Statistics on tip of epee

Stefano Bellomi

An extended notational analysis has been carried out over 12 Epee Man World Cup Events, involving 730 matches and 20600 different actions, which have been grouped into 8 separate action types. A Chi Square Test has been performed over the raw data, searching for possible path of predictability among the records and with the intent of identifying distribution trends in modern epee repertoire. The analysis of the data belonging to a single fencer defines the fencer tactical profile; the correlation of the profile with the fencer ranking position gives suggestions on didactical methodology for coaching modern epee. The analysis of the data belonging to a single match defines the match tactical profile, the comparison between match profile and fencer profile returns some indications on tactical strategy for a winning match.

The analysis allows us to draw the following conclusions:
– Some indications on modern male epee action type distribution can be obtained from the raw data, defensive actions are most common, counterattack are most efficient, parries are most dangerous.
– There is no evidence that, based on historic data, we could forecast a fencer behavior, the Chi Square Test allocates action type frequencies among non-predictable qualitative variables.
– A fencer tactical profile has been defined, registering Strength, Weight and Diversity.
– Strong fencers put up a wide range of available actions and accommodate themselves to any different situation, weak fencers tend to rely on the few actions they feel comfortable with.
– Fencing coaches should teach wide range of different actions instead of insisting on reaching perfection on few of them.
– On a single match a winning fencer will not try to impose his own stile over the opponent but instead will need to accommodate his stile to the opponent profile.

See the tables and the graphs