Here’s a video clip shared on the forums by FIE referee David Baker.  Take a look at the clip and then think: should you award the touch to the fencer on the left.

It’s recommended to watch the video full scree in 720p if you’ve got the bandwidth.

Context: The is the final minute of priority in the Top-32 of the Doha Grand Prix event.

The voting on the forums was split 50/50.  Additional discussion and the “answer” below.  Make the call yourself before scrolling down to read the answer.

Spoilers!  (or, here be the answer):

Fencer on the right is never quite off of the strip.  You can see (if you freeze frame it) that the back foot is partially on the strip.  The rule for one foot off of the strip is that the foot must be completely off of the strip.  Initially people were calling “no touch” because they were seeing: left makes a riposte and misses as right steps off, then the second action from the left is late.  Fencer on the right never left the strip, however.

Since the fencer on the right never left the strip, it would seem that the touch should stand.

Ah, but now replay the video and look at the sock of the fencer on the left.  The second action does not hit his opponent, but actually hits his own sock and foot, taking the sock down in the process!

Final call: Hit to self does not count, no touch.  David reported as such:

The fencer hit himself on the leg/shoe/foot – moving the sock. He acknowledged this, in the extra minute, and subsequently went on to lose the match. Wonderful display of sportsmanship.

Do you have any videos of close calls you’d like to share?  Email them to us ([email protected]) with timestamps and we’ll see what makes it for more in this series.