About Fencing:

FFSA – Fencing Federation of South Africa is the governing body for the sport of fencing in South Africa, previously known as SAAFA which was established in 1949.  The FFSA is affiliated, locally to SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation & Olympic Committee) and internationally to the FIE (International Fencing Federation.


The International Fencing Federation (FIE) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the world governing body of fencing. Fencing has been a proud member of Olympic sport since 1896 and has 150 affiliated member federations all over the world. In 2013, the FIE celebrated its’ 100th anniversary.


In South Africa there are currently seven provincial Associations, namely Gauteng (includes Pretoria), Western Cape, Limpopo, KZN, Eastern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga affiliated to FFSA. Clubs & Fencing Schools are members of the Provincial body. See for a list of clubs in your area.


Fencing offers three weapons*, Epee, Foil and Sabre.  There are differences in the weapon guards and the target areas where a fencer can score a point (called a hit).

*weapon is the generic term used for a fencing sword.

Fencing Attire:  A fencer wears protective clothing: A Mask (not helmut) made of a steel face guard, a Jacket and breeches made of inpenetrable cloth, Long Socks, and fencing sport shoes (similar sole to a squash shoe). Under the Jacket a fencer wears a plastron (protective chest covering, and women wear a hard plastic breast plate guard and men a protective box.


In Foil and Sabre the Fencers wear a conductive jacket called a Lame.  This allows a hit on the target area can be recorded.


In a fencing competition, A Fencer presents himself on the Piste.  Usually an 18m long Aliminium Piste which is 1,2m wide. Each fencer is connected to the electronic scoring system by a cable, clipped onto the back of his jacket to the reel located at the end of each piste.


Fencers engage in a Bout.  Bouts are arranged in Pools (similar to a round robin).  A Pool bout is first to 5 hits.  At the end of the Pool, the Fencers with the highest total of hits scored vs. the hits scored against are Ranked by index.  From the Ranking list a Table is drawn up where fencers fence Direct Elimination Bouts.  These bouts are scored with the first to reach 15 hits, the winner moving on to the next level in the Table and the loser being eliminated.  Each Bout is managed by a Referee who commands the fencers to be ready (Engarde), to proceed (Ale) and to Stop (Alt).


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Contact Information:
Jo Ann Saner

082 573 5739


Geoff Saner

084 566 2240


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