Olympic Fencing


Fencing is one of only four sports that have been on every modern Olympic program since 1896.
The men’s foil and saber events were on the 1896 program and the epee was added in 1900. But, because of major disagreements about the rules, France and Italy refused to compete in 1912.
The Fédération Internationale d’Escrime, founded in 1913 to standardize rules, is the governing body for international fencing, including the Olympics.
The women’s foil competition has been on the Olympic program since 1924.
For many years, women fenced only with foils, but the epee was added to the Olympic program in 1996.
Fencing is a difficult sport to judge, since it’s necessary to determine, first, whether a hit was made and, second, which came first when the two fencers score hits almost simultaneously.
The electrical epee was introduced at the 1936 to score hits automatically. Electrical scoring for the foil was added at the 1956 Olympics and for the saber at the 1992 Olympics.