FIE Rules for fencing Equipment and Material have a very important element of safety and protection of fencers, to be respected and complied with.
Material Rule, Appendix A, para 4.3: The bib must be fixed to the exterior of the grille starting from the reinforcement band onwards and extending as protection for the neck for a total height of the order of 10Ė12 cm.
Issue 1: The bib of the mask is required to protect the fencerís neck and should be attached to the exterior of the mask grille/mesh at the front and sides. There should not be any areas where a blade could slip under the protective grille/mesh. This problem is most likely to affect older constructed masks. Masks where the bib attaches to the interior of the mesh (especially on the side) are dangerous and should not be used.
Issue 2: In New Zealand and internationally some masks have been found to have been distributed world wide with bibs that are too short. This has been identified as affecting some new and also old masks. Irrespective of mask size and type, to protect the neck the bib length must be 10-12cm in length, measured from the reinforcing band to the lower edge of the bib. We recommend that fencers and clubs check all their masks. Also when purchasing new masks ensure the bib size is correct. Masks with bibs too small do not protect the neck. Bibs which are too large can lift the mask off the face and the bottom edge can curl up permitting blades to easily pass underneath. Only use masks with the correct size bib.
Material Rules m25 4(a): At all weapons, for men and ladies, the lower edge of the jacket must overlap the breeches by at least 10 cm when the fencer is in the on-guard position (cf. m.28, m.34).
Issue 3: The overlap of jacket over breeches ensures fencers safety and that no part of the fencerís torso becomes exposed and unprotected while fencing. The overlap must be at least 10cm, more is always better. Fencers who are growing or borrow equipment should always monitor their clothing for correct fit in particular correct overlap jacket-breeches by at least 10cm
Material Rules m25 5(a) and (b): a) The breeches must be fastened below the knees. b) With breeches, the fencer must wear socks which cover the legs right up to the breeches. These socks must be held up in such a way that they cannot fall down.
Issue 4: The legs must be completely protected at all time, with breeches which fasten below the knee, socks which cover the leg completely up to the breeches and the socks must stay up and not be able to fall down. Fencers who grow or borrow breeches must ensure correct fit of their breeches. They must be sufficiently long to remain below the knee and the socks sufficiently long to overlap and fully protect the leg. Socks must not be able to fall down while fencing.
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