Fencing is one of only four sports that have been included in every modern Olympic Games since their beginning in 1896.

The combination of both physical and mental abilities makes fencing a unique and dynamic sport often described as “physical chess”.

There are three disciplines or weapons in Fencing, Epee, Foil and Sabre. The main differences between them can be seen in the table below:

Epee Foil Sabre
Target Area All body Torso Above the waist
Right of Way* No Yes Yes
Hits scored with Point only Point only Point and sides of blade
Weapon Weight Max of 770g Max of 500g Max of 500g
Force required to register a hit 750g 500g 0g
Blade Length 90cm 90cm 88cm

* Right of Way

In Foil and Sabre, not only must you hit the designated target area, you must also have the right of way or priority when you do so to score a point.

Right of way consists of offensive and defensive exchanges starting with an offensive move called an attack. The fencer who starts an attack first will have the right of way. If they hit on target with this move they receive a point. If the other fencer defends their target with a parry they then take over the right of way and if they hit their opponent on target they recieve a point. In Foil, if a hit lands off target when the fencer has the right of way then there is no hit scored. There may be several such exchanges before a fencer who has the right of way lands a hit on target.