Fencing today resembles the traditional duels of years past, without the blood.
Fencing is a challenging sport to handle scoring because it involves both scoring and timing, and the scoring is so difficult to see and record. The tip of the fencer’s weapon is the second fastest moving object in all of sport – the fastest is a bullet from shooting events.
Fencing bouts are held on a 14m x 2m "strip" or "piste" to simulate combat in confined quarters, such as a castle hallway. The ends of the fencing strip represent the line the duellists’ seconds drew in the earth: to retreat behind this line during the duel indicated cowardice and loss of honour.
Fencing has three disciplines – Epee, Sabre and Foil, and fencing is one of the only combative sports not to have weight classes. The fencers are electronically connected (either with wires or wirelessly) and the scoring machine detects any hits that exceed the 750 gram weight threshold (based on the amount of tension required to break the skin).
The scoring and timing system records the bout on high-speed video and once a hit is detected, the system immediately plays the loop of three seconds before the hit and two seconds after, so the referee can check the recording and alter his decision, if necessary. The entire bout is recorded and can be reviewed.
The most challenging thing about scoring and timing fencing is deciding who was touched first. That’s where technology comes in – the action is too fast for the naked eye, so the referee has to depend on the scoring system and the video replay.
In fencing, Tissot provides all timing and scoring systems, with flashing lights for detected hits. In addition, Tissot handles all the statistics and TV graphics, with Tissot logo of course. Fencing is a challenging and exciting sport, where it is of utmost importance to be right – about the score and about the timing. Tissot makes sure they get it right, all the time.