Although Fencing is a ‘Contact’ sport, participation in fencing is not, in itself, inherently dangerous if the correct equipment and clothing is used.

The most serious risk of serious injury occurs when a blade breaks unexpectedly in mid-fight.

The Guernsey Union d’Éscrime LBG’s (GUE LBG) policy on Fencing Clothing........for all age chiefly designed to minimise the risk of serious injury through a broken blade, as well as providing protection from hard blows, which are sometimes encountered by fencers in free-play, training, or in competitive bouts.

The GUE LBG’s Policy is intended to mirror the minimum clothing requirements as stipulated by British Fencing, the UK Governing Body for Fencing.

Where details of the GUE LBG’s Policy may differ from the Clothing Regulations set out by British Fencing at any time, the latter will always take precedence.

The Board of British Fencing believes that its safety standards should reflect the current European C.E.N Regulations, adjusted to the needs of the particular standards of fencing.

The GUE LBG’s Policy on acceptable standards of fencing clothing is also drawn up with this principle firmly in mind.

These Standards apply to all GUE LBG fencing with steel weapons, at competitions and elsewhere that fencing is taking place.

Acceptable clothing for all fencing activities are based on four levels of activity – as follows:


Applicable to all International Competitions, including World, Olympic and European Championships, F.I.E ‘A’ Grade International Competitions, Commonwealth Fencing Championships at Junior, Senior and Veteran levels, and UK National Championships – at all weapons.

i. Jackets C.E.N 2 800 Newtons.

ii. Under Plastrons C.E.N 2 800 Newtons.

iii. Trousers/Breeches C.E.N 2 800 Newtons.

iv. Masks C.E.N 2 1600 Newtons

(Must be fitted with a Safety Strap)




Applicable to all Fencing Competitions not specifically designated as C.E.N 2 Events, whether National, Regional, Section, County or Club events, and including individual and team events.

i. Jackets C.E.N 1 350 Newtons – OR

C.E.N 1 350 Newtons with Integrated

350 Newton Under Plastron – OR

C.E.N 2 800 Newtons.

ii. Under Plastrons C.E.N 1 350 Newtons – ORC.E.N 1 350 Newtons Integrated into


350 Newton Jacket.

Iii Breeches C.E.N 1 350 Newtons Fencing Breeches. – NOTE: Shorts are NOT acceptable.

iv. Masks C.E.N 1 – with 350 Newtons bib

(Must be fitted with a Safety Strap)



Applicable to all those fencing with Size 3 or smaller blades, electric or non-electric, all 3 weapons (both fencers) AND those fencing with non-electric foil blades (both fencers).

‘Non-electric’ Foil Blades does not mean ‘dummy’ electric foil blades fitted with a button. To qualify for this level of clothing standard, both fencers must be using the traditional lightweight ‘Steam’ Foil blade as, for example, used universally before the invention of Electric Foil.


i. Jackets C.E.N 1 350 Newtons – OR

C.E.N 1 350 Newtons with Integrated

350 Newton Under Plastron – OR

C.E.N 2 800 Newtons.

ii. Under Plastrons C.E.N 1 350 Newtons – ORC.E.N 1 350 Newtons Integrated into


350 Newton Jacket.

Iii Trousers/Breeches Trousers with openings and pockets either zipped, sewn, or taped in the closed position – or C.E.N 1 350 Newtons Fencing Breeches. – NOTE: Shorts are NOT acceptable.

iv. Masks C.E.N 1 – with 350 Newtons bib

(Must be fitted with a Safety Strap)



i. Jackets C.E.N 1 350 Newtons

ii. Under Plastrons C.E.N 2 800 Newtons

Iii Breeches C.E.N 1 350 Newtons Fencing Breeches.

iv. Masks C.E.N 1 – with 350 Newtons bib

(Must be fitted with a Safety Strap)



Coaches and Instructors have a special responsibility for safety during training. They should give very careful consideration to the circumstances in which they are prepared to instruct pupils who are not wearing full protective clothing.



Fencers are responsible for ensuring that their own personal equipment is in a safe condition and, in particular, that it conforms to the following requirements:

a. Masks


Fencers must wear masks of appropriate size, conforming to the minimum safety standard of C.E.N 1.

No attempt should be made to repair the steel mesh of a mask. If a mask is weak or visibly damaged; throw it away.

Masks should also be regularly checked for the following defects:

i. Weakness due to rusting.

ii. Softness, holes, or excessive deformation from the mask’s original shape.

iii. The bib not properly attached, or curling up.

iv. Gaps in the side or under the chin.

v. Poor means of retention of the mask on the fencer’s head, making the mask liable to come off unexpectedly.

Every fencer must wear a mask back-strap.


Referees should apply the penalty for appearing on the piste with equipment that does not conform with the Rules for Competitions, to those fencers without mask back-straps.


A mask back-strap consists of elastic at least 35mm wide, secured to the mask side mesh at each end, passing UNDER any mask spring piece at the back, and tensioned to keep the mask firmly in place.

Mask back-straps must stay fastened and tensioned at all times when fencing.

vi. Transparent masks must have visors in good condition, with no evidence of crazing or cracking, and safely secured in its retaining frame.

