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Thread: End of 350N?

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    Senior Member coach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond repute
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    Default End of 350N?

    Heard two unconfirmed rumors whilst at the Australian Nationals at the weekend. Firstly that China is moving to a 400N basic standard and secondly, that Oz is going to insist that all electric fencing, including at clubs, will be with full FIE standard kit. Not sure why, but just in terms if cost I can see that hurting access to the sport. I'd hate to see this policy creep in the UK because it just closes doors.

    Is this the beginning if the end of the 350n standard?

    So why do we have different standards anyway? Surely what's safe is safe?

    And why are we bothered about 350n vs 800n, when the only real safety issue as yet to be solved is the glove?

    And what about 800n socks and shoes for épée?

    I think that's everything that is bothering me about equipment at the moment....=]

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    Steel toe capped wellies should sort the epeeists out. They never move anyway ;-)

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    Surely any change to the existing rules should be evidence based and not on a whim.

    I have not heard any ground swell that 350N is leading to injuries.
    Qualified National Academy AASE Assessor
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    Quote Originally Posted by coach carson View Post
    Is this the beginning if the end of the 350n standard?
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by coach carson View Post
    So why do we have different standards anyway? Surely what's safe is safe?
    Different strength, speed, power, agility at higher levels of fencing create difference forces. U/12 women's foil is not the same as senior mens sabre. We don't need to have 50 shades of grey but surely two or three will suffice.

    Quote Originally Posted by coach carson View Post
    And why are we bothered about 350n vs 800n, when the only real safety issue as yet to be solved is the glove?
    You're talking about local people about local issues. The glove is a global issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by coach carson View Post
    And what about 800n socks and shoes for épée?
    Lack of vital organs in the lower leg and foot I'd imagine.

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    I don't follow the logic that people hit harder at FIE events than what happens when the same fencers practice at clubs. And I'd argue that a couple of large adult beginners have as much chance of causing damage to each other.

    I agree that it is about safety and risk management. But I don't hear of many issues with 350n anyway. 350n is safe. What I am hearing is about national and international changes to standards. For example, last years rule that all warm ups at FIE events had to be taken in full FIE kit. And I don't see any evidence base for the changes.

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    Australia the nanny state strikes again. Whoever is pushing for this is a tosser.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coach carson View Post
    I don't follow the logic that people hit harder at FIE events than what happens when the same fencers practice at clubs. And I'd argue that a couple of large adult beginners have as much chance of causing damage to each other.
    It's not necessarily harder that's the problem.

    A top level athlete is
    a) strong
    b) accurate
    c) technically excellent.

    Adult beginners are most likely to bludgeon each other than anything else.

    Let's take epee.

    They may occasional slap, punch, or launch with the body, but the one thing I'm not worried about from beginners is an accelerating attack, arm first, spot on to the upper ribcage, with the power that comes from a top level athletes legs and hand technique. And all that force goes through a small 5mm point, in a pretty direct straight line. That's a tremendous amount of focused force.

    A top level athlete is a different beast from the regular club fencer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coach carson View Post
    I agree that it is about safety and risk management. But I don't hear of many issues with 350n anyway. 350n is safe. What I am hearing is about national and international changes to standards. For example, last years rule that all warm ups at FIE events had to be taken in full FIE kit. And I don't see any evidence base for the changes.
    I would agree that during warm-ups, the likelihood of injury is significantly lower. Athletes aren't competing, the fights are likely to be gentler. But there's still a risk of injury, and since the equipment is there, it may as well be used. All it takes is one hit to a weakened jacket seam with an athlete not wearing a plastron or an instinctive leg hit with tracksuit trousers and suddenly it's ambulances, paramedics and paperwork.

    And worst of all, the event schedule may slip. And heaven forbids the schedule slips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coach carson View Post
    Not sure why, but just in terms if cost I can see that hurting access to the sport. I'd hate to see this policy creep in the UK because it just closes doors.
    Funny, but we said that when the 350N standard came in. And it did hurt some clubs, but we did all right overall as a sport and we're still here. And funnily enough, we've now got access to pretty cheap 350N kit[1], some from domestic sources and some from international sources. And, at a glance we know that the kit our fencers are using at club and competition is at least to a given standard.

