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