I note with some dismay that the FIE has instituted two rules changes, one taking effect in September 2008, immediately after the end of the Olympics, and the second taking effect in January 2009.
The first rule, taking effect in September (i.e., before the start of the new school year fencing season), is that an attack ends when the foot hits the floor, and not “or immediately thereafter” as the rule has stood for many years. Thus, I now have to teach my foilists to make their attack and land it before they complete their lunge. This should be interesting, but of course it can be implemented immediately in the CHSFA season this year.
The second rule, far more difficult, is that in January the rule change requires that the bib — that is, the padded cloth flap below the mask — is valid target area. This will involve changing a good deal of our school-owned gear, and nearly the entire team will have to change their electric gear to conform with the new rules.
I hope that CHSFA decides that they are going to implement this rule change in our own program at the start of the 2009-10 season, and not at the mid-point of this year’s season.