When are Fencing Touches Being Scored? An Analysis

In the senior international level of fencing, competitors have three periods and 9 minutes to establish victory (plus an extra minute in priority if need be). How are these bouts playing out? When are touches being scored? This analysis seeks to answer some of those questions for both the men’s and women’s games. This analysis is based on:

  • 311 bouts at the Senior International Level
  • 153 fencers from 36 different countries
  • 6,270 Touches

Key Data Points:

  • In both Men’s and Women’s, the 1st period is the lightest on fencing action, mostly used as a opportunity to feel out the opponent and cautiously establish a lead. Even with the introduction of the 2023 unwillingness to fight rule changes, these percentages do not appear to be shifting.
  • The denouement of a women’s fencing is occurring consistently in the 3rd period, with 38% of touches occurring in the 3rd. 27% of Women’s Bouts are going to priority, compared to 13% in Men’s.
  • At 37%, most of the touches in Men’s are being scored in the 2nd period (the same % in women’s).  
  • In Women’s, 0% of bouts end in the 1st period, 8.4% of bouts end in the 2nd, 65% of bouts end in the 3rd, and the rest in priority.
  • In Men’s, 1.7% of bouts end in the 1st period, 18% end in the 2nd period, 67.3% in the 3rd, and the rest in priority.

The Men’s Data:

The Women’s Data:

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