View Full Version : Mask Warning

-6th April 2004, 18:09
The Following taken from BFA website url:http://www.britishfencing.com/safetywarningmasks.html


All fencers ó please check that your mask has a back strap that works, ie. the elastic is strong enough to fit firmly around the back of your head and any velcro fastening will stay closed whilst fencing.

At the GBR Junior Championships in Norwich a sabreurís mask fell off during a fight and the cut to head landed on the head! Luckily not on the face. The mask had a completely useless back strap and should not have been allowed.

This is a very rare occurrence; letís make it impossible.

All referees ó please check this along with the other safety aspects of fights.

Clare Halsted

Hon. Medical Officer and on behalf of the Safety Committee

November 2003

Any one had similar incidents or is this very rare i have never heard of it before!

-6th April 2004, 19:09
And the lesson is BUY LEON PAUL MASKS:)

Andy W.
-6th April 2004, 19:27
Why Leon Paul masks? Do they have some magical anti-ageing power?

-6th April 2004, 19:29
No but the strapes are velcro and thus can be replaced easily.

-6th April 2004, 21:08
and the straps are much more durable/stronger than the Uhlmann/Allstar masks. There are a few of the uhlmann/allstar masks in our club and not one of them have reliable elastic that doesn't come undone mid-bout!!

-6th April 2004, 21:20
in view of the fact that i've got bashed and bled too many times in the back of my head over my long career in fencing, i've finally done something about it.


i've sent Barry one of these back plates from a [ice] hockey goalie's mask. It is padded on the head-side. So presumably they're working on their own version of this.

Then i got tired of it visually sticking out vis-a-vis my black hair, i painted it black and stuck some pins and logos on it. There are fencing - CFA, F1 - Ayrton Senna, and of course, ice hockey pins and logos.

It's easy to get in if one's not wearing glasses. It's a bummer when one is since the LP elastric stap is rather short relative to the back plate.

Here's an idea for you, Barry , make two slots where the strap is, so one can attach the velcroed elastic straps easily. Removing the strap is not a problem.


-6th April 2004, 21:36
Originally posted by uk_45
The Following taken from BFA website url:http://www.britishfencing.com/safetywarningmasks.html

Any one had similar incidents or is this very rare i have never heard of it before!

Yes, i've seen this happen before.

It usu. happens when one is using a club mask that's ill fitting and not in the top of shape.

Can you imagine it happening in epee?

Here's a poke to your eye!

There's also another aspect to this probelm: Masks that are too small.

If you can see the head behind the sides of the mask, then that mask does not offer the proper protection to the fencer, FIE or not!

In fact the X-change mask's side is a full 2 cm shorter than an Allstar sabre mask. Hence my urgency in getting more protection for the back of my head while using the X-Change mask.


3 Card Trick
-6th April 2004, 21:42
Last time I saw it happen it was at epee.

It doesn't matter who made the mask, if the elastic is stretched, or the velcro knackered, replace them.

Having said that, some elastic is more equal than other - to misquote George Orwell.

Personally I'd go for contour fit - but even then make sure it is correctly fitted and replace when worn/stretched.

Naughty foilist
-7th April 2004, 08:01
Hubbys LP Xchange sabre mask, with contour fit, fell off mid bout due to knackered velcro, and it wasn't yet 18mths old.

Our solution, handstitch a square then stitch a big x between the corners on each side. Okay it doesn't have the convenience of adjusting the fit anymore but it hasn't fallen off since!

Gave Hokers a fright when it happened but his reflexes were good enough for him to stop the attack. :oops

-7th April 2004, 08:15
Quite. Disturbing as hell though. Everyone check your masks when you put them on.

-7th April 2004, 09:52
Thanks Hokers for having reactions.
Now just working on something to stop me battering myself whilst doing dangerous things like walking around the flat, through doors,etc.

-19th April 2004, 12:45
It's funny how safety considerations change. Check out this pic from 1939!

-19th April 2004, 13:03
Before the invention of the bib then?

Although it looks like she is wearing a lame? Where did you get the photo from?

-19th April 2004, 13:06
got it off fencing.net on this (http://www.fencing101.com/vb/showthread.php?p=131707#post131707) thread. I had to enter 1939 and fencing to find the pic.

-19th April 2004, 13:19
Not too long ago...just before a comp....the velcro on my strap became overly knackered so I took it down to the mending lady at the laundry and asked her to sew on some fresh. Picked it up on Friday on the way to the comp.

First poule, third point...came en garde and the mask slipped right off my face and on to the floor. Turns out she had taken a little short cut and pressed on a couple of pieces of adhesive velcro, which doesn't apparently do well in high heat and humidity!! Boy was I embarrased... :eek: ...and lucky!

Fortunately Barry was on hand at that comp and saved the day...

-20th April 2004, 21:02
the mending lady is probably not the best person to be doing your fencing repairs..
I got an FIE mask from Blue Gauntlet, it was actually missing some rivets where the headstrap was connected. I fixed it, but now I have a zip tie where the shiny chrome rivet should be. (should have sent it back, but I didnt have a spare)
The BG FIE mask is very comfy, except for one spot on the top of my head. I don't recommend it for quality given that it was shipped with missing rivets. (then there's the foil they sent with a bad wire job..)

-25th April 2004, 12:12
I find that if I put the full velcro-to-velcro in my mask, it's too tight to wear at all (I have a big head :)), but I think it's still very strong even with only half the velcro (I'll give it a good tug before I use it next).

-27th April 2004, 11:35
Hmmm, heavy duty elastic required!
I got an italian mask with velcro elastic thats really good. Dunno which company its from but its good.