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New Requirements for Chest Protection in Foil for Summer Nationals

04/13/2018, 6:00pm CDT
By Devin Donnelly

On April 12, 2018, USA Fencing’s Board of Directors approved a change to USA Fencing’s rules regarding the use of plastic chest protectors for foil fencers. This change is identical to the change voted in by the FIE Congress session in November 2017, requiring foil chest protectors to be covered by a soft material.

The revised rule, m.25.3, is as follows:

c) At all weapons, the use of a breast/chest protector (made of metal or some rigid material) is compulsory for women and optional for men. At foil, this breast/chest protector must be worn below the protective plastron.

At foil, the protector will have the following characteristics: The entire outside of the chest protector (the side facing the opponent) must be covered with a soft material such as E.V.A. (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) of four mm thickness and density of 22kg/m3. (The material can be attached to the current plastic models or incorporated into the manufacture of new chest protectors). The material must have the SEMI technical mark at the center of the upper edge.

June 28, 2018 for Cadet, Junior, Division I and Veteran USA Fencing national events.
August 1, 2018 for all USA Fencing-sanctioned national, regional and local events.

Note that this change takes effect at the 2018 Summer Nationals for Cadet, Junior, Division 1, and Veteran events. Youth events, from Y10-Y14, as well as Division 2, 3, and 1A events may use current plastic chest protectors.

The decision to roll out the rule in multiple phases was made to ensure that vendors serving USA Fencing can provide adequate stock in time for Summer Nationals 2018. The change will take effect for all USA Fencing events for the 2018-2019 season, beginning on 1 August 2018.

Referees: when working an affected event at Summer Nationals, be sure to add the check for a conforming chest protector to your regular pre-bout and pre-pool equipment inspections.

Good luck out there,
Devin Donnelly
On behalf of the Rules Committee and Referees’ Commission

Tag(s): Rules Blog