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Fencing – Modern pentathletes fence using an electric épée. The target area is the entire body head to toe. Bouts last for one minute, or until one hit or touch is scored. Pentathletes fence every pentathlete in the competition, in a round robin format. Points are awarded according to the ratio of bouts won to bouts lost.



  • Agility

  • Tactical skills

  • Fitness



  • An electronic scoring device is used in competition to mark a hit which can be made anywhere on the body including clothing and equipment

  • Fencing is conducted within the piste – a long narrow area marked for play (1.5 to 2m wide x 14m long). Athletes must stay within the parameters of their fencing piste at all time during a bout.

  • Instructions will be given "en garde" ("on guard") , "allez" ("play"), "halt" ("stop")

  • A buzzer will sound when a hit has been made and a light on the scoreboard for that piste indicates who has won.

  • Double hits are annulled, the system is re-set and the bout continues for the remainder of the minute.

  • If neither has scored a hit within the time limit, a double defeat will be recorded.




  • Specialized equipment needed includes FIE approved mesh mask, protective clothing, bodywire to attach to scoring machine and either French or pistol style epée grip.




  • 70% bouts won corresponds to 250 MP points. 

  • Each victory over or under this number is in accordance with the number of the bouts as laid down by the points table for the fencing event of the modern pentathlon.

  • Fencing Bonus Round is introduced in 2014.  Each bout is for one hit in 45 seconds for Individual, starting from pentathlete ranked last against the pentathlete ranked next to last. The winner of the bout remains on the piste and the referee calls the next pentathlete, ranked 3rd from last in the start list. It continues until all pentathletes have fenced.  Each bout winning pentathlete receives 1 (one) MP bonus points.

Want to find out more?

The detailed rules and points table can be found in the Complete rules for Pentathlon (Fencing)

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