When your child starts fencing, it can be overwhelming to learn the rules of a sport you may never have watched or learned about growing up. One important part of the competition is penalties. As parents, we want to understand why our child is being penalized if it happens, and we also want to be able to talk them through it if it upsets them. This post will explain the basics of the different types of fencing penalties, why they are given, and what happens if your child gets a penalty card.
It’s typical for new fencers to not understand all of the rules when they start out, even at their first competition. The current US Fencing rulebook is 200 pages long, and who can be expected to learn all of that material right off the bat? Some things just have to be learned as you go. It’s not uncommon for a younger fencer to receive a penalty and not understand why or to not know how to avoid getting one. In the event of a penalty, remind your child that it happens to many fencers and it’s not a big deal—just a learning opportunity.