    If CEN1 was to be abolished, and everyone had to use CEN2, at first the cost would be quite high. There would be a changeover period, as we had for CEN1. During that changeover period, manufacturers would likely engage in some kind of a price war to provide the lowest priced kit for clubs (as we saw with CEN1). As for individual equipment, current FIE kit is targetted for competitive international athletes. Certain manufacturers would be likely to introduce new lines of individual kit for club fencers (I'm not sure atm where the compromises would be) providing a minimum of three lines: club FIE, basic international FIE and a premium FIE line. Fencers would purchase where they feel comfortable.

    Overall, after around one to two years, the market would stabilise. Basic equipment may cost the same as current middle-grade 350N kit, or may even be closer in price to current budget 350N equipment. Premium equipment may come down a little in price, stabalise, or new technologies would provide for new premium lines.

    So we would likely survive as a sport, and I think clubs would be fine in the long run. It would hurt in the short run though.



    --

    [1] Admittedly, there have also been queries over the quality of that 350N kit, but those issues have been addressed pretty well as they've arisen, and there's been a benchmark to do so.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by coach carson View Post
    And why are we bothered about 350n vs 800n, when the only real safety issue as yet to be solved is the glove?

    And what about 800n socks and shoes for épée?
    Glove - true. And gloves are tricky. Fencers will grumble but accept most compromises, but the glove is the interface between the fencer's hand and their weapon. If it's not tactile and responsive, there will be problems.

    I've wondered about socks and shoes. The forces for a foot or leg hit are different (angle and delivery primarily), and as pointed out there are no vital organs to protect. The shin bone is amazingly protective and there's nothing really vulnerable around there to bleed out from. That doesn't mean these areas shouldn't be protected, but how do you protect the lower leg without building ... trousers?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by purple View Post
    <snip>
    I've wondered about socks and shoes. The forces for a foot or leg hit are different (angle and delivery primarily), and as pointed out there are no vital organs to protect. The shin bone is amazingly protective and there's nothing really vulnerable around there to bleed out from. That doesn't mean these areas shouldn't be protected, but how do you protect the lower leg without building ... trousers?
    Always said breeches were simply a modern fad and intrinsically unsafe!

  12. #12
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    pretibial lacerations (shin cuts) are hideous to fix and often never heal properly.

    there are many very superficial arteries, veins and nerves in the lower leg.

    also, injuries to the feet take ages to heal because we are always using them!

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    Senior Member coach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond reputecoach carson has a reputation beyond repute
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    350n socks and better gloves. But I still don't see the argument for CEN2 in clubs and for lessons.

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    Senior Member TomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond repute
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    Having switched to FIE kit about 5 years ago, I would not now go back to the 350N stuff. I have no doubt that the fabric does what Leon Paul says it does, but personally I don't think that is enough for two fully grown male epeeists colliding with a bit of metal between them.

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond repute cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomA View Post
    I have no doubt that the fabric does what Leon Paul says it does, but personally I don't think that is enough for two fully grown male epeeists colliding with a bit of metal between them.
    Have to say that I have not worn 800N breeches for years, apart from world cups (have never really found them comfortable) and have been wearing 350N ones instead. I have no issue with safety of 350N kit..

    Do still use my 800N Uhlmann jacket, however that is because it is nice to wear and comfy, when it wears out I will probably get a 350N jacket..
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  16. #16

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    Someone floated the FIE requirement in the US a couple of months ago. It was pretty much a non-starter, as it would KILL the sport over here. There is NO parent who's going to shell out for FIE gear for a Y10 fencer, only to watch that kid outgrow it in nothing flat and have to spend those big bucks again.

    Not sure how it is in the downunder, but import duties on completed textiles coming into the US are pretty hefty. The first time I placed a large order for gloves from my maker (about 500 units), the import duties took pretty much all of the profit from their sale.

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    Despite living and fencing in Australia, just attending all 5 days of the AFC Championships, and hanging out with a large number of Australian fencers on Facebook where stuff like this gets discussed, I have not heard such a rumour expressed anywhere but here. I think it's fairly unlikely.
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    OK, it's a draft discussion paper that suggests a mix of 350N and 800N kit for State events in NSW, depending on the level of competition and age of participants. Not relevant to most of Australia and hardly the end of 350N, but I see the issue is actually being discussed and hasn't just been pulled out of thin air.

    I agree that gloves are a more pressing safety issue.
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