09/08/2021- Safety
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Restarting Fencing Safely – Safety Committee Notice

The BF Committee reminds members, clubs and coaches to follow the BF Safety Guidelines in relation to clothing and equipment as fencing restarts.

updated 20th September 2021 for clarification marked ** below

This guidance is now out of date – please see current guidance here.

For the past nearly a year and a half most of us have been concentrating on how to stay safe in this COVID world.

Now that fencing is opening up again BF would like to remind you of the regulations that help you to stay safe on the piste, whether at competitions or in the club, in particular regarding clothing (and of some other rules of which you may not be aware).

For all British competitions, including warm up sparring, and in the club you must wear:-

  • A 350 Newton (CEN level 1) or 800 Newton (CEN level 2) jacket.
  • 350 Newton (CEN level 1) or 800 Newton (CEN level 2) breeches.
  • A separate 800 Newton plastron under your jacket.
  • A mask with 1600 Newton (CEN Level 2) or 350 Newton (CEN level 1) bib, safety back strap, in good condition and fitting securely. On ‘contour’ masks a separate safety back strap is not compulsory.
  • At sabre, a CEN level 2 glove (sometimes referred to as an ‘FIE glove’).
  • Long socks pulled up to the knee.
  • **Note – In addition, for British Ranking events (events which contribute to Cadet, Junior & Senior Ranking points) at foil, chest guards (Men and Women) must be covered with an FIE approved soft layer. See BF Rules here. (This is a rules issue, not a safety issue).

An exception is made for competitions and clubs where both fencers are using size 3 or smaller electric blades or non-electric foil blade (the traditional lightweight type) when fencers may wear:

  • A 350 Newton jacket with integrated 350 Newton plastron instead of separate 350 Newton items.
  • A 350 Newton plastron may be worn in place of a 800 Newton one
  • Full length trousers with openings/pockets zipped/sewn/taped closed instead of 350 Newton breeches and full length socks.
  • For sabre, a non-FIE glove
  • NOTE: A mask with 350 Newton (CEN level 1) bib, safety back strap, in good condition and fitting securely is still required

Fencer’s clothing must always comply with the BF clothing rules that can be found on this website as Appendix 1 to the BF Safety Guidelines.

 

For official FIE competitions (and EFC European Championships) fencers must wear:

  • An 800 Newton (CEN level 2) jacket.
  • 800 Newton (CEN level 2) breeches.
  • An 800 Newton plastron under your jacket.
  • A CEN level 2 mask (i.e. with 1600 Newton bib), two approved systems of fastening, in good condition and fitting securely. On ‘contour’ masks a separate safety back strap is compulsory*.
  • At sabre, a CEN level 2 glove *.
  • At foil, chest guards (Men and Women) must be covered with an FIE approved soft layer

* Also compulsory for EFC cadet, U-14 and U-23 circuits. Note that as the FIE rules for chest guards were introduced in 2018 it is also possible that local organisers of EFC competitions, especially U23 circuit events, may expect fencers to be wearing FIE approved chest guards.

Note also for FIE competitions at all 3 weapons,

  • FIE-homologated Maraging steel blades must be used. In the case of sabre, blades stamped ‘M’ are permitted until September 2022, thereafter blades must carry the full FIE marking.
  • Bodywires with transparent connecting plugs (at both ends) are compulsory.

 

Remember  – safety – yours, your opponent’s and that of those around you – is your first priority

Enjoy your fencing

BF Safety Committee

 

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