The rarest and most serious penalty in fencing is the black card.
Novice fencers might not understand the consequences of a black card. For instance, if a fencer gets a black card for acting out after a match that they lost anyway, what does it matter? First off, it matters because points are an issue. When a fencer leaves on a black card, they forfeit any points that they might have gotten for that tournament. That’s going to affect their standings and their potential qualification for other competitions.
A black card doesn’t just affect the match either – if a fencer gets black carded in a medal round then they lose their medal. So if you’re competing in the gold medal match, you’d get a silver if you lost. But not if you get black carded! The important thing to emphasize here is that a black card does NOT just affect the one match, it affects the whole competition and even beyond!