted.

Article 10
        "The attack is the initial offensive action made by extending the
arm and continuously threatening the opponent's valid target (Cf
233ss,417ss)"

        This seems awfully clear.  I agree it does not have to be
straight as a pipe, but it must absolutely, by the rulebook we all use, be
_extending_ (verb tense).  It need not be flying forward like a rocket,
but it must be extending at a rate observable by the referree.

O.K. as for the rest of it, I've looked through the book for as much
evidence as I can garner for either opinion.

For George:
        Initiating a lunge from a stationary line constitutes a fencing
time (art. 9).  If you get hit before the lunge is actually in progress,
there is no doubt that you are stop hit.  Article 236 (d) is the relevant
one.  This is not what George is describing however, but I think it's one
case where the lunge definitely cause priority to be reliquished by adding
a fencing time.
        More in terms of the spirit of the rules, The reason for giving
line priority is to punish the stupidity of running onto an extended
blade -an extended blade being a means of threatening defense.  However,
if the attack can be made against the line without getting hit, it was
not necessarily stupid.  For example, 7'2" fencer ignores 5'2" fencers
line and hits him by attacking into the line.  The line certainly appears
to be the stupid tactic here.  Allowing the short fencer to redeem his
stupidity by lunging seems odd.  In short, if you can't hit him without
lunging,should the line really have priority anyway?
        I must emphasize that there is nothing in the rules supporting
the prior paragraph, and it's just MHO.
        Another HO for george's side.  A line-lunge could be described as
an attack with a pause in it.  Just as a step and lunge with a big pause
to draw the counter loses right of way, so might line.  In lunging the
line becomes an attack with a big pause.  If the opponent has intitiated
his own offensive action before your lunge, should it be treated any
differently than step-pause-lunge?  Though article 237 discusses pauses
as related to compound attacks, it seems to make my point.

In Support of Morgan:
        Every article on attacks and priority that I could find could be
consistent with what Morgan says.  10,11,12,13,233-7 : there is nothing
in them which conclusively causes line to relinguish priority through a
lunge.

In Conclusion:
        Whereas the line is inherently "paused"
        IMHO, and I believe supported by the rules, if the lunge, step, or
fleche, being the final movement of the attack (236), is not initiated
prior the arrival of the the stop-hit against line (?) then the line has
lost priority.  If the step, Lunge, or fleche does precede the arrival of
the stop-hit against line (?), then it is an attack like any other and
has priority.  The grey zone comes when the stop hit against line is
attempted, but the lunge gets off just before it arrives.  The timing in
such instances would be very difficult to judge.  Article 237.3 clearly
acknowledges that the ref would be justified in abstaining in such an
instance.
        Also in conclusion, I can see why the FIE might need a circular
to clear this one up (-: