> Ok, how about this, George, while we're at it. How can you as an official
> differentiate between a semi-long lunge with rear foot recovering forward
> and an advance? What I mean is: Fencer A has a point in line. Fencer
> B makes an attempt to d o a binding attack. Misses the blade because A
> disengaged. But now, since A was a bit freaked, makes a lunge/body throw
> (like a half-hearted inquartata), but realizes the severity of his
> body motion and recovers by bringing the back foot up, so it looks like
> an advance. Under anyone's VISUAL interpretation, A freaked and
> counter-attacked, so loses his point -in-line. Under this 'allowed to
> advance' interpretation, he has point-in-line. I don't think so.
The referee is required to make many judgement calls. When is a meeting
of the blades a beat by one fencer or a parry by the other? When is an
action an attack into a preparation and when is it a counter-attack?
When is it an advance and when is it a lunge with a forward recovery?
All of these are judgements. What the fencer should be able to expect
from the referee is consistancy in how those judgements are made.
Since the rules require the referees to make these judgements, the
referees have to make these judgements.
Also be aware that if, as in your example, a fencer tries to find the
opponent's blade and fails to do so, the so called "line" might properly
be called an attack into a preparation. (This is what frequently actually
happens in high level fencing when someone with a line makes a lunge.)
> On the other hand, if an advance is not an attack, suppose fencer A
> is marching at me with the feinting of the blade (think of Jack Tichacek
> marching forward). A advances, B retreats (say at advance lunge distance),
> B puts out a line or decides to lunge, A follows through on his walk-about
> with this timid half-advance that can be interpreted as a short lunge.
And suppose that A is B's half sister whom A has not seen since they were
separated when they were three years old in Iceland. I'm sorry but I just
do not understand what you are saying in this example. How can one be
expected to analyze what is meant by something such as "follows through on
his walk-about with this timid half-advance that can be interpreted as a
short lunge."? The referee must translate into words what actions
fencers make. It matters not what it "can be interpreted as," it matters
what the referee says it is.
> According to the advance is not an attack interpretation, B should get
> the touch (assuming both hit valid). But you and I know that that's never
> called that way (and I agree). It's always called attack by A, counter-attack
> by B. (Of course, there's no hesitation by A during the advance to short lunge,
> just a smooth, consistent forward motion of body and blade).
If a fencer is attacking before the line is established, the line is not
a line; it is a counter-attack.
> Oh, how about cross-advances? Aside from saber, I don't recall seeing
> a rule in the foil section stating that a cross-advance consitute an attack
> while a regular advance does not. If so, how are you going to distinguish
> between a cheesy fleche with the front foot recovering forward versus
> a cross-advance? (I mean, in the context of point in line).
Referees will make a judgement. I would caution fencers not to try to
"test" referees with such things. A cross over would very likely be
considered an attack in this situation.
> I personally liked the commentary posted here in r.s.f about six to
> eight months ago by some German guy who claims that a point in line is
> arm straight no wiggling of arm (or point unless to deceive an attempt to
> take the blade), and only retreating in allowed. So, NO ADVANCING allowed.
> That's the way I can see it work without having fencers put their point out
> at the first possible moment, and when the opponent gets close to advance
> lunge distance, make this pathetic long lunge-recover forward movement and
> get it called as a point in line (because he "only advanced").
A referee does not have the luxury of personally liking or disliking a
rule; a referee must simply enforce the rules. The "German guy" was
either misunderstood or he never attended a required FIE seminar for
international referees. Advancing is allowed with the line; attacking
is not allowed.
Chair, Fencing Officials Commission
United States Fencing Association