The saber is the modern version of the slashing cavalry sword, and is similar in length and weight to the foil. The major difference is the use of the blade. The saber is a cutting weapon as well as a thrusting weapon. Therefore, saberists can score with the edge of the blade as well as the point. The target area is from the bend of the hips (both front and back), to the top of the head. This simulates the cavalry rider on a horse. The uniform includes a metallic jacket (lamé), which fully covers the target area to register a valid touch on the scoring machine. Because the head is valid target area, the fencer’s mask is also electrically wired.
In saber, the rules of right-of-way strongly favor the fencer who attacks first, and a mere graze by the blade against the lamé registers a touch with the scoring machine. These circumstances naturally make saber a fast, aggressive game, with fencers rushing their opponent from the moment the referee gives the instruction to fence.