Fencing competition

In competition, two fencers compete at a time.  

There are three different kinds of swords: the foil, the epee, and the sabre. 

The space where fencers compete is called a strip. The strip is two metres wide by fourteen metres long. 

Fencers wear protective clothing: a wire mask, a thick jacket and a glove on the hand holding the sword.

Each fencer tries to touch the other fencer five times with their sword. There are wires in the blade of the sword so that when the sword touches an opponent, a light goes on.

There are officials who keep score by counting how many times the light goes on. They also make sure that the rules are not broken.

Did you know? 

Fencing has been an event at every summer Olympic Games since 1896.  It is an event for men and for women.

History of fencing

The sport of fencing dates back about 5 000 years to ancient Egypt. An ancient Egyptian relief painting dating back to 1190 BC shows people wearing items of protective clothing and practising sword fighting with blunted swords.

Fencing schools became popular in the 15th century in Italy and Italian fencing masters taught swordsmanship in England, France and Spain. The popularity of the sport spread from that time, and by the late 19th century fencing was considered to be an important part of a gentleman's education.

Read about the history of fencing:


Read more about this Olympic sport and watch a video: