Please spread this around, especially to newbies: At Summer Nationals, like every national event, there is an armory. Most of you come into contact with the armory and the staff because your personal equipment has to be checked, and marked, before you fence. Please keep the following in mind: We'll test any equipment any time we're not busy. If we are busy, we may: a) test equipment for those fencing soon in preference to those fencing later b) limit how much we will test (the favorite is only two of anything including body cords). So, bring your stuff in on any afternoon before you fence, when we usually don't have a line. Oh, and we're there until the last bout, and we'll test pretty much right up to the beginning of the last bout, when we usually start closing up the armory for the night; that's a really good time to come in and get your stuff tested. Fencers can help move the line along faster if they: 1. Have everything out -- mask, cords, lame, sabre glove/manchette. Leave your bag somewhere else. Nothing slows us down like a fencer dragging up an overstuffed bag and then searching through before we can start testing. We've actually talked about having a rule that limits how close a bag can come to the armory. 2. Unwind your cords. They don't have to be completely unwound, but have around a foot of free cord on all 2 (or 3) ends. With the equipment and experience level at this event, it DOES take longer to unwind cords than to test them. 3. Take off ALL old inspection marks on your cords. 4. We don't test blades (or jackets or knickers or plastrons or chest protectors). There is nothing on a weapon we can test that you can't fix between the armory and the strip. They test weapons on the strip. We have a self test station where you can test your own weapons if you want to. If you don't know how to do that, ask, we'll be happy to show you how. 5. Please pay attention when you are at or near the head of the line. We'd appreciate it if you really did hear us the first time we yell "next". Talking to your friends (especially on a cell phone) while you are at the head of the line and missing the third time we call "next in line" is sure to get the arnorer a bit peeved, and that's never a good thing. There will be around 8 armorers on staff at any one time, and the next one free might be at the far end of the table or not so loud. 6. There is a designated line. Sometimes, it just looks like there are people standing around. It will probably be marked on the floor with tape, Stand behind it, and an armorer will serve you. 7. Bring at least two cords (body cords for every weapon, head cords for sabre) for testing. You get a yellow card if you don't have a tested and marked spare and your primary breaks. 8. Priorities for armorers are: 1) Strip calls and tournament equipment repairs, 2) Equipment Checks, 3) Advise, adjustments and training. We are actually happy to try to help you with your equipment, but that is last on our priority list. Similarly, we KNOW when there is a long line, but keeping all the strips running is the first priority, so when an armorer has to step away from the table to go work on a strip, please understand. 8. Generally, we don't do repairs, because there are vendors for that, but we're very happy to show you how to fix many kinds of problems if we're not busy, and of course if we're showing you how to fix it, then sometimes, it's actually fixed when the lesson is over. Pease don't abuse the generosity. 9. If your mask fails the punch test, we mark it very prominently, and may confiscate it for the tournament. If it's bad, you really, truly don't want to use it ever again under any circumstances. A lot of what we test is for fairness; making sure your opponent gets the point if he deserves it. Some of it is to make sure the bouting moves along smoothly. Mask tests are for your safety. Don't ever even think of using a questionable mask. And of course, there is number 10 10. Test your stuff before you come. If you lame didn't work the last time, it hasn't gotten better stuffed in your bag. If you had at least one bad cord in the tangle, find it (and fix it) BEFORE you get to the head of the line.