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 Fencing Rules - Starting and Stopping a Bout 
  1. Starting and Stopping a Bout


  1. Starting a Bout

    The start of the bout is signalled by the word ‘Play’. No movement made or initiated before the word ‘Play’ is counted.

  2. Stopping the bout

    The bout stops on the word ‘Halt’, except in the case of special events occurring which modify the regular and normal conditions of the bout (cf. also t.32 Duration of a Bout).

    Directly after the order ‘Halt’ has been given, a fencer may not start a new action; only the movement which has begun before the order was given remains valid. Everything which takes place afterwards is entirely non-valid (But cf. t.32 Duration of a Bout).

    If a fencer stops before the word ‘Halt’ and is hit, the hit is valid.

    The order ‘Halt’ is also given if the play of the fencers is dangerous, confused, or contrary to the Rules, if one of the fencers is disarmed or leaves the piste, or if, while retiring, they approach too near the spectators or the Referee (cf. t.28 Crossing the Limits of the Piste, t.55/6 Validity or Priority of the Hit and t.73/j).

  3. Leaving the piste

    The Referee may not allow a fencer to leave the piste, save in exceptional circumstances. If a fencer does so without permission they are liable to incur penalties enumerated in Articles t.114, t.116, t.120 Offences and Penalties.

FIE  t.18