Fencing Newbie: Referee hand signals

Every sport has its own terminology and language. Even if you’re not well-versed in the rules of football, you will probably understand this:

http://www.playbuzz.com/robertshifko10/can-you-name-the-call-by-the-football-refs-hand-signals
http://www.playbuzz.com/robertshifko10/can-you-name-the-call-by-the-football-refs-hand-signals

In fencing, referees speak in a kind of sign language that helps fencers, coaches, and spectators understand their calls. These signs demonstrate the referee’s interpretation of the actions that led up to a touch being awarded or the action being halted. They also ensure that people who aren’t close enough to hear the referee (or who can’t speak the language being spoken) will understand what’s happening on strip. Most of the signals are the same across the three weapons–I’ll label the photos of them by action. If the action is weapon-specific, I’ll show it in parentheses. I have also included front (what a fencer sees) and back (what a spectator sees) views of the same hand signals.

A huge “thank you” to SabreCat referee Annamaria Lu for serving as the model in these photos.

IMG_2201

IMG_2187
En garde

IMG_2202

IMG_2188
Ready?

IMG_2203

IMG_2189
Fence!
IMG_2204
Attack from the right… (foil and sabre)
IMG_2205
arrives. (foil and sabre)
IMG_2206
Touch right.
IMG_2190
Attack from the right… (foil and sabre)
IMG_2191
arrives. (foil and sabre)
IMG_2192
Touch right.

IMG_2208

IMG_2193
Double touch (epee).

IMG_2209

IMG_2194
Attack is parried.

IMG_2210

IMG_2195
Attack is “no” / attack misses. (foil and sabre)

IMG_2207

IMG_2196
No touch (after a simultaneous action in sabre).

IMG_2211 IMG_2212

IMG_2199
Attack is off target (foil)–starting position.
IMG_2198
Attack is off target (foil)–ending position).

If you’re interested, here are pdf files to show the various hand signal of several sports:

HockeyFootball signals

wrestlinghandsignalsbasketball_signals-1

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