Insights into the world of fencing and thoughts on life



  • Kate

Fencing Newbie: Referee hand signals

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

Every sport has its own terminology and language. Even if you’re not well-versed in the rules of football, you will probably understand this:


In fencing, referees speak in a kind of sign language that helps fencers, coaches, and spectators understand their calls. These signs demonstrate the referee’s interpretation of the actions that led up to a touch being awarded or the action being halted. They also ensure that people who aren’t close enough to hear the referee (or who can’t speak the language being spoken) will understand what’s happening on strip. Most of the signals are the same across the three weapons–I’ll label the photos of them by action. If the action is weapon-specific, I’ll show it in parentheses. I have also included front (what a fencer sees) and back (what a spectator sees) views of the same hand signals.

A huge “thank you” to SabreCat referee Annamaria Lu for serving as the model in these photos.

En garde



Attack from the right… (foil and sabre)

arrives. (foil and sabre)

Touch right.

Attack from the right… (foil and sabre)

arrives. (foil and sabre)

Touch right.

Double touch (epee).

Attack is parried.

Attack is “no” / attack misses. (foil and sabre)

No touch (after a simultaneous action in sabre).

Attack is off target (foil)–starting position.

Attack is off target (foil)–ending position).

If you’re interested, here are pdf files to show the various hand signal of several sports:

#referee #thetournament #tournament #UnitedStatesFencingAssociation #competition #rules #Fencing

144 views0 comments

Sabre. Fencing.


  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Twitter

©2021 by Cutting Edge Fencing

Cutting Edge Fencing

operates out of the

Children's Health StarCenter

1400 S Pipeline Rd W

Euless, TX 76040