• Bout:When two fencers compete
  • Parry:When a fencers use their blade to push an oncoming blade away from their body
  • Strip:The strip is the area where a bout occurs. It is long and narrow, about two people wide and 50 feet long.
  • Touch:When a fencer's blade hits his or her opponent
  • More terminology


  • A fencer wins a bout by scoring five points
  • A bout lasts five minutes, unless a fencer wins before this time
  • Rules

    Fencing has a complex set of rules and regulations that determine who gets the point. The basic rules consist of taget area and right of way.

    Target area

    Target area

    Target area is anywhere on the lame, which is the gray vest in this picture.

    Target area is the part of the opponent a fencer wants to hit. Fencers only receive a point when they hit the target area. In foil, the target area is the torso. It goes from the fencer's waist to his or her neck and then extends to his or her shoulders. It does not include the fencer's arms. Hitting the target area is called hitting on target.

    Right of way

    Fencers must also have right of way to score a point. To obtain right of way, fencers must begin moving before their opponent. For instance, if two fencers both hit their opponent on target, the fencer who was moving first will earn the point. If they start moving at the same time, then neither will earn the point. However, there are ways to lose right of way and to take over right of way.

    A fencer can lose right of way by:

    A fencer can take over right of way by:

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