Domestic Variations from FIE Rules

Last updated: 06.12.2023

There are a number of FIE rules in relation to domestic training and competition held under BF rules which are not implemented.

These primarily relate to equipment.

Please note that some competitions held in the UK are international FIE or EFC competitions and as such the FIE and EFC rules on equipment apply.


Domestic Competition Equipment

(Equipment, FIE Rule Reference, BF variation)

  • Masks m.25.7.f. From 1st September 2022, masks that feature the two rear safety systems (securing devices) complying with FIE rules m.25.7.f (includes the requirement for the velcro system to be doubled) must be used at all British National Championships at Cadet, Junior, U23 and Senior level. More info here. The British Youth Championships are exempt from 25.7.f – therefore masks do not need two rear safety system or the requirement for the velcro system to be doubled.
  • Foil Chest Protectors m.25 4(c) – Any athlete competing wearing a chest protector (mandatory for Women’s Foil, optional for Men’s Foil) at Cadet, Junior, U23 or Senior BF ranking events must ensure they are FIE standard chest protectors (those covered with an FIE approved soft layer). The British Youth Championships are exempt.
  • Jackets & Breeches Material – m.25 (c) – 350 Newtons required (FIE require FIE 800 Newton/CEN level 2)
  • Blades Material – m.2 – FIE-homologated Maraging steel blades are not required for any weapon
  • Bodywires Material – m.29, m.31 – with transparent connecting plugs (at both ends) are not required. Bayonet plugs are permitted.
  • Epee Sockets Material – m.18.3 (c) holes not required
  • Athlete name Material – m.25.3(h) is not required on the back of the jacket.
  • National logos Material – m.25.3 (f) (g) on the breeches are not required
  • Mask designs on mesh (other than FIE approved) are permitted
  • Sponsorship Logos – permitted on breeches
  • Gloves closure Material – m.25.6 – as long as the glove closes securely, there is no requirement to do so in a prescribed direction
  • Zip Flaps Material – m.25.3 (c) – Not required for back fastening jackets, breeches to comply with CEN level 1.
  • Plastrons – 350N plastron (included integrated plastrons) permitted at events for categories U14 (where size 3 or smaller blades are used) and below.  800N all other events.


Domestic Competition – Injury Breaks

For non-ranking competitions and for competitions for age groups U15 and below the organisers may increase the injury break time (from the 5 minutes permitted by the FIE) to 10 minutes.  This should be communicated to participants either as part of the published competition details or to the referees, participants and medics at the start of the event.

As a reminder the injury break clock only starts once the full medical assessment has been made by a medic and a break deemed necessary. Injury break is the time allowed for treatment and/or recovery, it does not include the assessment period.

(This news post reaffirms the rules around injury breaks for those competitions which are being run in accordance with FIE rules)


Domestic Competition – Passivity/UTF

(Full clarification here)

For domestic competitions seeded using an official BF ranking list:

“If the fencers are equal and receive P-black cards simultaneously, the fencer with the higher BF ranking wins the bout”

What happens if two fencers are unranked eg ‘999’?  Before poules are drawn, fencers are listed, according to seeding. ‘999’s are put into an order, and this is the order that should be used. The list should be published (this is standard practice where competition software is used)

For domestic competitions not seeded using an official BF ranking list (which includes all domestic team competitions, as there is no official BF team ranking list): Competition organisers are encouraged to use the seeded list going into the DE tableau:

“If the fencers/teams are equal and receive P-black cards simultaneously, the fencer with the highest ranking on the list used to draw the initial DE tableau wins the bout”.


Useful Links:

EFC Circuit Rules

FIE Rules – including Material Rules and Publicity Code



As a reminder before competing:

  • It is advisable to name all your equipment (including body wires).
  • Check jackets, breeches and gloves to make sure there are no holes and that seams are in good condition.
  • It is important to ensure your socks stay up as you are fencing and cover your legs completely. Breeches must overlap socks.
  • Jackets must overlap breeches adequately.
  • Long hair must be tied up – in foil and sabre in such a way that it does not cover the back of the lame.
  • Ensure your kit is in full working order




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