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Updated Foil Mask Regulation

09/09/2009, 6:32am CDT
By No Author


As of the beginning of last season, the FIE has begun requiring foil fencers to wear a special mask with several inches of lame material sewn to the lower edge, thus making the valid target extend up to the prominences of the clavicles, as required by the FIE rules (Seniors - 2008-09; Juniors 2009-10).

The new FIE approved mask cannot currently be retrofitted or repaired, and will be fairly expensive.  Further, there is no indication that these masks will not be subject to grounding of the mesh to the valid target, causing valid lights on the non-conductive bib and mesh.

Within the USFA there also appears to be concern with the safety issue of focusing our athlete's attention on the relatively sensitive neck and throat area.

The High Performance Director has not seen a change in offensive or defensive coaching methodology because of the additional target area.

After evaluating this mask in international competition last season, the Rules Committee of the FOC has determined that there has been minimal impact on fencing bouts with the addition of this extended target.  In entire World Cup competitions, very few points were scored on this area. 

Given the expense that would be required of our already taxed athletes (and their families), the relatively limited impact on scoring, and no change in the fencers' tactics, it is the recommendation of the FOC that the USFA not adopt the FIE rule requiring lame material on the foil bib.



Bill Oliver

Chair FOC Rules Committee

Sam Cheris

Chair, FOC

For a list of the requirements for different tournament types please click here.

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