Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Since fencing isn’t exactly what you call a mainstream sport, it can get a little confusing about how to keep score. During the first, or pool, round every bout is fenced to a total of five touches. The fencer who gets to five points first wins.
The second round is composed of a direct elimination bracket. If the fencer is in the Y10 category, they fence to a total of 10 touches with a one minute break after someone gets to five points. Veteran events (for fencers age 39 and up) also follow this rule. All other events fence to a total of 15 touches, with a one minute break when one fencer gets to eight points.
Sabre bouts technically need to be fenced within a three minute time period, just like foil and epee. It is rare, however, for a referee to start the clock. Sabre bouts are very fast-paced and really do not need to be timed.
Here are the forms you would see at a tournament. Print off the pool sheet and try to keep score during your fencer’s event at the next tournament you attend! The DE Table sheet only gives the information for the final 16 fencers in the event. This might be big enough for an in-house tournament at your club or a small local tournament. National events sometimes require brackets for over 500 fencers!
Here is a video I made to help you see how the pool scoresheet works.