Commonwealth Veterans Fencing 2003 What is Fencing?









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Fencing is competed in both individual and team events.


The Qualifying Round is a round robin with the field divided into pools. Each competitor in the pool fences each other in a "bout". These are of five hits which last up to three minutes. If scores are level at the end of the time, a sudden death decider is conducted.

Direct Elimination is the second round. Fencers are ranked from the Qualifying Round in a tableau. The top ranked meets the bottom ranked in a head to head table to fight for the full 15 hits. The winner progresses to the next round. The loser progresses to the sidelines.

The Finals are for the last four remaining fencers. These semi finalists compete to determine who fights for the Gold Medal and the coveted Commonwealth Champion title with the runner-up awarded the silver. Both defeated semi-finalists receive the bronze medal.


There are three fencers per team who each fence the three in the opposing team. Nine bouts are fenced. The first team to score 45 hits wins the match. The score is a "relay" with each bout taking the score to the next multiple of five hits. Each bout has a maximum time of 3 minutes and if no team reaches 45 the leading team at full time is the winner. If scores are tied, an extra sudden death minute is added and the first single hit wins.

In Direct Elimination, teams are ranked from the results of the individual event. The top ranked team meets the one ranked at the bottom. Winners progress, losers fight out for a final classification rank. Losing semi final teams fight for the bronze medal in this session.

In the Finals session the winning semi finalists compete for the Gold Medal and Commonwealth Title with the runner up receiving the silver.


In both individual and team events, fencers breaching rules are "carded".

A Yellow Card is received for the first occurrence of a minor offence.

If, in the same bout, the fencer commits another minor offence - either the same offence, or a different one - they receive a Red Card. A Red Card automatically awards a penalty hit to the opponent. For more serious offences, Red Cards may be awarded without a preliminary Yellow Card.

Yellow and Red cards are cancelled at the end of the bout, so the fencer enters their next bout with a "clean slate".

Very serious offences result in a Black Card, which means expulsion from the event or the entire tournament.




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Last updated 10 July, 2003
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