Foil Mask Rules for 2011-2012 Fencing Season

Foil Mask with Conductive Bib

What is the target area in foil for the upcoming fencing season?  Will I need to purchase a mask with the foil bib as target for my events?

At the FIE level the rule is already in place that a portion of the foil bib is now part of the target area.  During the upcoming USA Fencing season, which starts on August 1, 2011 that rule will be applied to some national level competitions.  Here is our brief guide to Foil: What’s Target? for 2011-2012.

USA Fencing has ruled that all National events which are Team Selection Events will require the use of conductive bib for foil fencing.  This gives the athletes working to be selected for a National Team more bouts using the target area which they will face in International competition.

All other events will be fenced without the foil bib requirement.  Here’s a quick checklist of the events:

Events where the Foil Mask with Conductive Bib is Required:

  • Foil Bib as Target is required in these events

    Division I North American Cups (NAC)

  • Cadet North American Cups (NAC)
  • Junior North American Cups (NAC)
  • Wheelchair North American Cups (NAC)
  • Vet 50 North American Cups (NAC)
  • Vet 60 North American Cups (NAC)
  • Vet 70 North American Cups (NAC)
  • Junior Olympics
  • Division I National Championships
  • Wheelchair National Championships
  • Vet 50/60/70 National Championships

Events at which the Foil Bib as Target is NOT required:

  • No bib as target in these events

    NCAA Foil events in the 2011-2012 Season.

  • Any Local (Divisional) event, including JO and National qualification events
  • Super Youth Circuit (SYC) events
  • Regional Youth Circuit (SYC) events
  • Regional Open Circuit (ROC) events
  • Division IA NACs or National Championships
  • Division II NACs or National Championships
  • Division III NACs or National Championships
  • Vet Combined NACs
  • Vet 40 National Championships
  • Y10 / Y12 / Y14 NACs or National Championships
  • Any Team Events

What if you fence in a combination of events?

There are two schools of thought for your approach to dealing with the variable of target area for your events.

1. If you are training to do your best at a “points event” level, then go ahead and fence all of your local events using the full target area (conductive bib and mask cord).  While you put yourself at a disadvantage for those local and non-required events, the training in the bouts is more real to dealing with the foil bib as target and will be better for the fencer’s development and training towards performance in events where the foil bib as target is the requirement.

2. If you want to do the best possible at each event, then you can cover the lower edge of the foil mask bib with tape (tip tape or electrical tape) to prevent the lame material on the mask from touching that on the lame and becoming a part of the target area.  Alternatively you can invest in the XChange mask from Leon Paul and keep a foil bib and epee bib in your kit to be able to change out the bib based on the target area in effect for that tournament.

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