21/02/2022- Safety

Masks with 2 Rear Safety Systems Req’d at BF Champs from 1st Sept 2022 – Safety Committee Notice

From 1st September 2022, masks that feature the two rear safety systems (securing devices) complying with FIE rules m.25.7.f must be used at British National Championships.

In January 2018, BF published a notice regarding the new FIE specifications for security straps on masks, both those with a metallic rear tongue and those without one (eg ‘contour-fit’ masks). These have been compulsory for all FIE competitions from the start of the 2018-19 season onwards (and are also required for all EFC competitions); BF also understands that all new masks sold since around that date feature this new specification. Details can be found in the FIE Material Rules for Competitions m.25.7.f.

In January 2018 the BF Safety Committee decided that these new mask specifications would not be added to the BF Clothing Rules at that time.

From 1st September 2022, however, all fencers competing in a British National Championships (Cadet, Junior, U23 & Senior) must for that championship use masks that feature the two rear safety systems (securing devices) so fitted that they comply with m.25.7.f.  The British Youth Championships are excluded from this requirement.

There is no plan in the immediate future to add this requirement to the BF Clothing Rules for general application to all fencing (including in clubs); but do note that organisers of other tournaments may include it in their requirements.

Manufacturers may be able to upgrade previous versions of their own masks to the new level but note that only upgrades carried out by the original manufacturer are permitted.

At this time the more immediate risk arises from wearing masks that are too large and /or do not have a working rear safety system. It is extremely important that the correct mask size is worn and the existing rear safety system is properly implemented.

Whilst fencers are responsible for ensuring that their personal kit meets minimum safety standards, we strongly encourage coaches and referees to include mask safety checks as part of their role in overseeing competitive or club fencing.

Do also remember that in competitions coming onto the piste before a bout with a mask whose 2nd security device is not securely fixed to the body of the mask or coming on guard during a bout with a mask that is not securely held on his head by the 2nd security device is a yellow card offence.

Finally, as a reminder please use this form to send in a report for any accident, injury or near miss.

The BF Safety Committee

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