14th July 2016
Following on from additional communication with the FIE and consultation with members of the BF sabre community.
From 1st September to 31st December 2016 the following domestic competitions will use the new sabre On Guard rule:
Other category domestic competitions held between these dates may choose which rule they apply provided they make it clear in advance on their published information which rule they are using.
New On Guard Line - Official FIE language in Summary of Decisions from Congress: For sabre, the referee places each of the two competitors in such a way that the back foot of each is 2 m from the centre line of the piste (that is, in front of the "on guard" lines). Application as follows: the tests have to be done after the Olympic Games and until December 31, 2016 and, according to the ad hoc Commission, the Executive Committee will decide if the rule will be applied for the rest of season 2016-2017.
NOTE: This has been approved for TESTING only and is for SABRE only. Foil and epee’s rules regarding the on guard line remain unchanged. After the testing period, the FIE COMEX will make an analysis and decide whether to keep the change.
All EFC and FIE competitions will conform to this rule for the testing period.
In the case the change is maintained, then it will continue immediately (Jan. 2017 through the remainder of the season) with the FIE Congress needing to ratify the rule change in November 2017. If the COMEX decides to not continue with the reduced distance, then the old system will be applied from January, 2017.
From January 2017 all sabre competitions should conform to the FIE rules as decided by COMEX. Should the FIE decide to not continue with the new on guard line at the end of the testing period (December 2016), competitions will return to using the old system.
All sabre competition organisers must ensure that the timings on the scoring equipment have been updated (See announcement here)