An orthopedic handle for saber? Back in 2010 the Poignée Prat saber handle was introduced and sold via the manufacturer and Cartel Escrime. Speculation abounded about the legality of such a handle based on the rules around “pistol” or orthopedic grips in sabre.
Fast-forward to 2012 and we now have reports that the Prat handle has been approved by the FIE. According to the site for the Fencing Federation of Monaco, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, President of the SEMI Committee of the International Fencing Federation, came to Monaco, and presented the original of the Certificate Homologation of the FIE for the PRAT saber handle to the handle’s inventor, Fernand Prat Jr.
This ceremony took place in the Salle d’Armes “Fernand PRAT” of the Stade Louis II in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II and Monegasque authorities.
This approval allows all Sabre fencers to use it in international competitions up to and including the Olympic Games.
Based on the press release, the PRAT handle’s legality does not extend to foil or epee competitions.