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Chatting over the fence
Just noticed two different types of fencing are on tonight... what's the difference between épée and sabre?


The sword mostly, but the other equipment, like the facemask, is different too.

There's also a third discipline, called "foil".

Here's a bit of a breakdown from Team USA...

"In foil, a point can be scored only with the tip of the blade in the torso area (shoulders to groin in front, and to the waist in the back). Hits to the arms, legs, neck and head are illegal.

"In epee, a point can be scored anywhere, but points can be more difficult to score because epee swords weigh approximately 27 ounces, whereas foil swords are less than a pound and easier to maneuver.

"Sabre fencers can score with the side of the weapon as well as the tip. Legal target areas are anywhere above the waist except for hands but including the head. The mask covering a fencer's head is electronically wired to record hits."

So you can hack and slash a bit more in sabre, but sadly, it's not a real proper cutlass or anything. All the swords are pretty thin, pointy dudes.

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