C.E.N 1 Safety Standards apply equally to conventional and transparent masks.

b. Jackets & Breeches


i. Jackets should be of the correct length, and fit correctly. They must be fastened on the opposite side to the sword arm, or at the back.

ii. There should be a minimum of 10cm (4 Inches) of overlap between breeches and jacket when a fencer is on-guard.

iii. Clothing that is damaged, showing visible tears, or which has clearly been weakened or coroded through prolonged use, MUST ON NO ACCOUNT BE USED.

iv. Jackets must comply with the minimum C.E.N 1 Safety Standard.

v. Breeches must be closed below the knee.

vi. If both fencers are using non-electric Foil blades or, at all three weapons, Size 3 or smaller blades, breeches may be replaced by strong, full-length trousers or tracksuit trousers, All such trousers or tracksuits must have all openings and pockets completely closed by being completley zipped, sewn, or taped-up.

vii. The strength of protective clothing may be reduced if the Wash & Care Instructions on relevant labels are not followed.

c. Plastrons


i. Simple under-jackets or ‘T’ Shirts MUST NEVER BE USED as a substitute for a properly designed fencing plastron.

d. Socks


i. Fencers must ensure that socks are worn fully pulled up, and with the tops covered by the bottom of the breeches so that no bare skin is exposed, at all times when fencing.

e. Shoes


i. Shoes used for fencing should grip the floor firmly. Shoes with worn soles, or which lose their grip, should alwasy be promptly replaced.

f. Womens’ Breast Protectors


i. It is compulsory for women to wear breast protectors when participating in any fencing activity.

ii. It is also recommended that girls wear breast protectors at least from the age of 10, or from the onset of puberty if earlier.

g. Gloves


i. A fencing glove, or gauntlet, should be long and firm enough to cover approximately half the forearm of a fencer’s sword arm, and remain over the sleeve of the jacket while fencing.

ii. Gloves should not have any opening except the one designed for a body-wire. They should be inspected regularly for any holes and tears, and immediately discarded if any of these become apparent.



A plastic face mask specifically designed for purpose, or a regulation fencing mask, should always be worn by those individuals participating in fencing activity of any kind, involving foam or plastic weapons.



a. During Individual and Class lessons with steel weapons:


i. The Coach/Instructor should normally wear full protective clothing.

ii. The pupil should normally – as a minimum – wear the full protective clothing (C.E.N 1) required for those fencing with non- electric foils.

iii. In the case of pupils aged 18 or older (and with pupils under the age of 18, with written parental/guardian consent), if the instructor considers that particular circumstances justify less than full protective clothing being worn, they should draw their pupils’ attention to any accident or injury that could result because full protective clothing is not being worn.

iv. The following items MUST always be worn during lessons:

The Coach/Instructor should always wear a mask, a fencing jacket, and a plastron (or a teaching jacket and plastron combined), and a glove.

The pupil should always wear a mask and a glove.

b. When Foam/Plastic Weapons are being used.


i. The pupil should always comply with the clothing regulations governing fencing with Foam/Plastic weapons – outlined above.

ii. For plastic wepaons only, the Coach/Instructor should wear a plastic or regulation fencing mask when giving individual lessons.



Club Officers, Instructors and Competition Organisers have responsibility for ensuring that the accident prevention precautions in respect of premises are observed. They should also ensure, as far as is practicable, that individual fencers observe their own accident prevention responsibilities, and that rules to prevent accidents during lessons are observed.



a. A fencer is generally deemed at Law to accept the ordinary risks involved in fencing.

b. Examples of ordinary risks that a fencer is deemed to accept are accidents arising from breakage of blades, or from normal bodily contact with an opponent, arising in the normal course of a bout.

c. However, a fencer may possibly be legally liable if he or she injures an opponent by an action that is illegal under the Rules for Competitions, or is recklessly violent.

d. All fencers are strongly recommended to obtain Public Liability insurance cover by joining the Guernsey Union d’Éscrime, and thus benefitting from the automatic insurance cover offered by British Fencing, as a benefit of this membership.

e. Fencers should avoid the risk of legal liability by fencing within the scope of the Rules for Competitions, and ensuring that their equipment is safe.

f. The British Fencing Rules for Competitions make it clear that each fencer is responsible for the safety of his/her own equipment, and that this is specifically not the responsibility of organisers of activites and/or referees.

g. The degree of liability that may fall upon organisers and/or referees is unclear. In any event, these officials should take care, as far as is reasonably possible, that the rules governing safety of equipment, and conduct, are properly enforced.



a. Never allow fencers to begin or continue fencing if their clothing is inappropriate, deficient, incorrectly worn, broken, damaged, weakened by excessive use, or is otherwise inherently unsafe.

b. It is the Coach/Instructor’s responsibility to ensure that fencers are safely attired and equipped at all times.

c. The Coach/Instructor must identify all unsafe practices, even if these involve individuals who are not under his/her direct control. The Law recognises that all Coaches/Instructors have a duty of care to ensure that all those who take part in fencing are able to do so without endangering themselves, or others.