Faq II: Equipment & Maintenance:
2.13 Scoring Apparatus
The scoring apparatus consists of the reels, floor wires, and
indicator box, and optionally a timer and scoring tower(s). In
sabre, the capteur sensors can also be considered part of the
scoring apparatus, since they are provided by the tournament
Modern foil scoring boxes should display only a coloured light or
a white light for each fencer. Older boxes (or ones with older
firmware) may display both if an off-target touch is immediately
followed by an on-target touch.
It is possible to defeat the foil scoring circuit by grounding
your own weapon to your lame' (your opponent's touches will fail
to register, but yours will register). This is illegal, and
scoring boxes must be equipped with a grounding light to detect
when fencers do this. Some newer boxes have an anti-fraud
feature to eliminate this hazard and allow touches to be scored
in spite of grounding. Boxes without such an anti-fraud circuit
are useful for detecting dead spots on lame's (ground the lame',
and then poke the opponent in various locations; white lights
indicate a dead spot).
Many sabre scoring boxes come with a variety of special options
or programs for variations on the standard rules; for example,
fencing without sensors, or with modified whipover timeouts.
Reels are typically portable, spring-wound devices (either
"turtles" or "snails"), although some salles have permanent
overhead installations involving pulleys and bungee cords. The
overhead variety is normally more reliable, since it has fewer
mechanics and no electrical brushes.
2.13.1 Wireless Systems
Wireless scoring systems are currently prohibited, largely due to
the difficulties in distinguishing between real and forged
signals. Various modern electronics technologies hold the
promise of circumventing these problems, and some wireless
designs are currently in development.
Simple "buzzboxes", compact battery-powered devices that signal
touches with a light or buzzer, are available from various
sources, but have very limited functionality. For example, epee
buzzboxes do not detect bell hits, ground hits, or timing, and
foil buzzboxes cannot distinguish between on- and off-target
touches. There are no sabre buzzboxes.
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