The field of play should have an even surface. It should give neither advantage nor disadvantage to either of the two fencers concerned, especially as regards light.
That portion of the field of play which is used for fencing is called the piste. Competitions at the three weapons are fenced on the same pistes.
The piste is from 1.50 metres to 2 metres wide.
The piste is 14 metres long, so that each competitor being placed at 2 metres from the centre line has at his disposal for retreating a total distance of 5 metres without it being necessary for him to cross the rear limit of the piste with both feet.
Five lines should be drawn very clearly on the piste at right angles to its length, as follows:
- One centre line which must be drawn as a broken line across the whole width of the piste;
- Two on-guard lines at 2 metres on each side of the centre line. These must be drawn across the whole width of the piste;
- Two lines at the rear limits of the piste, which must be drawn across the whole width of the piste, at a distance of 7 metres from the centre line.
- In addition, the last 2 metres of the piste before these rear limit lines must be clearly distinguished - if possible by a different colour of piste - to make it easy for the fencers to be aware of their position on the piste (see Figure).
|Figure: Standard piste for all three weapons|