To the novice fencer, competition can be overwhelming. Besides there being three different weapons, each with their own unique rules and conventions, there are also two different formats to the competition – team and individual. I bet that the first image when many novice people heard about fencing team competition was that it involved five fencers all fighting each other Avengers style, Iron Man and his crew versus Captain America and his team with everyone trying to get points all at once. And while it might sound really fun to have a large group of fencers all whipping their way to the winning point, in reality team competition still involves one-on-one fights between fencers. Sorry guys, no melee here.
So then what is the difference between individual and team competition? How does it all work? It’s actually not that complicated at all! Do keep in mind that these same structures are present no matter what the weapon is, though there are some few variations along the way which we will explain. Also keep in mind that every competition is slightly different, so this is really meant to be a general guideline that will help you to make sense of it all.