In an article titled Size Matters, Guy Windsor agues that the length of the sword is important for the correct execution of the Fiore’s plays. He demonstrates that he cannot reach his opponent to enact the sword grab.
Here is the setup for the play. The red line shows the distance between the lead toes. Notice how it is slightly less than the length of the pace.
And here is their setup. The distance is between them is nearly twice the length of their stance.
This becomes really important when you try to perform the next step in the play. Notice how the master is nearly stepping on his opponent.
As Guy writes, they can’t really reach each other at this distance.
Their conclusion is that Fiore’s sword is shorter than that of Liechtenauer or Vadi. But look at the conclusion of the play when we add the sword length lines. Depending on which foot you look at, they are somewhere between shoulder and chin high.
But wait you say, we’re the swords shorter in the first illustration? Well take a look:
It appears so, until we consider perspective. When seen from the side both blades will appear shorter if they are angled away from us, which is exactly what would happen during a parry at such a close distance.