Safety Notice - Masks

Following an incident at the British Fencing Junior and Cadet Championships, please can all referees, competition organisers, coaches and officials pay careful attention to the following:

1. Referees should give a yellow card if a fencer comes on the piste wearing a mask that is not safely secured even if it has not fallen off. (This is a preventative measure)

2. A yellow card should be given whenever a mask falls off during a fight.

3. The mask should be confiscated unless the referee is confident that immediate remedial actions are sufficient. If any doubt, the referee should ask the lead armourer or senior official to check the mask on the fencer.

4. If the mask falls off again it should be confiscated.

5. All those involved in running competitions have a responsibility for safety, whatever their role. Anyone can step in if they think a fencer is at risk due to an ill-fitting mask or one that is not secured correctly.

6. Dangerous examples include:

  • metal tang pulled out away from the head
  • weak Velcro
  • loose elastic strap (loss of elasticity)
  • long hair tied up under the elastic strap so pushing it higher up the head (hair should always come out above this strap so improving mask stability)
  • mask too large so that it does not fit firmly between chin and top of head

7. The Competition Organiser must be informed straight away.

8. Every incident must be recorded with these details:

  • Name of fencer - age - weapon - date - time - event - round of event
  • Name of official – role - contact details
  • Mask brand – type - photo if possible
  • What happened and cause(s) as far as can be ascertained
  • Action taken - confirm yellow card given

9. Send a full report to the competition organiser and copy this to Scottish Fencing who will forward this to British Fencing.

It is unusual for a mask to fall off but it should never happen and we all have to do everything we can to prevent an accident