Safety Guidelines

Fencers are responsible for ensuring that their personal equipment is in a safe condition.

  • Fencers should not begin or continue fencing if their clothing or weapon is inappropriate, deficient, incorrectly worn, broken, damaged, weakened by excessive use or otherwise unsafe.
  • All fencers must carry their weapons by the pommel with the points towards the floor when they are not fencing or practising.
  • All fencers should not put on their masks using both hands while holding a weapon – they should put the weapon down first, and then put the mask on, finally picking up the weapon.
  • Fencers must stop fencing immediately if a blade breaks or a point or button falls off.


  • Fencers are should wear masks, conforming to the minimum safety standard of CEN 1 : 350N
  • Masks should be checked for the following defects: Weakness due to rusting.Softness, holes or excessive deformation from the original shape.The bib not properly attached or curling up.Gaps at the side or under the chin.
  • It is strongly recommended that every fencer wears a mask backstrap, which should stay fastened and tensioned during fencing.
Jackets & Breeches:

  • Jackets should be of the correct length and fastened on the opposite side to the sword arm, or at the back.
  • There should be a minimum of 10cms (4 inches) overlap between breeches and jacket when fencer is on guard.
  • On no account should clothing be used which is damaged, shows visible tears, or has been corroded or weakened by excessive use.
  • A simple underjacket or Tshirt is not sufficient – plastrons must be worn for competitions.


  • Should always be covered by the bottom of the breeches, so that no bare skin is showing.


  • The gauntlet should be long enough and firm enough to stretch and remain over the sleeve of the jacket whilst fencing.
  • Gloves should not have any opening other than the one for the body wire.

Weapons checking

  • Weapons should be regularly checked to ensure they are in a safe usable condition.
  • Blades should be observed and tested to see whether any portion is "soft", that is to say whether any portion of the blade bends morethan the rest. "Softness" indicates a dangerous weakness that may lead to a break. A 'soft' portion is indicated when a blade bends into an irregular or uneven curve.
  • A new blade should be tested by placing the point on the floor, depressing the top about six inches and checking that it curves   evenly.
  • If blades are ‘soft’ or severely bent, they should not be used.If blades develop sharp edges, these should be rounded with an emery cloth, they should never be filed or ground.
  • The point of a non-electric foil (including a dummy electric foil blade) must be covered with plastic or some other non-metallic material.