VSM Overview:

The Virtual Scoring Machine project was something I first began to consider after the rule
changes for foil were introduced in 2005. I was rather stunned and surprised when the
FIE decided that all existing scoring machines must be updated to a new set of rules. This
required that the newer machines be returned to their manufacturers and updated or at
least have their internal program chips returned to be reprogrammed. And any older non-
updateable machines would just no longer be usable in sanctioned tournaments.

At that time, I thought how much easier it was in the world of computers and software to
just download a new program from home and be done with it. This led me to wonder if it
could be possible to build a small, relatively simple and inexpensive electrical interface of
some kind to communicate fencing events to a computer and then let the computer
program do most of the work of emulating a scoring machine.

So I built one. It was a hobby project based on a converted gamepad, and it had some
limitations, but eventually it was quite successful. In fact, I had enough success and
encouragement from it that I became convinced that the Virtual Scoring Machine idea
would be the future of the sport; so I committed to refining the idea into a commercial-
grade product. The result is now VSM 2.0.

Standard VSM Version Features:

It is 100% FIE compliant.
It is scalable to almost any size, from a tiny “netbook” to a whole wall-sized
All the timing parameters (buried in the back part of the rule book that only
armorers ever read) are modifiable by the User (aka: you.)
Use any sound for any fencing event. Add your own wave files.
Supports many control devices, from Media Center remotes to wireless gamepads,
to the VSM Custom Remote. And now, any Android phone or tablet with WiFi.
Enhanced Information Displays tell you why your light didn't come on. They
include information on the duration of hits and the interval between your hit and
your opponent's.
External add-on repeater light displays are available.
No Remote? No problem. Use "Self-Start" and control the score and clock with your
fencing weapons.
Bonus Program Melee! is included free. Melee! ia a suite of three "unconventional
rule" fencing derivative games useful for fun and training.

Notes on the VSM Design Philosophy:

VSM was written using Windows XP, but with the intent of staying “backwards
compatible” with Windows 98SE. The idea was for VSM to work perfectly well even on
older “orphaned” computer systems -- system that are gathering dust in closets, or being
sold in yard sales, so that the cost of the computer is not a factor in setting up a scoring
machine. My objective in this and in the low price of VSM is to make a “World Cup
quality” scoring system affordable to every high school, college, or small fencing club in
the world. It is also to make the scoring system scaleable to any size (via a larger monitor
or projector), and also portable (via low cost netbooks and laptops.)

©The Virtual Scoring Machine.
You can always download the latest version from the
support page, free.